Melted lines

I have a 2012 Subaru Outback. When cartopping my kayak, I anchor the lines to the shipping points underneath the car. This has worked without incident in 2 other cars. Now I have had 3 lines snap on the front passenger (right) side, 2 within 10 minutes on the same trip. It took until the third one for me to realize that the lines were not just fraying but MELTING. My hubby says that point is right next to the exhaust system and that might be what is causing it. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Seems like
it should be close to the tail pipe but unless its touching it I would think it would not get hot enough to melt. One of my car topping tie downs is fairly close to the tail pipe but so far no problems.

Under hood tie down
I went with the under the hood tie down. Works great, no issues with any under carriage features. No chance of tie down getting loose and then getting wrapped around a wheel and no need to kneel down in the mud, snow, gravel, dirt, etc. Link below. Love these things!

The OP is addressing stern lines

– Last Updated: Aug-20-13 12:01 PM EST –

I believe. Not everyone uses them. But for those who do there is a similar product that would fit in the rear hatch door. Just insert and close the door. No bolting.. it might be more challenging to find attachment points in the rear door.

Its been a very long time since I ran straps down under the car. It abrades the paint and also the line over time.

Melted Lines/Top Ties
We’ve also used top-ties from for about 6 or 7 years.

Looking at the rutabaga website, it looks like a “pair” includes one with just a grommet for the bow and one(what they call the “universal” top tie) with a plastic spool at one end and the grommet at the other for the stern to be closed in the trunk or back hatch.

If ordering from them, I would check with rutabaga to see if that is what they are selling as a pair.


McLean, VA


– Last Updated: Aug-20-13 1:09 PM EST –

Actually she refers to FRONT passenger side in her post. So I assumed she met front of the kayak, tied down somewhere under the front bumper, even though I too wondered how that put the lines close enough to the exhaust system to melt nylon.

probably depends on the manifold
system. No matter . Its not necessary to run lines under the car front or rear.

Top ties are in my future
Permanent ones for the hood, quick loops for the back.

But still…I do not understand how a car company that includes a kayak in every frigging ad is so hard to cartop. I never needed special equipment for my Honda Civic.

On that note…
… the old Subaru I used to have had tow hooks that were quite accessible, NOT way underneath the car. Naturally I used them as tie-downs when car-topping boats. Nowadays it seems to be a lot more important to make a car look streamlined and pretty than to make it functional (same goes for what they did to the four-wheel drive system, but that’s another topic).

Yea -
I long for the days of the rain gutter.