Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by tiagosantos, Sep 2, 2015.
This is not my idea of a perfect kayaking vehicle--not sure one even exists--but maybe the longest Mini Cooper wagon would suit your needs. Long, flat roof, supposedly fun to drive, low height, compact but not tiny. I use a pickup truck with trailer myself, because I like to camp in the back, inside the topper, and I like old-fashioned part-time 4WD and ground clearance. But gas mileage cannot compare with that of most small cars.
There is also a Ford wagon that has lots of space and a long, flat roof. Ford Flex or Escape? I can't remember its name.
So the benefits of my Prius. It's low. Easier to get boats on and off. Can haul 3 boats at a time. Can put the back seat down for more gear. Lots of great tie off points. Awesome gas mileage (though not fantastic with 3 boats on the roof).
Cons: not a lot of off-roading going to happen.
Is this an accurate picture of the rack spacing on a Prius?
I have to agree with Tatlow on this one.
The Subaru Outback is the perfect vehicle for hauling a kayak and camping gear.
Watch some YT vids on the AWD traction system they have, fantastic vehicles. And 500K is average/minimum mileage for these vehicles.
In fact I may be selling a black 2000 with all power acc, remote heated mirrors, heated seats, sun roof, moon roof, full load in decent shape. And I just bought the nice Subaru roof racks too.
After some months of research and searching I bought mine. Thing is I have to sell my Mustang GT Convertible/ and its not selling. I cant afford the parking and insurance for two vehicles. So the Subaru will have to go for now and my next vehicle purchase will be a Subaru Outback after the Mustang finally sells.
Talk about fun to drive! My mustang stays parked and I take the Outback everywhere.
Stop at a dealer and take one for a test spin, my bet is you'll be impressed. :big_thumb
While the first two pics indicate if you can dream it up..it can work, the last three are about as versatile as it gets.
I've been considering my next vehicle once my current car* says 'uncle'. A compact pickup truck, 4x4**, is where I'm leaning. With a V6 they get 18ish mpg. They drive like a car..mostly..are pretty low to the ground for loading/unloading kayaks. The rear bed, preferably with a cap, has plenty of room for wet gear without worry of messing up an interior space. The bed area with a cap & vent(or just open) lets things dry out on the way home. If it gets dirty..hose it out.
(*I have an F250SD as a second vehicle..though with a 7.5 liter engine and 9mpg..cough..I use it mainly for towing)
**I'd be leery of a 2WD version. A friend had one...we parked on a very slight uphill grade one fall. The parking area was covered with wet leaves. He had no weight in the back..I had to get out and push to get the truck moving as it was 'stuck' on the wet leaves.)
I'm just gonna drop these here...
And, fishboat, another thought on those newer Tacoma pics you're showing there. They have a composite bed in the box.
That means if you are a backhoe operator and want to haul around some extra diesel fuel, you won't be able to put those 45 gallon drums of diesel in the back. The bed isn't strong enough for that type of use.
But, it also means that carting around a bunch of salt covered gear isn't going to end up rusting out the box.
That had me drooling over a new truck one day down at the dealers lot. Well, okay, that and the big muscle air scoop on the hood.
Fishboat, those are the reasons I have preferred trucks for the last 30 years. But I am too short to rooftop solo on my topper, so that depends on user height. The truck is a Nissan Frontier V6 4WD, stick shift, that gets 20-21 mpg highway. Mixed use, more typical around home, is 18-19 mpg. City mpg is bad, 16-17 mpg, but I rarely do city-only driving (can walk to all necessary services).
Frontier's bed is all metal, and I have the factory bed coating. Line-X would be better for carrying angular, heavy things but the stock setup is fine for my needs of camping, carrying short boats, bikes, boxes both light and heavy, bags of landscaping stuff, etc.
If only it got better gas mileage
Lots of creative solutions to hauling boats with a PU, sans canopy or otherwise.
+1 on use of LineX as bed coating. Run it up the inside and across the rails a couple inches as abrasion protection.
Nootka's over and under lashup on the custom rack avoids hull rash from stacking boats on top of one another. Very clever.
Agree the best choice for a mix of economy and toughness is a compact PU with 4WD. Just too many launch access routes, road or nonroad, with soft, uncertain footing. Always been a 2WD guy, and never stuck, but also packed boats and gear many times when 4WD would have allowed offloading at water's edge.
I eventually gave up on canopies because bed flex prevented a reliable seal. A wet bed is a wet bed. Plus, I hate ro roing a canopy on and off when i want to haul something bulky.
Well..if we open up older-used vehicles(like the photo) then it isn't too hard to rationalize that mpg doesn't matter a whole lot.
If one crunches the numbers between..say..an older truck in good shape for $8K (pick a number <$10K..) and a newer/new truck for $25k-$35K-45K+..you could buy lots of gas after saving $20K-$30K to pick up an extra 5-7mpg.
My own truck is a beast '89 F250, 9-10mpg...but I've had it for 22 years. Like any vehicle, it needs some repair now and then, but after just a $4300 initial investment, and no payments for 21 years, filling dual tanks hurts a little, but not as much as a the cost of new(er) truck with only a 50% mpg improvement. I only drive it 3000-5000 miles a year..hauling firewood, trailers, camper, Home Depot runs..
If we compare a $10K used vehicle that gets 10mpg & a $10K vehicle that gets 18mpg...well..as long as the latter vehicle fills the need..then it wins. (although the higher mpg vehicle will sell at a premium due to being more popular)
If you're never getting too far from a paved road..this is one sweet setup..which brings us full circle I think.
Same car, same mileage, same satisfaction.
The new ones are so pretty though I'd be scared to scratch 'em.
Well Volvo's are a pretty tough vehicle apparently, lol.
Pretty accurate. Not a lot but I find it works. J cradles work fine.
Tiderace Prius by Jamey Tisdale, on Flickr
2012 Fiesta and CD Sirocco. 3000 mile trip to Florida and back from NY. Not a problem. Yes, I did have bow and stern lines.
Some car repair issues has me thinking more on this...I drive around and vehicles with flat-low roofs tend to catch my eye.
No idea whether either makes decent cars..but..two options for not-to-far-off-road launching. The Soul looks kinda 'hip'.
We just acquired a 2013 Kia Soul, so Kevin's shot got my gears going. Saw one yesterday with a serious Yakima rack on it. Looked stronger than the factory rack.
Anybody have experience racking a Soul?
I looked at racks years ago for my dakota but in the end just wrapped a couple of big pieces of 4" foam with a garbage bag to keep them dry and would just place them on the roof and canopy and tie the yak down. Worked great and cheap.
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