I just bought a transport vehicle for my kayak...a 2006 Ford Escape. It has the factory roof rack/rack bars in place. I'm looking for options and any ideas you all may have for carriers to attach to the rack bars (with economy in mind). And, I would like to eventually set it up to haul 2 kayaks Thank you!!
Well, Bayou Mike…
…I have a pair of Yakima bars with 4 gunwale brackets I’ll part with for $40-50 if you shop for a Yakima Rail Grabs or something similar to clamp them to?
I’m new here and I am sure others will give more information.
We use the Malone J-Loader™ MPG118MD, Easy Load Steel Frame Kayak Carriers
We paid $99.00 a pair. For us, we like the “eay load” aspect.
Have fun with those kayaks.
do you need the cross bars?
When you say you have the factory bars Iam assuming these are parallel bars running the length of suv? If so you need cross bars, both Yakima and Thule sell clamp on cross bars that clamp to the factory bars that run the length of suv. Then there are dozens of kayak holders to pick from. Easier loading ones load from back of suv and slide kayak up on roof from rear of suv.
Use Thule or Yakima crossbars. If you purchase the 60" crossbars you carry two kayaks laying flat. Their are a variety of different carriers available from foam to roll on roll off ones.
Least expensive options
The absolutely easiest and least expensive choice would be to pop on a set of foam blocks. Leave them on the rack ONLY when your transporting boat and there will be no gas mileage penalty and they won’t be stolen in the parking lot or blow off on the highway. Just be sure to use bow and stern tie downs. Cost about $30.
For hauling two boats economically, you can take a 60-72" length of 3/4" galvanized pipe (available at Home Depot or Lowes) and fasten them to the front to back side rails using galvanized “U Bolts”. Then add two sets of foam blocks. Same bow and stern tiedowns as above, but cross/cross the bow lines to prevent the bows from spreading due to wind. Cost about $100.
Costs don’t include tie down straps and bow or stern lines.
Anything is possible…
You can make it work…
It all depends on the crossbars, but if they're solid enough, there's no reason not to. I carried boats like this for 5 years.
Eventually I attached this to the crossbars: