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Thread: loading canoe onto a high motorhome roof

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default loading canoe onto a high motorhome roof

    Hi - I have seen a few posts about methods of lifting canoes onto roof bars and some reallly cool DIY ways of lifting them up, I have a high top van and wondered if anyone has any suggestions or methods, without spending a king's ransom on a fancy device. I have 3 Rhino bars and thought about a piece of metal conduit stuck inside the front bar to pull out as an extension, lifting the front of the canoe onto that extension then some sort of slider to lift the back end up and push along. any thoughts?
    Phil Probst, Skipton
    www.phil-probst.me.uk
    mail to : phil@phil-probst.me.uk

  2. #2
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    I havent tried it, but....

    I would look at tying a length of rope to the front of the canoe.

    Fit a roller right across the width of the back bar, and make sure the back bar is far enough back to allow the canoe to miss the back of the roof. Look at boat trailer rollers.

    Stand the canoe on its end, resting on the back bar/roller.

    Walk down the length of the van, flipping the rope up onto the other bars and run the end through the tow eye on the front of the van.

    Run the rope back over the roof and down the back of the van.

    Lift the lower end of the canoe to get the whole canoe up as high as you can reach and pull the rope to pull the canoe up over.

    Leave the rope in place to control the canoes descent when removing it again - assuming you can position the canoe so that it misses the windscreen wipers.

    No Idea how it could be safely secured on the roof without using a ladder though.

  3. #3
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    My suggestion would be very similar, good rollers are available and are normally sold for Plumbers, builders, etc to get ladders etc onto van roofs.

    The difference I would make and I have used this would be to permanantly fix a small pulley block to the front bar and leave the rope through that, attach one end to front of canoe as suggested previously and pull the other end.

    Also with an open boat 3 bars are a complete waste of time, due to the curvature of the gunwales the canoe will only rest on the front and back ones, The middle one will just snag the boat as you try and slide it on.

  4. #4

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    I have a Mazda Bongo which might not be quite as high as yours. I have two 'thule' roof bars which have a couple of inches protruding the fixing bracket (gutter brackets). I use a long piece of 3x2 timber which has two holes drilled in which fit over the end of the bars. This gives a bar running along the length of van. I just then get one end of the canoe up onto this timber. Lift the back up, and just slide it on while twisting round so its in the right direction. The timber then just comes off and slides under the seats. Works for me.

    Rollers off the back will also work well, and you wont have to swivel it round.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    thanks guys, some ideas to work and experiment with here. Re the third bar, realize it will be of no use for canoe but may carry other stuff an maybe even a roof box so it just gives me more options with a smaller gap between bars.
    Phil Probst, Skipton
    www.phil-probst.me.uk
    mail to : phil@phil-probst.me.uk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pben View Post
    I have a Mazda Bongo which might not be quite as high as yours. I have two 'thule' roof bars which have a couple of inches protruding the fixing bracket (gutter brackets). I use a long piece of 3x2 timber which has two holes drilled in which fit over the end of the bars. This gives a bar running along the length of van. I just then get one end of the canoe up onto this timber. Lift the back up, and just slide it on while twisting round so its in the right direction. The timber then just comes off and slides under the seats. Works for me.

    Rollers off the back will also work well, and you wont have to swivel it round.
    I also have a bongo which I load by myself - here post 199.
    I have the boat on my shoulders, approach from the back and tilt it so that the front rests on the rear bar. I can then put the back of the boat down, and either pick up the back end and slide, or position my small steps under so I can lift and slide. If I'm in a restricted place, I can position the steps at the side and with the boat on my shoulders just slide it across (But don't try this with a heavy boat unless you want a bad back) - It's far easier with two people though - two reasonably strong 6 footers can just lift it on. By the look of it your camper van is a bit higher than a bongo so of course unless you have the arms of a gorilla, this might not work!

    Sam

  7. #7

    Default

    I spend a lot of time at work lifting open boats on to the roof racks of mini buses. My preferred method that can be done on my own is to stand on the roof of the vehicle and tie the end of a piece of rope to the edge of one of the roof bars and a second one on the other roof bar. Keeping hold of the free ends I lower the middle of the ropes down one side of the vehicle to form two large loops that reach the floor. The boat is then placed inside the loops of rope with the free ends coming up on the side of the boat farthest away from the vehicle. It is surprisingly easy to then pull on the ropes and lift the boat up to roof level, it will role on the way but that is ok just let it [mind your wing mirror] when it is finally on the roof slide it acrossto make room for the next one and repeat . When fully loaded I use the ropes already attached to tie the boat down, when you wish to get it off just reverse the process and lower the boats down. If you have an assistant they can help steer the boat as it goes up and down to avoid scratching your paint, keep the boat level so it does not slide out one end. If you cannot stand on top of the vehicle you can send the ropes right over the top and pull from the ground onthe other side but this will need a second person once at roof level to get it on.
    If this makes no sense I could try and gets ome pictures of this happening within the next few weeks.

  8. #8
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    http://www.karitek.co.uk/ELRRIntroMulti.html

    After all - Not so much of a kings ransom compared to the cost of the camper van. Less chance of damaging the van (and you back for that matter). Just food for thought!

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by phil1510 View Post
    Hi - I have seen a few posts about methods of lifting canoes onto roof bars and some reallly cool DIY ways of lifting them up, I have a high top van and wondered if anyone has any suggestions or methods, without spending a king's ransom on a fancy device. I have 3 Rhino bars and thought about a piece of metal conduit stuck inside the front bar to pull out as an extension, lifting the front of the canoe onto that extension then some sort of slider to lift the back end up and push along. any thoughts?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    freckleton, lancs
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    put mine on a transit van. i always load from the back and the back mount has a roller to help loading ladders. i just lift the front of the canoe onto the rack and then go to the other end of the canoe lift it up and roll it up onto the roof.
    sod work, im off for a paddle.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Canada
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    Let all the air out of your tires (tyres) and the van will be 6 inches shorter.
    Will make loading easier.

  11. #11

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    Sorry to bring up a really old post but if possible you people post stages photos of the pulley idea please, just bought a converted van and I'm just not convinced about spending 500 odd quid for the Kari tech roof bar system thing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    Let all the air out of your tires (tyres) and the van will be 6 inches shorter.
    Will make loading easier.
    I had forgotten the profound brilliance of my previous answer. You can subscribe to my youtube channel and watch videos of innovative techniques to address the multifaceted obstacles to pursuing our passion for the dulcet sound of the drip of pristine water as we lift our paddle between strokes. That is in fact what I seek. The song of the paddle.

  13. #13
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    I don't have a van, but a Focus Estate. I have a 14'6" high sided OT Cascade, which I can just about, with skill and timing, carry on the yoke. If I didn't have a karitek I would have given up canoeing by now. (For grand parent duties it will also carry a Topper dinghy, and now, in self indulgent geriatric mode, my RS Aero dinghy. The Karitec was about the price of the Cascade, half that of a Topper, and 1/10th the coat of an Aero.

    Also Karitec are about the most helpful company I have had to deal with, personally or professionally

    Impcanoe

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