Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California^

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Howlin Gael
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Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California^

Post by Howlin Gael » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:17 pm

Hi, Im new to sea kayaking and looking for advice on how best to transport a sea kayak. I have a VW California campervan with an elevating roof. I am aware of the Karitek easy lift system, which sounds great but expensive, and the more basic and cheaper roof bars with J cradles. I have heard of problems with the easylift type racks causing the roofs to sag/collapse and can visualise the difficulty of lifting an 18' kayak onto more traditional roof bars in a strong wind with tired arms etc.
Does anyone have any specific advice/recomendations specific to the VW California before I spend my hard earned cash.

Cheers

Kev

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Phil Hk
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Phil Hk » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:02 pm

I have a VW T5 with a lifting Reimo roof. Although I still have to lift boats on to roof I have used a system of a standard Thule roof rack using brackets that are designed for gutter mounting. Thule produce a well engineered gutter section part which can be bolted through the roof which I have reinforced with timber battens along its length so the bolts pick up more than fibrglass alone. This has 2 extra advantages...you can go for a higher bracket to increase roof clearance and you can mount a longer bar to maximise vehicle width

Phil

surfkayaks.com
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by surfkayaks.com » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:24 pm

VW California , Circa £40k, and worried about cost of r/rack, come on!!!

Summit to Sea
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Summit to Sea » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:50 pm

surfkayaks.com wrote:VW California , Circa £40k, and worried about cost of r/rack, come on!!!

Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves. Some of our customers who want to drive the hardest bargain are the ones driving the fanciest cars.

Happy Paddling!

Pete

dalriada
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by dalriada » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:27 pm

I have the Karitek system on a Mazda Bongo which, like the California, has an electrically raised roof. One problem which you might need to be aware of is the effect of the extra weight of the rack on the lifting motors. Withe the empty rack in place I need to give the roof a helping hand from inside when it's going up to avoid straining the motors. Otherwise it's a great system & I wouldn't be without it.

PeterC
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by PeterC » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:25 pm

Don't have any first hand experience of the issues, but SImon Willis has talked about using VW campervans and sea kayaking on his blog.

http://simon-willis.blogspot.com/search/label/Campervan

Howlin Gael
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Howlin Gael » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:44 pm

Thanks for the replies I think further research is due, maybe a trailer is the answer?

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maryinoxford
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by maryinoxford » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:36 pm

If you go to this page on the almanac:
http://www.ukseakayakguidebook.co.uk/al ... ipment.htm
and scroll down to "transporting kayaks on vehicles," you'll find links to several forum discussions on the topic.

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

Howlin Gael
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Howlin Gael » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:00 pm

Mary

Thanks, cant believe I missed that when looking through the alamanac before.

Kev

gary bb
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by gary bb » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:37 pm

Well,I have both a T5 and a Karritek.It`s not quite Callifornia spec though. To be honest if it`s only for one kayak I don`t bother using it.
I`ve got a pair of karritek j-bars which I bolt onto my roof rack. I can then reach them with a small step-up which I carry in the van.
Much less hassle and a lot cheaper.

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Graham Bland
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Graham Bland » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:23 am

The Karritek system works a treat
Image
and Cali based sea kayaking is luxurious :)
http://rollalot.org/tag/vw-california/

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Jim
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Jim » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:51 am

Graham Bland wrote:The Karritek system works a treat
Image
and Cali based sea kayaking is luxurious :)
http://rollalot.org/tag/vw-california/
You be careful using it like that near the Lulworth ranges - from a distance it might look like you are going to test fire something of your own! :-)

Howlin Gael
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Howlin Gael » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:53 pm

Graham,

Thanks for the info/pic, great to see. Does the roof elevate on its own steam or does it require assistance. I think I will be going down the kari-tek route and hope to visit their shop in Oct.

Kev

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Chas C
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Chas C » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:35 pm

Kev as always keep an eye on eBay too, I got mine in new condition and saved a bit too.

Jim he's ok at Lulworth as they don't care about surface to air weapons, although coastguard helicopters get a bit worried,

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Graham Bland
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by Graham Bland » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:42 pm

Hi Kev
The roof elevates under it's own steam with the one kayak - I haven't tried it when two boats are loaded (we take the boats off before popping the roof then - don't want to risk burning out the roof motor).
LOL Jim, I do see your point! but as Chas says, no problems yet down at the ranges - who knows, MOD might be interested in the new Cockleshell Hero design :)

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maryinoxford
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California

Post by maryinoxford » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:44 pm

Graham Bland wrote: who knows, MOD might be interested in the new Cockleshell Hero design :)
Well, that's one way to solve the problem of launching through surf...
Not in Oxford any more...

surforswim
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Re: Easy-lift versus roof bars for VW California^

Post by surforswim » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:26 pm

Hi Kev,
I too have a California i need to load a sea Kayak onto and after looking at several options went for the new Thule Slide bar rack to which i've fitted their hydroglide kayak carrier primarily to avoid the extra weight of the karitech rack and risk overloading the roof motors. Method i use is to extend out fully the back rack on which i have the glide cradles fitted, slide up the back end of the kayak then using a small steps lift up the front of the kayak slide out the front rack and positon the kayak in the rubber cradles. slide both racks back into the locked position together and tie down. Use reverse method to unload. Check the thule website for info on the rack, cheers keith

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