Can a Kayak Fit In a RAV4
Maybe you are planning a beach day for your next vacation. Your vacation will not be complete without enjoying a water sport. The perfect water sport is kayaking, if you wish to enjoy the splashing waves to the fullest. Of course, you can’t go to the beach without your kayak. However, do you know if you can fit the kayak on your vehicle? You may not know for sure. The size and weight of kayaks make them challenging to fit into a vehicle.
We hope to answer all your questions regarding transporting kayaks through this post. Yes, it might not be possible to carry the kayak in your vehicle. However, you do not have to lose hope. We have backup plans for you if you cannot fit your kayak into a RAV4. All you have to do is keep scrolling to find out.
Can a kayak fit in a RAV4?
Can you fit a kayak in your Toyota RAV4? Well, let us ask you a question. Is your kayak a hard shell, by any chance? If so, we have bad news for you. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 does not have enough space to fit a kayak. In particular, a hardshell plastic kayak cannot fit into that space. You can leave the cargo gate open with a portion of the kayak sticking out of the vehicle. Remember that if you try to force the kayak to fit into the RAV4, it can cause damage to the vehicle.
But what if your kayak is inflatable or foldable? In that case, you are in luck. Because those types of kayaks are the easiest to transport inside a RAV4. Here, there is no need to fold down the car seats for the equipment to fit in. You won’t have to fold down the seats, meaning you can still carry occupants in the SUV, leaving plenty of room for more equipment.
If you own a RAV4, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it to transport a kayak. It just means you’ll need to carry it on the roof of the car or tow a trailer.
There are different options you can use to transport your kayak. Before learning about that, let us look at the interior space of the different models of the RAV4.
How Much Cargo Space Does a Toyota RAV4 Have?
We are discussing if you can fit a kayak in a RAV4. So it is only fair to understand how much room it has exactly. Basically, the Toyota RAV4 has plenty of seating space. It can carry up to five adults. The RAV4 range has different models and is slightly different in cargo space. So to make it clearer for you, we thought of breaking down the different sizes of the versions. So we listed the three models of REV4 that Toyota launched in 2021, with each of their cargo space dimensions behind the second row. Take a look:
- RAV4-37.6 Cubic Feet
- RAV4 Hybrid-37.6 Cubic Feet
- RAV4 Prime-33.55 cu ft
How Do You Transport A Kayak On A RAV4?
Suppose you have a RAV4 and you want to carry a kayak in it. Take a look at the following methods you can use to do so.
You may have noticed that many SUV owners have installed a roof rack. It helps transport canoes, kayaks, bicycles, paddleboards, and other bulky equipment. Roof racks come in handy, and the vehicle company also understands it. That is why the latest models of SUVs include pre-installed roof rails. This is useful as it helps you install an aftermarket roof rack.
They come in different styles and features. For example, you can find foldable and removable roof racks. The best part about this is that you can remove it when you are not using it.
The kind you get will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, its type, and the number of kayaks you have.
Take any of the latest RAV4 models as an example. None of them will have any problem pulling a small, lightweight utility trailer to carry your kayak. since most kayak trailers weigh about 200 pounds unloaded.
However, before you can pull a heavier trailer, you have to consider certain factors. Your main concern should be whether your RAV4 is properly equipped to pull it. As you can imagine, pulling a heavy trailer can affect the engine. It could even strain the engine, causing damage. You do not want that to happen. So first, make sure your vehicle can handle the trailer. Suppose you do not know for sure what the vehicle’s towing capacity is. In that case, you can check the manual and determine the towing capacity.
You can use a trailer to carry your kayak if the capacity is sufficient. However, remember that this method will cost you a lot more. It can be relatively more expensive if your RAV4 is an older model. That is because you have to add a hitch to the vehicle. We could say the overall cost will be over $900 for a small utility trailer. The price can go up more than $1500 sometimes.
Can You Put A Roof Rack On A RAV4?
Yes, you can. The Toyota RAV4 comes with pre-installed factory roof rails, an extremely useful feature. It gives you the chance to install a roof rack. Thankfully, the RAV4 has a rooftop weight limit of 165 pounds. With that amount of capacity, you can even carry two kayaks easily. Now that you know that you can put a roof rack on your RAV4, let us see how exactly to do that.
How can you install a roof rack on a Toyota RAV4?
Luckily for you, installing a kayak on a RAV4 is not that complicated. Many aftermarket roof racks will easily fit onto the factory-installed crossbars. Suppose you installed a J-rack carrier. Then, the RAV4 crossbars can even carry two kayaks.
You will need assistance to load the kayak onto the vehicle. However, if you cannot find anyone to help you, we have a solution for that too. We would recommend installing a Seawing Stinger Combo rack. It will make it easier for one person to pack a kayak onto the RAV4.
Transporting a Kayak in a Toyota RAV4
We mentioned earlier that a kayak would not fit inside a RAV4. However, that does not mean you can not travel with your kayak. Sure, the kayak will not fit comfortably inside the car. Still, you can carry it with the kayak hanging out the back or window. A lot of people opt for this method. It is a much better way to carry the kayak without causing damage. If you carry a hardshell kayak inside a RAV4, it can scratch the interior of the vehicle. Plus, since the kayak will occupy all the vehicle’s space, it could also bother the driver.
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Assume you are carrying the kayak inside the vehicle. In that case, you may be extra cautious to avoid the kayak shifting around during transport. You can try to keep it steady by using a sturdy rope. Make sure to secure the kayak well. Check if the kayak sticks out from the rear. If it does, you may have to let other drivers know. You cannot expect to get a ‘kayak on board’ sticker on the vehicle. Instead, use a red fabric and tie it to the protruding end to warn other vehicles.
The best alternatives to transporting a kayak
Earlier, we mentioned that roof racks could be a good option for you to carry the kayak. Despite that, you may be skeptical about any potential damage the roof rack might do to your car. Also, you may not like the next option, pulling a trailer. What can you do if you are not a fan of either of these options? In that case, you can rent a kayak.
Renting a kayak is a great option. That way, you do not have to carry your own kayak. Apart from that, this option brings more advantages. For instance, suppose you decided to rent a kayak. That way, you get the chance to try out different types of kayaks for yourself. You may have heard that there are various types of kayaks. Maybe you have not tried them. Especially if you are new to using kayaks, you may not know which one suits you best. So, use this opportunity to find your favorite.
You can easily rent one from kayaking spots nearby. When you rent a kayak, they provide the kayak, paddles, and life jacket. Keep in mind that the rental prices will differ from place to place. You can expect more popular rental spots to be pricier.
Can you carry kayaking equipment inside a RAV4?
The Toyota RAV4 is spacious enough to carry equipment like life jackets, coolers, paddles, and other essential kayaking gear. You can easily keep foldable and inflatable kayaks in the cargo area without folding the seats.
There you go! This post helped answer your questions regarding transporting a kayak in a RAV4. Unfortunately, you cannot carry a hardshell kayak inside a Toyota RAV4. We walked you through some alternatives that you can use to carry it. Suppose you own a compact SUV. We recommend using a roof rack or a trailer to transport your kayak.