Kayaks on roof questions (1 Viewer)

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Oct 11, 2011
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I know there are other posts about roof mounting systems, roof racks, roof top tents, etc., but I am not finding anything that directly address what I am trying to do.

I'm trying to determine what my limits are in carrying multiple kayaks on the stock roof rack (or possibly the stock side rails with aftermarket cross bars).

I have four Jackson Riviera Kayaks that weigh 58 lbs each. The sticker on my stock roof rack says 150lbs limit (other online postings have said 165lbs). From what I have read on mud and other places, the weak point on the stock rack is the cross bars, not the side rails (fyi my 2000 LC side rails mount in 3 spots on each rail, but my wife's 2004 LX470 side rails only mount on 2 spots). I would presume the side rails with 3 mounting spots each on my 2000 LC is better than the LX.... All questions here are related to my 2000 LC side rails mounted in 3 points each (hope that makes sense)...

The Jackson Riviera kayaks will stack on top of each other, and "lock" together (the top one upside down and front to back); and I can actually fit all four kayaks on the stock roof rack flat and side by side (2 stacked on top of each other). When I put only two Kayaks on top (sitting on top of each other), they are sitting exclusively on the factory cross bars and the cross bars are pretty "bouncy" and flex (I have done this many times and it works well); but when I put all four kayaks on the roof (2 stacked on top of each other, and side by side), the kayaks are closer to the side rails with a good portion of the kayak actually sitting on the side rails and not as much on the bouncy cross bars, and it is really fairly evenly distributed and seems really sturdy and less bouncy. I'll try to post some pictures in the next day or two.

HOWEVER, this would put the total weight at 232lbs (82lbs over the limit), albeit very evenly distributed, with much of the weight on the side rails as opposed to the cross bars.

Is this a really bad idea? I wouldn't really be doing any serious off roading loaded like this, but I might be going 70mph on a highway for an hour or so. Is this a structural weight limit, or would that much weight compromise handling?

I have considered getting Thule or Yakima towers and cross bars to mount on the factory side rails, but their websites still say that the weight limit would still be 150lbs, so it really only seems like I would be getting less bouncy cross bars, but not really any additional weight capacity?

Anyone have any thoughts, advice, or experience. Anyone have cross bars fail, or side rails fail, or ripped off the roof? I could see the cross bars failing, but honestly the side rails seem pretty stout?

Hopefully someone has some experience here.

Lee
 

TXSunDevil

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I carry 2 kayaks using the Thule Crossroad mounts with 78" bars. They are rock solid up top. I drove 75 mph to the coast last week for over 100 miles.
 
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@TXSunDevil, THANKS. What is the weight of your 2 kayaks?

I have also carried 2 kayaks (58 lbs each, total 116 lbs) on my stock roof rack at 75+mph for long distances.

But I can fit 4 kayaks (Jackson Rivieras) sitting on the stock rack, but I am worried that the total weight (232 lbs) being a problem (with stock cross bars or even aftermarket mounts/towers and aftermarket cross bars on the stock side rails)?

Lee
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
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I'm trying to decide if it is safe/reasonable to put FOUR of these kayaks on my stock roof rack (total 232 lbs). The weight is very evenly and some of the weight is on the side rails (the side rails on our LC mount to the roof in three places on each side).

Here are some pictures of THREE kayaks sitting on top of my stock roof rack (I have not put the FOURTH one yet, and I have not yet tied them down, but I will and use bow/stern lines, etc.). Again, these Kayaks will stack and have a flat bottom, and weigh about 58 lbs each.

What do you think, is this a bad idea???? Do you think adding a FOURTH kayak (total weight 232 lbs) is too much?

kayak 3.jpg


kayak 2.jpg


kayak 1.jpg
 
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Cedar City, UT
I don't have any experience in this, but it seems to me that exceeding the weight limit by that much is a bad idea. With that much weight and that much height to increase drag, I wouldn't want to try it myself.
 
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@KBDave and @4WDBetterthan2feet , thanks for the input. I keep thinking beefier towers and cross bars are a good idea, but if it doesn't increase the weight capacity, I'm not sure its worth it?

Regarding the top yak and stacking, I normally carry TWO stacked like this and it works very well for this specific brand/model of kayak. The top front of these kayaks have an indention that mates with the top of the seat back of the other (top) yak (this isn't shown very well in my pictures). Regardless, once they are stacked, I run a tie down over the mid front and through the cross bar and then back over the yaks, and do the same on mid rear. Then I run a loop through the bow and stern handles, and tie them to the rear bumper and hood loop.

This stacked configuration probably wouldn't work with other kayaks, but it works great with the Jackson Rivieras and I have carried them like this for years. I'll try to take some pictures of the tie downs later just to post for anyone else's benefit.

Again, more input on weight is appreciated.
 
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@KBDave and @4WDBetterthan2feet , thanks for the input. I keep thinking beefier towers and cross bars are a good idea, but if it doesn't increase the weight capacity, I'm not sure its worth it?
Have you considered just installing gamiviti or trail tailor mounts and then adding crossbars of your choice? I can’t comment on the weight bearing capabilities, but something to think about.
Regarding the top yak and stacking, I normally carry TWO stacked like this and it works very well for this specific brand/model of kayak. The top front of these kayaks have an indention that mates with the top of the seat back of the other (top) yak (this isn't shown very well in my pictures). Regardless, once they are stacked, I run a tie down over the mid front and through the cross bar and then back over the yaks, and do the same on mid rear. Then I run a loop through the bow and stern handles, and tie them to the rear bumper and hood loop.

This stacked configuration probably wouldn't work with other kayaks, but it works great with the Jackson Rivieras and I have carried them like this for years. I'll try to take some pictures of the tie downs later just to post for anyone else's benefit.

Again, more input on weight is appreciated.
 

2020 Rocks

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@KBDave and @4WDBetterthan2feet , thanks for the input. I keep thinking beefier towers and cross bars are a good idea, but if it doesn't increase the weight capacity, I'm not sure its worth it?

Regarding the top yak and stacking, I normally carry TWO stacked like this and it works very well for this specific brand/model of kayak. The top front of these kayaks have an indention that mates with the top of the seat back of the other (top) yak (this isn't shown very well in my pictures). Regardless, once they are stacked, I run a tie down over the mid front and through the cross bar and then back over the yaks, and do the same on mid rear. Then I run a loop through the bow and stern handles, and tie them to the rear bumper and hood loop.

This stacked configuration probably wouldn't work with other kayaks, but it works great with the Jackson Rivieras and I have carried them like this for years. I'll try to take some pictures of the tie downs later just to post for anyone else's benefit.

Again, more input on weight is appreciated.
If you are worried about the stock cross bars, search tnutz.com and use 80/20 for cross bars, stronger and lay flat with infinite attachment point options. I think the 3 post rails are plenty strong when load is distributed evenly. People do roof top tents using stock towers, tent plus two people is certainly more weight than the yaks, albeit not at speed with upward lift from wind.
 
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Great Falls, MT
I carry one Pygmy 17 foot kayak (about 50 pounds), and place the paddles gear ext. inside. As well as my wife's wildness system 12 foot Tsunami. I know I place much more downward force with the ratcheting front and rear tie down straps. Never had an issue. It seems to me the load rating is based more on what the rack can hold in the event of an accident (150 pounds only secured to the rack) the to what the rack can support. Hopefully that makes sense. As long as your kayaks are secured front and back I think you will be okay.

Cheers,
Scot
IMG_3100.jpg
 

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