Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mad River Canoe On My Truck

I recently got a used Dodge Ram 1500 in hopes of having a boat some day. The truck has a camper shell and I was worried about how I was going to get my mad river 14ft canoe loaded onto the top of the truck. To add to the difficulties, I am kinda short.

I picked up the Yakima Universal Canoe foam blocks and straps at a local sporting goods store. Here is a link for the product: http://www.yakima.com/shop/water/top/universal-canoe-carrier
I think I paid around $40 or $50 for the set. I wanted to try this out because I have the full roof rack on our other car and that sucker was expensive. I was blown away at how easy the thing was to tie down and the foam blocks and straps worked like a champ.

I was able to load the canoe onto the truck by myself, tie it down and drive off within 20 minutes.

How I load my Mad River 14ft Canoe onto my truck with a camper shell:

1. Put foam blocks on the canoe.

2. Pick up the canoe and carry it to the back of the truck.

3. Put the front end of the canoe on the camper shell and the back end of the canoe on the ground.

4. Lift from the back of the canoe and slide the canoe onto the camper shell. (If you have a metal canoe, you will want to use some padding between the canoe and the truck at this point)

5. Tie down the front and back of the canoe. You can find places to hook the straps under the truck. (Keep the metal parts of the straps off the finish of the truck)

6. Put a strap around the middle of the canoe and through the truck cab.

7. Drive off and find some place to fish.

Taking the canoe off is about the same. Untie the straps and slide it off the back of the truck. Always be careful when lifting a canoe by yourself. I am a smaller guy and I feel confident loading my 14ft mad river canoe by myself. It weighs about 75lbs.

I had a good day of bass fishing at St. Ellen Mine in O'Fallon, IL.

Check out the specs, costs and reviews of the Mad River Canoe.


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  2. Are you noticing any rub marks on the hood of your truck from the front strap(s). I just replaced my car with my truck and am trying to figure out how I want to tie down the front of the canoe. With my car I used two straps that I bolted down under the hood of the car and when in use I just opened the hood and flipped them out and nothing really rubbed on the paint. With a strap going over the front of the hood and down on the bumper to my truck's tow hooks I am concerned about wearing my paint.

    1. Hey Joe R. Thanks for reading. I have not seen any rub marks on the truck from the straps. The straps should be fine, but you really have to watch out for the metal parts. Make sure those don't touch any part of your vehicle. Those will rub paint off. There are spots on most trucks under the hood that you can use for the front straps. Just look for something solid to hook onto. I have found that I get my dings and nicks in the paint from loading and unloading the canoe. I am not very careful...

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