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Chris L.

Car-top Rack

18 posts in this topic

I'm ready to buy my first kayak car-top carrier. I drive a '93 Jeep Grand Cherokee (old body style) with a luagge rack, so the kayak will go on top. I think this Thule rack is the best option (price vs. bells/whistles) for me:

 

car-top.JPG

 

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

 

I would love to hear anyone's opinion about this or any other rack.

 

Thanks for the input...

~Chris~

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What type of kayak are putting on there? I use the Malone Super J cradles on my truck. They stand the yak up on its side, so theres plenty room for another yak or rod holders if needed. I could post a picture so you can see how it works. smile.gif Rollcast

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I put alot of racks on peoples cars every year at the shop. We do it for free because I dont want the customer to do it wrong. The old cherokees had one of the wekest bar ive ever seen. You could cause a bend in it by pushing down with one finger. If that is the bar you have be carefull. If you or any body else has a factory rack that is solid you only need a $10 set of straps to safely transport one kayak.

Barrell

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Thank you for the suggestions so far.

 

Barrell, are all the Cherokees like that (as in, how would I know if my bar is not suitable)? What if I reinforced the underside of the factory bar? What other options do I have?

 

Sorry to be a pain in ass to all you guys. Its just my first time doing all of this and I want to be sure about everything.

 

Thanks again for the help and keep the ideas coming.

 

~Chris~

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The old style rack on Cherokees was crap. The style on a '93 Grand Cherokee are actually pretty strong. If you severely overload them the ends might pop out of the track brackets but they will probably go right back again after you unload. I've only done this with way too much lumber. I had no problems carrying 3 yaks just piled up or 2 80 lb canoes on 2x4's clamped to the bars to get the width. You shouldn't have any problems with that set up.

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Chris I dont know what yaer they stopped putting on the weak racks but they were about 1 1/2 " across and if I remeber right had some chrome trim on them. If you press down on the center of your bars and then dont bend your fine. If you have the weak ones I would put a bow and stern lines on the yak going to the front and back bumper. It is not just the wheight pushing down you have to worry about its the lift up created by the wind working under the kayak when on the highway that develops more force.

Barrell

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My kayak is a 12' Wilderness Systems Pungo (sit in style) that weighs about 52 pounds. I invision strapping it in just like in the picture, except that I'd like to avoid bow/stern lines if possible.

 

My cross bars (running from driver's to passenger's side) are ~3" wide and have no chrome whatsoever. I'm assuming that they are not the weak ones and are well suited for a kayak.

 

Is this how most of you guys strap them in? Can it stand 65 mph on the highway? Why is it that the kayak doesn't go upside down, like a canoe? Are bow/stern lines crucal?

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Hey Chris,

I've used pool noodles and the foam blocks. Like Barrell says, check your rack, yank it, pull it push it, if it feels real solid you'll know. Don't use straps with hooks. They flex and come undone. Harbor freight has two straps for $2.99. That's all I've ever used. Double them like in the picture then after you go through the snap lock tie a knot in it. I put one in the center around the yak also. Drove to all over, 8omph never moved. You can always run a strap through the rear scupper holes and to the back bumper, that way if the rack ripped of the roof it still would be attached to your vehicle, it would hurt but not kill!!

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I have the same rack on a car - I've driven 70 with no problems. The rack comes with front and rear tie down straps. I'd suggest that you make sure you use them also.

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Since the sit in has no scuppers to run the straps through at the minimum if your not using bow and stern to the bumper run bow and stern straps to their closest bars. This prevents the yak from sliding out from under the straps. In warm weather your yak will soften ,darker the color the worst it happens. This will loosen the straps no matter how hard you tightened em when it was cold. You dont need the whole fancy cradle thing if you cant afford it. A simple set of 12 to 15 foot straps will do. Send me a fax number and Ill scetch the proper way to strap them down. If you get long enough straps after the yak is strapped down and you tie a couple half hitches you can then go to the bow and stern handle with the extra. This allows you to do the whole job with two straps. Like smokin joe says NEVER

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.....use straps with hooks. Get metal bucles that you just slide the straps through. You can also tie off to the side handle if the yak has them for extra security. Sorry but sol wouldnt let be in to edit above post.

Barrell

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Thank you for the help so far.

cwm15.gif

I figure I will be set with the factory bars I have, 4 saddles (pictured above), 2 cross straps (without hooks on the end), and bow/stern lines of the same straps.

 

Does the kayak go upside dowwn, or rideside up? Does it matter. Any tips on loading a 50 pound, 12 footer by yourself?

 

Barrell, I get a fax number to you in a few days. I'll use your drawing to verify my setup.

 

Thanks again guys...

~Chris~

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