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Old 12-04-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
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Roof Top Racks

I understand that the roof is not really designed for a load in order to keep the weight of the unit down. What I would like to do is carry my canoe on top of the trailer somehow. I would put it on top of the Honda Pilot, the tow vehicle, but I can't open the back tailgate with it lashed down. Besides, most of the time I would be using the Pilot when the trailer is set up, I would not want to carry the canoe around.

So I guess my question is, for Reace or anybody with ideas, what would be a good way to carry the canoe on top? It only weights 41 lbs, and I imagine if the weight was dispersed it should not be too bad. Wind loads would likely add to the stress on the trailer as much as the weight of it. Lashing point would be another part of the puzzle too.

One thought was to use foam blocks like these but they would not provide a lashing points.


Is there a roof rack that with large 'feet' that would disperse the weight enough that they would not cause structural damage to the trailer.

A solution like this is not the end of the world, just one that would make life easier for my intended use.

My only other thought is if I use the racks on the Pilot, and could devise a quick release (but yet secure) latch so I could quickly lift the rear of the canoe up when attached to the rack. I would also need to facilitate the pivoting action on the front rack.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:18 AM   #2
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Re: Roof Top Racks


Been there, done that. I used those foam blocks on a vehicle once. Once.

I was bringing my new canoe home and the wind was throwing the canoe from side to side. It was properly tied down, but I thought I was going to lose it.

I've also carried the canoe atop my tent trailer. Once.

Got to the campsite and I had to take it off the trailer and load it on the vehicle to go to the launch site and to allow me to raise the tent trailer. You don't have to raise the egg, but you'll still have to move the canoe from one vehicle to the other to go to the launch.

Decided the proper place for the canoe was on the racks atop the tow vehicle.

Best solution is to pack the stuff you don't need at the back of the tow vehicle so you don't have to open the hatch. One way or the other, you're gonna take the canoe off a vehicle. And it's a lot easier to take it off the tow than a trailer.

Consider it one of life's inconveniences. But getting that canoe up atop the the trailer is another one and worse.

When I've had to open the back of the RAV, I've just untied the rear rope over the canoe and lifted it up enough to open the door.

baglo

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Old 12-05-2008, 12:39 AM   #3
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Re: Roof Top Racks

We have installed roof racks for a canoe on the 17' trailers. I will attach a photo tomorrow. The rack is custom made out of aluminum with built in tie downs. The shell is reinforced in the area where the rack attaches to the roof. It is not necessarily the weight on the roof......but the wind trying to rip it off! The rack must be pre-ordered as it is not something I would install after.

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Old 12-05-2008, 03:17 AM   #4
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Re: Roof Top Racks

Baglo, thanks for the input. I would have no issues with moving it from the trailer to the tow for the times I would need too take it somewhere to launch it, and the trailer was set up in camp already. It would be way less inconvenient for me then dealing with keeping it on the tow full time. I have carried a canoe on top of a tent trailer and if not using it, would just leave it there. Getting it off when set up required only a small boost in height. It would be less hassle the few times I would have to do that, then the multiple times I would have to accommodate dealing with it, or working around it, being on the Pilot.

I have carried my 17 1/2' canoe on top of the Pilot a few times already, and one other issue is that it is really too long for it too, hanging quite far off the rear end. The roof racks are so close together on it, that tying it down with ropes from the bow to the front of the vehicle is required too. As well, if we get another dog, which we are seriously contemplating, we may have to get a 19' canoe to hold 2 people, 2 dogs, gear and supplies for the multiple day canoe trips we plan to do on our travels.

I should also add that I am setting myself up for some extended trips in the future once I get closer to retirement, and there could be times where a week could easily pass without having a place to paddle as we do things away from water.



Reace, that sounds quite interesting what you have done before with the custom aluminum rack, and I look forward to seeing photos of it. I do understand the issue with wind loading being more prevalent then the issue of a 41 lb canoe.



Nothing is set in stone in my mind yet, and will be looking further into any, and all, options that come up.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: Roof Top Racks

Factory installed Aluminum Boat Rack

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File Type: jpg IM001573.JPG (31.5 KB, 284 views)
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:35 AM   #6
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Re: Roof Top Racks

Looks like a good sturdy mount. Are the brackets embedded into the fiberglass? This has me thinking of a few things now. Would it be possible to just install mounting brackets, and have the racks removable by connecting to them? As well would mounting a canoe on top interfere with the A/C or a Maxx fan? Could the A/C and fan be offset to one side, and then the racks, or at least the canoe on the racks, be kept to the other side?
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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Re: Roof Top Racks

I've seen mounts that attach to the front of the vehicle (underneath somewhere) and extend up to support the canoe at the same level as the roof. That might work, moving the canoe forward enough to not interfere with the trailer (likely your truck is around 18 feet or so).

As for tying it down at the back.... if it's strapped to a roof rack, and tied to the front with a single line, it's road worthy.

Personally, I like having my canoe on the truck, allowing me to leave the trailer at camp and buzz off with the canoe without having to unload and reload it first. Plus, I actually get better mileage with the canoe on my truck when pulling the trailer (I think it's more aerodynamic then without the canoe on top). And... it saves me about 2 feet of reach when putting it up there.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:18 PM   #8
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Re: Roof Top Racks


Speaking of getting closer to retirement, I turn 60 next week, and my body turns 75.

Lifting a canoe atop the trailer may not seem like much for now, but later your joints may ask you to reconsider.

I can still throw the canoe from the ground to my shoulders ( and it weighs around 70 lbs. ), but not with the ease or assurance I used to feel.

BTW, don't try this unless somebody has shown you how it's done. Has more to do with technique than brute force.

baglo
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:58 AM   #9
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Re: Roof Top Racks

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitodirk
I've seen mounts that attach to the front of the vehicle (underneath somewhere) and extend up to support the canoe at the same level as the roof. That might work, moving the canoe forward enough to not interfere with the trailer (likely your truck is around 18 feet or so).

As for tying it down at the back.... if it's strapped to a roof rack, and tied to the front with a single line, it's road worthy.

Personally, I like having my canoe on the truck, allowing me to leave the trailer at camp and buzz off with the canoe without having to unload and reload it first. Plus, I actually get better mileage with the canoe on my truck when pulling the trailer (I think it's more aerodynamic then without the canoe on top). And... it saves me about 2 feet of reach when putting it up there.
I have not seen anything like that Dirk, but it does sound like an idea worth looking in to. At this time I am not set on which way I am going, other then the canoe will come with us almost every trip. If I could carry it on the Pilot (which is about 16 1/2'), and get access to the back of the vehicle easily I would be way more likely to carry it on there.

What do you do when you drive around places from where you are camped and are not planning on paddling? Do you carry the canoe with you, or leave it at camp. I know I would much rather not have in on the Pilot if I am not headed to paddle.

I have also been playing with the idea of customizing the roof racks for the Pilot. I would do something that hinges on the front, and a quick release on the back, so that it would be real easy lift the rear of the canoe to allow full access to the rear of the vehicle.

The ultimate solution is still in the works.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Roof Top Racks

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo

Speaking of getting closer to retirement, I turn 60 next week, and my body turns 75.

Lifting a canoe atop the trailer may not seem like much for now, but later your joints may ask you to reconsider.

I can still throw the canoe from the ground to my shoulders ( and it weighs around 70 lbs. ), but not with the ease or assurance I used to feel.

BTW, don't try this unless somebody has shown you how it's done. Has more to do with technique than brute force.

baglo
What day is your birthday? Mine is on the 16th, but I will only be a very young 51.
And so far, the body is still in great shape. *keeps fingers crossed*

I have no issue lifting my canoe, the one I would take with me is only 41 lbs.

I have lifted many a canoe, even much heavier ones onto my shoulders for portaging. You are right, it needs to be done right.
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