Suitable Roof Rack Vehicle

So, here are the options. 2014 Hyundai Tucson or 2014 Chevrolet Equinox. Does anyone have experience with either vehicle with respect to their ability to hold a sea kayak on the roof rack? Both vehicles are suitable for our other needs. The Tucson is less $$$ but I am a little concerned about the roof rack stability.



any vehicle
I recommend that folks not worry about roof racks…and pick the vehicle that is the very best for them. Then, take said vehicle to an upholstery shop and have them drop the headliner (if you don’t want to do it yourself), so you can install permanently mounted Yakima landing pads (#7 I think), OR Yakima tracks. With the headliner down, they can be installed at the strongest spots.

I have landing pads on my 2003 CRV and they are hardly noticeable. The only bad thing is that front to rear bar spacing is fixed permanently if you go this route with the pads instead of the tracks.

where’s the hole cutter ?

Yak should have hardware linking the two transverse rods with longitudinal rods then…more transverse rods.

No opion, but good question
It’s something I think about a lot with respect to cars. Never mind horsepower, mpg, or safety rating, what matters is how the boat fits, and how the car looks with a boat on it!

Sorry, I have no info to answer the OP’s question, but I like the question.


what joe said
That said, which is the better car?

Will you be trading at end of warranty? Because I think the hyundai carries a longer warranty (and if it were me I’d be trading the chevy the day before the warranty expired).

eyebolts ?

option SS yacht quality 3/16th’s shaft eyebolts into the roof for 1/8 side cord looped around hull with a hitch then tied off.

Place kayak on standard foam blocks and tie down.

Very low height profile, super gas mileage if the boat can move rearward from the windblast flowing over the windshield…which is a form to eyeball on the two choices…roof strength and shape.

Chevy may be positioned to offer a deal. An extra ignition device ?

My previous car was the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, very close to the Tucson. I attached Thule clamps to the factory parallel roof rack to hold lateral Thule square bars and regularly hauled one or two 15’ to 18’ touring kayaks or an 85 lb canoe on that rack at extended highway speeds with no problems whatseover. I always carried them deck down, except my folding kayak which I carried sideways on Thule J-racks. And I always used bow and stern lines to the bumpers.

Honestly I think Hyundai’s are great and well made cars and a great value. I still miss that Santa Fe, which was a quieter, smoother and more comfortable car than the Subaru Outback I replaced it with. If I was to buy a new car at this point it would be one of the Hyundais, though I think I would personally choose the lower roofed Elantra Touring. The sole drawback of the Santa Fe was that it was a little tall for me (I am 5’ 5") which made loading the kayaks a little more difficult.

any vehicle
You don’t have to drop the headliner to install tracks on any rig. Yakima and Thule use plus-nuts, an expansion bolt to install their tracks on roof tops. You need to consult a RACK shop that sells and install the tracks. They’ll have templates and experience.

any vehicle
You don’t have to drop the headliner to install tracks on any rig. Yakima and Thule use plus-nuts, an expansion bolt to install their tracks on roof tops. You need to consult a RACK shop that sells and install the tracks. They’ll have templates and experience.

Chevy Equinox

– Last Updated: May-22-14 8:38 AM EST –

I don't own one, but a good friend is on her second one and has nothing but praise for the Equinox. She had a Jeep Liberty before the two Eqinoxes and says the Equinox gets much better gas mileage, has more usable space, drives easier, has more comfortable seats, and is more reliable.

And "Nope," you don't HAVE to drop the headliner to "Rack" a vehicle no more than you have to "Flip" on a turn signal to turn it. Joe is talking about the IDEAL solution. That way you get the vehicle you want and have a bomb-proof rack with attachment points that are where you need them.

yakima options
I wanted to clarify something…I put tracks on my 2002 Honda CRV, and Yakima provided a template on where to drill the holes and install the “plus nuts”, otherwise known as well nuts…they expand under the sheet metal kind of like drywall anchors. It was a strong, reliable system that allowed adjustable fore-aft positioning of the cross bars, AND at a longer distance than using the Yakima towers at the factory locations.

I sold that vehicle in 2005… In 2012 I bought a 2003 Honda CRV, and when I inquired about tracks, was advised that Yakima no longer provides the templates on where to drill the holes, and instead referred you to a professional installer. So perhaps the pros can get the templates, but it doesn’t appear that Yakima provides the info to consumers.

Yakima landing pad 6’s are used where you have access to the underneath of the roof, as you would if you dropped the headliner or on a pickup camper shell. Landing pad 7’s come with the well nuts. I do still think you can get a stronger setup if you drop the headliner and pick spots for the landing pads that have the most under-roof support. You can’t just drill a hole anywhere and use a well nut, if you happen to pick the wrong spot and hit a brace or crossmember, the well nut may not work correctly. I found it pretty easy to just drop the headliner and be done with it…and have a rack attachment that is bulletproof and good for the life of the vehicle. Peace of mind when I put $11,000 worth of Kruger Sea Winds (replacement value) on the roof and take off for Quetico!!

I admit, when I look at vehicles, I’m always thinking about how well a good rack system will fit it. I happen to be a Honda and Toyota fan, and have a lot of choices within those brands such as CRVs, RAV4s, Highlander, 4Runner, Venzas, Vibes, etc… I think the Venza is an awesome vehicle with a lower roofline that would make an excellent vehicle to rack boats on.