Hi - I have a 2011 Nissan Xterra ProX (factory crossbars). I am new to kaykaing (well owning one that I need to transport) and I transport my kayak (10’ sit in) on the roof. But I only had it secured with bungee cords. Two around the sides of the kayak and one at the bow and stern. Oh and I have a pool noodle but and put over each crossbar. I do not feel safe transporting it this way. The kayak sways way too much and I’m afraid it is going to go flying off. And if a semi passes me, geez that wind drag scares me! So I need to find another option.
So I have two options I came up with so I need your recommendation
I am the first to admit the I am not a strong girl by any means. If I am meeting a group to kayak it is easy to get the kayak onto the roof so I have someone to help me lift it. But if I go alone (which I do at least half the time) it is a pain in the butt to get my kayak on the roof. I can’t lift my kayak over my head. So seriously what I do is throw a moving blanket up on the back of the Xterra. I then have a step stool (that I have to take with to the lake) and I set the tip of the kayak on the back of the Xterra, then grap the back and go up the step stool and just push the kayak onto the roof. Same procedure getting it down. Yes I do realize I look like a fool doing this at the lake but I have no other way to get it on my roof! And, maybe as I kayak more I will built more upper body strength
Ok so for my options, I don’t feel safe taking the kayak anyplace just bungeeing it on again. And, yes I did see the Thule Hullavator which appears kinda cool, but I am not spending $550+ for this!
- do I keep transporting it onto the roof and just buy a roof system. I have looked at both Yakima and Thule and I think I’d go with a Thule system because if I wasn’t taking the Xterra I’d take a Kia Sorento and the same system fits both factory crossbars, where Yakima’s won’t fit the Sorento. So what I found from Thule is either the 835 Hullaport Pro or the 830 Stacker. I realize the stacker could fit multiple kayaks. But for just one kayak which do you recommend? The stacker is about $40 less. Or do I just forgo the roof system and get the ratchet straps and strap the kayak to the cross bars that way? If so does anyone have a picture on how you’d do it? Because I would still think you’d have that big open area on each side of the kayak (centered on the roof) so you’d still have it shifting from side to side.
- do I just put the kayak inside the Xterra? If I fold down the passenger seat I am still unable to close the back. The kayak sticks out about 4" so I’d just bungee the back. Even though the inside of the Xterra is not “luxurious” I am still not sure I am keen on having a dirty kayak on the inside. As it would be hanging over the center console, etc.
Any help would be appreciated. I can’t be the only chic with no strength that wants to kayak on her own. Thank you so much in advance!