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Custom Roof Rack: Part One

One thing that I wanted to add to the van was a custom roof rack mainly due to I wanted to be able to load as many kayaks on top as possible and anything that I could find to buy didn’t extend over the van, rather it confined the rack system to the factory roof rack width. Stage one of the rack system is built and installed thanks to a co-worker of mine. All credit goes to him. I basically told him what I wanted and he drew up a design and engineered the entire thing.

Here is what makes this system different: the three bars each rotate by pulling a pin and spinning the bar so that the stacker is either up or down. Since I put most kayaks inside the van, the only time I use the rack is either when I load my long boat (almost 12′) or when I am loading a ton of boats. If I load the long boat, I do not need the stackers. If I am loading a number of boats, I need the stackers.

Pin System

I’ve only tested the system out with a number of boats once, and it will take a few tweaks, but overall, this is a killer design. For regular creekers, only 2 bars are needed.

I will likely make a short video demonstrating the entire system when it is complete. Stage two is in the works and this is the part I am most excited about. Why? Because my long boat is a beast to load by myself. Running off another design idea that I saw, a roller is going to be installed on the back so that loading is going to be as easy as possible for one person.

More exciting updates to come!


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!

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