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Old 07-09-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
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Question Considering a KAYAK

Hello RVers,

I have an urge to get a Kayak. I have an Intex inflatable from Amazon I have yet to use and need to use it first to see if in fact it's good enough but I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed and want the real deal. Solo RVer, price not an issue, but handling it on my own is, i.e. stowing it for travel etc. I have a 2017 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab (4DR) with 5ft bed and a four fold lockable tonneau cover so that has to play into the equation. Roof is smooth, no rails, racks at this time.

For the Kayak experts around here what do you suggest for a Kayak for me? I love the water, owned and recently sold a boat, also recently got some fishing gear to get back into fishing. Not sure if I want a fishing Kayak but that IS something I'd consider. Just a catch and release kinda guy most likely.

I've watched a few YouTube videos, went to Cabelas (not much there) and Dick's. I think the nearest Kayak/Paddle shop is an hour from me here in Richmond, VA proper.

I'm open to recommendations on a kayak that I can manage on my own (getting on/off the toad) and also recommendations for a rack system for the Chevy Colorado with Tonneau.


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Old 07-09-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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For pickups I much prefer the ladder racks that mount over the bed. Much easier to load and unload the kayak and tie it down without worry of dragging crud (or the hooks and buckles of a strap) over the rooftop paint, or interference with cleaning and waxing the roof. Plus you can stand on the tailgate or sides of the truck to reach over the top. Kicker for you is there is limited compatibility between ladder racks and tonneau covers, but there are systems that work together and even manufacturers that offer complete package of rack plus cover.

As far as the kayak, I'll let others recommend on that. We're happy with a couple of cheap Pelicans because we can toss them around casually and don't worry about cosmetic damage or about theft. We also have a Sea Eagle inflatable that can go in the basement, because depending on what toad we use and what other toys are along there may or may not be rooftop space allocated for the Pelicans.

An unfortunate side effect of the internet age is that the amount and quality of information you can get from online sellers is huge compared to almost all brick and mortar shops. I found physical stores for both truck accessories and kayaks to be mostly interested in selling whichever solution they had rather than the best for me. Good luck and have fun shopping!

PS- an afterthought; parking garages and car washes. We like to patronize both at times. Something to consider when you mount boats on the roof. I used racks that were both height adjustable and removable without tools (Thule) so I could drop the yaks and still go there. I don't recommend that rack to you only because it's not compatible with a bed cover AFAIK.

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Old 07-09-2019, 03:26 PM   #3
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Have you considered a canoe instead?

Pros of canoe vs kayak
* Much lighter & easier to carry
* Easier to get at stashed gear
* Ability to change position makes it more comfortable
* Easier to fish from

Cons of canoe vs kayak
*Steeper learning curve

I have an 18' tandem canoe in kevlar, that weighs 40 lbs. I have no trouble picking it up myself, and then loading it onto my 2500HD Silverado, with the help of a single step stool. A solo canoe would be shorter, and could be a lot lighter, depending on the construction.

These photos were taken 10 years ago, when I was 68 years old.

Here is a link to one large dealer to see what is available, I'm sure there are others closer to you. https://www.rutabaga.com/canoes-solo...a-paddlesports

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Old 07-09-2019, 05:03 PM   #4
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Neal, We also have the kayak urge
and been looking. Were leaning towards something stable and light weight and saw units as light 38 lbs. under $200.00.
As far as racks I also like the Thule!
I have a 19í Canyon and the Thule
setup appears to be a nice clean set up. Check it out on e trailer.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:13 PM   #5
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This will open a can of worms. About me. Whitewater kayaked for 15 years back in 70/80's. Got back into it 8 years ago. I'm an ACA certified whitewater instructor. Been touring on lakes for about 4 years now with the RV.

As for carrying, we have an 8' crew cab with a Thule rack on the bed. This extends up to cab level. Kayaks go up there. The bars are on both sides of the cockpit with kayak saddles holding the boats. I am confident of this and don't do a bow tie down. But I would if I had a way for it not to rub on my truck!

As for boat. All have their plus and minuses. Inflatable boats are convenient for some. But you have to deal with inflating, drying and storing. Also they don't perform compared to hardshelled boats.

"Lake kayaks". These are sold by many places. Probably considered entry level. Wider and more stable. Slower. Some have large open cockpits some are sit on top. Medium cost.

Plastic touring kayaks (what I have). Narrower, less stable at first, fastest. Most have a cockpit that can/should have a sprayskirt. We paddle between 4 and 5 mph in ours. Probably $1,000 to $1,500

Composite kayaks. All the pluses of plastic kayaks. Tend to be heavier but faster. Need to be treated carefully unless you like cracks or scratches. $2,500 plus.

Also they make little carts. We walk our boats 1/4 mile from camp to lake in Grand Tetons then break them down and store it in the rear waterproof compartment...

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Old 07-09-2019, 05:30 PM   #6
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As a starter kayak you can look at Old Town. We have one small Otter and a 2 seater, I forgot the model. Nothing special but they are pretty sturdy, not too expensive and I can lift either into a pickup bed or onto a roof rack. I spent 5 days in the 2 seater 2 years ago going down rivers in the UP of Michigan without any issues, but as hinted at above, I wish I had a canoe as the others on the trip did.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:16 AM   #7
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I have been canoeing since the late 70's and my wife with me since early 90's but decided to give kayaks a try last year. We are still pretty new at it but it was an easy transition for us. If you check out the web site above they have a lot of good information but many there are geared toward more expensive and performance oriented kayaks.
We wanted to start with something inexpensive to see if we liked the whole deal. Picked up two 10' Sun Dolphins the Aruba models for under $200. each. They are a flat bottom wide shape which is the same as our canoe. This shape gives you a stable ride for lakes and rivers. We own land on a river that has a medium flow rate and some faster water, just enough challenge to keep it interesting.
These kayaks weigh 40# each so better than our 85# canoe and I am not getting any younger. Not any expert but from what we have seen so far the 10' to 12' range is about right at least for us. Have fun, we are, Jim.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:20 AM   #8
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I second purchasing an Old Town brand kayak. I've owned three over the years and have never been disappointed. Their warranty is excellent as well. I recently purchased a Loon 126 and love it. It moves through the water effortlessly, turns on a dime, starts and stops quickly, has an excellent seat (that's adjustable), is well balanced, weighs about 60lbs, and is easy to get on top of my Grand Cherokee.

Another place to look that's relatively close to the Richmond area is a place called Beacon Surplus in Wladorf, MD. Their first floor is military surplus and second floor has kayaks and canoes. I've purchased all three of my kayaks from them and they're great to work with. They also have some of the best prices in the area. The Loon I recently purchased was $200 less there than in Richmond or anywhere else I looked (including on-line). Also, the Loon comes in both recreational and fishing models.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:14 AM   #9
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Take a look on FB and Craigslist as there are many people selling their kayaks after minimal use. I have 5 kayaks and none of them were bought new. My latest find was a Hobie Tandem Island kayak (retails for a couple thousand dollars) for $20!

My Old Town Otter is a great small starter kayak and has easy egress and is very maneuverable. $100 used with a paddle.

Can't offer a suggestion on your truck carry. We either use a trailer or have Thule racks for the top of my Jeep.

Be safe and use your PFD!
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:38 AM   #10
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Thanks for the great recommendations all. Hoping to use my inflatable Intex Explorer K2 (now down to $62 on Amazon) next week to see how that works and then look at roof/ladder rack options for the Colorado and go from there.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
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Yes, another inflatable but capable of class 4 rapids and it fit's in the back seat of my VW Beetle.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:07 PM   #12
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I've had my seaeagle fasttrack 465 kayak for 5 years and couldn't be happier. Easy to store in the coach and at home when not in use. Packs down to approx. 30"x19"x9". The company is by far outstanding. I had a problem with my hull 1 year after the warrantee and they stood behind their product and replaced the boat after a few pictures to document. I have the 465 which can handle 1 to 3 people and up to 800 lb. It comes in different configurations. It is a very stable boat, tracks straight, can handle class11 rapids (i'm not doing that) and i am able to stand up in it. I would buy it again.

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Old 07-12-2019, 02:42 PM   #13
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Anyone interested in helping me spend money on a recreational kayak, this shop I may visit on the way to my CG next week. I visited their local shop near me which is much smaller. What kayak would you recommend from their inventory?


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Old 07-13-2019, 07:56 AM   #14
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I narrowed it down along the lines of a Perception Pescador Pro 10 or 12 (100/120 depending on the naming) and the Wilderness Tarpon 10/12 (100/120). I actually ordered via Amazon fulfilled by my local shop who shows no inventory on this but a Tarpon 120 Ultralight.


I ordered a Thule ladder rack from etrailer.com


Now time to accessorize but I'm sure that will evolve over time.

Thanks all for the help in fulfilling this impulse. Now to USE it! But first I have to get it, I have a feeling this may get complicated with finding out the one I ordered is not available but we'll see how it plays out.

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