Rack advice for xterra

I tried to search the archives but no luck. I rcently switched from a very square shaped van to a nissan Xterra. The hullavator and thule square bars worked great of the van but due to the profile of the xterra the kayak rides very far out to the side of the vehicle. The kayak is a 17 ft fiberglass Argonaut. Th rack bars are also too close together. I took it for a short and low speed test drive yesterday and the boat was bouncing a lot.

Does anyone have any experience with kayaks and xterras?

I am thinking about changing to a slipstream or some other type that extends and mounts from the back of the vehicle, to center the kayak on the car.

36"-44" bar spread
According to the Thule workbook, depending on the year, your rack should provide 36"-44" of bar spread using the 450 Crossroad foot pack. This should be plenty for whatever length kayak you wish to use. Make sure your Hullavator cradles are close enough together so the chines of the boat are resting on the pads and not the plastic mounts at the base of the cradles. Bow and stern tiedowns are a must with the Hullavator as it’s going to have a bit more play than say Yakima Mako Saddles as an example. Have the bow line pull inward toward the center of the vehicle rather than straight down to the same side tow hook. This’ll keep the kayak under tension within the saddles minimizing wiggle but still providing bracing agains the upward airflow off the windshield and whatever turbulence you may run into.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY