How close to the edge of your rack bars?

-- Last Updated: Aug-03-11 10:55 PM EST --

I use Thule bars on a trailer I modified for kayaks. My Malone Gullwings are mounted so that about 6 inches of the bar ends remain. They are outside of the Tracker mounts.
Is this too near the bar ends?
I have a picture if needed.
Opinions appreciated.

Not sure if this helps
but I have been using my Thule J cradles on the outside of my Yakama towers and bars, on both sides of the vehicle roof for many years and probably 100,000 road miles.

I have that set up on two different vehilces so I have room between them for canoe(s)

Jack L

No wasted bar
I go right up to the ends as well when I put two yaks and a box on top of our car.

Use it all
I’m with Jack on the outside and another or the canoe in the middle.

Just watch your roof weight limit.

Some factory racks are not that high.

I have my saddles as far out on the right side of the truck as possible. That gives me plenty of room for a canoe when I take the shuttle driver back to the put in.

Same here - sometimes on the outside
depending on how many boats - we do give a few inches at each end for safety’s sake in case of movement although that has not yet happened. Hopefully never!

Not too close, if…
you need to briefly rest the tilted kayak on those end parts before actually lifting it onto the cradles.

We leave some resting room at each end of the bars for this purpose, because we absolutely need it (tall vehicle). We cannot lift the kayak directly into the saddles.

Why the middle step?
I have my J carriers way out at the very ends of the bars in order to load the boat easier (as well as fit a box in the middle). The boat goes right up on the J’s, no intermediate rest step necessary.

There is nothing in the Thule instructions about placement on the cross bars so the ends should be fine. You need to be more aware of rack weight capacity. If you have permanent racks on your car - there is a capacity for that as well. It is easy to cheat if you are not going far, but don’t try it driving highway speeds for 6 hours.

Not J cradles

– Last Updated: Aug-13-11 1:10 PM EST –

And even if they were, the problem would be the same: I am too short to directly lift either end of the kayak into the cradle. I already have to stand on my toes and extend arms fully just to get it onto the bare crossbar end.

My husband lifts the bow onto the end of the crossbar at his end while I lift the stern onto the end of the crossbar at my end. Then, as he keeps the kayak from sliding off the edges, I hop onto the tailgate and lift the stern into the cradles at the rear as he lifts the bow into the front cradles.

Takes two to rooftop kayaks with our heights and a tall vehicle, but it works well enough for the few times we haul on the roof.

Mostly, we carry kayaks with the trailer. Easy for one person to set up and load/unload.

But back to the original msg...leaving space at the bar ends allows a resting spot that some people need before completing the load. There is still enough room to carry two sea kayaks on their cradles with good space between them (not touching each other). No worries about "wasted bar space" because the big, boxy cargo areas have enough room inside for the rest of the gear. If there were not, we would rather carry it on a hitch-mounted platform anyway...very easy access.

Re rack weight limits
I have a Yakima Dry Dock which is a Y shaped post that plugs into the trailer hitch receiver. I guess that this supports about half the weight therefore reducing the weight on the factory rails and allowing me to carry three 50 to 60 lb boats without exceeding the wt limit of the rails.

Bar extender?

– Last Updated: Aug-14-11 11:16 PM EST –

pikabike, have you thought about an extender? I made a bar extender whe I used j cradles. I took a threaded properly sized rod and covered half of it with a pool noodle. I shoved it into the end of my rack rod and it gave me a nice place to rest the bow while I lifted the stern. Also if I didn't make it with the initial shove, it gave the boat a place to rest rather than fall. I can send some pics if you like.

And I appreciate the replies. So far so good with my boats near the bar ends on my trailer. Got my toolbox installed too. Pics available if anyone's interested.