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Old 08-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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carrying a canoe on a 17'

Does anyone have practical experience and suggestions regarding securely attaching and then travelling with a canoe on top of their 17'? I'm wondering about carrying a 17' Prospector up there but I'm worried about added fuel consumption and/or wind buffetting (not to mention the potential for the canoe to go on its own airborne holiday).

How did you tie it down? Is is sufficient to tie it to the rear bumper and front tongue?
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'

I haven't tried it on the Escape and wouldn't. I loaded my 16' Prospector on top of my tent trailer. Then I realized when I got to camp that I had to transfer it to the vehicle to get to the put in anyway, and ( not a problem with the Escape), I couldn't open the tent trailer until I'd moved it. Besides, that's a long way up, and down.

I'd rather just load it and tie it down once.

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Old 08-26-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'

Dirk, it talking with Reace about doing just that, the main thing to consider is the wind loading on the mount at the point it is attached to the trailer. If I was to have the mount done at the factory, he would have beefed up that area. I really doubt there would be much wind effect on it, no more then when on the vehicle.

I got busy and just decided to not worry about it, but in hind sight I sure wish I would have put mounts up there. Yes, it is a bit higher up to get at, but it would be up there 90% of the time anyway, then I would not be driving around the areas I am camped with a canoe on the tow, or be taking it off and on all the time. Fortunately the glass opens in my tailgate, because I can't open the tailgate with the canoe on top.

Glenn, I too had a 17-6' Prospector that I mounted on my Coleman tent trailer. That worked great for us. To get it down took about 2 minutes to drop the two tent supports and crank the top down. Otherwise I just kept it up there.

For security, it would be much better on the trailer, as nobody is likely to try to steal it, unless they bring along a ladder.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:18 PM   #4
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'


If you don't want people to steal your canoe, you just run it up on rocks, barnacles, drag it up through the bush by rope from the take-out and never, ever wax it. You might want to start by buying a factory second ( quite a bit cheaper ), with cosmetic blemishes. That's what I did. I defy you to find the blemishes now. Of course, I'm talking from a white-water perspective. If you have a nice lake boat ( like JB ) or a cedar stripper, you might want to exercise more care.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'

My Hellman Prospector has so many scratches on the bottom, it looks more like a mottled pattern. It is the one I now use for paddling bumpy rivers.
Though a bit beat up, it still functions great. Anyone in the know would know it is a good boat.

My Swift Winisk has a few scratches, they are almost impossible to avoid, short of doing only shallow water entries and never beaching it.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'

Thanks for the advice gentlemen - it won't be taken off often (the solo one on the tow vehicle will be taken off very often) - and I'll always have someone to help me with the on and off procedure.

I'm guessing that solid strapping to the tongue and bumper should be sufficient? Plenty of knots I suppose.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'


Another thing to consider: After 3,500 kilometers with the canoe on the RAV rack, the rack has no paint where the gunnels rubbed. It's even lost some metal ( aluminum I think ). You can get foam blocks designed for carrying a canoe without a rack. I threw mine away long ago because they allowed the canoe to shift from side to side. I wouldn't do it without a proper, secure rack attached to the roof of the trailer.

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Old 08-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #8
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'

You make a strong point sir baglo. I must think about this more.....
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'


Can you put a rack on the Frontier that will hold two canoes? I used to carry two on the Subaru.

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Old 08-28-2009, 11:59 AM   #10
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Re: carrying a canoe on a 17'

I have carried two on the truck but the solo boat will be coming off and on quite frequently, the larger tandem won't. Mostly looking for aerodynamics (driving to Inuvik set up like that). I'm looking into wider bars for my rack today.
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