How to Haul Kayaks on Truck With Tonneau Cover: A Complete Guide for 2023

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Kayaking is an exhilarating and enjoyable outdoor activity. However, transporting kayaks can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to safely securing them on your truck with a tonneau cover installed.

The last thing you want is to damage your kayak or truck during transport. Fortunately, with the right knowledge and equipment, transporting kayaks on a truck with a tonneau cover can be a hassle-free experience.

Because, after all, kayaking is all about escaping the mundane realities of life, not adding more to that list.

So, let’s get you spending more time on the water and less time figuring out how to haul your kayak.

Suggested: Best kayak racks for truck with tonneau cover

Can You Put Kayaks on a Tonneau Cover?

Tonneau covers are one of the most versatile accessories you can add to your truck, allowing you to safely haul large, heavy and valuable gear.

As such, tying your kayak to the top of your tonneau cover might seem like a safe and convenient option, but it isn’t recommended.

Fastening your kayak to the top of your tonneau cover is extremely insecure and is likely to lead to damage of either your truck, kayak or both. And, in a worst case scenario, could seriously injure people around you.

With this option out of the window, there is really only one way left to safely transport your kayak on top of your tonneau cover.

How to Haul Kayaks on Truck With Tonneau Cover

Hauling a kayak on top of a tonneau cover can be a challenging task, especially if you want to keep both your kayak and your truck safe from any damage.

However, with the right equipment you can have peace of mind knowing that your kayak is secure during transport.

The only safe way to haul a kayak on top of a tonneau cover is with a bed rack and kayak racks installed. Kayak racks come in various types, but the most common are saddles, J-cradles, and stackers.

Here’s a brief explanation of each of these types of kayak racks:

  1. Saddles: These are designed to hold the kayak in a V-shaped cradle, which helps to evenly distribute the weight of the kayak. They are easy to install and work well with most types of kayaks. The Yakima Saddles are our recommended choice.
  2. J-cradles: These have a J-shaped design that allows the kayak to sit on its side, which saves space and provides a lower profile during transport. J-cradles are suitable for kayaks with a narrower hull and are ideal for those who want to haul more than one kayak. The TMS Kayak Roof Racks are our recommended choice.
  3. Stackers: These are designed to hold multiple kayaks on their sides, which saves space and allows you to transport more than one kayak at a time. Stackers are great for those who have limited space on their truck bed or want to haul more than one or two kayaks. The Thule 830 The Stacker 4 Kayak Carrier is our recommended choice.

When choosing which type of rack will suit you best, it’s important to take a few things into consideration:

  • The type of kayak you have (is it sit-on or sit-in?)
  • The type of rack that will fit your kayak properly
  • Whether the rack also has a secure place to store your paddles during transport or if you need an extra accessory
  • Whether the type of bed rack you choose is compatible with your tonneau cover
  • The weight capacity of your bed rack
  • The number of kayaks you plan to transport
  • Ease of installation and removal

Recommended Accessories

Remember, before even considering which kayak rack to purchase, you also need some kind of bed rack installed. We will live and die by the quality of the Yakima Overhaul HD.

Bed rack system for hauling kayaks with tonneau cover

YAKIMA Overhaul HD Bed Rack

  • Designed to carry 500lbs
  • Easy to install
  • Clamps onto most truck beds

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About Author

Hi there, my name is Jack Reilly, and I'm a truck driver and writer. I've been driving trucks for over two decades now, and it's a passion that's only grown stronger over time.