BWCA RAV4 canoe transport question Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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Portage99
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08/01/2021 08:54PM  
So, I recently bought a RAV4. I went out of my way to find the correct rack system (which was difficult as no one seemed to have all needed parts, but I did it.) thought I was ready to bring my canoes for the move North. However, I realized today that there is nothing secure in the front or back of the vehicle for tiedowns. I don’t think I’ve ever had a car that seems to have nothing secure on either the front or back.

I have read online that I might be able to use some tow hooks and install some bolts. That is what I am going to try to do the next couple of days. But, I’m running out of time.

I am on a tight deadline. If I cannot find people and/or supplies for a front and back tie down, any suggestions?

I’ve already dropped down to one canoe. My friend is going to keep my other canoes until I can bring them up. Today, I took my canoes to her house. I used one strap system normally. Then, a second straps system to connect the thwarts to the rack system and opposite tension. It worked perfectly, with no wiggle. But, I was on lonely country roads.

In a pinch, if I avoided the interstate, what do you think about traveling like this with no front and back tied down? Probably not a good idea, I know. If I am unable to get the bolt system installed, if you were me, would you just leave all canoes for a later time?

I really want at least one for the fall.

Open to all suggestions. Hoping to hear a solution from someone with a RAV4?
 
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08/01/2021 09:27PM  
If you don't have time to do the bolt/grommet/strap thingy....just get some strapping and loop it through some hole in the frame (under the hood, fender top, near the hood edge). I just tie an overhand knot to make a loop....flip the loop out and close the hood. Gives you a nice loop to tie to. Front tie outs are more important than rear imo, but you can usually find something up under the rear bumper or....if you have a hitch reciever....you should be able to get a loop around something.
 
Zulu
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08/01/2021 09:31PM  

I use these under hood straps called “top ties for canoes” on my 2016 RAV. They will work on most vehicles though. You can put them in back under lift gate too by removing and placing under bolt but I just lash a canoe thwart to rear load bar. I’ve used them for years. Better than laying on ground trying to find an attachment point and scuffing hood.
 
Portage99
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08/01/2021 09:59PM  
Thanks, cowdoc. So, you’re just saying to loop it over something secure under the hood to make a tiedown, similar to Zulus final setup?

Zulu, that looks like a great set up. Did you bolt them on yourself? I live out in the sticks, so I’m not sure where to buy something like that in a hurry. I definitely want to move to this set up long-term.

 
08/01/2021 10:14PM  
Following...likely have a Rav4 in my future. Let us know how it plays out. Assume you are not using the OEM rails? On my Highlander the OEM rails are so close together as to be dangerous with a long canoe, IMHO.
 
Zulu
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08/01/2021 10:18PM  
I just searched for Top Tie canoe straps and many showed up. You may be able to expedite shipping or just make something like cowdoc suggested. Yes I just removed bolt and reattached. You could probably use any strapping and a washer to make your own.
 
Zulu
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08/01/2021 10:18PM  
 
Portage99
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08/01/2021 10:25PM  
Zulu: "I just searched for Top Tie canoe straps and many showed up. You may be able to expedite shipping or just make something like cowdoc suggested. Yes I just removed bolt and reattached. You could probably use any strapping and a washer to make your own."

Thanks! Tomorrow, I’m on a mission.

Sns, no, I installed Yakima racks.

My friend’s brother has an auto body shop. She thought he could help me, maybe, understand the tow bolt instructions. It might be easier to do the advice here. I’ll keep you posted.

I gave my old car to my daughter, so she thought a good solution would be to leave RAV for her, and take my old car (full set up) ??NOT. Lol

 
MDVancleave
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08/01/2021 11:18PM  
I don’t own my own boat but have transported many on highways between outfitters and lakes on an Outback and CRV.

Hood anchor loops are an easily removable alternative to Zulu’s strap suggestion and can be found at many boating, outdoor and big box stores. You simply close the hood over the plastic anchors with the straps hanging out on each side of the hood. It’s likely you could build something like this yourself with the right knots.


For a rear attachment point simply tie a loop of webbing or rope and lay it around the latch receiver of your back hatch. When you close the hatch the latch mechanism will prevent the loop from pulling under the door, making a secure anchor.

I’ve had no issues carrying up to two canoes at a time on my cars with these methods.
 
andym
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08/01/2021 11:25PM  
Here's another choice: web loops on rubber tubes Here's a video of Dave Hornbeck showing how they are used. I like this video and always send the link to friends that are borrowing my stuff. You can jump to 4 minutes in to see the part you are looking for.

I use something similar to those when tying boats on cars that aren't fully set up. You could make something like that by going to the hardware store, buying some thick and stiff rubber tubing and running some line through it. Just pick line that is thin enough to get through the edge of your hood and back hatch.

But if you can find some webbing and a few grommets, that works great. I have that on my truck.

 
Unas10
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08/02/2021 04:51AM  
A cheap source for very strong and thin webbing is an auto junk yard. One seat belt from the backseat of a van will provide more than enough webbing to make four tie downs as described above. Heat up a nail to melt holes through it.
 
08/02/2021 04:57AM  
You seem dead set on needing tie downs front and back, but I will add I’ve had a Yakima rack for 20+ years with a 6’ spread between bars and never use anything but ropes across the boat(s) and bars. Never had a problem. I do use the load stops on round bars. I used to employ straps sold at Piragis but the buckles got rusted so it was less of a hassle and just as sound to use rope.
 
08/02/2021 07:23AM  


Quick and easy if you have some straps
 
yellowcanoe
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08/02/2021 07:43AM  
Been using hood tie down loops for thirty years.

Here are some that look like they would slide but they do not. I like them as you can adjust them according to the length of your boat. A bow tie down is most effective when as vertical as possible. Strung way over your bumper is a horridly ineffective geometry
hood loops==
 
Portage99
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08/02/2021 08:00AM  
A big thanks to everyone who has chimed in to help me. I really appreciate it!

Yes, I eventually will get something more permanent, but I literally have no time, as I thought the new system was set. : ) I'm just glad I happened to check it out before leaving morning.

I REALLY appreciate the photo Cowdoc. I am going to try for something like this, short-term. Then, probably order some of the "official" straps.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Yes, around here, I don't always use tie-downs and I have never had a problem. But, I'd like to take the interstate and not worry about my speed so much. I feel like I need some extra support to feel comfy doing that. Plus, I hate transporting canoes in heavy traffic-it is just a big stressor for me.

Anyway, almost ready to head Norte with two dogs (one freaking out at our change) and a canoe! oh boy... adventure (misery drive?), here I come.
 
08/02/2021 08:56AM  
I have a RAV 4 as well. For the front I have always used the added hood tie downs others suggested. For the back tie down underneath your vehicle there are 2 metal loops you can attach too. They are inconvenient but that works. I eventually added a hitch for attaching a bike rack and the back straps attach onto that easily. If I did not add the hitch I would of used These To the back into the back hatch.

T
 
pswith5
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08/02/2021 09:07AM  
About 15 bucks for a pair at fleetfarm. Other places too I think.
 
08/02/2021 09:52AM  
Portage99: "A big thanks to everyone who has chimed in to help me. I really appreciate it!


Yes, I eventually will get something more permanent, but I literally have no time, as I thought the new system was set. : ) I'm just glad I happened to check it out before leaving morning.


I REALLY appreciate the photo Cowdoc. I am going to try for something like this, short-term. Then, probably order some of the "official" straps.


I'll let you know how it goes!


Yes, around here, I don't always use tie-downs and I have never had a problem. But, I'd like to take the interstate and not worry about my speed so much. I feel like I need some extra support to feel comfy doing that. Plus, I hate transporting canoes in heavy traffic-it is just a big stressor for me.

Good luck on your new adventure, 99 !


Anyway, almost ready to head Norte with two dogs (one freaking out at our change) and a canoe! oh boy... adventure (misery drive?), here I come. "
 
mgraber
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08/02/2021 10:42AM  
Zulu: "I just searched for Top Tie canoe straps and many showed up. You may be able to expedite shipping or just make something like cowdoc suggested. Yes I just removed bolt and reattached. You could probably use any strapping and a washer to make your own."

As zulu stated, any good strapping and a washer works great to make straps. Just fold them inside when not using . We've been using this method for many years with great success.
 
LarryS48
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08/02/2021 12:27PM  
The under the hood loops mention in some posts also work under the back hatch of SUVs. The pictures below are from a Subaru Forester not a RAV4. However, it would probably work there too. Just put the loop and rope under the hatch back before you put the canoe on top.

 
08/02/2021 02:53PM  
Here's something similar to what I use on my Ford Escape.I can't remember where I got them from. Find a spot under the edge of the hood, leave them hanging out when you need to tie down the canoe, stuff back under the hood when you don't.

Thule tie down straps

 
08/02/2021 04:03PM  
For what it is worth, I just installed some of the straps with grommets in my Ford Escape. I am generally not great with car mechanics, but I think it took me 45 seconds per strap - it was just really easy.
 
Portage99
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08/02/2021 10:23PM  
rtallent: "Portage99: "A big thanks to everyone who has chimed in to help me. I really appreciate it!



Yes, I eventually will get something more permanent, but I literally have no time, as I thought the new system was set. : ) I'm just glad I happened to check it out before leaving morning.



I REALLY appreciate the photo Cowdoc. I am going to try for something like this, short-term. Then, probably order some of the "official" straps.



I'll let you know how it goes!



Yes, around here, I don't always use tie-downs and I have never had a problem. But, I'd like to take the interstate and not worry about my speed so much. I feel like I need some extra support to feel comfy doing that. Plus, I hate transporting canoes in heavy traffic-it is just a big stressor for me.


Good luck on your new adventure, 99 !



Anyway, almost ready to head Norte with two dogs (one freaking out at our change) and a canoe! oh boy... adventure (misery drive?), here I come. "
"


Thanks, Ray!
 
IronRangeMike
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08/03/2021 02:11PM  
Buy a real truck???
 
Portage99
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08/03/2021 04:17PM  
IronRangeMike: "Buy a real truck???"

I’m open to all donations! ??
 
jamdemos
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08/03/2021 07:12PM  

 
08/03/2021 07:19PM  
Portage99: "IronRangeMike: "Buy a real truck???"


I’m open to all donations! ??"




Good come back 99! Any webbing and a fender washer on each side should get you to your new home I think. But the top ties are a great thing as Zulu pointed out. When not in use you just fold them in and they are ready to deploy anytime you’d need them. And where your going if I remember correctly, you’ll be deploying them a lot! Safe travels!
 
Northwoodsman
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08/03/2021 07:45PM  
Do you have a trailer hitch receiver on the RAV4? If so, a goal post type setup would work in the rear. I have a crew cab truck so my roof surface and rack system is probably about the same size as your RAV4. I have a Thule Goalpost.
 
HowardSprague
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08/03/2021 10:40PM  
 
Grizzlyman
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08/04/2021 10:35PM  
If in a pinch-Why not just run a rope or strap under the hood And out either side???

In other words, just open the hood, lay it down so that it sticks out each side and then close it?
 
brp
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08/04/2021 11:00PM  
I use a Harbor Freight truck bed extender (vs. the Thule Goal Post). The HF product is about 60$ and can be oriented vertically. If you have a nice distance between your two cross bars (or in this example, the front cross bar and the Goalpost) you don’t really need any other attachment points.

https://www.harborfreight.com/truck-bed-extender-69650.html
 
Copperdog
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08/05/2021 06:02PM  
We are on our third RAV4 2011 and 2019 currently, I have a Yakima rack on the 2011 and with the bars as far apart as possible and a strap at each bar, you still want a bow rope up front. I use the under hood straps mentioned with no issues. 8 hours on the highway no problem. Even better with gunwale brackets. I usually use my Tacoma so a much wider load bar spread and with gunwale brackets I have never really felt like I needed the bow lines. I’ve never needed stern lines in either vehicle. But with the extra unsupported overhang of the bow on a Rav 4 the bow lines are a must for freeway travel.

Barry
 
Portage99
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08/06/2021 05:05PM  
Thanks everyone.

I just wanted to let y’all know that the mud puppy (bell Yellowstone ), cinnamon (the hound), and Monty (the miniature dachshund) all arrived safely! It was actually a wonderful drive.

I registered my dogs today, so they are official Minnesotans. I’ll have to wait till next week. ??
 
08/06/2021 05:28PM  
As others have said, i used the looped rope tucked under the hood. I follow that up with two straps across the top of the car. I have never had a reason to tie the extreme back down. Been on miles and miles of interstate like this. Just keep an eye on it and you should be fine.
 
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