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Eager Learner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just bought a couple of touring (sea?) kayaks from a co-worker who wanted to sell them. I've always wanted to do it, so...there was my chance.

Anyway, I have a small car (Corolla, 97) with a Thule rack with 50" Xbars, and a RockyMounts bike tray to the side. Plenty of room for at least one kayak.

However, as is the case with many cars now, the front and rear "bumper" are plastic. I haven't tried yet, but I loathe to tighten a strap/rope around the bumpers and underneath to the frame. Is that what you guys do? Is there a device or method by which a metal frame could extend to just underneath either bumper, and have eye-rings that would take a strap? It would help if the car ever needed to be pulled out of a ditch even...
 

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Look under your car, there are lots of places to attach a hook. Just make sure your line doesn't cross anything that gets engine or exhaust type hot.
 

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i've been hauling a 14' yak on top of my car for years- with no bow or stern straps- just really cinch down the cross straps and you ought to be fine.
 

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your text here
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like mb1 said, plenty of places to tie down up front and back. if you are worried about scratching the paint, some people put terrycloth towels or washcloths under the straps.

as far as saf-t goes, i wouldnt haul it too far by just cinching the crossbeams. first, wind can lift a kayak off the car. second, cinching across the the top like that can cause issues with the hull and deck. you might even collapse the thing.
 

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still shedding season
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Find something solid under the bumpers - no need for hooks, straps with buckles or any other hardware that could break, come loose or cause damage to the car. Just a good 'ol piece of rope. I use 1/4" low-stretch stuff for sailboats, bought a few pieces on ebay.

I've started using loops of webbing attached to a quarter panel bolt in the front, under the hood. This is a popular and easy way to do it and I can post pics of a boat loaded on the car tonight if that helps. Back end still gets tied to a good spot under the bumper.

And I don't go anywhere without tying the ends down - will have lift while driving and the lines on the end will keep the whole thing from flying off the car if something on the rack breaks. If it comes off of the car, think about the people behind you... I've met two people who have learned this lesson the hard way but at least the only damage was trashed boats.
 

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It's a 97 Corolla and you're worried about paint man?



By a good set of tie down straps. Use the ones with buckles, they are more convenient than the ratchet type. I have an 01 Camry, and it has a factory tow loop on the front of the car. The rear is pretty hard to find something to hook to but I always find something.
 

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hawkman71 said:
Hi,

I just bought a couple of touring (sea?) kayaks from a co-worker who wanted to sell them. I've always wanted to do it, so...there was my chance.

Anyway, I have a small car (Corolla, 97) with a Thule rack with 50" Xbars, and a RockyMounts bike tray to the side. Plenty of room for at least one kayak.

However, as is the case with many cars now, the front and rear "bumper" are plastic. I haven't tried yet, but I loathe to tighten a strap/rope around the bumpers and underneath to the frame. Is that what you guys do? Is there a device or method by which a metal frame could extend to just underneath either bumper, and have eye-rings that would take a strap? It would help if the car ever needed to be pulled out of a ditch even...
Yes.

There should be some tow hooks just inside the front wheels. Thats where we attach our lines. We have 14ft Kayaks on a '99 Accord.
 

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Eager Learner
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey guys, thanks for the help.

Ha ha, NO, I am not worried about paint! I just didn't know how strong those plastic bumpers were!

I was looking for some Thule/Yakima/Malone kayak racks, but aint got the money. APparently there are nice foam pads that fit on/wraparound the crossbars so that will be a cheap option!
 

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Good news everyone!
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Don't secure it to the bumper, they aren't not strong enough. Secure it to something metal, like a small hole in the frame of the car. If the straps rest on the bumper it's no big deal, just tie down the loose end of the strap so it doesn't get tangled on something or flap in the breeze. The front of the car should have at least one tow loop you can use.


Edit: I find those kayak racks that Yakima makes to be sorta pointless. I mean they're nice and secure, but you can easily secure a boat just on the cross bars alone. You can sometimes find the racks on sale on Craigslist and the like for pretty cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My OTHER question about this deal...crossbar spacing, long kayak

Hi,

The only other question I have is that on this small car, I space the crossbars (fore/aft) about 21". That is a small distance. When I mounted the rack, I also put the bike rack on at the same time. I felt that if I space the bars too far apart, the curvature of the roof will angle the two bars too much, when the bike tray is designed to clamp around level/flat bars.

Shoulda got Yakima bars maybe, b/c they are round. :mad2: (I bought this stuff pc x pc via craiglist and ebay so no worries.)

I'm worried that the short span is not wide enough to safely crank the kayak tight to the car. In other words, the shorter the span, the more like a single point it becomes causing potential buckling kayak.

(I did read that rotomolded kayaks CAN 'limber up' in extreme heat on a car...and I live in NC, where we get at least some 100 degree days. Then again, I aint kayaking on those days.)

Photo attached of my car. It might appear that I can move the front one forward quite easily, but it's pretty downward curved there already.

The original concern for this issue is b/c you will notice my bike rack is more than half off the back. Not too bad for a road bike, but my mtb? I also can't see how much it bounces while driving.
 

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Eager Learner
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, thanks. I went out earlier today and found the two tow-hooks (holes for hooks, ropes) in the front. I don't see much sturdy in the back, but I think I can make something work there.
 

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Great White North
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saf-t said:
i've been hauling a 14' yak on top of my car for years- with no bow or stern straps- just really cinch down the cross straps and you ought to be fine.
This.

I was able to locate my yakima saddles to match up with the bulkheads inside the boats, so no real fear of crushing the boat. We had 17.5' and 18' sea kayaks.

Check them regularly when you stop for gas, give them a wiggle or shake and you should be fine.

Plum
 

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still shedding season
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hawkman71 said:
Yeah, thanks. I went out earlier today and found the two tow-hooks (holes for hooks, ropes) in the front. I don't see much sturdy in the back, but I think I can make something work there.
A lot of cars have a loop in the middle under the bumper, but you'll probably have to lay on the ground to find it - it's a strong tie-down point. Front and rear tie-downs are something I 100% believe are necessary, as does at least Yakima. With short bar spacing and long boats, it's even more important. I've hauled 17'+ boats for thousands of miles with 30" bar spacing with zero problems, but again, always tiedowns. I have a boat on the roof right now for paddling tonight - will take a couple of pics...

As for 21" spacing, that's tiny. If you can get to 30" that'd be good, farther even better but probably not on a Corolla. Yakima makes a Q-Stretch kit, not a good pic but something like this might help. Others may have it too.
 

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Good news everyone!
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Yeah with your load bars that narrow (I would space them out if at all possible) you are definitely going to need tie downs on either end, and straps around the center as well.
 
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