Car top carrier

-- Last Updated: Jun-03-10 11:39 PM EST --

What is most durable and safe canoe carrier? I have Honda Pilot and want havy duty carrier system. What is on the market?


do you have anything on your …

– Last Updated: Jun-04-10 10:45 AM EST –

...... Honda Pilot roof or is it bare ??

What size is your receiver hitch , 1-1/4" or 2" ??

Those questions were asked because you probably have other options ... meanwhile take a look at this Yakima site , click "Learn" when page opens :

I use a Yakima Q-Tower (with load stops on bar) up front and a Reese Canoe Loader (attaches to hitch) in rear . Both can be put in place in about 5 mins. , and removed and stored when finished (simple , very effective and strong) .

Another vote for Yakima…NM

This is one of the best

– Last Updated: Jun-05-10 11:24 PM EST –

I use a canoe loader that attaches to your hitch. You put the one end of your canoe on the loader & then lift the canoe & rotate it & place it on the roof of your vehicle. (takes 30 seconds). It is a one person operation. You put two of the foam blocks on the canoe gunwales that will rest on the roof & strap it down.

Several companies offer these canoe loaders. Most probably manufactured by the same company. I did alot of research & finally bought from this company.

Link >>>

I am very impressed by it's quality. I use it for both my canoe & kayak.

>>> Jim

those Canoe Loaders are just great …

– Last Updated: Jun-04-10 2:35 PM EST –

...... aren't they !!

Seems many brands exist , all generally the same thing (mine is the Reese model) . The hieght of the vertical post is adjustable to ones liking/needs , the T top swivels making the load up a piece of cake , at least half the load is carried by the hitch instead of the roof , the thing is quickly installed and removed (I just pop it off and stick it inside the auto when on the water because I don't care to use locking key pins in the receiver) . The bike rack we have pops on and off the same way (life is good) .

I found that using load stops (or canoe stops) from Yakima on the front bar , stop the canoe from being able to move forward ... and in turn stop the T bar from being able to move forward and backward . Both ends of the canoe are locked into place .

Because the T bar is tall and attached at the bottom in the hitch , it has a tendency to wiggle some left and right ... that is easily stopped by ropes (or straps) drawn taught down to the bumper (or other) on each side forming the common wide V shape .

One tip ... use the heavy bungie (comes with most of the Canoe Loaders brands) , to secure over the canoe to each ear of the T top , temporarily when it's first set into the T top .
This will help keep it in place on the T top while you lift the opposite end and walk it around to the front . You aren't lifting much weight , just about half the canoes weight when loading and unloading it with the T top bar ... and there's no struggling , forcing or ballance problems with these Canoe Loaders !!

The result is almost zero movement . When you purchase a pair of the "Canoe stops" from Yakima they come with (1) Heavy Duty Strap , which is perfect for holding the canoe down on the bar in the Stop feet (this strap is a good design , it tightens and releases very easily).

Front tie downs recommended for additional redundancy (back-up safty) in case something goes wrong on the road (like most safty items , you won't need them until you need them , enough said on that) .

Since I have a truck cap with rear lift up window , and a tail gate that drops down ... wanting to be able to open these when the canoe is loaded on top , I got a hitch extension that fits in the receiver before the ball hitch . The hitch extension is only another 9" but together the two pieces (extension and standard ball hitch) allow the gate and window to open fully , plus it's just a little extra span between where the canoe sits on each end (another plus I guess) .

When I first saw the Reese Canoe Loader advertisement , it showed a lady picking up the canoe off the ground from the far end after it was sitting in the T top , she then walked her end around 180 degrees to the front and slipped it onto the front bar ... it all made perfect sense to me , and my guess is most men can do the same thing with one hand because I can , nothing to it , because the whole operation is so ballanced is my guess !!

I'm not trying to sell anybody anything ... just telling you because this is the best and easiest (as in extremely easy) I've ever found , or seen , and sharing a good thing is what this is all about anyway , right .

I agree with you.
The loader is great.

I notice my link isn’t working. When you get to the website put “weston canoe” in the search area. The canoe loader is $57.99 & is drop shipped from the Cleveland, OH area.

I don’t think you have to spend the extra money for the Yakima bar & accessories. Every time you change vehicles you may have to buy adapters to fit the new vehicle.

The foam blocks work just fime. I have noticed no shifting of the canoe. Just be sure to strap it down good. I also put an extra strap on the canoe loader to stabilize it.


I dont get the canoe loader at all
seems yes it does support one end of the boat.

Then you have to climb onto something to get the other end over the roof…twisting your back…too

Unless I am missing something not for me. I have a Tundra with high towers. The load height is 7 feet. I just slide from the rear onto the rear bar…walk forward while the gunwales slide…up onto a two step laddder and engage the gunwale brackets. No twisting of the back.

Small loads and poor back movements ended more than one medics career( not mine)

if you get a chance to try …
… one out sometime kayamedic , give it a go once … see what you think . I’m about 99% certain your concerns will disapear 1st try . If you can hold your hand over your head , it’s a done deal … really just about that effortless .

Thule or Yakima
The choice between Thule and Yakima as a top rack provider should probably be based on the local dealership.

Whichever is most available, get a set of 4 gunwale brackets per canoe. [If Thule, do not use the ratchet blocks, they can over torque the stems.]

After that, install “rabbit ear” loops to have a high, short corded V attachment to the forward stem when running down the road.

Foam blocks are never as solid and secure as full-on racks with gunwale brackets. After the above lecture, Pb would get folks started with double cut foam blocks on crossbars with V forward and a single aft line, but those were/are 12 pack canoes. The wind force on a 17ft tandem tripper is much greater.