Check those tower pads once in

a while. I had not taken my Yakima rack off the truck cab for a couple of years. 500 miles from home the rack slid 4" forward on one side, tearing the door molding and leaving a gooey mess on the truck.

Easily cleaned and repaired, but it had me checking it every day. I tightened the clip and it stopped moving.

The pad had deteriorated badly, esp around the edges and the half toward the front. I assume that is where it it stressed the most when you stop quickly.

I think I’ll change them every year from now on.

I recall someone posting somewhere
that those Yakima pads are designed and intended to return easily to nature rather than live 500 years in a landfill.

It might be nice if they didn’t start going back to nature while still in use.

I need to contact them and get some spares. The pads on one car are five years old, but those on the other car must be over ten.

Back in '90 they were using grey rubber pads with a larger footprint that seemed to last forever.

sun and heat destroy plastic
I’d assume you park the vehicle outside ? weather isn’t good to plastic, especially ultraviolet rays and heat. In Colorado, closer to the sun than most places, it is more nociteable. Had a nice pair of step in ski bindings on my racing XC skies - left in the garage (out of direct sun)they broke down after a few years of heat/cold cycle. replaced with same bindings and that pair lasted only a couple of more years or so before the plastic got brittle and broke up.

I always try to use a sunshade on the windshield of my vehicles to keep the dashboard from deteriorating too quickly.

All true, but plastics differ.
Soft, vinyl based pads would stand up to sun pretty well.

The gummy pads supplied by Yakima might be some sort of silicone. I wouldn’t say they are especially UV sensitive. They just seem to slowly deteriorate on their own.

with g2d. I believe the Yakima pads are silicone based. I’m on my 2nd set & getting ready to retire them. I get about 5 years on a set, I guess.

silicone’s pretty tough
Heat and UV resistant.

I know that everyone…
has their own way, but that’s two of the reasons I take the racks off unless I’m using them. That way the fit gets checked each time they go on the roof, and they spend the bulk of their time out of the sun.

Just sayin’…


I’m lazy and besides, they look
good on the truck.AND I don’t live in Fla.

If one is confident that the Yakima Q
towers are properly placed, then one might experiment with making pads from layered bicycle tube rubber. The stuff is pretty tacky, has a good grab on surfaces. An edge should be built up around the Q tower foot so it isn’t likely to slide off the pad. I suggest trying this with the back bar first, and see how it works.

I once had a weekend of paddling spoiled when I lost a Yakima pad and no dealer in Atlanta had a replacement. I complained bitterly to Yakima, and got no meaningful response.

I got 4 new ones from my outfitter
this morning. Yakima has changed the material.

The change happened a year ago
New pads are black and won’t rot. The milky-clear-ish pads are the ones that are going to turn to mush on you. I’m not sure if all pads styles are available, but the common ones (A,E) definitely are.

That’s good to know…
my ‘new’ ones are just getting tacky now after about 3 years, I think. I’ll order a set of black ones!