Cartopping a Volkwagen Jetta

I am a newbie…getting my first yak and racks next weekend. My car has a roof-mounted whip antenna, which it looks like I should remove when I cartop my kayak. Can anyone tell me how I do that?

I have an '04 VW Jetta Wagon, and I will be getting Thule racks and the Glide & Set Kayak Carriers.

cartopping a jetta
you should be able to get that onto a suburban or similar giant suv without too much trouble. definitely use front and rear tie downs.

Cartopping a Jetta
afolpe, I don’t get your answer. I don’t have a SUV, I have a Jetta Wagon! I am asking if anyone knows what to do about the antenna.

LOL … sorry

Jetta Wagon
Just unscrew the antenna, and chuck it in the back of the car. I have an '04 Jetta wagon, and have to do the same thing.


You need a preposition in your title

– Last Updated: Sep-24-05 4:38 PM EST –

Cartopping WITH a Volkswagon Jetta

Can't you people be helpful to the nice lady. shheesh

not nice.


i’m sorry
i have a fairly deadpan sense of humor.


what do you think you are
British or something? :slight_smile:

I thought the comment was funny.

my brother has a Jetta
I think the antenna unscrews.

So did I…
She just seemed so clueless.


– Last Updated: Sep-25-05 10:07 AM EST –

This one was more fun and a bigger laugh than I've had in a while.

Your guys be TERRIBLE... Because, dammit -you beat me to the punch! Keep up the good work!

And be sure to get that guy a flatbed semi with a ramp -so he can -a LOT more easily than car-topping (for THIS we should SURELY recommend trailering, doncha think?) take his Jetta and


-Frank in Miami

You guys are terrible. I love it.

I have an '03 sedan, and put my kayak off to the passenger side for a few reasons. First, you don’t have to remove the antenna (so you can listen to the radio on your drive, and one less thing to do). Second, you have really strong front and rear tiedowns in about the perfect spot by doing this. The owner’s manual shows how to install the front towing loop, but this is all there is to it:

On the front of the car, take the lower black plastic piece off below the headlight by pushing down on the fins that are parallel to the ground. Look by the spare tire for a tow loop that will thread into the hole you’ll see by removing the plastic piece. It screws in counter-clockwise (backwards), and can be tightened in with the tire iron (just a little bit). Tie from this to the boat with a trucker’s hitch, using a piece of pipe insulation to pad the rope against the painted bumper. Do the same at the back of the car, but the rear towing loop is already right there.

One more thing - check the rack often on a long road trip. They can creep a little bit on the studs in the door frame that the roof rack clips into. They don’t have to go too far to come off the car - another reason for the tie down…

I’ve got an '04 Jetta Wagon
and love the TDI engine, 50mpg rules!

Mine came with the factory racks so I added Thule bars for factory racks. Then I added the Malone J-Cradles on each side…these are good racks and they keep the kayaks on edge AND away from the stupid whip ant. found in the center of the rear roof on the Jetta…in the middle I’ve got a Thule bike carrier (cant remember the name, something Big Mouth?)…so I can haul 2 yaks and 1 bike…now dont laugh, but the Thule bars I used extend beyond the roof-line a bit and I installed on the passenger side a ABS tube (black color to match the car and the Thule Bars)and on the tube I installed a Tube door ( and this tube holds my Greenland paddles.

50 mpg
definitely rules! I can drive my TDI for the same cost at $3 a gallon as I could have driven a Subaru Outback 2 years ago with gas at $1.50.

I have cut back my driving just the same, but if I need/want to go somewhere out of the ordinary, It doesn’t cost a limb to do it.


Jetta Antenna
The Jetta should have the same antenna as the Passat, either unscrew it or not, it is a flexible antenna. It will just bend out of the way if something like your kayak is over it and snap back when kayak is removed.

Mine’s a TDI too, pretty happy with that choice to say the least! Fun to pick on people with big SUV’s these days. “Wow, it cost me 40 bucks to fill up! Oh well, I’m set for another 650 miles…”

Great Yak Topper
I also have an 04 Jetta Wagon TDI and I cartop two Composit Kayaks several times a week. The antenna is close on mine but it does not touch either boat.

You will appreciate the low roof line making an easy load and unload.


Almost my problem wish it was
Did you get one of those Jetta Wagons with the roof rack? I wish I had but I had too good an offer made on my Dodge Van. Not knocking the Van. Dodge makes a good product but I loved my VWS and the Dodge is a bit too high for me to hoist my kayak up to.

All you have to do is unscrew the thing and store it safely inside your car. Of course your radio won’t have good reception but you probably have a tape or cd player anyway.

Be glad it isn’t a Beetle because their antenna’s are very hard to get to! If you can reach it - piece of cake, just unscrew it.

50 MPG
Is it taking diesel or regular?

Now I am really angry with myself for not getting a Jetta Wagon (and paying the extra $7,000). They didn’t have any used ones but my Caravan was a demo and a good price.

Oh well, back then I had to cart my large short mother about and her walker and buy groceries and stuff. It seemed like the right decision at the time.

I’m not knocking my Caravan at all but my girl friend’s drive shaft broke on her Caravan at only 81,000 miles so I’m wondering whatever happened to Chrysler quality?

I can’t buy another car for three years! I like my Van I really do, but sometimes I get VW fever.

Like now.