Rate My Tie Down Idea


Several years ago, I damaged a pair of bicycles when they flew out of the truck bed at highway speeds, so I have a serious phobia around toy hauling.

Switching from ‘bed of the truck’ style hauling to the top of a Yakima Overhaul and seeking any input on the suitability of my tie down set-up. My plan is to wrap the HD bars in either pool noodles or black pipe insulation secured with zip-ties and then lay the Pungos side by side, deck down on the foam and secure them through eyebolts with cam straps. Bow and stern lines will be 550 cord through the grab handles and then back to the same eyebolts the cam strap is threaded through.

I’m hoping this set-up will see a lot of long highway hauls and lots of rainy weather. We are also wondering about cockpit covers that will handle highway speeds without imploding.

Thanks for any advice.

Are the eye bolts attached to the bar? It’s usually wise to go all the way around the bars. I like bow and stern tie downs to be nearly vertical or slightly angled back toward the car. I use bow/stern tie-downs that use 550 cord and they work very well. This is a decent video regarding strapping it down similar to the manner you’re considering, though I recommend lighter tie-downs than he uses on the bow/stern:

For any serious boat hauling on the roof, you need bow and stern lines tied to the bumpers of your car.

Would not use 550 for tie downs. 750 is closer to 1" webbing.

I agree with the question about eyebolts, where are they attached and why? Cam straps around the hulls, mounted on black pipe insulation on cross bars will do the job. I wouldn’t bother with pool noodles.

Also, I don’t see any need for cockpit covers if the boat are loaded deck-down. They’ll just flap around, make noise, and maybe come off at an inopportune time.

Things don’t fly out because of being in a truck bed. They fly out if they are not tied into it. You must have just put the bikes in without securing them to the bed.

Truck beds always provide some means of tying objects in. OEM points of fastening I have had in my various trucks include metal loops bolted at or near each corner and long Utilitrack rails across the front, both sides of the bed, and on the floor; these allow placing cleats anywhere down the rail, and the cleats are easy to move from one place to another.

Tiedown hardware is much simpler and less expensive than roofracking. Less wind obstruction, too.

1 Like

having used both on racks I can report that the pool noodle foam is significantly more durable than pipe insulation.


The pool noodles on my canoe trailer degrade in sun light on short…month or two…order.

1 Like

Old ones have no tie downs in the bed. Put eye bolts and large flat washers

1 Like

“Serious phobia about toy hauling” but pool noodles, pipe insulation, zip ties and paracord are ok?

The first thing that came to mind was a recent post here about someone killed by a kayak flying off a vehicle. It costs more than pool noodles but gear designed and properly used to transport toys likely has less chance of killing an innocent person behind you.


I took the OP’s statement regarding 550 paracord concerned use on bow/stern lines, not as a replacement for straps at the rack bars. The bow/stern lines I use feature 550 cord and it has worked extremely well for many miles, a fair amount of which has been at interstate/highway speeds.

550 breaks at 550 lb

750 at 750 lb.

1 nylon webbing is 880 lb.

1/4" braided nylon
rope is 2200 lb.

Think what your kayak weighs on impact.

If you look at the Thule 855XT bow/stern tie-down kit, the ratchet housings have this clearly printed on the side: 150 lb. MAX LOAD. The 1/4" rope doesn’t mean much when you take that into account, yet Thule feels legally comfortable selling it as a bow/stern line tie-down kit.

If you tie it with no ratchet it does mean something.

Braided mason line breaks at 180 lb.

I like to think I’m keeping it from going forward even if a fender bender.

I’ll second the idea that pool noodles will hold up better than pipe insulation. There is even a difference in the quality of pool noodles and how long they last. I have a buddy that secures them with gorilla tape.
When strapping with cam straps I go around the side rails and crossbars (no need for eyebolts). Use good quality cam straps like nrs straps. Cheaper ones sold at hardware stores stretch and thus loosen. I like the idea of bow and stern lines, especially for highway travel.

Thank you! Excellent video and has definitely helped me evolve my plan. Upgrading to the wider cam straps and skipping the eyebolts and going around the crossbars will be much better. Looks like single strand 550 cord is not such a great idea for bow and stern lines.

Thanks for all of the advice everyone! I agree, 550 cord for bow and stern line was the wrong way to go and I’ll be upgrading those to some heavy duty cam straps.

Still planning on bringing the bow and stern lines from the ends of the kayak back to the rack as opposed to the front and rear bumper. If the purpose of the bow and stern line is to keep the kayak from sliding forward and backward from inertia, wouldn’t a straight, taught line to a point close to the boat work better than a line perpendicular to the force? If the purpose of the bow and stern lines is to “pull” the boat down onto the rack, then front and rear bumpers make more sense.

Thanks again everyone. This is looking much more secure already.

About those bicycles, they were fork mounted to one of those ratcheting load bars that pushes against the rails of the bed of the truck. I either wasn’t aggressive enough in ratcheting the bar open or the design was fatally flawed from the get go (the rails flexed outward enough to let the bar get loose no matter how much you cranked the lever). Going through some S curves at 65 and the whole thing went over the passenger side rail and landed on the shoulder. Lots of road rash on a pair of two week old bikes :frowning:

Order roll cage foam for race cars

It’s like a rock.

Tie downs are to put some pressure downward on the hull also.