Help: Passage 14 noise on RAV-4 rack

-- Last Updated: May-06-10 3:09 AM EST --

I'm a canoeing beginner, and just bought a Mad River Passage 14 from Dick's. Looking at Mad River's website, it looks exactly like Adventure 14 except for the padded seats. I tried to carry the Passage 14 on my RAV 4 factory installed rack, and was shocked by the loud noise when the car goes beyond 35 MPH. Does anyone know how to get rid of that noise? Or make it quieter? Thanks a lot.

three things
first if you are using straps put a few extra twists in them to get rid of the harmonics. Secondly be stationed with the artillery for a few years third turn up the radio.

Not being a wise guy, This is what I have done!

Yup - you’re going to get some noise
no matter what. Could be vibrations from the straps, or the factory cross bars. By coincidence, I had my 13’ WW canoe on the factory rack of a friend’s RAV-4 this weekend. It was pretty noisy, but worked out fine otherwise. Still, you might consider a more substantial set of cross bars from Thule or Yakima.

Had RAV…
and factory racks,but I added Thule crossbars. Talk about noise then. Do what others reccommended and turn up the radio. Nothing can be done about aerodynamics of an upside down long parachute,and drag noise of wind at 55mph.


Maybe will help…
You can get some minor improvements by twisting the straps, but probably too minor to help a lot with a canoe. If you can, play with the spread between the bars (lengthen). You may get some benefit by adding an air foil to the front of the rack - in Subies this tends to not be optional unless you like road noise.

Last resort - hum along with it.

changed rack on Rav4
I removed the total roof rack on my 07 Rav4 and made adaptor plates to install Thule fit kit for Tracker Two feet for Thule bars. It was quite a bit of work figuring it all out that I won’t rehash here.

Advantages: wider bar spread, moved front attachment back for less noise with rack on car, ability to remove the total rack with the push of four buttons (after unlocking) leaving just four nubs on the roof-very quiet and better gas milage with total rack removed, ability to change bars from two kayak set up to wider bars for two canoes with the same push of four buttons. Most of all, any changes to the rack configurations take just seconds, not the 5-10 minutes of cranking the Thule or yakima roof rail clamps take.

If I bought a new Rav4 today I would install the same set up.


Try this, as well as twisting straps,

– Last Updated: May-06-10 12:27 PM EST –

Try this, as well as twisting straps:buy a length or two of pipe insulation, sold at any hardware store. Duct tape it around the cross bars, and see if that helps. Also try moving the boat forward and backward a little bit, to see if that changes the aerodynamics and therefore the wind noise. This solution has been successful before, according to previous posts.

If you have not put any foam between the gunnels and the rack before, the insulation will also dampen that vibration as well.

You don't mention whether the noise is oscillating vibration from the rack, or noise from wind resistance.

Let us know if the foam helps, Kaps

Grease the boat and drag it behind
your SUV. Otherwise look at what Yakima and Thule offer by way of crossbar setups, and put a fairing at the front. Fairings are a ripoff, more than 50 bucks, but they do cut the noise, and when the boat isn’t on the car, a fairing may save a bit of mpg over a bare rack.

thanks to everybody!
The pipe insulation, twisted strap, moving the boat, and foam insulation seem easiest. I’ll try them first. Work or not, I’ll post it here in case it may be useful to someone else.

Thanks a lot to everyone again!

No Noise
I don’t have an issue at all with noise on my RAV4. I have Yakima low riders attached to factory mounts and use saddles and rollers. Rock solid and takes me minutes to strap down.

you don’t own a canoe. A canoe upside down pockets all the air scooped from the windshield ,if over hanging and compresses it over the top of the vehicle,through the racks and hence the louder wind noise generated by seats of the canoe,racks,crossbars. The RAV racks haul boats nose high,so a canoe is a giant air scoop. I went to South Carolina with a canoe on the Rav,and when I arrived I dumped out at least a gallon container of smashed bugs from the rear deck plate of a Penobscot 16 that had gathered there during the trip. I hauled kayaks as well ,and upright and the noise was lessened that that of canoes and only bug splats on the leading edge of the kayak. They are a little more aerodynamic less drag,and less wind noise generated.


No more noise.

– Last Updated: May-09-10 8:33 PM EST –

(1) Duct taped 1" pipe insulatioin under the front cross bar, (2) put boat stern at front, (3) didn't twist strap but put 2 layer of piepe insulation under strap at middle of hull to give it a little extra pressing force to the hull, (4) stuffed under the middle seat with packaging foam, (5) tightened strap really good. Drove to highway @ 75 MPH, no more noise except a little vibrating sound of the hull, which didn't bother any of me, my wife and my 5 year old son.

I think the sound before was the vibration of the hull, (5) above did most of the trick, (2) may also helped quite some as the boat is not symmetrical, and the stern-at-front position may helped with the aerodynamics. My boat has 3 molded seats. I took out the boat in a hurry, and didn't stuff under the seat very well, just took some plastic shopping bag filled with foam and tied under seat with bungee cord. The last bit of noise was from the hull above the rear seat(boat is upside down with stern at front), I feel that last bit of noise may be eliminated as well by stuffing under the rear seat.

Once again, a lot of thanks to everybody for help!!!