bow and stern lines on new Rav4

Hey all,

We have a new Rav4 and we’re trying to figure out how to do the bow and stern line tie downs (we are new to kayaking so first time figuring out how to transport them. Many thanks to everyone here because we have learned a TON just reading through the forum).

I think for the bow line we’ll use top ties like some other folks have recommended. But we haven’t been able to figure out where to tie down in the back of the car. The place where you’d add the hitch doesn’t have a nice spot you could tie to. Am I missing something obvious? Any suggestions?

Thank you!!

RAV4 ?

– Last Updated: Apr-17-16 6:08 PM EST –

buy 2 Epics in CF ? .....I'm at lunch....ugh

mount a rectangular well painted steel tube...primer 2 top coats Rusto the hitch, then a transverse L angle out to the RAV sides for 5/16ths" SS eyebolts..loctited.

search: Metals Superstore

paint the L...which would be upside down from here on the hitch rectangle, dayglo or buy a diagonals warning strip as with Emergency vehicles...light with LED....glue tennis balls to the tranverse L ends.

going farther...there are short car hitch vertical supports...extenders....hahahha I didnah expect rack folk with a sense of humor.....but at those $$$'s

If you don’t have a tow hitch under the

– Last Updated: Apr-18-16 7:23 AM EST –

Bumper (and you should), the Seals Quickie Hood Loops will do the trick You'd insert it under the hatchback.

I just brought my boat back home using the loop under the hood, and it worked perfectly.

A Lexus
with similar form pulled along side…yes you need a hitch rod. A generous hitch rod. And visual ID preventing liability for trip n fall.

The older bulbous Lexi are classic. The form is an attempt to develop a Kamm effect esp with the roof flap removing wind eddies that ‘stick’ to the rear end…making the eddies move off a few feet into frictionless disappearance.

tie downs on present model Rav4
Be cautious as to how much stress you put on front tie downs. I installed hood loops on my 2013 Rav4, one under a fender bolt and one jury rigged. Traveled to Adirondacks with a wood box full of paddles to WCHA Assembly and back to CT. A few months later I found a crack in both headlight lens. I attribute the cracks to both stress from my use AND the flimsy metal used on vehicle. Anyone in doubt of “flimsily metal” just has to look at hood edge by windshield at speed to see it vibrate. I have removed the tie down straps attached to fender bolts and will try Thule tie down straps that end with a length of hose, placed under hood edge—to be continued!

tie downs on present model Rav4
For front tie-downs on my 2013 Rav4, I’ll pop out the front tow hook covers and use them with the factory towing eyes for longer distance highway driving. I haven’t noticed any problems with straps or ropes cracking the front lenses.

Shorter distances in the city or < 80kph/50mph, there’s a centrally located “hole” under the front of the vehicle. It’s a factory semi-circular cut out in the plastic undercover that opens up to some solid metal that allows me to use the standard V-strap hook. Mind you, this is just a single line tiedown vs. the two using the tow hooks. But for slower speeds or short distances this suffices for me.

For rear tie downs, under and behind the middle of the rear plastic bumper There’s another factory cut-out in the bumper. Allows for easy access to the actual metal bumper. I tie a loop around it and clip into that. Then I stow the loop behind the bumper when not in use. I’ve thought about installing a towing hitch, but the need to tow hasn’t been there.

I used to use either the factory rear tow point on the driver side or a hole in a bit of sheet metal nearer the exhaust pipe before this.

Bow-Stern Tie Down
I am new to kayaking as well, but came across these and they are perfect:

We tried them and…
Not in love with them. There are too many ways the darned things can get loose compared to setups with knots.

If you want a barely-used set they are probably still in the basement.

Yakima ratchet straps work as intended.
There is no way they loosen up if you knot the extra rope. I do not let the extra rope fly in the breeze so I tie up the extra. For me they work great. I have thousands of miles with them and not once have they loosened up.

Attention required
We found a lot less needed with proper knots. Especially on 8 hour drives thru coastal downpours. Your experience may cary…

I find this confusing

– Last Updated: Apr-22-16 9:04 AM EST –

I just popped the hood of my 2014 recently purchased Rav4 to check under the hood, because l need to think about getting the rack l took off the Subie onto it.

I an very confused by your post, unless we are talking apples and oranges.

The spot l see for what l call hood loops, as in strap or rope loops coming from under the hood, is a bit more on the side than in the old Subie but otherwise similar. I can run one on each side around a metal part that anchors the (oops, typo first time) headlight assembly, out under the hood. Said metal component is bolted to the car frame. There is no relationship between where that loop runs and the headlight lenses.

Are you talking about something that runs over the bumper and underneath in front?

gone with the

– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 9:06 PM EST –

I’m here caws we pulled alongside several of these today.

Tho the hitch/horizontal T is on the boards, a curved vertical strut or 2 branched strut reaching up past the door, possibly clearing an open door/hatch maybe possible.

The rear’s bulges are an aerodynamic device releasing clinging air trapped against the door in a continuously circling vortex…like a drogue chute.

The bulge replaces the more expensive perimeter extension panels sometimes seen on the trailers of an 18 wheeler:

We’ll throw in the Bat:

...the new Ford GT has Bat louvers

The rear lines may be soon forgotten as too much trouble pursuing.

thanks, still deciding…
just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has chimed in. i’m still considering my options. i worry about stress on the hood by attaching the bow lines to a strap under the hood and i worry about stressing the back door using those loops that you close in the door. anyone else worry about that? wishing this car had a proper place to attach both lines!!

I’ve used them a lot, work great. You know you don’t have to leave them too long, you can shorten the rope if you need to, it’s not hard.

Bill H.

3 Years
I’ve used a similar setup on my Santa Fe for the last 3 years with absolutely no problems.

The bow ropes clip to Thule underhood straps bolted securely to the metal body where it also connects to the front suspension, and the stern ropes clip to two lengths of sturdy rope that attach to metal rings on the rear deck under the hatch.

The only minor disadvantage is that you can’t really open the rear hatch once you’ve got everything secured.

I’m a safety nut and I’m 100% happy with this setup. I’ve done some long interstate drives with 2 kayaks at interstate speeds and have never had a problem. The boats have been extremely secure and there has been no damage to my car.

You do have the spots to secure

– Last Updated: Apr-26-16 9:44 AM EST –

I fail to understand your problem. You have been offered more than one option from people above who have done a lot of kayak hauling.

As to the under hood loops... Unless you have a sudden hard stop AND a compromise of the primary security of the boats to the rack AND/OR of the rack itself to the car... there shouldn't be enough pressure on them to affect the hood metal. Something else has to fail for those hood loops to be hard stressed. We did have an incident one time at decent speed, but the rack held and the double straps on the boats took all the stress. Bow lines never tightened up.

I just turned in two clunkers that both had under-hood straps on them that had not left the cars in between 12 and 8 years of hard miles. A number of things were no longer working on those cars, but both hoods were just fine.

I admit there is more pressure on them carrying a big arse solo canoe upside down than a kayak on its side or hull, because I have never gotten around to getting the chucks that make that work better. But even then I have additional strapping inside the boat for the thwart to the horizontals bars of my rack. I suppose I could lose the skin of the canoe in a really bad situation, but it would have to tear off from the frame because the latter is not going anywhere.

I can't speak to the rear part because that is the part I tend to go light on. But it sounds like there are plenty of options there as indicated by fbrady. FWIW, for really huge long trips I only ever try to get into the car from the rear side doors anyway. I tend to be afraid of things falling out the rear hatch the way I pack.

You should try something though, rather than not try it due to anxiety.


– Last Updated: Apr-26-16 9:50 AM EST –

I love the Ford Transit vans. I always wonder why I don't see more on the road. Efficient use of size/space.

Nice Alfas, they remind me of the Buick rocket ship car:

I would like to drive an all-electric version.