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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad bought us a used aluminum canoe a few weeks back. I need to go get it from his farm so I can use it. Our Chrysler Town and Country doesn't have any provisions for tie downs in the front and I'm going to install a trailer hitch for the rear. Are the factory crossbars on the roof sturdy enough for a canoe? I'm planning on getting a Yakima roof rack in the future but money is tight right now.

Is there a forum for canoeing/kyaking that is as good as RBR?
 

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check out paddling.net

I don't know if your factory rack is strong enough to hold an aluminum boat but if it is...

Get webbing straps with cam-locks to lash the boat to the rack then use ropes to tie the bow to your van (and stern if you have a place at the back of your van to tie to). Ropes don't "hum" when you drive like webbing straps can.

You can make anchor points for the front of the van. Go to a landscape place or nursery and buy a couple of those black webbing loops with the grommet on one end (the things they use to secure newly planted trees with). Open your hood and unscrew a fender/body panel screw. Get an appropriately sized washer and screw that webbing loop down with the fender screw. Put on on each side of the engine compartment. Pull the straps up and shut the hood.

We've been hauling our fiberglass canoe on my wife's Jetta like that for years and have even "tested" the system when a deer jumped in front of us.
 

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dir-t said:
I don't know if your factory rack is strong enough to hold an aluminum boat but if it is...

Get webbing straps with cam-locks to lash the boat to the rack then use ropes to tie the bow to your van (and stern if you have a place at the back of your van to tie to). Ropes don't "hum" when you drive like webbing straps can.

You can make anchor points for the front of the van.
Good advice.... Make sure those are the metal cam locks, not plastic ones. I've hauled double sea kayaks on my Chrysler van for years. Look under the front end of the van. There is probably a hole in an undercarriage frame member like there is on my van. A standard carabiner fits in there just fine... Strap it down as described...

PS. If the factory rack isn't sturdy enough, and if it's like mine it probably isn't, you can get some compressed foam blocks that slip onto the gunwales of the canoe so it can sit on the rook of your vehicle. They aren't great, but they'll do until you get a good rack.
 

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Low rep power
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Twisting web straps will also prevent "hum"
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dir-t said:
check out paddling.net

I don't know if your factory rack is strong enough to hold an aluminum boat but if it is...

Get webbing straps with cam-locks to lash the boat to the rack then use ropes to tie the bow to your van (and stern if you have a place at the back of your van to tie to). Ropes don't "hum" when you drive like webbing straps can.

You can make anchor points for the front of the van. Go to a landscape place or nursery and buy a couple of those black webbing loops with the grommet on one end (the things they use to secure newly planted trees with). Open your hood and unscrew a fender/body panel screw. Get an appropriately sized washer and screw that webbing loop down with the fender screw. Put on on each side of the engine compartment. Pull the straps up and shut the hood.

We've been hauling our fiberglass canoe on my wife's Jetta like that for years and have even "tested" the system when a deer jumped in front of us.
I never thought about the landscape places for those webbing loops, I was looking at that solution and the place wanted $9 per strap, seems cheap enough until you look at what it really is. If I had an industrial sewing machine I'd just make some out of some old ratchet straps that have the mech all rusted stuck.
 

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DLMKA said:
I never thought about the landscape places for those webbing loops, I was looking at that solution and the place wanted $9 per strap, seems cheap enough until ....
Yeah, I fell for it too. Imagine the facepalm when I started landscaping my yard a couple months later :blush2:
 

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Easy. Canoes don't weigh much. Remember, they're designed to be portaged. The roof rack is plenty strong. For tie down, you can get webbing, but any old piece of rope will work, if you know how to tie it tight (can you do a truckers' hitch?) Make sure you tie a bow rope securely to the bumper or grill or something under the front of the car, and a stern rope.
 

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Cammed straps from Lowes are fine.
Never, never try to tie stape webbing. I made that mistake once and the canoe ended up on the side of the car. No matter the type of knot, it will slip.
I actually use pipe insulation and put it on the of the sides of canoes to give it a padding on top of the car.
I cannot believe that a T&C does not have any tie down locations.
 

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Good news everyone!
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I would definitely recommend fore and aft tie down straps, there's got to be something to die down to.
 

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Mehpic
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pigpen said:
Cammed straps from Lowes are fine.
Never, never try to tie stape webbing. I made that mistake once and the canoe ended up on the side of the car. No matter the type of knot, it will slip.

well, from my climbing days, there are appropriate knots for webbing, but about the only one i remember is the water knot.

http://www.animatedknots.com/waterknot/index.php


disclaimer: zero idea if this helps or knot.
 

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JCavilia said:
Easy. Canoes don't weigh much.
But a tin tank is what, ~80 lbs? If you're hauling it once, you don't really need much more than some good rope (and knot tying skillz). Straps make it more convenient, but really not better. Foam pipe insulation might come in handy to keep from scratching the [email protected] out of the car's rack.

<---Always advocates the use of tie downs on the ends too. Look under/behind the front bumper for a place to tie down, you'll find something. Or use the loop of webbing bolted to the quarter panel under the hood.

Good paddling forum? Not so much. Paddling.net is officially 'meh -' but about the best out there. Paddlers just don't use those things for some reason - kayakers anyway.
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
pigpen said:
I cannot believe that a T&C does not have any tie down locations.
There isn't anything that I could see that wouldn't cause the bumper cover to bow from the strap/rope tension. I'm going to use some strap loops to a fender bolt, that seems easy enough and fairly discreet. I was almost tempted to run some eye bolts through the bumper cover into the bumper or something else solid up front. We plan on driving this van into the ground so I'm not all that worried about resale value.
 
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