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Best National Park Kayaking and Canoeing Spots for RVers in 2020


Published November 11, 2020

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Water sports, like kayaking and canoeing, are perfect activities to accompany your RV trip. And, national parks offer some of the best rafting, canoeing, and kayaking in the country for RVers. The only question is are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?

Learn everything you need to know about how to take an RV trailer for kayaking and canoeing at National Parks. Find out what gear your need to make the voyage, along with planning tips. And, see where the best spots are to set up camp with your toy hauler while exploring the waterways in America's National Parks and Forest Preserves.

RV Guide for Kayaking and Canoeing Spots Near National Parks in 2020

Kayaking and canoeing is the perfect way to expand your RV adventure when visiting many of the United States National Parks. Exploring the waterways that connect the United States is an experience unlike any other. Of the 421 National Parks that are managed by the federal government, the Parks Service oversees and maintains 209 rivers of "wild and scenic status."

You might wonder how to fit all that gear in your toy hauler, but worry, not. Before getting into the best spots to take your toy hauler for kayaking and canoeing, it helps to understand some basics for how this is possible. Before you know where to begin planning your excursion, putting together the right gear can seem daunting, so here are the basics:

Planning Your toy hauler Trips Kayak or Canoe Excursion

The whole reason for RVing is to get off the beaten track and find your own slice of wilderness with which to commune. Rivers are threaded like a web all over the country, and the best routes snake through many of the same National Parks and Forest Preserves that are every RVers dream.

But, getting down to brass tacks, the trick is fitting a couple of boats in your packed-to-the-brim RV trailer. And then, once you reach your take-out destination, there's the question of, how do you get back to camp with your boat? Planning your kayak excursion from your campsite is easier when you split up your excursion into two categories, for planning purposes: logistics and gear.

Logistics: How Do You Transport a Kayak or Canoe with a Toy Hauler RV?

The best and most efficient way to transport your kayaks or canoes depends entirely on the type of RV trailer you're adventuring with, and how many boats you need to transport. If you have a motorhome and are transporting solid-hull kayaks or canoes, the best solution might be a roof-mounted or rear-mounted rack. If you are transporting multiple vessels, a combination of the two doubles the number of boats you can bring.

If you're hauling a fifth-wheel, the easiest solution is a rack for the roof or bed of your truck or SUV. If you utilize the roof-mount of your fifth-wheel, truck-bed, and rear-mount, you can transport up to 6 kayaks. But, transportation aside, solid boats can be more difficult to get into and out-of-the water especially if your family has young kids on the crew.

By far, the most space-efficient option is to bring inflatable kayaks or canoes. Contrary to your initial notion, inflatable kayaks and canoes are designed for all skill levels and are just as safe as solid-hulls. And, they offer the added benefit, that you can fit up to 8 inflatable crafts in the trunk of most cars, or the storage compartments of your fifth-wheel, mobile home, or toy hauler.

Planning: How to Get Back to Your Campsite from Your River-ride Take-out Point

The most important part of kayaking on your RV trip is planning your put-in and take-out points. And, figuring out how you will get back to your campsite from your take-out point. There are several ways you can go with your rive-ride planning, depending on your gear and RV.

If you are river-rafting with some young-adventurers, or if everyone in the group wants to go on the river, odds are you're looking at a day-trip. In this case, you can take-out where you put-in by paddling upstream for the first half of the trip. Otherwise, you need someone to meet you with a car at your take-out point. The latter option is the most enjoyable for the boaters since you can ride the current of the steam, but it requires a good-sport to take-one-for-the-team in order to transport the crew back to camp.

If you have a mobile home RV, the best option is to use inflatable watercraft, so as to limit your hassle getting back to camp. In fact, many rafters opt to throw their inflatable on their back and haul it back to camp the old-fashioned way on foot.

Want to find out how your RV can haul a kayak or canoe to the ideal National Park river excursion? Talk to an RV expert to see the available options for your RV. And, check out the next issue for a list of the best National Parks for kayaking.
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