gellfex

My roof rack solution for 2 kayaks on rental (pics)

15 posts in this topic

Everyone knows how to put one kayak on a rental: foam, pool noodles, "inflatable racks" etc, but 2 is a different story. Here's what I did and it was great. I rented a Rav4 on Turo that had rails but no crossbars at all. Went to the Depot and got a 2x4x120, and had them cut it in half. Bought 4 "4 in. Beige Reusable Felt Square Furniture Sliders" that were foam on one side and felt on the other, a roll of white duct tape, and 2 square window case medallions: "1 in. x 3-1/2 in. x 3-1/2 in. Pine Primed Rosette Corner Block Moulding". Taped the glides to the 2x4s, for the back, and since in front the rails dipped below the roof, added the medallions to the sandwich to raise it up 3/4". Straps through the doors and it was solid as a rock, and just as easy to use as a real rack. I had enough straps for the rack and 1 boat, I bought 100' of poly rope for bow, stern and tie down of the 2nd boat.

 

The hood tie down was tricky, there was absolutely NOTHING to tie to under the bumper! I cut some excess off one of my straps to make a loop to go on the hood latch, but cut too little so I had to add some of the yellow rope to make it work. But work it did, not a blemish to the paint, nor to the roof rails. 

 

Whole shebang was ~$40, and I could have brought the tape, wood blocks and rope had I thought ahead more. I left the rack with the kayak rental, they were impressed. 

 

608890a7ab13a_roofrackfull2.PNG.0bf0ace62760be57cb7b027f7b7cf3e6.PNG608890a4965e2_roofrackcloseup.PNG.89121b139128cd151aad7b861d69a66f.PNG608890a21a823_roofrackhoodrope.PNG.d24012910306da915c823d25fafc8df1.PNG

 

 

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 For those who think bow and stern straps are not needed ... watch this Hullivator (I think) take a tumble

 

On 5/6/2021 at 8:45 AM, Lagerhead said:

 

 

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Not sure what exactly happened here but I believe that the connection between the roof rack and car failed...nothing to do with straps in my opinion

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57 mins ago, computeruser said:

Not sure what exactly happened here but I believe that the connection between the roof rack and car failed...nothing to do with straps in my opinion

Do you think the result would have been as catastrophic if there were adequate bow and stern strapping ... ie, would said strapping have:

 

#1 Reduced the up force on the yak and hence lessened the force on the rack to car?

#2 Kept the yak & rack on the roof and not skidding down the road?

 

Personal choice.... I use them, a quick and easy measure twice step 

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I agree with you that any extra straps/ties will add to the safety of transportation...but even with bow/stern ties in this case ( I believe that the person had a bow tie ...could not see the rear tie) having other straps connected to the roof rack only, the disaster was imminent if the failure was rack to roof connection. Longitudinal ties have small impact on lateral movement of the kayak which seems to occur here. They are more effective when vehicle with kayak is braking or accelerating thus the movement is longitudinal...

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I have not used bow or stern straps in many years. I hit a bad pothole the bowline broke the bow handle loose from the kayak. The line wrapped aroun the front axle. Without a place to tie the bowline to I got used to not having a bowline. 10 trips to Florida, many trip to the shore and hundreds of trips to the mountains and I have not had a mishap. My vehicles have varied between an 02 Dakota, a 12 Pathfinder and a 15 VW Golf wagon. Rectangular Thule bars, Thule mounts to the factory rails and I replace my straps often. Not had an issue without bow or stern lines at 75 mph.

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@tristate When I had a sedan with clamp on style Thule racks I always used bow and stern lines, I've seen plenty of those racks fail, presumably when installed imperfectly. But since having vehicles with factory rails I tend not to unless I have more than two boats up. But obviously with my 2*4 and strap rack in Florida I was not taking any chances. 

 

I have to say though, having installed the factory rails myself on two cars, there is not that much holding it there except a few spot welds. I'm amazed they don't fail more often, especially considering how often they're overloaded past the usual 150 lb limit.

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59 mins ago, BluesCruiser said:

Be careful with rope. when it gets wet it stretches' 

Depends on the what the rope is made of. Dacron, which is polyester, does not stretch significantly in any circumstances. I'm not all that certain that nylon or polypropylene stretch more when wet either.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I thought tying down the front of the kayak was to reduce the lift from air resistance whilst driving? Tying down the front helps reduce the pressure on the rack and straps from kayak 'bounce' as well as stop the kayak shifting left or right. I always tie down the front and the back on longer journeys. Only takes a minute. 

Edited by JRT

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On 6/4/2021 at 3:19 PM, gellfex said:

Depends on the what the rope is made of. Dacron, which is polyester, does not stretch significantly in any circumstances. I'm not all that certain that nylon or polypropylene stretch more when wet either.

Nylon is VERY hygroscopic and water acts as a plasticizer.  Basically, it will stretch when wet.  It will also then shrink as it dries out.  This is important if say you strap your kayak down the night before a trip.  If in the morning with all the dew you retighten the straps and then go on a long all-day drive, as the straps dry they'll shrink and put more tension on the kayak.

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1 hour ago, atv223 said:

Nylon is VERY hygroscopic and water acts as a plasticizer.  Basically, it will stretch when wet.  It will also then shrink as it dries out.  This is important if say you strap your kayak down the night before a trip.  If in the morning with all the dew you retighten the straps and then go on a long all-day drive, as the straps dry they'll shrink and put more tension on the kayak.

Interesting. I'm familiar with other hygroscopic polymers like polycarbonate, but I didn't know that about nylon. I rarely work with it because is gets gummy when machined. Is that also why velcro often loses it's grip when wet? The little hooks aren't as strong?

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