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Kayaks and RV’s, is it worth it?

Space, space, space! We all know space in an RV is a hot commodity, usually, there is too little space, especially if you live in it full time! One of my primary objectives is to be able to adventure with my family so we prioritize having equipment with us so that when the opportunity arises we can tackle the adventure before us. Kayaking has been a long time enjoyment of ours so it is important that we have at least one kayak with us.  

Carrying a kayak in your RV

On the roof?  In a trailer?  On your toad?  Inside?  Underneath?  On a hitch rack?

Recently we were staying at North Bend Park on the John H. Kerr Reservoir in Virginia and decided it was time to train Oakley (our rescued Yorkie) to be a good kayak companion.  For those keeping tabs on Oakley, yes, we had our concerns!  

Turns out, she’s a pretty awesome kayak companion.  You can probably tell she’s wet – surprisingly, it’s not because she was intentionally jumping out and trying to get to shore.  Nope, she just slipped!  She was super confident and standing on the edge… whoops, wet Oakley!  

Now, back to the original question, is it worth it to bring a kayak in your RV?

For us, its an absolute yes!  For you it may be as simple as saying yes, or it may be a much tougher decision based on a myriad of factors that all RVers have to consider.   

You can see in the picture above that our current kayak (and RV kayak of choice) is a Sea Eagle Infatable Kayak.  Particularly, a 385FT (FastTrack).  Man, I love this kayak!  It’s been all over the world and never failed.  It performs great on whitewater or flat water and even has a removable skeg .  The beautiful thing for us is that, being an inflatable kayak, it’s lighter than our rigid kayaks (only 35lbs) and it fits perfectly under our rig or in the back of our toad.  When we inflate it it goes on our roof rack of the Jeep or directly in the water.  

For us, this design allowed a minimal space use, a minimal weight use, and a huge return for being able to adventure when we travel.  Out of the last 5 places we have stayed four of the five have had access to desirable kayak location which led to quality family time.  The fifth had a lake which was kayak friendly, however, it was small enough that it felt we were just kayaking in circles.  

Now, this wasn’t intentionally planned.  In fact (Laura, the planner, has not enjoyed this season of travel planning), four of these five destinations were not planned ahead of time.  One was planned a week before we went and the others were mere days (or hours, sorry Laura) before we arrived.  Now, we all know we can pretty much bicycle at any place we stop, even if it’s just around the campground. But to have so many unique opportunities to be on the water in so many places should be a strong encourager to you to consider having a way to be able to adventure on the water.  

I can think of very few places we have been where we questioned why we choose to utilize space on bringing a kayak with us.  Typically, the places that haven’t had access to water are short stops or intentional stops (like Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands in New Mexico) where we are going for a specific purpose.  

How has a kayak enabled us to have more adventure?


Just a quick three off the top of my head…

1. Kayaking in Crystal River, Florida… with MANATEES!  How cool of a family adventure is this??? Clear water that’s a consistent temperature where you are permitted to swim with manatees in their natural habitat.  Launch your kayak, kayak to the refuge, swim in and hang out with manatees.  

2. Geocaching on an island.  Seriously, a combination of intentional living.  We geocache as a family because it gets us outside and is a great (we’ve done nothing and don’t know what to do) almost anywhere activity.  We were in Wilmington, NC and discovered there was a geocache on an island!  Well, that’s a quick recipe for creating family adventure time.  How do we get to the island?  KAYAK!  What do we do at the island?  GEOCACHE!  Sweet!

3. Adventure where there was no adventure.  Multiple times we have gone to places where the reviews read like there is one thing, and one thing only, to do at the place.  Something like, only stay here if you like to fish, there is no internet, there are no stores, only fishing.  Now, I have fishing poles with us… and we have fished… ONCE… it’s just not our thing (but yea, I have an awesome storage system for the poles and don’t think about them, so they’re still with us).  Anyways, we’ll visit these ‘nothing to do’ places and find out there is lots to do when you have a way to be out on the water.  It’s amazing what you can see and explore kayaking around a lake (or a river).  Very recently we stayed at a state park (maybe I should have remembered Labor Day is kinda hard to get last minute reservations for) where the reviews would lead you to believe you will be bored, no matter what, while you are camping there.  Well, no bike trails, sketchy swamps, and a lot of trying to figure out why it was a state park led us to discover they had a boat launch… BOOM, adventure! 

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