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Rack for Your Truck: DIY Kayak Rack For Truck

Published July 15, 2022

Ever thought of making a kayak rack for your truck? If yes, then you are in the right place. I will teach you how to make a kayak rack for your truck, making it easy for you to get a DIY kayak rack for your truck. All that you need is the necessary materials and some time.

So, here is the step-by-step guide on how you can create a kayak rack for your truck at home without spending thousands of bucks.

How to Make a Kayak Rack For Your Truck? : Summary

DIY Kayak Rack for Truck

DIY kayak rack for trucks

The DIY Kayak Rack for Truck is an easy-to-build kit that can hold your kayak and make it easier to transport. It attaches to the back of your truck with straps or bolts, and then you can easily load up your kayak on the rack and carry it wherever you need to go.

It’s perfect if you want to take a kayak out on a long trip or just want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. You will be able to keep your kayak in place while driving down the highway or over rough terrain because the rack is less likely to shift around or get damaged when driving as compared to other options.

Now let’s get to know how you can make a kayak rack for your truck by yourself.

How to Make a Kayak Rack for Your Truck?

Here are the steps you can follow to make a perfect kayak rack for your truck.

Step #1 – Gather the Essential Items:

You will need multiple items to create a strong and sturdy DIY kayak rack for the truck. And the items are:

Steel Pipes: You will need at least six steel pipes, with a minimum of 1-1.5 inches diameter and 6-7 feet long. The thicker the pipe, the better. The best way to determine the quantity of the pipes is to measure the total area of your truck’s empty space where you need to install a kayak rack.

Pipe Joints: You will also need pipe joints to connect your pipes together. They should be made from stainless steel to withstand the elements. Depending on your truck, you will need at least 4 to 8 pipe joints.

2x4s or 4x4s Wood: This is only if you’re not going to use steel pipes for your DIY kayak rack for your truck.

Bolts, Nuts, and Screws: You will need bolts, nuts, and screws to connect your pipes together. Please use stainless steel instead of regular hardware store bolts or screws because they will last longer.

Electric Drill or Wrench: You will need an electric drill or wrench to assemble the rack. You can find these at any hardware store or home improvement store. If you do not have access to a drill, you can use a manual wrench instead.

Strong Straps and Hooks: These are very important in making a DIY truck rack for trucks because they will help you tie down your kayak. The straps and hooks can be found at any hardware store or online if you want them shipped. They should be made of metal or plastic so they don’t rust or corrode over time.

Step #2 - Measure your Truck Bed:

On the bed of your truck, measure from the front of the truck up to the back of the cab. This measurement should be at least four inches longer than your kayak.

After you have measured your truck bed, mark with a pencil where you want your kayak rack to sit. You can use tape or a piece of cardboard as a guide for marking out where you want your rack to be placed on the truck bed. This will ensure that you have enough space between the rack and other items to fit anything else in there.

Step #3 - Cut the Pipes Accordingly:

Now that you have all the measurements, it’s time to cut the pipes. You will need a hacksaw and an angle grinder with a cutting wheel.

You will need a total of 8 pipes: 4 pipes for the DIY Rack’s bed and the other 4 to be fitted vertically.

You will want to measure the distance between the two ends of each pipe, then mark them on both ends of the pipe, so they are identical. Use your hacksaw and cut off both ends of one pipe, then measure how wide it is across the middle of its length. Cut off one end of that second pipe just like you did for the first one, then measure again to ensure they’re exactly the same width.

Repeat this process with all four pipes until they are cut in half along their lengthwise dimensions. When you are done, place them on top of one another, so they form an “X” shape (or whatever design you plan to use).

Use your angle grinder and cutting wheel to grind down each end of each pipe as evenly as possible. Because this will be a permanent installation, it’s important that everything fits together tightly, so don’t skimp on the grinding.

Step #4 - Assemble the Pipes:

Assemble the pipes by joining them with each other with the help of pipe joints. The pipes should be filled to the point where they are comfortable to sit on but not full to the brim.

  1. Put a hose clamp or joint on one end of each pipe.
  2. Twist together until they are tight, and seal the joints with plumbers tape or a hose clamp.
  3. Add another hose clamp on the other end of each pipe, and twist them together again until they’re tight and sealed.
  4. Your rack is ready to go.

Step #5 - Drill the Bolts into Your Truck and Install the Rack:

Drill a 1/2 inch hole in each of the four holes on your truck bed. This will allow you to attach the rack to your truck bed.

Use a drill bit at least 1 mm larger in diameter than the bolt you will use on your rack. Make sure you have a bit with a bit collar and a flange, if possible. This ensures that your bolt will hold tight when tightened properly.

The next step is to drill holes in the bottom of your kayak rack pipes so it fits snugly against your vehicle’s rails and any holes or grooves that may exist between them. You may also need to cut off any excess material hanging over the rails of your vehicle.

When drilling through metal or plastic, it’s important that you wear eye protection and gloves.

Step #6 - Install Straps and Hooks and Tie Down your Kayak:

You are almost done! Now, you just need to install straps and hooks to keep your kayak in place on the rack and tie it down with rope.

Tie-down the front of your kayak on the side closest to the door. Using a bungee cord, tie the bungee cord around both handles of your kayak, from one handle to the other. Make sure that when you tighten it so that it no longer allows for any movement or slack, it will not damage the straps underneath.

Why You Need to Make a DIY Kayak Rack for Your Truck?

There are multiple reasons for which you need to make a DIY kayak rack for your truck, and some of them are:

Safely Transport your Kayak or Canoe on the truck:

The biggest reason for you to make your own kayak rack for your truck is safety. If you are a newbie, it is not easy to transport your kayak or canoe on the truck. You might fall down the vehicle, and the boat might not be safe.

You can make the best DIY kayak rack for your truck. It will take some time to get it done, but it will be worth it in the long run. You can fix it yourself if you have some experience with such things.

Keeps Your Truck Safe:

When you have a kayak rack installed on your truck, it will help prevent theft. If someone wants to steal your kayak, they will not be able to do so because they need to figure out how they can access the vehicle’s roof rack system.

They also need to know how they can remove the pins from the underside of the truck bed. The only way they can do this is if they know exactly where those pins are located and how they can use them as leverage points.

The Cost of making a rack is nothing compared to the cost of a new Kayak:

Making is kayak rack by yourself is always cheaper than buying a new one. So, if you want to save money on buying new kayaks and kayak racks, making your own will be the best option.

You can customize your kayak rack according to your needs and requirements. You can make it as per your preference and choice. In this way, you will get the best kayak rack at an affordable price.

Carry a Bundle of Canoes or Kayaks at the Same Time:

If you are a kayak enthusiast, you must know that carrying a bundle of canoes or kayaks simultaneously is not an easy task. But when you use a DIY kayak rack for your truck, you can easily carry them and load them on your truck’s roof without any hassle.

The best part about this DIY kayak rack is that it allows you to get a lot of space in your truck, which means you will be able to store many more things than before.

A Store-bought Kayak Rack is not always the Best Option:

The store-bought kayak rack is not always the best option. This is because they are often not made to be as sturdy as they could be and can also be quite expensive.

That is why making a new DIY kayak rack for trucks is always beneficial for you because you can create the strongest kayak rack for yourself.

DIY Kayak Rack for Truck: Benefits

There are multiple benefits of a DIY kayak rack for trucks, and some of them are:

DIY Kayak Rack for Truck is cheaper: The cost of a DIY kayak rack for a Truck is less than the cost of custom-made kayak racks. The materials needed for DIY kayak racks are readily available and can be purchased at a reasonable price. The process of building a kayak rack takes only a few days and requires minimal skills.

A DIY Kayak Rack for a Truck can be customized: DIY kayak racks can be customized according to your needs and preferences. They can be built in any shape and size, depending on the type of kayaks that you have. You can choose from many different styles and designs to suit your taste or budget.

You can get exactly what you want by making a DIY kayak rack for your truck: You can choose a design that fits your needs and then make it yourself. It will be a great experience, and you will learn new skills while doing it.

It is fun to do something new: You know the feeling. You get a new truck and want to do something fun with it. You can make a DIY kayak rack for trucks and spend some good time working on your truck to make your life comfortable.

This will be really fun for you if you like to do creative things.


So this is how you can make a kayak rack for your truck. This DIY kayak rack for a truck-making guide is perfect for everyone to create a strong and sturdy kayak rack while also saving hundreds of bucks. Check out our other articles down below to improve your kayaking journey!

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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