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high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:32 pm
by cavesncorals
We have a high top transit campervan and are looking at options for a roof rack for it for 2 Dagger Stratos sea kayaks. Because of it's height, I cannot see any option apart from having some sort of roof rack with a loading mechanism and google so far seems to indicate Karitek do one that is good and I plan to contact them for a quote. Are they the only ones out there or are there other options for either side or rear loading of the kayaks? Any advice (and photo links) welcomed. Many thanks in advance.

Estelle

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:29 pm
by Colin C
Another option is to use a roller at the end of the van, and push them up on to the roof rack. This depends on a few things, such as can you then secure them on the roof using a ladder at the end and sides, and the risk of scuffing the van are higher.

Colin

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:47 pm
by cavesncorals
Currently open to all options, the van doesn't have any roofrack fitted at all or any ladders, so we're starting it from scratch.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 4:58 pm
by Colin C
Another thing to think about, if its a campervan, is the roof lights, can you still open them with a boat on top, or do you need extra height? I have a campervan, and use a Karitek, as I dont want to be up there in the dark and rain securing boats on.
You can fix a ladder on the end of the van, and use a telescopic ladder for the side, a lot of folk use this option.

Colin

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 5:01 pm
by cavesncorals
We don't have roof windows/lights on this one. I suspect Karitek is likely to be the best option, just mainly wondering if they had any competition out there and if others had preferred options. It's a high vehicle at the end of the day and we do not want to be climbing around on the roof in all weathers trying to secure boats, it has to be safe and sensible. :)

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:25 pm
by on the rocks
Is the high top steel and able to support roof bars, or is it fibre glass in which case you may need to look at alternative options for supporting the roof bars

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:33 pm
by cavesncorals
there's a ridge/rim along the sides which from googling roof bars generally is where they should fit onto. :)

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:57 pm
by Daker
Ive owned 2 high top Transits and now have an extra high roof Citroen Relay and wouldnt use anything other than a KT rack.
Its not perfect and does still require a fair bit of grunt on high vehicles but I havent come across anything comparable.

Where are you based as I have an older KT rack for sale if interested, I'm East Central Scotland.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:34 am
by cavesncorals
I think it is sounding more and more like the karitek is likely to be the only choice for us. We live in Somerset - if it's suitable, would you consider looking at shipping potentially?

Estelle

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 11:37 am
by Billy g
I've seen a few people round here using a system that is designed for carrying ladders on hitop vans, looks like a good alternative to the karitek system, not sure of prices, only seen it used for single kayak. It's rear loading and avoids the need to get on the roof to strap down. Not sure of the name of it though.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:52 pm
by Billy g
Image

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:53 pm
by cavesncorals
that looks quite clever - anyone know of the brand name?

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 11:28 am
by Northern Blue
I’m another fan of Karitek’s ELRR.

When I bought my Peugeot Boxer based camper in 2017, my first port of call was Karitek and the rack has seen a lot of use in those 2 years, allowing me to load 2 kayaks singlehandedly. A kayaking friend also has a Boxer based camper and went down the fixed roof rack route, with a Thule Hullavator and a rear ladder fixed to his rear door, cheaper, but IMO, not as convenient as being able to load and secure without climbing on to the roof.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:05 am
by number10ox

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:22 am
by cavesncorals
Has anyone tried the Kayak carriers one on a larger van? like Karitek, they only show the standard one for up to small vans on their website and it's an ask for more info for the larger van. It does look good though. :)

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:21 pm
by number10ox
I suspect the following is the prototype of the KCS rack, http://www.outsideengineering.co.uk/lars, pretty sure I came across this site previously via a link on the KCS site when looking at the KCS rack system. Anyway if so it states it was first designed for loading kayaks to a van and is equiped with a gas spring system to return the weighted roof rack back in place saving you from lifting above shoulder height.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:43 pm
by Colin C
I have the KT High Lift rack fitted to a Renault Master, and can put the boats up myself, but you still need to give it some effort to move them, 3 surf boats no problem, 2 sea boats are getting close to max effort, for me,as I am not tall nor big. There is no way I could do it otherwise.

Colin

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:18 pm
by cavesncorals
it is rare there wouldn't be the 2 of us to put them on/off the roof, but from discussions here and other places, starting to really feel that karitek is the best option out there. I'm going to look out for 2nd hand options initially i think and go from there. Hoping Daker's might be suitable. :)

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:52 am
by allan09
I have one of the Outside Engineering LARS systems fitted to a 2.5m high Fiat Ducato.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:02 pm
by keith_w
The KCS website is worth a look as they seem to be selling a side loading roof rack.

https://www.kayakcarriers.co.uk/product ... -roof-rack

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:11 pm
by Daker
allan09 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:52 am
I have one of the Outside Engineering LARS systems fitted to a 2.5m high Fiat Ducato.
Do you have any pics of that please as I had the impression it may not have worked on higher vehicles as there was a need for the cross bars to extend above the roofline when in the lowered position (to provide the strut leverage).

ie, where the height of the van was significantly higher then the roof bar's width, it would then not extend low enough for easy loading.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:53 pm
by allan09
I originally had the system that used the gas struts. As you say there is a finite distance it will lower due to rack width v van height. However when lowered down the side of the van I found myself and wife could get 2 kayaks loaded onto it so drop down height wasn't an issue. To load 3 boats would have required us both to use steps due to the height of the J bars from the ground. The kayak J bars couldnt be placed as low down the rack as possible because then it took too much effort to try and get the loaded rack back onto the roof - kayaks too far from the pivot point. So the actual loading height was a compromise. There was a technique to getting the loaded rack back up and onto roof, I used a 0.5m step to let me get the leverage correct.

Since then the manufacturer has developed a system that uses a continuously threaded shaft to lower and raise the rack using a power drill to do the work. This set up allows the rack to come down lower and you can place the J bars as low as you like on the rack and it can still be easily raised by the drill and threaded rod. So it allows a lower loading height to be achieved. I've now got this system installed on the van and it is superior to the gas struts for the van height I have.

Next time its in use I can get pictures of it being loaded etc.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:59 am
by Daker
Thanks for the reply. Certainly sounds interesting.

My experience of the Karitek ELRR and HLRR is that they work very well so long as you are able to keep the bars completely parallel whilst lifting them but if not, eg parked on a slope or unevenly positioned boats, they have a bit of a tendency to bind or not engage with the keepers correctly.

Would be interesting to hear if LARS system has similar issues as there will inevitably be a limit to how rigid any such structure can be before becoming overly heavy.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:22 pm
by allan09
Here
Image
is a picture showing rack lowered. For reference the person is 5' 3".

With rack lowered the heights of J bars from ground are

Lower - 49"
Higher - 69"

My J bars on my Subaru Outback are at 68" above ground so van rack is at same maximum height. Its an easier load as I dont have to twist over the bonnet as I do with Subaru.

Re: high top transit roof rack advise please

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:30 pm
by cavesncorals
thank you for posting that, it's really helpful having images. :)