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Carrying a Boat On The Roof of an SUV?


FullTilt

Question

I'm looking for some advice and ideas on the best way to carry a 12' Lund boat on top of an suv. We're heading to a remote lake in Canada that doesn't have a boat landing and I don't want to use a trailer. I'd like to strap the boat on the roof somehow but I'm not sure what my best bet is. I checked into the roof racks by Yakima but from what I saw they only have 150 Lb. rating. The truck is a Durango and it has a factory roof rack and rub rails on the roof. Someone on this site has to have crossed this bridge before. Any ideas?

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Yakima and Thule have those limits because most auto manufacturers have the same limits. You rarely see a factory roof rack rated for more than 100lbs.

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That makes sense. I was thinking about using a couple of 4x4 or 6x6 posts running parrallel to the factory roof racks. The posts would rest onthe roof and the boat would sit onthe posts. My thought was that this would put the weight on the actual roof and not the racks themselves. I could use the factory roof racks as a place to secure the posts and then strap the boat to the posts. Anyone see any glaring problems with this or know of a better way to do it?

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Most of the roof racks I have seen have these little rubber well nuts that expand when tightening. I wonder if they could pull out of the holes if they caught a strong wind.

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The only experience I have is with canoes, but I'm guessing a similar setup would work. You can buy foam pads that slide over the edges of a boat to provide cushion between the boat and the roof of the vehicle. They're cheap--pretty sure I've seen them at Fleet Farm. I'd put these on, flip the boat upside down on the roof, then tie a rope from the bow to the corners of the frame on the front of the truck (so it forms a V - the bow being the point of the V). Then tie a rope from each corner of the stern down to that rear corner of the frame on the truck. Tie it tight and you should be fine. Come to think of it, ratchet straps would probably be ideal.

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I would not trust securing the wood or boat to just your factory racks. I once lost a bed on the hiway when the factory rack itself separated from the vehicle. The guy behind me sure was p-o'd. I had roped the bed to the racks and it took the whole thing right off. Be carefull. I'm lucky the guy behind me was able to safely dodge my lost cargo. It could have ended up much worse.

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Thanks for the input, I like the idea of the foam padding and tying the boat to the front and back. Good point on the factory roof racks, I think I'll stear clear of that idea.

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To add to the post Wiggum had mentioned I do the same as he described but just to add to the security I like to throw a ratchet strap over the middle of the canoe/boat and run it in the cab of the vehicle. This way if something broke in the front I would see this and pull over and fix it with out losing my cargo!! Without the strap in the middle if that front one breaks then the air lifts that boat right off the vehicle and if lucky are now dragging it behind you with only the back straps attached... So one ratchet strap in the front two in the back and one in the middle and that boat (givin you tighten the strapps) will not move an inch. You can never secure the boat too much, just not enough!!

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