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HayRiverDrifter
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01/25/2020 10:11AM
I am looking at roof rack systems for my 2010 Ford Focus, and I am not excited about the short distance between the bars (just over 2 ft). I am thinking of just using the front bar on the car top and using a T bar type rear rack in a 1" receiver. There are a number of these receiver mounted rear racks for trucks, but just wondering if anyone has ever tried the same on a car.
 
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01/25/2020 11:58AM
Years ago, I had a 79 Toyota Corolla. Tiny car back then. I had a Yakima rack on it and never had a problem. However, I had safety lines bow and stern.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/25/2020 01:27PM
Having bars two feet apart is pretty close, but with bow and stern lines and straps over the top, you should be ok. I guess I'd have to see it to totally understand how the canoe would ride at 70 mph.

Interesting idea about the T-bar rack for your trailer hitch. That very well could work. I works for trucks. Why wouldn't it work for a car?
 
srust58
member (34)member
 
01/26/2020 11:05AM
I have a Honda Pilot and the OEM roof rack has about 3 feet between the cross bars but the whole rack is biased toward the rear of the vehicle. When the canoe is centered on the rack it overhangs the rear too much. We use two foam pads in front of the forward cross bar so we can pull the canoe forward to get the overhang and balance right. Two feet seems a bit narrow unless the balance and overhang are good. Maybe additional foam pads would help. I imagine you have a bit less roof real estate to work with.
 
MHS67
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01/26/2020 12:51PM
I know this is on a pickup but it would work the same on a car receiver hitch. The one thing I didn't like at first is the back of the rack would sway a little. The loose fit in the truck receiver caused this. I built 2 brackets from the rack to the bumper and that took care of the sway. I think a T bracket would have a certain amount of sway also.
 
01/26/2020 01:31PM
Might interfere with opening the trunk . . . ?
 
LindenTree
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01/26/2020 02:26PM
With bow and stern lines you should be fine.

I pulled up this set with my 2008 Focus from MN to Washington and all over Alaska without any bow or stern lines with no problem. First pic is of my 12.5 foot canoe, second is with my 16 foot canoe. I still pull both canoes regularly in MN without bow or stern straps.

I put straps over the top, and thru/under the Thule Bars. I loop the straps around the bars at each gunnel using ratchet straps. (This keeps the canoe from sliding sideways in crosswinds). Canoes stay put with no problem at 65 mph. Been doing this for five years now and 5k miles.

Edit: I just measured the distance between my Thule Bars and they are 36 inches apart.

 
schweady
distinguished member(6730)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/27/2020 09:11AM
Our 2018 Toyota Highlander is a great vehicle in almost every way, but the factory anchor points for roof rack systems are only 27.5 inches apart, front to back. Yakima declares anything less than 30" as unsafe for "longer" canoes (eg: every standard kevlar tandem). We'll probably do the foam block system from our outfitter without worry as there is lots of room to move those further apart, I just can't believe that a larger rig like this could have missed the mark so badly on this one.
 
muddyfeet
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01/28/2020 04:18AM
I like the hitch receiver idea, but agree that if it’s not tight you could have problems with wobble.

I bought a Mazda CX-9 last year, and for the generous length of the SUV roof, the factory crossbars were only 29” apart. I deemed this unacceptable, and installed riv-nuts in the roof rails so I could increase the distance between the crossbars. My wife was aghast that the same day I bring home a brand new car, I immediately began drilling holes in it. It looks stock, though, and i got the bars out to 36”.
 
01/28/2020 08:07AM
schweady: "Our 2018 Toyota Highlander is a great vehicle in almost every way, but the factory anchor points for roof rack systems are only 27.5 inches apart, front to back.
"


We liked our 2015 Highlander so much that we got a 2019.

But this is indeed the chink in the armor - roof bars are next to useless.

We do foam blocks for short hauls, and a T-bar in the hitch plus the front roof bar for longer trips. I use two ratchet straps, one to each side (corners under the bumper to to top of the T-bar), to firm up the T-bar. I think that last part will help with just about any vehicle using a T-bar...
 
srust58
member (34)member
 
01/28/2020 10:07AM
sns: "schweady: "Our 2018 Toyota Highlander is a great vehicle in almost every way, but the factory anchor points for roof rack systems are only 27.5 inches apart, front to back.
"



We liked our 2015 Highlander so much that we got a 2019.


But this is indeed the chink in the armor - roof bars are next to useless.


We do foam blocks for short hauls, and a T-bar in the hitch plus the front roof bar for longer trips. I use two ratchet straps, one to each side (corners under the bumper to to top of the T-bar), to firm up the T-bar. I think that last part will help with just about any vehicle using a T-bar..."



18 foot Sundowner Ultralight on my Honda pilot. The foam blocks ahead of the front crossbar help it balance better....without the canoe wants to tip forward. I suppose one could tie it down tight enough to prevent that but it seems like added stress on the whole works. This works fine. I did start out with the blocks right above the front seats but on the 4 hour drive they slowly slipped back but it still balanced...just barely. Next time I will lock them in place. Our other vehicle a 2011 Rav4 has a better positioned longer rack system...no foam blocks needed.

The rear strap is wrapped under the roof rack only and the forward one goes through the windows and under the roof. We also use bow and stern lines. I am not comfortable strapping it to the roof rack only...though it seems people do that with no problem.
 
HayRiverDrifter
distinguished member(711)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2020 12:24PM
LindenTree, I was hoping you would post. I knew you had a Focus. Thanks for the specific info on how far apart you can place the bars.

LindenTree: "With bow and stern lines you should be fine.

I pulled up this set with my 2008 Focus from MN to Washington and all over Alaska without any bow or stern lines with no problem. First pic is of my 12.5 foot canoe, second is with my 16 foot canoe. I still pull both canoes regularly in MN without bow or stern straps.

I put straps over the top, and thru/under the Thule Bars. I loop the straps around the bars at each gunnel using ratchet straps. (This keeps the canoe from sliding sideways in crosswinds). Canoes stay put with no problem at 65 mph. Been doing this for five years now and 5k miles.

Edit: I just measured the distance between my Thule Bars and they are 36 inches apart.

"
 
HayRiverDrifter
distinguished member(711)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2020 12:26PM
This is the type of rack I envisioned. Even considering using the attach points for a trailer hitch on either side to tie in the rack so it is attached on both sides like you are attaching yours to the bumper. I was thinking of putting two 1" receivers, one on each side, then I could remove the rack with two pins.

I do plan to use hood straps to tie down the front on both sides. This is such an easy add and it really keeps the front of the boat from blowing around.

Thanks for the input so far. I need to inventory the scrap pile and get out the welder.

I really miss my Focus wagon.

MHS67: " I know this is on a pickup but it would work the same on a car receiver hitch. The one thing I didn't like at first is the back of the rack would sway a little. The loose fit in the truck receiver caused this. I built 2 brackets from the rack to the bumper and that took care of the sway. I think a T bracket would have a certain amount of sway also. "
 
VaderStrom
distinguished member(524)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2020 02:47PM
I had a 2010 ford fusion until recently and the square bars were only 25 5/8 inches apart. If the rack is installed correctly there shouldn't be any reason it couldn't take a single canoe when firmly tied down to the two bars. I one time had my advantage and prospector on it with the extra long square bars with 40 mph wind gusts perpendicular to 35 on my way home and everything stayed put. The biggest thing is building faith in your installation, after that the rack should do it's job fine if it's of good quality.
 
Z4K
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
01/28/2020 08:10PM
I am a big fan of the receiver rack. That extra length between the bars adds peace of mine and results in less time at the landing because it's just two straps holding the boat down. I've seen a few commercial models available that pivot to make it easier to load and I would go with one of those if I was you. I wanted to be able to drop my tailgate and use the bed extender for more gear space so I had to make my own. It is adjustable so I can get contact with on the rear roof rack bar as well and on longer trips I will use a third strap there. I can also set it so all 3 points are in the same plane for hauling flat things. This way it also breaks down into 3 pieces small pieces so I can lock it in the car if it's going to sit in a parking lot for a while. I've probably driven 2000 miles with this setup and I'm not afraid to go 75 with a canoe up there either.

*edit* The Scott in the picture is only 14'6" but I routinely haul a 18'6" kevlar and idk about all of you but I cringe when I see a long boat like that on top of a car. I would never go highway speeds with a big fragile boat like that supported only in the very center.

 
lundojam
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01/29/2020 06:27AM
No picture, but I have a 2007 Focus. It's a 4 door. I open the doors, ratchet strap a couple of 1x1's with foam blocks across the top. They aren't very far apart, but I've hauled 2 17 footers that way. Works fine. Para cord front and back.
With one boat I use foam blocks, a cam strap, and tie to the hitch in back and hood loops in front.
 
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