9 Tips For Transporting A Kayak Inside A SUV

Purchasing a kayak is easy, but you must also overcome the challenge of transporting it home and to and from your kayaking excursions. Therefore, the best will be to have a trailer or a vehicle fitted with a suitable roof rack because you may face a difficult task without it. However, can you fit your kayak inside your SUV if you don’t have a roof rack?

You can transport a kayak inside an SUV if you maintain safety, abide by the road rules and follow best practice tips. For example, always secure the kayak and limit the portion that protrudes behind the vehicle’s rear—in addition, save space by deflating and folding kayaks before loading them.

Whatever the reason for not using a trailer or roof rack, you can master the technique to transport a kayak inside an SUV, and in addition, it can make life a little easier. However, there are limitations and best practices to follow when transporting a kayak inside a vehicle. Also, safety should be critical, and you must abide by road regulations. So, let us look at tips when transporting a kayak inside an SUV.

9 Tips When Transporting A Kayak Inside An SUV

A sports utility vehicle or SUV is best suited and the most popular option for transporting kayaks. Because firstly, they are more extended than the average vehicle, making it easier to fit the kayak inside while offering more space for other equipment.

Secondly, they provide more roof length, making you less likely to protrude the kayak too far behind the vehicle. 

The final reason is that the SUV can transport you and the kayak to off-road and rough terrains cars can’t go. 

From the day you receive your kayak from the shop, you take ownership and the responsibility to care for and always uphold safety standards. Therefore, transporting a kayak is part of that safety standards. 

Nevertheless, if you decide to haul your kayak inside your SUV, there are good overall safety tips to prevent possible damage to the kayak, vehicle, or bystanders.

Tip 1 Tie The Kayak Down Inside An SUV

Tie the kayak down. Even if it is inside the vehicle with the backdoor or hatch closed, ensure the kayak is fastened. The same reason applies to passengers and safety belts. 

An improperly secured kayak can become a projectile and cause severe harm and damage. In addition, ensure to tie the kayak down so it does not slip while the vehicle is in motion.

Tip 2 Secure The Backdoor With The Kayak Inside An SUV

Secure the backdoor or hatch. Securing the door or hatch is imperative if a portion of the kayak sticks out behind. Again, ensure to identify the anchor points on the kayak and inside the vehicle before loading. Many SUVs have D-ring anchors specifically for anchor purposes and are ideal for securing the backdoor. 

Tip 3 Matching The Size Of A Kayak To The Length Of The SUV

Match the size of the kayak and the length of your SUV. Yes, you can transport a kayak inside an SUV, but it depends. Don’t transport too long kayaks inside an SUV. A 10-feet kayak is probably the largest you can haul inside a larger SUV-type vehicle. 

Tip 4 Limit The Portion Of The Kayak Protruding From The SUV

Limit the outside portion of the kayak. If you choose to load your kayak inside your SUV, ensure you have as little as possible of the kayak length protruding outside the back of the vehicle. A typical rule of thumb is that at least two-thirds of the kayak should be inside the car. Another measuring indicator is not more than three feet should be outside the SUV. 

Many states have specific laws to enforce this rule. So, ensure you understand the road rules within your state or county. Also, the SUV’s back door or hatch type will limit this option. However, properly securing both the kayak and the back door is of utmost importance if you leave the rear door open. 

Tip 5 Choose An Inflatable Or Foldable Kayak Inside An SUV

Load only inflatable or folding kayaks. The alternative is also applicable. No, you probably should not transport a kayak inside an SUV unless it is a very short, inflatable, or foldable kayak. 

This opinion is mainly for safety reasons, and many kayakers will believe it is against kayak etiquette to transport it inside a vehicle. 

Tip 6 Deflate Or Fold The Kayak Before Loading The SUV

Deflate or fold the kayak. Folding and inflatable kayaks are best for transporting inside an SUV. However, ensure the kayak is deflated or folded while in transport. 

In addition, split kayaks can be dismantled into sections to fit within the vehicle’s inside for transport. Also, there will probably be no need to fold the seats, and you will still have enough space for passengers and other kayaking accessories.

Tip 7 Can The SUV’s Seats Fold To Make Space For A Kayak

Fold the front and back seats down. Most SUV vehicles can fold the rear seats down. By folding the front passenger and the in-line rear passenger seats down, you will create a maximum length from the dashboard to the tailgate for the kayak. However, there will still be space for a passenger behind the driver.

In addition, some SUV vehicles have an extra removable third-row seat. Removing them will enable more space to load a kayak. It will also leave extra room for accessories. 

Alternatively, by removing only one portion of the seats, you can still seat a passenger in the third row. However, do not seat a passenger in the third row if the back door or hath will be open due to the length of the kayak. 

Tip 8 Attach A Red Flag To The Kayak Protruding From The SUV

Attach a red alert flag. For example, when you transport a kayak inside your SUV, and there is a portion of the kayak sticking out the back, you should alert on this protrude and attach a red signal flag to the end. It is good practice, and you want to warn other road users of this unusual vehicle extension.

In addition, it is the law and a requirement in some states. Therefore, ensure you make yourself aware and check your state road rules before transporting your kayak that extends beyond the vehicle’s rear end.

Tip 9 Safty Factors While Transporting A Kayak Inside An SUV

With safety as a critical factor when transporting a kayak, you should constantly be aware of the status of the kayak. This awareness is especially valid when transporting the kayak inside the SUV and when a portion of the kayak extends past the vehicle’s back door. 

So, regularly check the kayak throughout the drive. Finally, watch this exciting video on Transporting a kayak inside an SUV.

Final Word

You can transport a kayak inside an SUV, but there are limitations to the kayak length, and some states have road rules about goods sticking out the rear of vehicles. 

In addition, although it is possible, ensure you abide by best practices and always keep safety in mind.

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