Rack configuration

I need some advice! I bought a camper shell for a 2001 Tacoma 4 door with a 5 foot bed! I’m trying to decide how I should place my Yakima rain gutter towers. Should I place the front towers on my camper shell or should I buy 1 pair of Q-towers and put it over the rear window? I’m worried about loading my canoe so the bow of doesn’t hit the cab of my truck when loading it and so it doesn’t twist as bad in a cross wind.

Thanks for any advice!

your call
either way will work, tho you may have to put the canoe right side up to not get it to hit. that’s what I do. I don’t want q towers on my cab.


I get a 9’ spread
by using Q-towers on the cab of my extended cab Dakota (3" from the windshield) and a rain gutter mount on the last foot of the cap. I can just get the 12’ PB Spitfire on with this configuration, but it works well with the 14-18’ kayaks, deck up and canoes, hull up. For carrying lumber I remove the Q-tower and add a second rain gutter mount at the front of the cap. This gives me a 5.5’ spread.

farther apart for more strength
The larger the crossbar spread, the more secure the boat will be on the rack, especially a canoe. So I would recommend putting a set of Qtowers on the front. But it really comes down to preference.

Another thing to think about: if both crossbars are on the cap, a good part of your boat may hang off the rear of the vehicle. I would rather have it hang over the hood.

And another thing to think about: where is it going to be easiest to get up to the rack to attach/detach the straps? Sometimes the front end of a cap is hard to get to…