roof rack durability? safety ?

i have a 2009 crv honda which i bought a roof rack june 2009 from jersey paddler. the landing pad is on my car all the time year round . the landing pad and tower which is maded out of plastic. what is the time life before replacing. i’ll check with yakima went i get a chance , but for now what is your throughts. i live in south jersey

Good question !
Mine have been on my truck since 2002, and the car since 2005.

I inspect them constantly and occasionaly tighten them a bit.

I think as long as you inspect them and check them for tightness you won’t have any problems.

If you get an answer from Yakima, please post it here.

Jack L

Their plastic is quite UV resistant
and does not fatigue easily. Periodic inspection is a good idea. I’ve never had Yakima towers, brackets, or cradles fail, but my kayak cradles are an early design.

More important is to make sure the clips and towers are on securely. Though it rarely happens, the towers can creep on the bars, which can loosen the clips.

Long time
Most of the critical hardware is metal, as well. My Yakima racks are not usually on all winter, but sometimes, and I have taken them from one car to another for well over 10 years now. They show very little signs of wear, and I’ve never broken one. They seem a little flimsy, but they really aren’t. Also, while of course I recommend following the manufacturer’s load ratings, I have often overloaded mine without paying a consequence.

That being said, I would check for slippage occasionally, as the plastic coating on the metal bar will eventually become depressed and then it is a good idea to either move the bar a little (rotate), or tighten the camming device.

I’ve tried putting stainless steel hose
clamps next to where the tower goes around the bar. My intention is to see that the towers can’t slip outward.

roof rack durability? safety ?
I’ve had a Yakima rack on my car for over 4 years. After hearing about a canoe and an entire rack coming off a car last summer, I took my car into a local rack shop to have mine checked. They said it looked solid!

Keep in mind I paddle 100% in saltwater and reguarly carry lots of sea kayaks, waveskis, and SUPs, sometimes hundreds of miles.

All you Yakima newcomers.
you have plenty of life in the bars. I have had them since 1989.

I have an assortment of towers that no longer fit my car (the 91 Accord is history). Good thing that the system is modular. That said the ends of the old bars have expanded with corrosion from 17 years of living by saltwater. Had I paid more attention to the ends and not lost the caps …or rinsed them often I might have been able to prevent this.

And my Yakima current system that is 12 years old on the truck came out ahead when there was a foot of snow on the truck burying the rack. I plumb forgot it was there and drove into my low overhead garage in prep for the next two foot dump of snow.

Wound up in the snow fixing the garage door and ceiling… the rack was fine.

The gage of the metal on the new bars
is either not the same as older ones, or is crap coming from china. You can drill through it like butter.

I have old bars and I have new ones, less than a year old) and using the same drill bit on both verified that for me.

jack L

Jack L

You can 303 them if not garaging
I’ve had the landing pads on my truck since about 2006, I think. Actually, the pads, towers, and crossbars were on 100% of the time until about a year ago. My truck lived outside for 3 months last winter, but other than it’s always been garaged, so my UV exposure may differ from yours.

I check the tightness of the pad bolts every year and I 303 them occasionally. They have not needed anything other than that.

The pads, towers, and saddles I’ve not had any problem with but the bars needed replacement after about 20 years. The bars failed where the bar and tower meet, probably from my over tightening and breaking the rubber/plastic sheath on the bars. Apparently repeated over tightening and repositioning on different autos allowed salt water intrusion which rusted the bars.

jack-Yakima has moved off shore
Most Yakima is now made outside the USA. So there are some changes in quality of materials.

Fact Check
Yes, Yakima is not made in the USA, however it is not “off-shore.” 95% is made in Mexico and 5% in the USA.

While Thule is mostly made in the USA, at least the components that are available for purchase in the USA, I’ve seen them rust and become unusable quicker than Yakima components.

follow up original post
i called yakima 1 888 925 4621 spoke to a woman who has a very nice voice and she said inspect landing pad about every three months. i later called back and asked man in warranty dept. and he said they should last forever. i took it to mean time you keep your car. he did say regularly check bolts to landing pad be sure they are secure. my concern is to avoid having a liability issue if these plastic parts would suddenly break - per wind or hit a pothole and rack and kayak come off car roof. i didnot think i received a solid answer like replace every 5 years etc… i know be sure to use bow and stern tie downs.

What are people calling landing pads?
Something other than the little transluscent pads that fall off easily when one takes Q-towers off the car? I don’t think Yakima engineers are serious about those pads. I once almost missed a weekend of paddling because a pad had gotten lost, and I had to buy a set of clips to get another pad so I could remount the rack.

24/7 and 365
My rack, cradles, j mounts stay on the car all the time.

Even in Michigan I try to get on moving water every month

roof rack durability? safety ?
probably quite long. are you in saltwater or fresh? that matters.


– Last Updated: Feb-09-12 11:16 PM EST –

To my knowledge, Yakima does not approve of any sea kayaks or canoes being car-topped without bow and stern lines. The only failures I have heard of were with strong cross winds where the owner did not use bow and stern lines and the boats were allowed to "twist" on the rack.

It is not uncommon for the clips to pop off the car, allowing the rack to come loose, but this can usually be traced back to the rack not being installed properly in the first place.

A long time
I put them on my 1999 Forester when I bought it in '99 attached to the car’s roof rails. They were still on the roof carrying my canoe back from the Ozarks in 2009. They are now on the 2009 Forester I bought when the 1999 died.

One note: I usually take them off in December and put them back on in March. However in some years I forgot to take them off before the temps got down to the single digits. In those years they stayed on until the following winter.

Off-Shore (not)
Yakima closed their Mexican facilities, layed everyone off and shipped their injection mold tooling back to China.

No big surpise.

The Landing Pads
I think the innards of the Landing Pads are steel, not plastic. Or at least part of them is metal.