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Old 04-30-2012   #21
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 39
Every rack on every roof can and will come loose if left long enough. They should all be checked/tightened on a regular basis as the "long enough" time-frame will vary depending on what is attached to the rack, the vehicle the rack is attached to, who installed the rack, how old the rack is, etc... I've seen friends and customers in shops I've worked have issues with both Yakima and Thule and most of the smaller brand roof systems as well. Highway speeds, high winds, and loads create A LOT of shake and shimmy that will inevitably loosen parts.

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Old 04-30-2012   #22
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
I have had friends lose kayaks off their racks in similar situations. We were driving down I-40 to the Green in NC when my buddy ahead of me had the bow of one of the two creek boats on his yakima rack lift up. This caused it to become a sail, and as I tried to call him, the rack was ripped off and the boats went on either side of the highway. We were driving about 65mph and luckily no one got hurt. We then tied his two boats with my boat to my car with a home made roof rack. My home made rack has lasted over six years now, and I've carried everything from canoes, kayaks, and rafts. The longest distance traveled with them loaded was 8hrs going about 60-75mph. My rack only put me back $20...

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Old 05-01-2012   #23
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
I hear of racks peeling off of cars about 3-4 times a year in the NW. Yakimas seem to come off more often than Thule, but both have the potential to go if they are the clamp and footpad style.

My two cents on this on, and the conclusion reached by those whose racks have come off, is that drilling and bolting will get you a much more solid solution.

I think the real problem is that these racks are designed to hold 165 lbs IIRC (+-10 lbs), which is just fine for snowboards and bikes. 165 lbs only gets us three creek boats, never mind the aero resistance of the things. I would guess that the total aero load of the boats and rack is probably something close to the car itself. The car has a larger frontal area, but a much lower coefficient of drag.

In conclusion, I think that a rack full of creek boats is just too much for the footpad and clamp style of mount and that you are going to need something bolted to get the performance we ask of these racks.

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