Suggestions/pictures needed

I am in the market for an all purpose, good on gas small SUV that can transport 2 pungo 120 kayaks. I have always been a little leary of transporting 2 12ft kayaks on top of a vehicle. I guess I just feel uncomfortable with the way most rails are set up and if 2 twelve footers would be supported properly. I guess what I am asking for is pics of any members setup similar to what I am looking for and any advice/recommendations. I normally transport them in my Dodge Ram but I am going to downsize to a small SUV. Thanks for any advice/pics


Should be no problem
Should be no problem putting those Pungo’s on a set of J-cradles. I would just avoid factory cross bars and go with a decent brand all around. I have a Jeep Liberty which I consider mid size and load as many as four 17 to 18 foot sea kayaks on top. I use all Thule load bars and folding cradles and never had a problem.


Not to worry

– Last Updated: Oct-20-10 5:48 PM EST –

I carry an 18 foot and a 19 foot boat on my RAV4, sometimes both at the same time. I use Yakima crossbars, hulley rollers amd saddles up front.


Nice! Any wind issues?


2 boats, no worries

– Last Updated: Oct-20-10 8:42 PM EST –

OK, it's not a small SUV, but I love this photo of my setup:

That's a 14' and a 15' on the Mini.

Suzuki Sidekick Works!
We’ve carried our two 17’ VOLKSKAYAK sea kayaks thousands of kilometers atop our Sidekick, using straight Thule cross bars - no special cradles or saddles - without incident. The boats are individually strapped fore and aft to the crossbars, deck-side up, with bow and stern lines for additional security should either a rack component or a strap fail. In the pic below, one of the VKs has been replaced by Chris’ Cape Horn 15…scroll down to the last item on the page…

No pictures…
But, I’ve had no trouble transporting 2 17’ plus kayas on top a Subaru Forrester. Great little SUV.

No wind problems
Here’s one of my other boats…


Honda CRV

– Last Updated: Oct-21-10 11:37 AM EST –

with Thule Areo bars..

you need to use front and back tie downs but they are so easy to attach it doesn't make sense not to use them anyway..

I use both cheap foam pads that I slip under the kayak once its on the racks, and a pair of J racks for long trips, 90 mph with strong cross winds from rigs and whatnot..

also average 28 mpg and great to drive.. drops to maybe 24 mpg at 85 mph with a kayak on top..

(I usually don't drive that fast but when you go to pass someone and they speed up, with an 18 wheeler right on your bumper, not much of choice but to pass and get back over. Don't think I have a pic with me now but will try to post one later)

pics on CRV
I found a few pics, I usually carry a 18’ Valley composite with foam pads or J racks, usually just slip foam under them and use cam straps, and two front tie downs and one back. No problems at all.

No sense in driving around with kayak cradels that lowers mpg, even if it’s half a mpg that is going to add up over years of use.

Of course I’m sure someone will disagree.

Not an SUV , but a Camry works just
fine with 2 boats.The new ones have a huge trunk.

good point
a car will carry two kayaks fine and about the same cargo as a hatch back… of course the CRV can carry 2 kayaks and has more room with a nice shelf in the back… of course there are other SUVs out there as well… I’m pleased with mine and plan to drive it till it drops dead…

How About a Smaller Wagon?

– Last Updated: Oct-21-10 5:54 PM EST –

I recently bought a Hyundai Elantra Touring. More of a front wheel drive wagon than an SUV. Great gas mileage and the roof rails are solid. I haul two 16 ft - 17 ft kayaks... no problem.

Thanks all!!!
Thanks for all the pics and ideas! I really like the Mini set up but I am 6ft4in and if I recall It was a little tight for me. The CRV might be the way to go…dont know about the leg/head room though.

The Littlest SUV
Boris the Hyundai:

and the CRV fits me fine… my only regret is not getting one 8 years ago…

late model scooby

or newer

Not to worry
We carry 4 whitewater kayaks on our 2005 Subaru or two 17+ sea kayaks at highway speeds. Lots of vehicles will do this. Just be sure to use bow and stern lines for any longer trips at higher speeds.

small roof, long boats, no rack
If I can cruise the highways in a sport coupe with a short roof, no racks, and a 17’ boat, you should have no problems with any small SUV and normal racks…

thats nothing
a friend puts 4 17’ kayaks on his wife’s Carola… :wink: