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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Rooster, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. I need a new car, but I first need to get a new rack for my kayaks. My wife has a Toyota Highlander, and I plan to get a Nissan xterra sometime this summer.

    I want to go with a Thule rack system, but I’m not sure what size crossbars would work best.

    Thule recommends 50” for the xterra, and 58” for the Highlander. I’m thinking about 65” for both. I “might” be able to get two kayaks on a rack with 58” crossbars, but the extra 7” would make it much easier.

    Are there any problems with using crossbars that are that much wider than the factory racks? I understand that I should not put a lot of weight on the overhanging sides, but are there any other issues?

  2. I had 58" bars on my Pathfinder a few years ago with two kayaks in Hullraisers (J-shaped cradles) and they fit fine. I doubt going wider would hurt much...they will just stick out a little. They really only have to be as wide as the towers allow, though, since it will essentially be wasted bar space.

  3. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Other than wackin your head on em when exiting your vehicle, you can use any size bars provided you don't overload them.

    Keep in mind, wind resistance too. Longer bars might make you think you can carry more yaks (more space) and might be well within the weight limit of the factory rack, but the upward force (wind) with too much gear can be a lot worse than the bulk weight.

    I used to sell Yakima products in college, and I've seen some MANGLED factory racks due to that very thing. Guys trying to fit too much stuff well within the bulk weight limit, without any consideration to the added upward force.
  4. shwookie

    shwookie fishing from a kayak

    On my Xterra, my bars were 60" wide. 60" is plenty wide enough for 2 kayaks side by side. 72" would stick WAY out.
    Do yourself a favor and get the stackers though, then you can hold 4 kayaks without any problems on 58" bars. Not to mention it is much better to haul yaks on edge, rather than flat.
    Actually with the stackers, you could probably still get 4 yaks on 50" bars.

    I bought my system through, great website with fast shipping and they carry both thule and yakima racks.
  5. Rack and paddle related you guys lash your paddles to your racks to transport them? If so, how? I don't want to spend $50 for Yakima's MultiMount. Seems there should be a way to do it cheaper, yet safely.
  6. shwookie

    shwookie fishing from a kayak

    I have a 2 piece pddle so it rides inside.

    However being, well a cheap arse, I would think that simple hose clamps would work for transportation purposes. Heck even small straps would work.
  7. I have two piece paddles, too...just want to get them out of the car. I'm thinking straps would work. Maybe pad the crossbar with foam then strap it down. I'll have to try it once I get the rack back on the car. Thanks!
  8. shwookie

    shwookie fishing from a kayak

    Just get some pipe insulation from lowes or home depot and strap it down.

    I might just have to try this as well.

    Thanks for giving me ideas....