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Thread: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

  1. #1
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    Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Hi everyone, new to the forum here. I am trying to DIY a similar kayak rack to the attached picture. I just have questions on how thick of steel should be used for the project? Any opinions would be welcome.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Start it a purchased rack. Then add your kayak accessories. You will have a variety of steel gauges in you fabrication. Design will dictate steel.

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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    You'll need the specific Drawbar stock which is a set thickness and shape---rounded edges so it slides in the receiver correctly.

    11 gauge (1/8") for the rack upright.

    You could use 16g for the rack frame base where the kayaks sit on.
    Last edited by Broccoli1; 07-22-2021 at 12:02 PM.
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    You'll need the specific Drawbar stock which is a set thickness and shape---rounded edges so it slides in the receiver correctly.

    11 gauge (1/8") for the the rack upright.

    You could use 16g for the rack frame base where the kayaks sit on.
    Yes, I would go 1/8" on the verticals as well. But I would go 1/4" on the hitch mounts and platform.

    I can see why you want to build yourself. I approve.
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    You could also purchase a cargo carrier and then add the upright attachment to hold the kayaks.

    https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo...ks/HR1485.html
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    To OP, I am sure you thought of this already but just in case I’ll mention it. I don’t kayak so not aware of typical length. Remember to keep the total height under 14’ as well as watching where you drive with low over hangs while transporting kayaks in vertical position. Know your total height by measuring and always Pay close attention to over pass height restriction signs as well as low hanging tree branches. Ok carry on.
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 07-22-2021 at 01:48 PM.
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by browser5031 View Post
    Hi everyone, new to the forum here. I am trying to DIY a similar kayak rack to the attached picture. I just have questions on how thick of steel should be used for the project? Any opinions would be welcome.
    Thats about the worst Idea I've seen in my life.

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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Thanks for all the quick responses guys, I appreciate it. The tallest kayak is 12'6", so I think it will be ok.

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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Tallest is 12' 6" and most receivers are around 17" off the ground and you think you will be OK? You may want to rethink that.

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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    If you are not going to be carrying bikes at the same time like in the reference pics then perhaps you can make the rack hold the kayaks in a angled position to make them stand on it from the bottom right corner to the top left corner to reduce the total over all height vs standing them straight up in a vertical position. That should reduce the total height by about a foot or two. This might also reduce your wind drag. Don’t forget to keep the total stickout three feet or less from the furthest tail light or what ever the regulations will be in the states you plan on traveling through. All is good, keep it safe.
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 07-23-2021 at 01:50 AM.
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Yes, I would go 1/8" on the verticals as well. But I would go 1/4" on the hitch mounts and platform.

    I can see why you want to build yourself. I approve.
    https://www.rvkayakracks.com/collect...roducts/2kr37w
    Yes, their prices are insane IMO, I just can't justify spending that.

  14. #12
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    It's going to rest a good 6-8" below the receiver in that cradle, so I think I will be ok. I will do a mock up to make sure it measures out before I get into it.

  15. #13
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Ok so I'm an idiot, the kayak is a Trophy 126, so I wrongly assumed it was 12'6". I just checked the Google machine and it's only 10'6".

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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by browser5031 View Post
    Ok so I'm an idiot, the kayak is a Trophy 126, so I wrongly assumed it was 12'6". I just checked the Google machine and it's only 10'6".
    Wow, that's pretty lame of the manufacturer to do that. Every reasonable person on the planet would just assume from the name that it was 12'6" or 12.6' long.

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  18. #15
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by browser5031 View Post
    Ok so I'm an idiot, the kayak is a Trophy 126, so I wrongly assumed it was 12'6". I just checked the Google machine and it's only 10'6".
    So, 10' 6" = 126"

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  20. #16
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee J View Post
    So, 10' 6" = 126"
    Doh! Grade inflation!

    Goin out on the tuna bite on my Paul Mann 924 tomorrow.

    Last edited by Kelvin; 07-23-2021 at 03:35 PM.

  21. #17
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee J View Post
    So, 10' 6" = 126"
    Lee you got it a lot faster than I. Thanks again all for the advice.

  22. #18
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Unless you're just doing this for fun I would go with a modified cargo rack as well.

    Harbor freight has the best prices.

    I would use this and weld it up instead of using their often questionable hardware:

    HAUL-MASTER
    500 lb. Steel Cargo Carrier
    currently $63.00

    https://www.harborfreight.com/500-lb...ier-66983.html

    They have different models and different metals, but their prices usually can't be beat on cargo carriers.

  23. #19
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Kind of a novel idea, BUT,, you will have to be concerned about overhead clearance, AND, when the rear tires drop into a road divot or when you turn and go up hill,,, all of the tolerances are going to change on the bottom of your rack. Just saying. Good luck

  24. #20
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    That looks like a fun project and it'll be so useful and worth the effort. Good luck and I hope you feel like posting pics of the progress.
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  25. #21
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    I have seen others post pics of the cargo rack setup with milk crates on them to hold the nose and it's just not my style. I plan on using this setup a long time, and I like the look of the one above.

  26. #22
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    i wouldnt travel/follow "paddle", in traffic (thats for sure). i cant imagine he gets away w/ that on a calif freeway. id like to see how and what that hitch is mounted too

  27. #23
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    i wouldnt travel/follow "paddle", in traffic (thats for sure). i cant imagine he gets away w/ that on a calif freeway. id like to see how and what that hitch is mounted too
    Ya, that one on the left is very high up, mine is definitely not that tall. That would make me nervous. That MH is a Minnie Winnie, based on a Ford E350, so the receiver can definitely handle the rack. Mine is based on a Mercedes Sprinter 3500, same weight limit, and I can vouch a very sturdy receiver.

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  29. #24
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    Re: Metal thickness for Kayak Rack

    a mercedes ? u shoulda told me u were rich. i like being around the rich, escpecially when at the beach/vacation. i've done work a couple times for an old carny, he's got a big nice motorhome same color as ur's, w/ a cat motor in it. i dont know what kind it is, but its fancy/pretty/tinted windows, looks like something a rock band would tour in. he's got a hitch that isnt even extended out as much as ur's, and the slow/right lanes on calif freeways are rough and beat the hell outa it. i had to beef his up, before he went over the grapevine towing his cashiers cage or whatever . he's got a big gouge almost all the way down the side of his pretty motor home, and he's has bad decision maker when it comes to driving/etc. hes fat/big nose, dresses in all black like johnny cash, but is a nice guy, and knows how to do biz. he took all three inspectors that magnaflux the welds, out for a long lunch while i fixed the rides, and he pays in cash (all $20 bills), and is nice to his dumb son-inlaw, and rest of his family. all in all, he's a great guy.
    Last edited by 123weld; 08-01-2021 at 03:25 PM.

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