Roofrack advice please

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Spinney
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:01 pm

Hi all
I currently have a Skoda estate with roof rails, and my roof bars are generally placed about 1 m apart.
I'm thinking of replacing with a Toyota Avensis - but that has only fixed points for roofrack attachment, and these are only 75 cm apart.

My question is, is 75 cm too close for carrying sea kayaks? Mine is a Wilderness Tempest, so just over 5 m long, my partner's is an Avocet, which I think is marginally shorter.

I've also come across mention of a Thule 'short roof adapter' but even though I've looked at pics on the internet I'm still not quite clear what it is - would something like that allow me to get a bigger gap between the roof bars going across the car, which would make for more stable tying down of the kayaks?

Thanks for any advice on this.
Spinney

Psamathe
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:58 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Psamathe » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:06 pm

I have no knowledge of positioning but also check the total weight limit on the roof rack on your chosen vehicle.

I mention it only as when I checked my own vehicle/roof bars had a weight limit of 50Kg (may have been 60 Kg) and my inexperienced opinion (with no specialist knowledge) is that kayaks have a fair windage (e.g. passing on oncoming artic at 60 mph ...) so the weight limits are maybe more relevant than with something more compact up there).

Ian

WagylDreaming
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Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:47 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by WagylDreaming » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:19 pm

Hi, I have roof bars mounted at 700mm apart atop my Dacia Duster, which from reading is adequate/recommended for this vehicle. I carry a 23kg and 3.05m sit-on kayak and it is well-spaced, balanced and within the length of the vehicle. From having driven an Avensis wagon recently (and observing the roof bar mounting points), I would imagine that these should be adequately spaced given that it is longer than the Duster.

Not am expert on the subject but hope this helps.
BA

nigelhatton
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Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by nigelhatton » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:53 pm

There are vee bars on the market that have shallow fees to allow sea kayaks to sit in. The vee bars clamp to the roof bars and take the strain off the long kayak. It's still advisable to have a cord at each end of the kayak attached to the car.
If you search on the internet for vee bars you'll find an idea of what I'm talking about. Try this https://www.google.fr/search?client=tab ... RRC2vw1WUM:

Dyllon
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:56 am

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Dyllon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:58 pm

Thule short roof adapter are generally for use with 2/3 door cars with roof rack foot fixings limited to the front door. It would not help with kayak support.

My favoured kayak transport is an Audi A1. Not sure of the distance between fixing points but whatever it is, I suspect it is a bit shorter than that on an Avensis. Kayaks supported by J bars and they are fine.

Spinney
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:38 pm

Thank you all for your comments. They are normally fastened on their sides to an upright in the middle of the bars. Good reminder to check the total roof load, thanks.

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Jim
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Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:04 am

My roof bars are closer together than I really like for carrying long boats (from the boat's point of view) so I made a cradle based on a 2m length of steel box section to carry my Taran. Most V bars as Nigel recommends seem to come already attached to about a 2m box section.

Daker
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Location: Scotland

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Daker » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:17 am

The extended V bar supports are more about supporting long, often lightweight boats near their ends than offering any better weight distribution on the car roof, which you cannot really do much about.

For the 2 boats you have, I would suggest that neither is likely to flex significantly on the narrower-spaced bars but what they will do is exert a lot of leverage on the bars & feet. As such, bow and stern lines are your best solution for rigidity and piece of mind. In my experience, a bow line makes a huge difference to any bouncing which boats can do, so reduces the leverage on the rack + feet

Spinney
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:58 am

Daker wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:17 am
The extended V bar supports are more about supporting long, often lightweight boats near their ends than offering any better weight distribution on the car roof, which you cannot really do much about.

For the 2 boats you have, I would suggest that neither is likely to flex significantly on the narrower-spaced bars but what they will do is exert a lot of leverage on the bars & feet. As such, bow and stern lines are your best solution for rigidity and piece of mind. In my experience, a bow line makes a huge difference to any bouncing which boats can do, so reduces the leverage on the rack + feet
Thanks - it was mainly the effects on the boats I was thinking about, and their security, but you make a good point about forces on the car. I cannot find in any of the Toyota brochures etc the maximum load for the roof, which is a bit worrying. I may yet end up getting another Octavia, in spite of its lower reliability as it gets older.

adventureagent
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Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by adventureagent » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:39 am

Three or four years use. No issues:

At a local hardware shop, I bought aluminum, square tubing.
I created a rectangle, using bolts to hold together. It involved some Dremel cutting and fitting. Some fiddling involved.

The intention was to extend the length to fit under the bulkheads fore and aft, to reduce hull flex. I "U" bolted the whole to the rectangular crossbars of my Thule rack on my Kia Soul.

I use just standard foam blocks over the end bars. I use "re-usable" plastic zip ties, poked through the foam, to secure the pads when the boat isn't on the car. Three per pad. Simple to remove if desired.

Perhaps a local school could weld it for you if you supply the materials.
CELEBRATE LIFE: PADDLE by ALL MEANS !

Psamathe
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:58 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Psamathe » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:42 am

Spinney wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:58 am
......I cannot find in any of the Toyota brochures etc the maximum load for the roof, which is a bit worrying.......
I got my max loads from Thule web site indirectly on page https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/roof-rack/car-racks - select your vehicle details (part way down the page, left hand side); that will list the kit(s), then select "View details" (small below the kit description text) then look at/download the User Manuals - for my car/kit the max load was in the "Kit" User manual. The max loads were on the 1st page.

Ian

Spinney
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:53 am

I'll try that, thanks. It's pretty poor, though, that Toyota don't show that info. Skoda clearly states all sort of max loads (but then it advertises it as an 'estate', not some fancy 'tourer'!)

Psamathe
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:58 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Psamathe » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:20 pm

Spinney wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:53 am
I'll try that, thanks. It's pretty poor, though, that Toyota don't show that info. Skoda clearly states all sort of max loads (but then it advertises it as an 'estate', not some fancy 'tourer'!)
From the vehicle manufacturers perspective I wonder about hoe relevant and reliable their limit would be as I'd expect it to depend to an extent on the rook rack that is then fitted i.e. the limit applies to the system (both rack and car). e.g. car roof rails have a max load of 100Kg, but a low cost far eastern un-branded rack is somewhat weaker and should not take more than 60Kg. User looks-up vehicle specs, sees the 100Kg and loads up their cheap far eastern roof rack ...

I'm guessing here but I can imagine there would be reasons why the limit has to come from the roof rack manufacturer rather than the vehicle manufacturer.

Ian

Spinney
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:22 pm

Psamathe wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:20 pm
From the vehicle manufacturers perspective I wonder about hoe relevant and reliable their limit would be as I'd expect it to depend to an extent on the rook rack that is then fitted i.e. the limit applies to the system (both rack and car). e.g. car roof rails have a max load of 100Kg, but a low cost far eastern un-branded rack is somewhat weaker and should not take more than 60Kg. User looks-up vehicle specs, sees the 100Kg and loads up their cheap far eastern roof rack ...

I'm guessing here but I can imagine there would be reasons why the limit has to come from the roof rack manufacturer rather than the vehicle manufacturer.

Ian
Fair enough if the roofrack bends, but if I put my kayaks on the roof and somehow part of the roof of the car is damaged as there is too much load on the roof mounting points, that is up to the manufacturer of the car - warranty repair if what I loaded was below their limit. (yes, I know, there would be huge arguments, but in principle...!)

Daker
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Location: Scotland

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Daker » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:16 pm

Personally I would be much more worried about the strength of the roof fixings / rails than any rack I chose to fit to it.

A few years ago we were car shopping and I decided to give the roof rails on an estate car a bit of a wobble in the showroom and was met with concern by the salesman who was worried I was going to damage them, saying they were more of a styling item and not meant to take heavy loads !!!

And this was a car that was being marketed at the activity lifestyle person, you know with surf board / bikes etc on display.
Suffice to say we didn't buy the car !

Having said that, experience has taught me to buy racks from well respected brands rather than cheap rubbish that could easily deform under load.

Spinney
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:27 pm

I decided on another Skoda in the end, got a reasonable deal on new one. I find it encouraging that their specifications do list the max roof weight, and in spite of some assurances on here, I'm much happier with a metre gap between the bars than a 75 cm one. The daft thing is the Avensis still has the fixing points for roof bars on it (two little covers at each end of the roof as well as the two roof bar mounting points), they just do not supply roof rails.

Allan Olesen
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Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Allan Olesen » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:14 am

Spinney wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:53 am
I'll try that, thanks. It's pretty poor, though, that Toyota don't show that info. Skoda clearly states all sort of max loads (but then it advertises it as an 'estate', not some fancy 'tourer'!)
Knowing the exact allowable load when you don't know the actual load will not help much.

A long kayak will create all kinds of dynamic forces from inertia and wind while you drive. You can't know if those loads exceed the allowable loads.

You can't even know that the car manufacturer has taken those dynamic loads into account when he specified the allowable dead load. If he specified 100 kg, he may have been thinking of a short roof box. But when the car has some pitch movement (like the front wheels driving into a hole), the inertia loads from a long item will be much worse than the inertia loads from a short item with the same mass.

Spinney
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Roofrack advice please

Post by Spinney » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:57 am

True, but it's still better than them not giving out any info at all.

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