How to Load a Canoe on a 5th Wheel

How to Load a Canoe on a 5th Wheel thumbnail
Utilize handling straps attached to the canoe when moving the canoe toward the water.

Fifth wheel trailers attach to a vehicle by a hitch and are towed behind when the vehicle is driven. While sizes vary, these trailers are often campers which provide living quarters for people taking trips to locations such as state parks and campgrounds. While some people choose to secure their canoe on the vehicle itself, you may also load your canoe onto the fifth wheel provided you have a canoe rack already installed on top. This gives you the option of securing other recreational equipment, such as bicycles or skis, to the vehicle for your trip.

Things You'll Need

  • Canoe rack
  • Platform ladder
  • Blanket
  • Canoe straps
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    • 1

      Place your platform ladder at the back of the fifth wheel trailer. If the ladders has wheels, flip the locks so the ladder stays in place.

    • 2

      Lay the blanket at the base of the platform ladder.

    • 3

      Flip the canoe over and place it upside-down on the blanket. The blanket will protect the canoe from being scratched by asphalt, dirt or rocks found on the ground.

    • 4

      Instruct one person to stand at the rear and another person at the front of the canoe so they are facing each other. Lift the canoe up together.

    • 5

      Walk toward the fifth wheel trailer. The person in front will walk slowly backward up the steps, while the person in the rear moves toward the platform ladder as well as potentially stepping up the first or second stair, depending on the size of the canoe. The canoe will point upward on an angle toward the sky.

    • 6

      Place the front of the canoe on the canoe rack. The person in front should raise his arms lifting the canoe until it is above the rack. The person in the rear will extend his arms upward so that the canoe is level.

    • 7

      Slide the canoe fully onto the rack.

    • 8

      Hold the canoe buckle, attached to the canoe strap, against the back of the canoe with one hand. Simultaneously, run the canoe strap under the strap mount and toss the canoe strap over the back of the canoe to the other side.

    • 9

      Instruct the other person to pull the canoe strap tight upon receipt. Next, instruct him to run the canoe strap underneath the strap mount and toss the strap back.

    • 10

      Press down on the lever located on the strap buckle, while simultaneously feeding the canoe strap through the strap buckle. Pull until tight.

    • 11

      Repeat Steps 8, 9 and 10 on the other end of the canoe, utilizing the second canoe rack mounts and strap. Double-check each strap to make sure it is pulled tight and the canoe does not wiggle or move.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not cross the canoe straps forming an "x." This prevents the straps from being as tight as possible.

  • Use canoe straps that have padded buckles so they do not dig into the side or scratch your canoe.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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