Mini-Rafts on Roof Racks - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-31-2019   #1
 
WhiteLightning's Avatar
 
Eagle County, Colorado
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Mini-Rafts on Roof Racks

I'm re-vamping a 9 year old post that came out before Hyside mini-me's, mini-maxes, and RMR Storms were as popular as they are now. I'm really thinking about getting a mini raft for convenience. I love my 14ft Hyside XT with 4 bay expedition frame, but it's overkill for a lot of day trips. I like the idea of a mini raft that I can sling on top of my F-150 with a topper, and just dump it in the river.

I occasionally see a mini raft on a roof rack. If you are one of those people, how does it work for you? Do you have three rows of bars or two? How far apart is optimal for the boat? Do you put any kind of platforms, rollers, pool noodles, or any other bells or whistles that make it work better? Any other problems, tips or caveats? (I know gas mileage and stuff isn't ideal, I would do this for short local trips, shuttling or whatever, not cross-country stuff)


Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-31-2019   #2
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I've got a black minimax and it goes on top of the Astro, 4Runner, and Corolls Royce unless I'm driving a long distance. Its a really nice system because I can load it my self.

Astro and Corolla have two cross bars with different spacing, 4runner has a flat roof. Spacing between the cross bars does not seem to make a huge difference as long as you have a good system for lashing it down. As long as there are no share rub points on the bars I don't think noodles or fancy racks are necessary. If you have a tall brodozer a roller on one of the bars might be handy for getting it up, but those boats are so light it would make a marginal difference.

The roof of the 4runner is black and can get roasting hot in the sun mid-summer so some times I'll splash water on it to cool it down before putting the boat on the roof. I also bleed the floor a lot and the tubes a fair share because the black boat gets hot and the air pressure really rises.

Get a light colored boat and 303.
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Old 05-31-2019   #3
 
Ridgway, Colorado
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Old 05-31-2019   #4
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I put my minimax on my 4Runner's Yakima Loadwarrior frequently, works out fine. There aren't any crossbars, which is fine cause only the tubes sit on the rack bars. If you are just doing basic crossbars, I wouldn't think you would need more than 2 with a small boat and should be fine. With the boat being so small and easy to roll, I'd probably just roll it for a longer drive, like a full day or multi-day drive, but for any day trips the rack works great for me.
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Old 05-31-2019   #5
 
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salmon, Idaho
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A rmr storm will fit in the bed of an f-150. Mine is only the 5.5' bed

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Old 05-31-2019   #6
 
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Crested Butte, Colorado
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I have a 9'6" saturn and used to throw it on top of my astro van. It had heavy duty racks and the raft fit perfectly upside down. It also fit right side up with the frame on it but not as aerodynamic. It was great because even with the frame I could throw it on top of the van by myself. I am 6'4" 240 which helped. I used to take on the upper C and blue all the time and I would get comments about the size when i pulled up to the take outs. "what a cute toy" and shit like that but I was always laughing when I was driving back to camp 3 minutes later with my boat loaded and those asshole were still on the boat ramp de-rigging.

The Saturn also rolls up and fits in my GF's SUP back pack. Not quite like a pack raft but it was nice sitting at the bottom of the Gunny gorge waiting for my Kayaking buddies to run up and grab the rest of there gear. The rubber is only 80 lbs and cost me 900 bucks. I know people talk smack on Saturn rafts but you can't beat the price for a little play boat. I do like the shape of those mini-me's though.

Also great for creeks like soda creek in steamboat the Yampa town run or the Taylor here in Gunnison county. good luck small boating!!
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Old 05-31-2019   #7
 
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salmon, Idaho
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Another pic.. i air the tubes down to form around the wheel wells and you do have to roll the oar towers in.

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Old 05-31-2019   #8
 
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Eagle County, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codycleve View Post
A rmr storm will fit in the bed of an f-150. Mine is only the 5.5' bed

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That is great, that was going to be my other question. I was thinking it might be slightly too wide. I have a Leer topper and was wondering if I could just cram it in there somehow and strap it so it doesn't fall out.
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