Yakima roof rack mounting strength

Hey guys! I'm looking into getting a roof rack for my truck and what looks to be my best option is to use Yakima's landing pads 6 and 7 so I can get the aero crossbars and towers that I want. I had a Yakima roof rack on my car a few years ago and it was practically bomb proof, so I have no concerns about the product itself.

My question is how strong the landing pad mount actually is. The system I want to get will require drilling into the roof of the cab and through the roof of my canopy. The pads for the crossbars on the canopy have bolts that go all the way through whereas the mounts over the cab use a blind anchor setup. I'm not planning on carrying anything larger or heavier than a kayak, but I want to make sure that it will be able to support that when traversing rough terrain.

Any experience with custom roof racks/kayak transportation in general is more than welcome.
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
If I read this and understand what your doing is: Attaching the roof of the cab on the truck and on the cap attached to the bed of the truck? The cab and the bed move independly fro each other as your truck will flex "when traversing rough terrain". The bars and saddles your mounting to the bars will move independently from each other. This will mean the flexing of the two sections will stress the Kayak ot the slipping will rub on the kayak. There will also be twisting stress in the mounting points. This is just something to think about.
 

Sea&Xc

New member
^This is one concern but varies. Get your truck crossed up and see how much the bed and cab shift.
There is normally enough flex in the kayak saddles and if you have a plastic kayak, the hull will absorb the twist. If you have a nice Kevlar kayak/canoe or surf/SUP then avoid using crossbars on the cab and the bed.

The Skyline Tower and Landing Pads are my favorite setup. Super easy to use and very bomber. I prefer to use tracks especially on sheetmetal instead of LP6/7 since I can adjust the barspread as needed and the tracks help disperse the load over a larger surface area. I've significantly overloaded the system with close to 300 lbs but that is highway driving and not offroad. You'll be more likely to dent the roof of your truck before a failure of the tower/LP. In most situations the cap will be stronger and stiffer than the cab. The strongest points on the truck cab are the ditch moldings but I've never drilled into this part yet. You can easily reinforce the underside of the canopy if desired. Be sure to use bow/stern lines as that will help reduce bounce and keep the kayak in a more static/less dynamic scenario.

How big and heavy of a kayak?
 

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The kayak would probably be no heavier than 85 lbs and no longer than 19 feet. Looking at tandem touring kayaks right now for my girlfriend and I to get comfortable on before maybe looking at a single kayak for each of us down the road.

Would it be a better plan to put both towers on the canopy?
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
What would the spacing be between the Yakima bars if they were on just the cap? The 19' long kayak is getting a bit long hanging off the front and back of the cap. I would have the front and back of the Kayak tied off to both the right and left. I have hit some cross winds with my 16' and it can push the vehicle around. Going back to what you said about the cab and cap mounting. The longer spacing would be better, but as mentioned what type kayak you get would determine if you could get away with splitting them.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
Yakima used to make a rack extension that fit into your 2" hitch receiver, but I don't remember what they called it and don't see it on their website. Arm locked into the receiver and it had a Y-shaped vertical section that was height adjustable with a standard Yak crossbar at the top. I have two of them, but no pics to post. I have used that with a pair of crossbars mounted on the shell to carry everything from a load of 20' 6x10 timbers to a small bass boat. If Yak does not still make these things, they can probably direct you to an online dealer that stocks old/obsolete Yak stuff at a discount.
 
I'd be sticking to plastic kayaks, don't need anything fancy. Main reason I was looking at splitting the mounts was because my truck is only a short bed, which wouldn't give a whole lot of spread. When I had a roof box for my car, I noticed it was considerably more stable when I moved the towers as far apart as possible, which I'm sure transfers over to any long loads on the roof.
 

Sea&Xc

New member
A big 19' should have a long spread between the bars. I'd go for a bar on the cab of the truck, a bar on the canopy. Saddles to secure the boat. I think the extra stability will more than offset the risk of twisting the hull. Plastic boats can take a hell of a beating.
 
Awesome, thanks for the advice!

As an aside, I could bypass the whole issue of needing to drill holes in both cab and canopy for a rack if I got a ladder rack. If I get one that can be mounted at the same time as the canopy, that gives me even more storage space/weight capacity through a stronger system.... Much to think about, haha.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
I'd strongly suggest you rent a tandem before buying, they're not for everyone and in my opinion they're limiting since they don't typically handle well with one person. They're also more expensive and unless you live near water you may not end up using it as much as you think you will. When I lived on the lake I paddled a good bit, often solo, even though my girlfriend who lived with me also had a kayak. She liked to paddle solo at times as well. Since splitting up and moving I don't paddle nearly as much as I used to and I've got a touring, a whitewater and a recreational.

Anyways, I've carried multiple boats on my Yakima which is mounted on tracks on my shell; my touring boat is a 17' Dagger Magellan that weighs about 60# by itself. I use Hulley Rollers and Mako sadlles for it but other boats just get strapped down. I've never had any issues but I also use a bow and stern line as I do for my canoe. I also use a cockpit cover to keep air out; if you do this make sure your cover can be secured.

On a side note, someone needs to make some poly replacement rollers for all of the old Hulley Rollers that have gotten sticky and rotten.
 
I'd strongly suggest you rent a tandem before buying, they're not for everyone and in my opinion they're limiting since they don't typically handle well with one person. They're also more expensive and unless you live near water you may not end up using it as much as you think you will. When I lived on the lake I paddled a good bit, often solo, even though my girlfriend who lived with me also had a kayak. She liked to paddle solo at times as well. Since splitting up and moving I don't paddle nearly as much as I used to and I've got a touring, a whitewater and a recreational.
Plan for this summer is to rent a tandem when we head out to the coast to see if she actually enjoys it before I put down any cash. If she does, then we'll go from there.
 
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