Extending round Yakima bars: would this work?

I have 58’ Yakima round bars but occasionally carry two canoes. When that happens I need 68" total width. Yakima bars reportedly are 1.125" OD and 1.04 ID. Half-inch galvanized steel pipe has a .84" OD. Squeezing ends in a vise produces a lop-sided outside diameter–enough to “stick” inside Yakima round bars. With two canoes secured via load stops and NRS straps, what’s not to like for occasional transport at highway speeds?

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What I did once was used a half inch pipe all the way through my 78" yakima bars with about six inches out each end. Then I used an adjustable pipe strap on each end snugged up against
The Yakima bars.
That way there is no way the half inch pipe can move in or out

Jack L


Sound idea. “Adjustable pipe straps”–do you mean stainless steel radiator hose clamps?


I like the idea of running the largest size pipe thru the bars you have and having enough stick out each end. I would wrap the new pipe at each end with just enough turns of gorilla tape to make it a slip fit. Then to hold it in place drill a horizontal hole thru both tubes for a .25” bolt and lock nut. Be careful with making a head knocker. I would likely try and find some PVC rounded pipe cap for the ends or something rubber I could slip on and maybe even paint it orange.

Mine I extend for 2 canoes with 2x4s I bolt to my cross bars. You could do this with U-bolts. I rounded the ends and painted them blaze orange.

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Yes, you can get them in all sizes,

Jack L

Just turn them on edge - I have 50" bars, and can easily carry 2 canoes +

I have done it with composite and royalex boats and haven’t had an issue. If you are concerned about crimping the sides you could add foam padding. I have also laid one flat, and leaned the other against it. Don’t have a picture for that, but it also works fine.

Extensions are good too, I just don’t like having the bars stick out past the sides of the car.

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Yakima makes round bars in several sizes up to 78" long. Less than that you can always cut them down to get the exact length you want if the stock sizes don’t work. Just swap them out for your 58" bars.

Some people sick yellow tennis balls on the ends of bars that extend beyond the width of their cars.

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Had the same problem and found the pipe extensions worked just fine. Mine extended the rack about 10" on each side. I drilled a thu hole and used hitch pins to secure it. Plastic end caps finished them off.