Roof Rack Problem

I recently bought a Kia Sorento which has a 100lb (evenly distributed) weight limit on it. I have a Thule Hull-a-port (J carrier style) and have put my pungo 140 (55 lbs) and at times my Pamlico 135T (69 lbs), though never both at the same time yet. I had not had a problem until driving in some nasty winds on a freeway and the front crossbar gave out and is now bent real nice like.

I’m wondering what exactly my choices are now. I’d like to be able to put both my kayaks on the rack with the addition of another hull-a-port, but am not sure if the rails on my sorento has the 100lb limit or was it just the crossbars on it. If I purchased some Thule crossbar system like the 450R Rapid Crossroad and RB47 Rapid Load bars or a Yakima equivalent would I be ok hauling both kayaks?

From other vehicles

– Last Updated: Apr-11-07 8:08 AM EST –

I am not familiar with the Sorrento setup, but the convention we've encountered is that usual factory original cross bars - those that run the width of the car - have a max capacity of 100 pounds. The usual capacity of the cross-bars on third party systems like Yakima and Thule is more like 275 to 300 pounds. You can buy systems with heavier capacity cross bars already on the vehicle, but odds are that you know you did so when you see the sticker price.

All of this, however, is dependent on the carrying capacity of the vertical towers or supports on which the cross-bars sit. In some vehicles, like our Outback and stuff like higher level Highlanders, the carrying capacity of the rails that run front to back (or the structural part of the car under them) is more like the 300 pounds. You buy towers or supports that fit over the rails, into whcih the Yakima or Thule cross bar goes. In most vehicles though, you have to buy tower supports as well as the heavier duty cross bars to handle weights over 100 pounds.

If you had the boats mounted on the original factory cross-bars, and they were the typical ones, the combined weight of those two boats and some high wind could have been pushing your luck.

‘Chain’ only as strong as weakest link
Ask your local dealer what the factory towers/rack, not crossbars, on your particular car are rated to load wise. That is your true rating, not what aftermarket crossbars say they can hold.

Thank you both for your help, that helped clear some confusion/frustration I had goin’ round my head:)

weight limit not just for the rack
Be careful, the 100lb weight limit on many vehicles isn’t just because of the strength of the rack, but that weight over 100lbs placed that high on the vehicle will adversly affect handling (greatly).


Rack not the limiting factor
I had this discussion with a Yakima engineer when I discovered that my Subaru had a low rating with the same setup as other cars with higher ratings.

The engineers take into account the roof strength and handling characteristics and cg of the car, and spend quite a bit of time doing this.

Realize that the weight limits apply to the real weight of what is up there, and not the advertised weight of those boats. The engineer admitted that the limits were conservative.

You could buy a trailer or a new car. But the 100# limit was not arrived at casually, and you are taking a risk (financial and safety) by overloading.