Anyone have aftermarket rack recommendations for a 2008 Ford Escape? The factory racks don’t look like they are up to the task of holding two 17 foot boats. Thanks in advance.
Thule or Yakima
Hard to go wrong with either Thule or Yakima. Check out their fit listings at local retailers or on their web sites.
the factory racks are stronger than you may think ,the car companies don’t want to give the public a reason to sue them should the racks fail. Just make sure you lash them down correctly and use bow/stern lines. Other than that, Yakima or Thule are about the only real options for racks/crossbars. I use Yakima crossbars.
Take the factory racks off and
throw them away.
Then get yakama landing pads which fit in the same track with yakama towers and bars.
That is what I did with our Escape and I carry to long sea kayaks and a canoe with 78" bars
i have an 08 escape…
the factory crossbars were pieces of trash, the factory roof rails aren't much better - especially since they are only plastic...
however, they are tougher than you think...
i have 78" thule bars with the 450 (?) mounting brackets.. the factory roof rails were "squished" where the bars connected.. Initially i was very worried about the factory plastic rails holding up, but, 2 years later they are still doing ok!
i routinely was hauling 2 canoes or multiple kayaks. I once had 5 kayaks on top - for a 6 hr drive up north into canada.... and it held...
I carry my prijon seayak all the time on the roof - i wish the bar spread was a little longer, but it does work. I don't see why a 17 foot kayak couldn't be carried also - especially with proper bow tiedowns...
You WILL WANT to make sure to use at least bow tiedowns. Due to the nature of the roof rails being plastic, the whole rack assembly will "sway" and bounce around... having good bow tiedowns will help to relieve this problem, and they help to keep some of the pressure off the plastic roof rails.
I hauled boats nearly every weekend, and several times throughout the week while the water is liquid for two seasons now. Mine has seem some use and still appears solid enough for this, the third season of boat hauling. You will want to keep an eye on the plastic bottoms of the roof rail mount points - mine are just starting to weaken - probably from the constant flexing. Once they are too weak, I will rip off the factory roof rails and mount my own homemade roof rails (using plate steel to sandwich the thin sheetmetal of the roof)...
I believe the manual states the roof rails are limited to 50 lbs. Obviously I've had much more than this on top. However, I can't recommend how I've used my escape, I only offer this as my experience.
Oh yeah, be careful how you use the rear step bumper. ONLY step in the very center of it! I broke the entire step bumper off of my escape, and all i ever did was stand on it to tie down boats. It has no support in the corners whatsoever! There is 15" metal bar in the center of it, just underneath it.. The only thing holding the sides of the step bumper up are two little plastic screws on either side where it wraps around under the taillights. By constantly putting my weight on the sides, i pulled out and stripped the plastic screws. The whole design is poor and, as the dealer told me, not really intended to be used on a daily basis! Since mine wouldn't be fixed under warranty, i did it myself with metal bolts, steel reinforcement washers, and welded a metal support from side to side to hold the step bumper up and in place. Seriously, take a flashlight and look up under the step bumper - you'll be amazed at what is holding it!
TO ALL YOU CAR MANUFACTURERS OUT THERE!!!
What idiot thought of using plastic for the roof rails in the first place? The few pounds of weight metal adds isn't going to change my gas mileage! Especially considering that anyone using roof racks needs them to be solid and sturdy, and already knows they are getting decreased mileage by rooftopping something! Every newer car i look at i consider cheaply made - too much plastic and shortcuts!
I miss my solid steel bumpers that could be used! I miss the old metal roof rails that could carry anything!
THERE IS A MARKET FOR THIS STUFF!!!!
SOME OF US ACTUALLY USE THIS STUFF and want it for more than the look!!!
Sorry, rant over.....
Google-> "Rack Attack"
Great company, great service, & geat prices. They’ll set you up with exactly what you need for your specific vehicle and boats. I’ve fitted out two vehicles with them and have been very pleased.
‘05 Escape here
I have an ‘05 Hybrid Escape and use the Yakima racks. I’ve got the Control Tower setup since I have the track style rack. I went 66" with the crossbars and a Big Stack kayak holder. I’ve carried up to 4 kayaks anywhere from 12’ to 18’ in length up top with no problem.
To the above post, yeah, some of us do use this stuff… that’s why companies like Yakima and Thule are around.