need car rack suggestions for hauling 1 16’ canoe. Could be on 2006 Honda Pilot or 2011 chevy impala.Honda has exposed side rails.
No need for a rack for canoe
Why a rack? If thee is no factory rack, then a set of foam blocks and some cam tie down straps are all you need. If you have a factory rack all the better. If you have only side rails those will work nicely to anchor the straps, otherwise just open the doors, run the straps through the passenger compartment, tighten and and close the doors.
We've used this setup for years on trips long and short and it has worked well. And it's cheap.
There can be lots of reasons for a rack
Loading a canoe onto the roof by just one person is easy with the right rack, no matter how big and heavy the boat is. For one-person loading of a big, heavy boat without a rack, the car had better be a junker because the roof will look like junk after just a few carries. Some people never load a big canoe except with the help of a strong partner, but many of us can't say that.
With a rack, the tightest tie-downs connect to the rack itself, and the auxiliary tie-downs need only be tight enough to remove the slack. With pads, the auxiliary tie-downs are the only ones in use, and they must be very tight. This creates much more downward pressure between the boat and car than is the case if the boat is on a rack. Lots of cars end up with dents in the roof where the foam pads go, and most folks aren't too keen on that. Some are, and for them, go for it.
Here's something about running straps through the doors, and it's what I've heard from a few people here with first-hand experience. Rain is likely to come in along the straps, past the door seals. If you never drive in rain, or don't care if your seats get soaked, go for it. I made a comment below about GM door seals, at least on the GM vehicles I'm familiar with. With those vehicles, a strap tightened in the door opening would create a gap in the door seal the width of the strap and about an inch tall, so rain would surely follow the strap inside, and there'd be plenty of wind noise too.
I've seen a fair number of people who use pads and are perfectly happy with the overall security of the boat, but I've yet to see a case where the boat in question was as secure (not able to twist and shuffle) as I or the people I paddle with would prefer. This situation is common though, as I've also seen people tie cargo onto trailers and be convinced that everything is secure, when many others (including the inspectors at weigh stations) would disagree, so I never know what to think when I hear claims that all is hunky-dory unless I actually know the person saying it.
Check the door openings on that Impala
I am currently driving or in regular contact with 6 different GM trucks built across more than a 25-year time span, and none of them have door openings that would likely be suitable for clamp-on rack mounts . It has to do with the arrangement of the two door seals so that the only thing to clamp against is a thick layer of plastic, as well as the spongy main seal (so it’s a good thing most GM SUVs have factory racks which aftermarket bars can clamp to). The Impala is a GM car and it wouldn’t have a factory roof rack, so if you see that same situation with the door seals, that might be a reason to not choose that car unless there’s some very clever trick that Yakima/Thule have come up with, or unless you are prepared to use an alternate method of rack attachment. I’d be interested in hearing how it turns out if you end up using that car.
Thule/Yakima footings seem to be pretty
solid...fwiw. A Thule footing mates with my Xterra's side, longitudinal rails(round) = solid.
Their stuff hasn't been any less than topnotch design, in my experience. Find the appropriate adapters/footings and take your time putting on....if you plan on taking em' off from time to time.