What to put under my roof rack? Subaru or what? - Mountain Buzz
 

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Kayaking


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-06-2013   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 58
What to put under my roof rack? Subaru or what?

I have been driving a 1996 Subaru outback, 225,000 miles, and have been thinking about another Subaru. I drove a 2014 Forester, and a 2008 Outback, but was not impressed. Why spend $25,000 for bells and whistles that I don't need, when the car itself is not really any better? The current Outback has a roof rack with crossbars that pivot, but it does not look half as strong as the older racks, so I crossed it off my list. I drove a Ford Taurus X, but it's roof rack looked downright flimsy.

More than once, I have driven across Wyoming in a windstorm with my Subaru with two 17 foot long boats on my roof, so I really want a bulletproof factory rack. One of my inlaws is a body man in Missoula, and he says that the Subaru racks are through bolted through multiple layers of sheet metal, and are the strongest racks around. When I haul two boats, I use a welded rack made of steel tubing, bolted to the factory rack, so that part is bulletproof.

I would not even consider the clip on or clamp on racks from Yakima or Thule or whoever, no way can they be half as secure as a rack through bolted to the roof. I know somebody who had the entire rack, boats and all, blow off the car. (Yeah, he did not have bow and stern lines).

Question: Has anyone ever had or even heard of a factory roof rack blown off a car? Maybe I don't need a rack quite as strong as the Subaru racks.

What vehicles should I consider, given that I want a strong factory roof rack, and good fuel mileage? I like station wagons, but of course SUVs and crossovers are basically station wagons.

Thanks in advance,
Richard

__________________
Open boater.
raferguson1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-06-2013   #2
Owner: Class 5 Carvings
 
Paul the Kayaker's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 618
You can take the "flimsy" as you call them cross bars off the new outback factory racks and get bolt on towers from Thule or Yakima not sure which one that bolt on right through the factory holes and then hold Thule or Yakima steel cross bars. Its as solid as you'll get. I'd trust it with just about anything up there. I was really impressed when I saw it on my buddies brand new outback, way better than the factory system.
__________________
P the K
Paul the Kayaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2013   #3
Owner: Class 5 Carvings
 
Paul the Kayaker's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 618
Dont know about the other models of the subs, none of them have the same system as the outbacks.

To note though, I had a passat wagon with factor racks and I had a thule rack on top of it with their universal mounting feet and it took a beating, 6 boats, long miles, rocket box, 90mph, ladders, wood, you name it I stacked it up there and it was solid as hell.

Check out the new jetta wagons, cheap, only 2wd, but 30mpg for like 16K...
__________________
P the K
Paul the Kayaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-06-2013   #4
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 937
The interior of my 4-runner is identical to my last outback, same gas mileage too, 17 mpg over 70 mph, 22 mpg under 65, curious what you're getting at 90mph. Only difference is extra clearance which is only important if you travel off road. Not sure of the rack specs, but I don't have much need for more than skis, the boat goes on the trailer. Both are good reliable cars and low maintenance, but I enjoy the extra clearance of the 4 runner. Beware the stupid little temp spare if thats what's in back.
DoStep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2013   #5
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
You can bolt a rack to any car, so I wouldn't let the factory rack dictate what you buy. I'm partial to Subaru due to the AWD and ground clearance (on some models). I have a 2013 Forester and a 2011 Impreza. The Forester has the factory rails, to which I attached Yakima crossbars. The Impreza came with the factory crossbars, which use no rails. The crossbars bolt to a bracket welded to the roof structure. Both options seem solid. The Impreza is nice because it is so easily removable and requires no adjustment. The Forester is nice because you can get longer cross bars. Yakima and Thule also make kits that bolt to the factory brackets, which would give you the best of both worlds. Removing the factory rails requires removing the headliner I believe.
mjpowhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013   #6
 
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 572
If you don't need AWD, think about the Jetta wagon. After that, the list of non-Subaru wagons sold in the US narrows fast to the Audi Allroad (A4), which is small and expensive, the Mercedes E-Class, which is big and expensive, the BMW 3-series, which is expensive, the Volvo XC70, which is nice, but has a schizo transmission and is expensive.

We have a 2010 outback in the driveway. The car was driven into a too-short parking garage with a boat on top on the factory rack. It bent the bar a little but stayed solid. After that we switched to the Yakima replacement, and it is a very solid base. We have 58" bars on it, which is good for 5 or so boats, depending on their level of creekiness. I'd go with 63s next time.
brandob9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013   #7
 
caspermike's Avatar
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Yeah I had three boats Come of the top of my ol dubaru thanks to the factory rack... I was also doing 80 against a 70 mph wind. Pretty much lifted the entire car off the ground... And fucked up the roof...
caspermike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013   #8
 
Redpaddle's Avatar
 
Newport, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 214
Thanks for the flattery Ronto! Yep I have a 2013 outback and installed the bolt in Yakima landing pads (with slight modifications for this year's model). I feel like the rack is the most solid I have seen outside of trucks with custom steel frames.

My last Subie I frequently loaded down with 2 canoes (stacked hull to hull), a kayak and a bike. it scared me a little to have the huge wind sail on top of my car but despite high speeds and crazy crosswind gusts from a storm coming down from the Cascades, the rack didn't wobble a bit. I felt like the car would flip before that thing came off.

I have also wandered down the rabbit hole of Outback alternatives and the pickings are slim for what I want. The closest runner up for me was a 4cyl Tacoma extra cab. The clincher was the MPG on the Outback: it is advertised at 28 hwy but anything short of 85 mph across Wyoming and I get closer to 30 with the 6 speed manual.
__________________
"Paddle silently, boof loudly"
Redpaddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013   #9
 
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 572
Good point on the Taco - that's a great alternate. The double-cab long bed is a local favorite, at least with a topper with a rack.
brandob9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2013   #10
 
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoStep View Post
The interior of my 4-runner is identical to my last outback, same gas mileage too, 17 mpg over 70 mph, 22 mpg under 65, curious what you're getting at 90mph. Only difference is extra clearance which is only important if you travel off road. Not sure of the rack specs, but I don't have much need for more than skis, the boat goes on the trailer. Both are good reliable cars and low maintenance, but I enjoy the extra clearance of the 4 runner. Beware the stupid little temp spare if thats what's in back.
I am curious as to which generation of 4runner you have. I have had generations 1-3, and only my first gen with the 22RE motor got about 22 mpg. All the rest got under 20. My 2000 outback gets a tad over 24mpg on the highway.
ZGjethro is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Raft on Roof Rack lncoop Rafting | Gear Talk 27 10-25-2010 03:10 PM
Do I need a roof rack? mateojames Kayaking | Gear Talk 27 10-18-2010 10:15 PM
Roof Rack Questions Gorams Whitewater Kayaking 1 06-12-2010 03:05 PM
Roof Rack for '06 Civic LX? Cleves Kayaking | Gear Talk 15 10-01-2009 02:13 PM
does anyone need some roof rack stackers? phyreriver Whitewater Kayaking 3 03-24-2009 12:19 AM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.