One of the best ways to transport a kayak is to use a kayak rack.
When you have an RV (recreational vehicle), though, whether you use it for day trips, multi-day trips, or live in it full-time, it’s critical to buy a kayak rack designed specifically to fit RVs.
This article goes over the 20 best RV kayak racks for adventurers who want to transport a kayak or a similar vessel.
RV kayak racks come in several kinds.
Many are vertical racks that are designed to be mounted to the rear of the RV. That is because the height of RVs tends to make roof racks less accessible.
The downside of such vertical racks is that you need to have a hitch receiver to install them. These are not usually included with the rack itself, so if you don’t have one yet, you will need to buy it.
Also, another downside is that vertical racks tend to be more limited in terms of kayak length. They usually tend to support kayaks up to 12 feet; longer kayaks may just be too long and scratch against the pavement during transport.
You can also use traditional J-rack or other roof racks, but you will need to buy crossbars suitable for RVs first. You can’t just install the J-rack on the roof of your vehicle directly.
The downside of traditional roof racks for RVs is that it can sometimes be difficult to load and unload the kayak due to the height of the RV.
In this article, I will include vertical racks, crossbars, and roof rack systems.
The short version: The best kayak racks for RVs include the VertiYak, racks from the YAKUPS brand, and the Swagman RV-approved crossbar system. Read on for the full list!
Best RV Kayak Racks For Adventurers
- 1. HYPERAX Iridium Hitch RV Approved Kayak Rack Carrier
- 2. RecPro RV Kayak Rack Standing Kayak Carrier
- 3. YAKUPS RV Vertical Kayak Rack E2KR37W
- 4. YAKUPS KR2B56S RV Vertical Kayak Rack
- 5. YAKUPS RV Trike/Kayak Carrier
- 6. Swagman ROAMER RV Approved Crossbars Roof Rack
- 7. Mountainpeak Camper Shell Rack
- 8. Su Ying Van Roof Ladder Rack
- 9. CXWXC J-Bar Kayak Roof Rack
- 10. Nautic Side Loading Kayak, Canoe & SUP Carrier
- 11. NO. 32 2-Pair Heavy-Duty Folding J-Style Kayak Racks
- 12. PIRIPARA Kayak Roof Rack 2 Pairs J-Bar Carrier Holder
- 13. Leader Accessories Kayak Rack
- 14. IKURAM Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack
- 15. TMS Kayak Roof Racks for 2 Kayaks
- 16. DRSPORTS Two Pairs Universal Foldable J-Bar Kayak Rack
- 17. HIGHRAZON Kayak Roof Rack
- 18. AVENN Kayak HD Roof Rack Universal Mount J-Bar
- 19. Bonsing Kayak Roof Rack
- 20. YAKIMA JayLow Rooftop Mounted Kayak Rack
- Wrapping It Up
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This kayak rack carrier attaches to the back of your RV, camper, or trailer. It supports kayaks up to 12 feet long and is highly rated on Amazon.
The rack supports two kayaks, 80 pounds each, with a maximum load capacity of 160 pounds.
It’s a vertical rack with foam pads that protect your kayak from scratches and other damage, and it also comes with extra straps that not only help secure your kayak but are reflective, providing an extra layer of visibility at night.
There is also an anti-wobble mechanism installed to ensure your kayak doesn’t wobble while being transported. It attaches nicely to a two-inch hitch receiver and stays sturdy once installed.
Next up, we have this RecPro VertiYak, another hitch-mounted vertical rack; it attaches to an RV bumper hitch or two-inch receiver. It supports kayaks and paddleboards up to 12 feet long, with a weight capacity of 150 pounds (the rack itself weighs just 46 pounds).
It comes with an adjustable mounting height (three different heights are available), which helps ensure there is enough clearance between the rack and the ground, as well as an anti-rattle device and ratchet steps for securing your kayak. Made of 14-gauge steel, this is a sturdy and durable rack.
It is also black powder coated, which ensures that the color won’t rub off on your kayaks and damage them.
When not in use, you can fold the brackets and store it flat against your RV.
This YAKUPS kayak rack can carry two kayaks, six surfboards, or four paddleboards. It fits two-inch hitch receivers; it is a vertical rack that comes complete with straps, cables, and padlocks.
It is easy to assemble in just 10 minutes, weighing just 75 pounds. With a five-year warranty, you can buy this kayak rack with peace of mind.
It supports kayaks up to 12 feet long and 32 inches wide. Made with stainless steel, this kayak rack just looks sleek, in addition to being sturdy.
The best part about ordering a kayak rack for your RV from YAKUPS is that you can customize your order to fit your needs and the dimensions of your kayak.
For example, you can customize it so that it can carry a bicycle in addition to your kayaks or add a modification for fat-tire bikes.
This is another vertical kayak rack from YAKUPS, but this model supports up to four kayaks, making it perfect for trips with the whole family.
Made with stainless steel that is powder coated, this beautiful kayak rack was specifically modified to fit more kayaks (it can also fit up to eight boards).
Kayaks up to 12 feet long and 32 inches wide are supported.
The rack will be delivered in three assembled sections, reducing the amount of work you will need to do. With a weight of just 90 pounds, it won’t overload your RV, either.
This vertical rack from YAKUPS is particularly interesting, because it is designed to carry both trikes and kayaks. Three-wheeled cycles (tricycles, or trikes for short) are not that common, which is why finding a good rack to carry them on your RV can be difficult.
If you wish to transport kayaks at the same time, your search will become even more difficult.
Fortunately, YAKUPS has created an option for you. Its trike carrier can carry either two trikes, one trike and two bikes, or two kayaks – the choice is yours!
You can also request to customize it so that it supports one trike and two kayaks at the same time. If you have a child who rides a trike, this could be a good option for you.
These Swagman crossbars are RV approved, so they will work well on your camper. It’s designed to fit both bikes and kayaks, and it supports most clamp-based kayak racks, including a lot of J-racks that are designed for kayaks.
Since they are square crossbars, most kayak racks will fit on them.
Note that this product only includes the crossbars themselves. You will need to buy a J-rack or another roof rack separately, and make sure they come with clamps, so you can easily attach the rack to your crossbars.
With bolt-down hardware and rubber pad mounts, they will fit perfectly on the roof of your RV. If they are too long for the roof, don’t worry, as you can cut them to fit to size.
The crossbars are strong enough to transport up to two kayaks or four mountain bikes. It is also possible to take one kayak only, to leave extra room for your mountain bike.
Other things you can transport include tent trailers and truck canopies.
If you transformed a pickup truck into an RV by attaching a camper shell, this rack is a good choice. Made with stainless steel and rust-free aluminum, this powder-coated rack with rubber strips will work well in all kinds of weather situations.
With anti-corrosion mounting bases and straps and ladder stoppers, this rack will support your kayaks, bikes, and other equipment. With dual-channel T-nuts to attach your kayak, it supports up to 500 pounds!
In addition to placing it on a camper shell, you can also use it with a cargo van, utility trailer, and similar types of vehicles.
The package comes with two crossbars that are 60 inches long, four mounting bases that are 2.75 inches wide each, and four plastic end caps that go on the ends of the bars for added protection for your bars and kayaks.
If you are willing to do some drilling for installation, this Su Ying roof ladder rack is perfect for your pickup truck with a camper shell installed.
It comes in both black and white, and the 60-inch crossbars are manufactured with reinforced aluminum for extra durability and longevity.
The T-nuts make installing a kayak pretty easy, and the eye hooks allow you to transport some extra tools or equipment.
And, while you do need to do some drilling to install these racks, only simple tools are required, and the instructions are all there – just make sure you are installing it on a flat roof.
This kayak roof rack from CXWXC is very affordable and perfect for transporting a single kayak (buy a second pair if you want to transport another one). It can be used for kayaks up to 36 inches wide and 150 pounds in weight.
It fits most square, oval, and flat crossbars, so if you have those types of crossbars installed on the roof of your RV, this product should work well.
The rack comes mostly assembled, with only minimal further assembly required – instructions are provided in the manual; make sure to follow them carefully.
If you are looking for a cheap rack for the roof of your RV, this is an excellent choice.
While a lot of people like using J-racks, another option is using a kayak carrier like this one from Rhino Rack. These little cradles attach to your crossbar and can securely hold a kayak.
This product comes with rubber pads that hold and cushion your kayak, as well as load straps and tie-down anchors for tying your kayak in place. The cover plate is lockable, securing the cradles to the crossbars while deterring theft.
The advantage of these cradles compared to a traditional J-rack is how low-profile they are. They don’t stick out like J-cradles do.
They are also made of waterproof and UV-resistant material, so they will last for a long time.
These cradles fit crossbars and roof rack systems with bar channels, so make sure yours is supported before buying them.
If you prefer a roof rack instead of a hitch mount rack, consider this pair of J-hooks from NO. 32. Designed for both regular cars and RVs, the racks can hold kayaks and similar boats, like surfboards, canoes, and skiboards.
It fits most crossbars and can easily be installed or uninstalled with the universal mounting hardware that comes with the racks. There are also straps that come with the racks to ensure that you can tie down your kayaks securely.
There is plenty of space within the J-racks, making loading and unloading kayaks easy. Meanwhile, the adjustable padding helps protect your kayaks while in transit.
The surface is made with rust-resistant coating, although some deterioration is to be expected over time, especially after consistent exposure to rain.
This pair of J-cradles from PIRIPARA is made of heavy-duty steel and is a solid choice if you need to transport two kayaks. Made with rust-resistant coating, it will last quite a while.
It comes with universal mounting hardware, so it will fit most crossbars you might install on an RV roof. In fact, you can install it in just five minutes with the handy knobs – it’s not difficult at all.
However, it is not meant for round crossbars – only oval, flat, and square crossbars.
It comes with straps to secure your kayak. Loading the kayaks on the side ensures you have more space.
With a load capacity of 150 pounds and high-density foam pads to protect and cushion your kayak, this pair of J-cradles offers excellent value for money.
This pack of four J-cradles is great for securing two kayaks. However, what makes them so great is that they are foldable!
Made of lightweight, durable, and waterproof aviation grade aluminum alloys, these J-cradles fold into themselves when not in use. This is helpful if you have difficulty parking your RV in a garage, for example, due to the extra height the J-cradles add to it.
It’s compatible with most crossbars (not round ones, though), and it comes with foam pads to protect your kayaks. There are also rubber pedals to prevent scratches on your kayak.
This pair of J-racks is made of high-quality, durable, and rust-resistant aluminum alloy. It comes with an easy mounting system that installs quickly on most oval or square crossbars. You can easily remove it and transfer it to another vehicle (from your RV to your car, for example) due to the ease of installation.
One thing I like about this product is the front release handle, which allows you to lock the rack in different positions and angles. It also allows you to unlock it and fold it down to provide extra clearance when not in use.
You can also transform your J-rack into different configurations to support the transport of various vessels. For example, you can carry two kayaks or one kayak plus two boards.
It has a total load capacity of 160 pounds and can carry kayaks up to 42 inches wide.
The foam paddles with long contact points help protect your kayak from scratches during transit. They are weather resistant and will last for a long time.
Unfortunately, a lot of kayak racks do not fit on round crossbars – most are designed for square, oval, and/or flat crossbars. However, these TMS kayak roof racks, which can support two kayaks, can be mounted on round crossbars as well.
They also can be mounted on ladder rack bars, which are commonly found on pickup trucks.
They feature easily mountable hardware, wide cradles that provide plenty of room for your kayak, and adjustable padding to keep your kayak safe and free of any damage.
Made of high quality steel, it features four straps – two for each kayak – that allow you to securely strap your kayak onto the roof of your RV.
Kayaks that weigh up to 75 pounds and are up to 36 inches wide are supported on these TMS racks.
This pair of folding kayak racks is perfect for your RV. It comes with foam gaskets and rubber pedals to protect your kayak.
It is compatible with most crossbars except round ones, with an easy installation system that doesn’t involve much time or a learning curve. Installation instructions are included, of course.
With included straps, hood loops, and hook ropes, you can easily load, unload, and secure your kayak in this kayak rack. Since it comes in a pack of four (two pairs), you can load two kayaks on your roof at the same time.
This roof rack features strong anti-rust protection to protect the rack from deteriorating in harsh weather conditions. It also features high elastic foam shock absorption and foam padding to protect your kayak during transport from friction and scratching.
You can buy it in a pair of two or two pairs (four in total). If you get the pack of four, you can carry up to two kayaks, each 36 inches wide, with a load capacity of 150 pounds in total.
The quick on/off hardware makes it easy to mount and uninstall this kayak rack on your crossbars (most crossbars are supported). It also comes with four nylon ropes to help you tie down your kayaks.
The ropes are 85 inches long and one inch wide, providing plenty of stability and security for your kayaks.
This pair of sleek, beautiful J-racks will look great on your RV. Made of alloy and with epoxy powder coating for water resistance, the racks feature a rubberized base that helps maintain a grip on your kayak while protecting it from scratches.
At the same time, the package comes with 16-foot ratchet straps and 10-foot adjustable S-hook straps, ensuring your kayak won’t fall off during transport.
With a load capacity of 150 pounds, you can transport most kayaks up to 36 inches wide. It fits most crossbars, and it comes with all the mounting hardware you will need to install it.
These universal roof racks fit most crossbars, including round ones – up to 4 ⅓ inches wide. The strong racks come with padding to protect your kayak and can hold kayaks up to 165 pounds in weight.
The lever allows you to adjust the angle of your rack, from a flat position when not in use to 180 degrees.
The stainless steel nuts are rust proof, as are the racks themselves, which are coated with powder to offer protection against the elements.
I like this kayak rack because it is versatile and can be adjusted into different positions. If you use a J-cradle type of position, it can support one kayak up to 80 pounds; it also supports two kayaks of a combined weight of 110 pounds in a vertical, stacked position.
Furthermore, it supports most aftermarket crossbars, including round, square, and aerodynamic crossbars, providing the crossbars have a minimum spread of 24 inches. It was also designed with the YAKIMA SteamLine crossbars in mind.
With heavy-duty straps and tie downs included, your kayak can be securely stowed while on the go. It also supports the SKS locking system to protect your kayak from theft, but that is sold separately and not included.
It supports easy installation without requiring extra tools.
There are so many ways to store a kayak in an RV. For kayaks that are less than 12 feet long, I generally recommend a vertical hitch mount, as it is easy to load and unload your kayaks.
However, providing you have the right crossbars, J-racks or other styles of kayak roof racks are also great.
Both types of kayaks are incredibly safe and durable, and you can transport them inside your RV.