Motorhome Roof rack

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stewh
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Motorhome Roof rack

Post by stewh » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:13 am

Hello Listmates,
How does one carry two almost 17ft kayaks on the roof of a Luton type cab motorhome where the rear flat section is only nine ft. long?
I've E-mailed two roof rack manufacturers, but they haven't bothered replying.

ATB, Stewart in Nairn

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MikeB
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by MikeB » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:22 am

I take it the rear flat section is capable of taking a roof rack of some sort? What provision, if any, is there to attach a rack to the rear body and the cab? You'll not be able to post links / pics just yet as a new member (anti spam tactic) so send me some pics and I'll psot them here - that might help folk with suggestions. editor@ukseakayakguidebook.co.uk

The overhang isn't an issue really - as long as you mark the overhanging ends with an appropriate marker of some sort.

I'd suggest talking to someone who knows their stuff and Roofbox.co.uk or Roofracks.co.uk have both had good reports as knowing what they are doing. Also, talk to KariTek in Ayrshire - they have some very good ideas and if a readymade solution doesnt exist, if anyone can create one, Geoff will.

The links are all in the Almanac - follow my sig link - Almananc / Equipment / Transporting kayaks on vehicles.

Mike.

stewh
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by stewh » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:03 am

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the reply. I was going to send you a PM with an image of the MH taken from the Manufacturers web site, but couldn't see how to attach the image. Anyway here's the URL:-

http://www.compass-motorhomes.com/

Karitek is one of the companies that didn't reply to my enquiry.
There are at least two roof-racks made for the MH. Thinking about it, I suppose I just need to fit extended bars to the front of the rack so that the front end of the yak clears the cab roof?
I have a Capella 166 and a Prowler 13 SOT. Still looking for a suitable yak for my girlfriend.

ATB, Stewart

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Bards » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:09 am

Decent roof bars bolted through the roof should do ( put a plate on the inside to spread the load, something shockingly most Motorhome makers don't bother to do when supplying vans roofracked... they are often just screwed) for driving safety. Getting a boat up there was okay for a weakling like me solo thanks to the ladder fitted to the rear of the van though of course it requires tail room...

I have bought a 2nd hand Kari-Tek high-lift roof rack which will provide more loving care for the boat I'm currently refitting... Also for me there will be less pantomime potential as clowning around on the roof when it's wet, windy and dark amidst a nest of straps gets looks of aghast concern from mates :-) Think the kari-tek may require a mini-stepladder to operate due to vehicle height, but PM me if you require a post-event update on the kari-tek adventure...

Have fun up there!

Bards

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by MikeB » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:37 am

Hmmm - interesting beast.

Give KT a call - they've been moving premises and might be behind on email - both Ann and Geoff are really helpful.

I'd have thought you're going to need to have some form of lifting extension on the rear to get any rack high enough for the boats to clear the cab. Or, have them at an angle - a bit like a Russian cold-war missile launcher ;-)

Mike.

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Mark99
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Mark99 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:35 pm

It could be that Kari-Tek "couldn't be bothered", but I've found them to be very helpful but often swamped. I've got their high lift rack on my hi-top Transit. I'm fairly satisfied with it. If you can get hold of Geof he is very helpful and knowledgeable, and patient!
P.S Bards, carry a spare wire

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Bards » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:40 pm

Mark99 wrote:It could be that Kari-Tek "couldn't be bothered", but I've found them to be very helpful but often swamped. I've got their high lift rack on my hi-top Transit. I'm fairly satisfied with it. If you can get hold of Geof he is very helpful and knowledgeable, and patient!
P.S Bards, carry a spare wire

Thanks for that Mark, but could you be a bit more specific? What do I do with said wire. I'm feeling a bit dim... situation normal ;-)

Thanks a lot,

Bards

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Mark99
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Mark99 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:20 pm

Hi Bards, when you said high lift Kari tek i assumed it's the same as mine, with a winch to lift the boats up so you can then slide them onto the roof. Well my winch cable snapped, fortunately as I was leaving a weeks kayaking in Wales, but I was pretty stuck. Kari Tek were helpful as ever, and I now carry a spare winch cable with me.

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by soundoftheseagull » Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:22 pm

This is how Mike does it (Mike Marshall), involves some climbing but it’s certainly very effective
Image
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by jamesl2play » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:10 pm

This how I do it, just fixed two cross bars to the side rails with U bolts.
One tip looking at Mike M's picture, I bolted a roller to the top of the ladder/steps (you can buy them from Halfords) it makes getting the kayak up on to the roof a piece of cake.
I have even loaded one on my own.

Image

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maryinoxford
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by maryinoxford » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:14 pm

As I understood the original post, the problem is not getting the kayaks up there, but that the roof is not flat:
Image
Mary
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Mike Marshall
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Mike Marshall » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:24 pm

Mary,
You are correct. Essentially its an upstairs bed that ends up as the Lump on the roof :-)
The Kayak hull interferes on the roof when simply tied down on the bars (Commercial Thule Bars for those interested)
The Karitek racks rotate the Kayak onto its side and the fine bows clear the "bulge", on my motorhome at least.

James,
I looked at a roller and in fact bought one, which I couldn't attach to my liking.
I simply use a length of rope with a Carabiner on the end, clip it into the bow loop and use the rope (from off the roof) to lower and raise the boat until I can grab it.
Works well for me.

MikeM

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by stewh » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:38 am

Thanks to everyone for your input.

Mike M, my "bulge" is higher than yours, but I get the general idea.
I think the best plan for me now is to get a roof rack fitted and then try to work out which uprights to fit.

ATB, Stewart

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MePower
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by MePower » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:43 am

http://www.car-roofracks.co.uk/pics/roo ... rs-420.jpg Might not be strong enough? These are Thule commercial high roof extensions which might raise the boat over the "hump"

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:12 am


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NickB
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by NickB » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:50 pm

I have just used a pair of Thule van bars clamped to the roof rails with a pair of standard paddling uprights:

Image

A friend of mine has more of a bulge and he has found that by simply increasing the padding on the front bar and keeping the bars and boat well back (2 to 3 feet overhang) he just manages to clear the bulge.
Cheers
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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by stewh » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:35 pm

Hi Nick,
When I get back home at the end of the month I'm going to get a roof rack fitted, then with my Capella on top, work out by trial and error how much lift i need to clear the cab.

Cheers, Stewart

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:02 pm

Sorry about the resurrection of an old thread, but as I am now thinking about going down this road I wondered about how the roofs where coping with the load and remaining watertight. I had been looking at panel van conversions so I could get a roof rack on them as I understood coach built vans did not easily accommodate roof racks. having read a couple of previous threads it seems that some coach built vans can take a roof rack and this is an option though I do have some concerns about everything staying watertight. Thanks.

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by MikeB » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:39 pm

We were looking a vans last year Colin and were asking the same question - the answers varied and it was obvious that many of the salespeople had no idea. Then again, it was also obvious from the other customers in the showrooms that few of them would be carrying anything on the roof!

Perhaps the answer would be to ask the individual manufacturers. The only definite answer we got was from the guys who converts VW's - Jerba - who assured us their lifting roof conversion would cope, and was designed to. But I suspect you're not looking at VW's. Our conclusion at the time was that we'd go VW as the van was going to be also used as an occasional "daily drive", but we'd also decided that were we to buy a van which was purely a camper, it would be a LWB hight roof panel van conversion and not a coach built job.

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:29 pm

Hi Mike, thanks for getting back to me, the panel vans I am thinking about are LWB, and I think you are right in that this is the safer option regarding fitting a roof rack. As I am looking for second hand its a case of seeing what is on the market at the time, so contacting manufacturers, may not be always feasible, there appears to be lots more coach built vans about and they seem to last longer, although this might not be the case as I have only started to research the scene. I am pleased to see that I am not alone in thinking that roof rack fitting may be the deciding factor, but I am keen to find out more as its going to be while till I dive in. Cheers.

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Fast Pat » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:24 am

We went through this quandary a couple of years ago. Due to concerns as to how many coachbuilts leak and the short warranties on water ingress given by manufacturers, coupled with concerns as to how manufacturers fit the roof bars to a fiberglass / plastic box. we opted for a LWB Boxer conversion. Karitek fitted a highlift roofrack and we haven't looked back, the rack fits to the manufacturers roofrack mounts and is solid.

Although based on the initial outlay the Karitek looks an expensive option compared to the alternative of convential bars and the "jig of webstrap death"; and the fact you can move on to your next vehicle its the only sensible choice. Given where you live I would take your van to Karitek - it is a bit of a setup and unless you have two high working platforms would be a nightmare to undertake if you get a high roof van.

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:43 pm

Hi Fast Pat, I agree that if we do go down the panel van route it will be fitted with a karitek rack, as I want easy access, and the quality of Geoff's work is high. The more I hear the more it confirms my initial view that coach built wont work for me as water ingress I think may be an issue in the longer term, and I am comforted to see that this has been the same thinking as others, many thanks for your advice.
Colin

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Bards » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:40 pm

I've never had a problem with water ingress, just by using some squashy rubber plumbers' washers and/or squares of neoprene with M8 bolts drilled through. If looking at a converted van, and spending some fair time in it, then do note this will constitute a 'cold bridge' with the condensation issue discussed at interminable length on diy camper discussions.

Bards

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:01 pm

Your a brave man/woman to drill through the roof of your van, with a panel van I avoid this, which is where my thinking is leaning at the moment as well as avoiding a weight on the roof that causes it to flex and possibly disturb the mastic seals.

Colin

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:10 am

This is what you want Colin -

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:01 am

Mike I remember your old 110, but my memories of Land Rovers is not so good, I have owned 4 over the years, and I must epitomise Einstein's definition of madness, in that I kept doing the same thing and expected the outcome to change. They were all trouble and I gave up in the end having learnt my lesson that owning a Land Rover was not the hobby, but fixing it was.

Colin

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by owain harris » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:29 am

Just to throw something else in the mix, as a Caravanner and paddler, carrying boats always presents a problem in the maximum recommended loading of a car roof rack - normally a ridiculously low figure. Perhaps the way caravans are built now could be utilised to carry the boats instead of the car?
I currently own a Bailey, and the roof is capable of carrying far more than the car as can be seen in the following pictures and accompanying video..

[url=https://flic.kr/p/FP9BjN][img]http ... .jpg[/img]trail-of-strength-3 by Owain Harris, on Flickr[/url]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/G66P8j][img]http ... .jpg[/img]trail-of-strength-4 by Owain Harris, on Flickr[/url]

http://www.baileyalu-tech.co.uk/trial-of-strength.php

Total weight on the caravan roof - 1,630kgs! Average car roof rack/rail maximum load - 100kg…Yes, i know that you would have to get them up there, and off again, there will be all sorts of ideas to solve that in the comments to come (?). One of the downsides in the van is that it has small windows and I can no longer get the boat inside the van - much to the wife's relief!

[url=https://flic.kr/p/G8qTxk][img]http ... .jpg[/img]P4090925 by Owain Harris, on Flickr[/url]

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:48 pm

Owain that is interesting as I never thought that a caravan roof could carry such a load. Most vans wont be able to but as this building method grows I imagine it will be more widespread in the future. very expensive on ferry's though.

Colin

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Jim » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:11 am

There is a huge difference between static loading on the roof as photographed, and dynamic loading on it due to accelerating, braking and cornering - even wind effects.

Unless they are putting some pretty huge pillars, or structural bulkheads into caravans these days, I'd be concerned about the whole van collapsing sideways going round a bend with all that weight on the roof.

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Re: Motorhome Roof rack

Post by Colin C » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:52 pm

Cheers Jim, it takes an engineer to point this out and it does make sense. A van is where I am going but got to save up and then find one, but I think I will start looking at conversion companies as I think there is some money to be saved in me buying the van and getting it converted as I dont have the skills to do that type of job.

Colin

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