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Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 11:42 am
by Paddle Lochaber
I'm looking to buy a Karitek Easy Load system for my Reanult LWB Vivaro van. It looks like I have the option of either bolting it on to the existing roof bars or removing the roof bars and replacing them with Karitek roofrails which the system then attaches to.

Does anyone have any experience of the roofrail version? Is it significantly better than bolting on to the roof bars?

The bars that are on the van just now are closer than I'd like, so I'm thinking that the rail system would allow the J bars to be further apart. However I will be using the van to carry Open Canoes as well as sea kayaks and I'm not sure if the roof rail system would allow enough clearance under the canoes.

Cheers
Mark

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:43 pm
by uxb
I have the Karitek system on my Vivaro.

The roof rails that were fitted to my van were a bit too flimsy for a couple of sea kayaks so I took them off. The mounting points on the van were either too close or far to far apart or would make the boats sit too far forward or too far back so opted for the Karitec rails. They work just fine but do look a bit 'hand knitted'

If you have a sturdy roof rack already fitted that gives you a decent spacing for the Karitec system- and allows the boats to sit on the roof without massive overhangs at one end or the other, then I'd probably stick with it.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:35 pm
by Paddle Lochaber
Thanks uxb, that's helpful. There is just less than a cockpit's width between the current bars, which I don't think is wide enough.

How much clearance is there between the racks and the van? I'm worried that the ends of canoes may touch the van when in the Karitek brackets upside down.

Cheers
Mark

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:12 pm
by uxb
Paddle Lochaber wrote:Thanks uxb, that's helpful. There is just less than a cockpit's width between the current bars, which I don't think is wide enough.

How much clearance is there between the racks and the van? I'm worried that the ends of canoes may touch the van when in the Karitek brackets upside down.

Cheers
Mark
Mark,

There is around 12 cm from the rack bar to the roof and about 18 from the carrier to the van roof. I've never carried a canoe on the rack so cant help there.

The front carrier is directly above the pillar between the passenger door and the sliding side door and the centres of the carriers are 140 cm apart which spaces out my Explorer just nicely.

I'll see if I can get a couple of photos of the van.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:10 pm
by soundoftheseagull
I bought the Karitec for two reasons, 1. To save my back, and 2. To reduce damage to my car whilst attempting to load the boat alone.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:50 pm
by Paul Edmondson
I bought a karitek easy load roof rack 3 weeks ago. I have just returned from a 5 day trip to Arisaig. The karitek system worked really well. 2 kayaks were securely fastened on for the journey with no problems. They were very easy to load.
Driving through South Cumbria I witnessed a dagger sea kayak fly off the roof of the car in front of me in the wind. I never felt that the karitek system would let me down in this way. My karitek carrier is second hand. I have therefore had to adapt it to my VW Touran. The main issue I have faced is access to the rear passenger door as the handle of the carrier prevents it from opening. This will be easily sorted by changing the bar length. Other than that I am very satisfied and would recommend them.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 8:42 pm
by dalriada
Mark
I'd try talking to Geoff, at Karitek, directly. If you do have any issues with clearance, then it's more than likely that he can make up spacers to lift the bars on the rails.
Rhod

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:08 pm
by Kate D
I have a Renault trafic van, standard wheelbase. I use the easiload roofrack with the karitek rails. The mounting points for roofbars were too close together for sea kayaks so I didn't even try this option. The karitek rails allow you to mount the easiload bars wherever you want so you can have them well spaced. I am trying to answer your question about roof clearance with a photo, but a combination of a new computer, windows 8 and a total lack of computing knowledge have foiled me. If you pm me with a normal email address I can email you some photos. I guess the turned up bow and stern of your canoe will extend beyond the highest part of the roof of the van so unlikely to be a problem, though your van is longer than mine.
One observation I have had with the Karitek rails and rack is that all the connections are metal on metal and this makes every rattle of the rack audible inside the van. It is a bit disconcerting. This did not happen with my old karitek rack on thule bars on my old van.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:55 am
by uxb
Kate D wrote: One observation I have had with the Karitek rails and rack is that all the connections are metal on metal and this makes every rattle of the rack audible inside the van. It is a bit disconcerting. This did not happen with my old karitek rack on thule bars on my old van.
I'd check over all the bolts carefully- mine does not rattle at all. It did clatter a bit with boats on the roof but some adjustment to the white plastic 'T' pieces and moving the roller wheels out board a bit has stopped that.

It's a great bit of kit- I give the inside of the sliding section a little spray of GT85 every once in a while to keep it gliding. If there was a quick release to make removal easier it would be perfect..

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:33 pm
by Ceegee
I recently bought a 2nd hand system which had been fitted to a van (Transit).

I had to fit to to my NissanTerrano (no rails) onto square profile Thule bars, and reduce the width a bit (metal cut-off saw). For attachment I made up attachment brackets (out of 8mm x 30mm aluminium flat bar and M10 s/steel rebated screws and locknuts.

There is a bit of whistle from the gap between the rails and Thule bars from 30-50mph, disappears thereafter.

If I had roof rails I would definitely use them to reduce the overall height, windage and wind noise. Karitek sell various after-market brakets and were VERY helpful to me in replacing spears, rollers and general advice. I also found (careful) use of a hot air gun on the J-bars lets you mould them to the actual kayak shape which helps in loading and getting the load secured more tightly.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:37 pm
by Ceegee
uxb wrote:... some adjustment to the white plastic 'T' pieces and moving the roller wheels out board a bit has stopped that.

..
Could you post a photo of this please, because mine are metal on metal, like Kate's and yes, they do rattle a bit on our bumpy side roads?

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:19 pm
by uxb
Ceegee wrote:
Could you post a photo of this please, because mine are metal on metal, like Kate's and yes, they do rattle a bit on our bumpy side roads?
I would if I could but I'm away from home for the next couple of weeks.

On my rack there is a white plastic 'Tee' or the top of each bar that the sliding carraige slots into when the carraige is about 75% of the way along the runners. This holds the carraige in place along with the locking pins, although if I'm going farther than the end of the road ( where the beach is- lucky me..) I also secure the ends with short roof rack straps. As well as extra security this also helps stop any rattling.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:12 pm
by truckturner
I have a VW T5 I bought the complete custom kit that bolts straight to the van This enables me to remove the bulk of the bars in about 10 mins leaving the side rails in place. My Karitek rattles well loaded or unloaded. I just use a short cam buckle belt to stop this. I say it again fantastic bit of kit worth every penny.

Re: Karitek Easy Load- Roof Rails or bolt on to roof bars?

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:59 am
by geoffm
If there was a quick release to make removal easier it would be perfect..
I'm not sure whether the Karitek system on a van differs from mine (on a Subaru Outback) but I can remove the main carriage and racks, leaving just the original Thule rails and 2 karitek bars in 50 seconds. I would have thought that was quick enough :)