DIY Canoe Rack for a Pickup

DIY Canoe Rack for a Pickup
Canoeing is a fun outdoor recreation. Typically, most people will just load the canoe on the top of their car, strap it down and drive to their destination. However, if you have a pickup truck, it is not that simple. Truck beds are shorter than canoes and lower than the rest of the vehicle, making it hard to transport them. You need to build the bed up so that it is even with the cab roof, allowing the canoe to be transported with relative ease.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • PVC pipe
  • 4 PVC corner or elbow connectors
  • 4 PVC T-connectors
  • Saw
  • Bolts and wing nuts (optional)
  • Drill (optional)
Step 1
Measure the distance between the center of the holes on one side of the truck. Cut two PVC pipes this length. Then measure the width of the truck, from one hole center across the bed to the other hole center. Cut two pipes to this length.
Step 2
Put a pipe in one of the holes near the cab and mark it at the height of the roof of the cab. Cut all four vertical pieces at this height. Keep the spare parts, you will need them.
Step 3
Put the four cut pipes into the holes and attach the T-connectors so the 'T' face sideways, the bottom of the 'T' pointing across the truck bed. Attach the previously measured PVC pipe for the width of the truck into the bottom of the T-connectors on each side of the truck bed. Trim as needed to fit.
Step 4
Connect the T-connector to your elbow connector by cutting a small piece of PVC to put in the top of the T-connector. Measure the inside depth of the T-connector and the the elbow connector. Add these two measurements together and cut PVC to the combined measurement. Use the leftover pieces for this task.
Step 5
Put the small PVC sections in each T-connector and then add the elbow connectors on top so they face the side of the truck bed.
Step 6
Attach the two PVC pipes that are left across the truck into the elbow connectors. These are the pipes that match the measurements of the length of the truck from hole to hole.
Step 7
Place your canoe on top of the PVC rack and tie down the canoe to the supports.

Tips & Warnings

For more stability, drill holes through the pipes and connectors and add bolts and wing nuts. The rack can then be removed as one piece for quick re-use later.
Measure the diameter of the holes in the sides of the truck bed. These aren't always a standard size. The PVC pipe purchased must fit in the holes.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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