I’ve been looking at some different options for racking my 2006 Nissan Frontier (4 door crew cab) to carry 2 kayaks. It does have a factory roof rack with 2 cross bars. The cross bars aren’t really that far apart and it would be a real chore to get the boats up into the bed and then up onto the roof. I was leaning toward using a Thule Goalpost (and a couple of saddles) to attach to the trailer hitch receiver and support the rear of the boat…the fronts of the boats would rest on the rear crossbar of the factory rack on another pair of saddles. My thinking was that the boats would ride better centered over the entire body of the truck as opposed to being centered over the cab and hood of the truck. Also, the rear saddles being all the way at the end of the truck seems like it would be easier to load with less chance of the boats slipping off and damaging paint, etc. In the process of looking into these different products, it occurred to me to see if there were any racking systems/support structures that are made or can adapt to work with the utilitrac system. So far, I’ve not been able to find anything of the sort online. Does anyone know of any boat racking systems that attach to/can be adapted to attach to the Nissan utilitrac bed system?
I have a Nissan Xterra, similar ‘fat’ rack made originally by Yakima for Nissan. Yakima makes “Mightymounts” for connecting component-specific racks to the factory rack, and I’m sure Thule has a similar system. My advice would be to go to a good yakima dealer in your area to check out the possibilities. Not sure how you’re going to work out the tail end thing without building something, but curious how it turns out.
U.S. Rack Utility Rack
They have specifically adapted their original utility rack to work with the Nissan utilitrac system. And you can buy one single rack (instead of two) if you are going to use the roofrack to support the front of your boats. The only thing is that the top of the installed rack is just a bit taller than the stock roofrack. I evened mine up with a 2x4 on the roofrack to hold the saddles.
Thank you for the US Racks lead. I checked out their website which confirmed what you said and showed a model # and pricing. They didn’t have any photos and I was curious as to what it looked like/how it worked. I e-mailed a request to them for a photo for which I got a very quick reply complete with 2 photos…1 close-up and 1 at a distance (Thank you Chris at US Racks!). The racks themselves just set on top of the bed sides and a bracket hangs down to bolt into the utilitrac in much the same way the factory tie-down cleats do.
The Utilitrack system is supposedly a generic size, and you can make your own “stuff” using compatible pieces from Unistrut. I’ve heard of guys making sliding in-bed drawer racks, etc.