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05/13/2024 02:07PM  
Hi, I have a Toyota Corolla and want to haul a canoe on it. Any recs for a carrier system? Hoping it will be cheap yet safe. For the BWCA we will use our truck but I might go solo with my Corolla on trips up to an hour or very local trips.

EDIT: I'm going to go over to Rutabaga Paddlesports and see what they've got...thanks everyone.
 
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Jackfish
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05/13/2024 02:52PM  
Nola, without knowing the exact roof profile of your Corolla, it's a little difficult to say for sure, but you could always use the foam blocks, then secure both ends of your canoe, plus strap(s) across the middle. I know there are plenty of folks who do it that way.

However, if you're looking for something better than that and "relatively" inexpensive (and probably quite a bit more secure), and if you and/or your hubby are handy at putting it together, I would suggest buying two two Do-it-yourself suction cup rack kits from Spring Creek. I had a set for a mini van that I used to have and carried two canoes to Quetico and back many times with ZERO problems. Worked like a charm. I think I ended up selling them to someone here on the board.

The crossbars were 2 x 4s about 78" long so I could carry two canoes. For your situation, you'd only need the crossbars to be wide enough for one canoe - probably 48".

Note: The straps that secure the racks to your car run through the door openings. You just position the racks so the straps don't interfere with you while you're driving or with any backseat passengers.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
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05/13/2024 03:25PM  
Pool noodles and some straps. Lots of folks do this, but expect extra wear on your door seals from the straps. The same would apply to the foam blocks.

But for absolute safety and reliability, there really isn't anything to beat a proper rack and crossbars. I have had great luck with craigslist and FB marketplace for used Yakima/Thule products. I got some like-new Timberline towers and 58" bars for $225. Find out what works on your car and cruise some classifieds.
 
alpinebrule
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05/13/2024 05:23PM  
Many, many, years ago transported aluminum canoes on small cars with foam blocks and tiedowns on both ends without any issues.
 
Minnesotian
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05/13/2024 06:14PM  

I got a Corolla so I can tell ya the foam blocks and tiedowns at either end, and a belly strap in the middle that goes through your car works just fine. One really handy thing to get are these straps that you can bolt to the frame of your car under the hood that provide a really good lash point in the front, instead of trying to find something under the front, and have ropes/straps that eventually wear through your car's paint. Many versions out there, but I have something close to these: https://www.amazon.com/Boncas-Straps-Anchor-Hauling-Canoe/dp/B07RY1S1FT
 
05/13/2024 06:20PM  
Minnesotian: "
I got a Corolla so I can tell ya the foam blocks and tiedowns at either end, and a belly strap in the middle that goes through your car works just fine. One really handy thing to get are these straps that you can bolt to the frame of your car under the hood that provide a really good lash point in the front, instead of trying to find something under the front, and have ropes/straps that eventually wear through your car's paint. Many versions out there, but I have something close to these: https://www.amazon.com/Boncas-Straps-Anchor-Hauling-Canoe/dp/B07RY1S1FT "


Hi, does your Corolla have a moon roof? I just remembered that mine does...
 
05/13/2024 07:09PM  
As Alexander S suggested, figure out what fits your car and start watching the used market - Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. for Yakima stuff - lots of it out there.
 
andym
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05/13/2024 08:26PM  
Foam blocks can work well. The spring creek DIY kit is very solid.

But if you are going to do this often then I’d think about getting a Yakima or Thule rack you can leave in your car.
 
05/13/2024 09:26PM  
Minnesotian: "
I got a Corolla so I can tell ya the foam blocks and tiedowns at either end, and a belly strap in the middle that goes through your car works just fine. One really handy thing to get are these straps that you can bolt to the frame of your car under the hood that provide a really good lash point in the front, instead of trying to find something under the front, and have ropes/straps that eventually wear through your car's paint. Many versions out there, but I have something close to these: https://www.amazon.com/Boncas-Straps-Anchor-Hauling-Canoe/dp/B07RY1S1FT "


Did this exactly the same way for years with my Corolla.

As far as a moon roof, you might want to check with the manufacturer? When you torque down the straps I could see additional pressure on the moon roof. You would heed to be careful how much you tighten the straps.

T
 
Minnesotian
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05/13/2024 10:33PM  
timatkn: "Did this exactly the same way for years with my Corolla.

As far as a moon roof, you might want to check with the manufacturer? When you torque down the straps I could see additional pressure on the moon roof. You would heed to be careful how much you tighten the straps.

T"

Agreed. My Corolla does not have a moon roof. I have strapped a canoe to the top of a vehicle with a moon roof once and we got there alright. But it wasn't a drive that I would call relaxing. Every major bump or wind blast from a semitruck I was worried the glass would shatter.

If I had a moon roof again, I would probably look at something that makes sure no undue pressure messes with the glass or the glass frame. So, look at either what has been suggested and cruise Craigslist for a cheap rack for the car. Or like Jackfish suggested, look at the suction cup option.
 
wrestlencanoe
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05/14/2024 08:41AM  
I got a Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Rack for a 2010 Ford Fusion. It's a solid rack with suction cups. It does have straps that you put through the doors. It might be an option for a Corolla.
Malone Rack
 
05/14/2024 10:19AM  
What year is your Corolla? I had one and have the Saris roof rack that I used for years. You can have the rack if you want it.
 
05/14/2024 03:13PM  
I did the foam blocks two years ago because I was too cheap to replace the Yakima rack which no longer fit on my new pickup. It's hard to get straps cinched down tight when they are running though the cabin, and they can damage the headliner and cause water to wick in during rain. With a composite canoe you have to be very careful tightening down the ends so you don't put too much stress on it. I was too careful AND used boat line for the ends which stretched some. When a 30+ MPH gust of wind hit while going 75 on the interstate it lifted the canoe just enough for the front two foam blocks to blow out resulting in the canoe crashing down on my roof. Thankfully my pickup is tall enough that nobody can see the roof so I was able to just use some touchup paint to repair the gouges. I was lucky it wasn't worse. I then invested in a rack.
 
05/14/2024 03:51PM  
Frenchy19: "What year is your Corolla? I had one and have the Saris roof rack that I used for years. You can have the rack if you want it."


It's a 2019. But I need this by Memorial Day and I'm in Wisconsin and you're not, so....thank you for the offer though.
 
05/14/2024 03:54PM  
plmn: "When a 30+ MPH gust of wind hit while going 75 on the interstate it lifted the canoe just enough for the front two foam blocks to blow out resulting in the canoe crashing down on my roof. "


YIKES!

Yeah I'm not crazy about the foam block option.
 
chessie
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05/14/2024 06:57PM  
I have a Corolla. You can use the foam 'block' pads. If your canoe has a yolk attached, you'll likely need to remove it, as you won't have enough clearance. I tie down front/back, and two straps in middle, run through front/back doors. Put a twist in the strap before you run it into the car, or the noise will be unbearable. Check frequently, there is a sweet spot re the blocks supporting the boat vs. losing them in the wind.

Won't hurt to buy/bring an extra set. Also, when tying off fore and aft, it is better to run a rope in an inverted "V" from the boat to the car, so two tie off points on either side of the vehicle. It helps to prevent buffeting. If you are tall, pay attention to the location of the front strap running through the vehicle, so it's not in your way.
 
fraxinus
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05/15/2024 07:08AM  
Checkout Craigslist, if I remember from hanging out on the board a few years ago, you're in the Madison area. A search for Thule and Yakima comes up with some options. You'll need to pick up a set of clips to fit your Corolla, REI, or Rutabaga should have them, REI has their 20% off members sale starting this Friday.

Here's a Craigslist link to Thule bars
 
05/16/2024 09:00AM  
fraxinus: "Checkout Craigslist, if I remember from hanging out on the board a few years ago, you're in the Madison area. A search for Thule and Yakima comes up with some options. You'll need to pick up a set of clips to fit your Corolla, REI, or Rutabaga should have them, REI has their 20% off members sale starting this Friday.

Here's a Craigslist link to Thule bars "


This Craigslist ad is a good representation of what used Yakima/Thule stuff is worth. My experience is that you could probably get this item for somewhat less than the asking price.
 
MrEarl56
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05/18/2024 07:54PM  
I have a Thule rack setup for a 2005 (and others) Corolla. Don't own the vehicle anymore. Will be moving to NW Wisconsin in June, and have a BWCA trip booked for mid-August. No interest here (Colorado) on Craigslist, if you'd like it I'll let it go for $100.
 
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