Tall vehicals

-- Last Updated: Nov-14-06 10:54 PM EST --

I have a Jeep Libery and it is to tall for me to put my yak on top by myself. Any ideas or hints? I have made and extension for the bars but I really don't like it. I do not want to put rollers on my bars because when my wife and I kayak together we use the cradles and I am to lazy to change each time I go.


been asked before
You can try searching the archives.

You will find answers talking about using trailers, about using something like the Thule Hulivator, getting a new car, etc.

Yeah, check the archives for Advice. There is a set of wheels you can buy (or make your own) that hang off the top of the rear hatch so that you can prop your boat up on them and roll it over to the rack. I think it’s called the Roller-Loader, but for sure it’ll show up in the archives.

Glue a couple of pieces of indoor-outdoor carpet to your saddles.

Lay the boat on the ground at the rear of the car, with the bow off to the side, far enough forward so that when you pick it up you can place it on the rear saddle.

Get a old towel or equal and with a small bungee cord, wrap it around the stern to protect the rudder.

Pick up the bow and place it on the saddle.

Go back to the stern, pick it up and slide the kayak on to where you want it to be.

If you can’t fulcrum it to keep the bow off the roof until it reaches the front saddle, use another old towel under the bow so you won’t scratch the roof.

Where there is a will there is a way!



what Jack said
but instead of the towel, put a rubber backed bath mat on the back of car. Won’t slide, and gives your paint job a little extra protection. Lift front of boat off ground and put it up on back of car on mat. hold on to boat as you walk to rear. Lift up rear and slide up on mat till you can lower into rear saddle. Push foward.

Or rollerloader http://www.amagansettbeachco.com/indexrl.asp?Type=RL Never tried it but people seem to love them.

Or hullavator ($$$)


get Nurf bars with steps in them, besides looking cool they protect your vehicle too.

Resurrecting and old thread
For giggles…

“Large SUV’s”

Posted by Andy Szymczak on Oct-06-00 at 08:57 AM (EST)

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the merits of various rack systems. I have been considering an SUV as my next vehicle, but several issues have come up and would appreciate any comments or suggestions.

The two largest SUV’s I believe are the Suburban and the Expedition. My foremost concern is the height of both. It’s one thing getting the kayaks on the roof, the more difficult issue is the actual strapping and tying down of the kayaks. What appears obvious is the need for some height enhancing device such as a stepladder to facilitate reaching the inboard attachments for the straps.

The use of a step ladder is innocuous enough but upon further reflection, it dawned on me that once I reach my destination the process needs to be reversed. This will require that I take the step ladder with me! Another concern is what happens when the vehicle is fully loaded and there is no room for the step ladder. My only alternative is to put the step ladder on the rack alongside the kayaks.

Is anyone aware of whether Yakima, Thule or even Saris have addressed this issue?

Which ladder would be best? A 3 step, 4 step or 5 step.

Wood, plastic or aluminum?

Can anyone suggest a good manufacturer of step ladders?

I ruled out a hot air balloon because of the need for propane gas. But the deflated volume appealed to me.

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

Andy Szymczak

1 . “SUV”

Posted by SloJoe on Oct-06-00 at 09:19 AM (EST)

Hey Andy, get a life!

3 . “Read my lips,”

Posted by Tongue in cheek! on Oct-06-00 at 10:27 AM (EST)

If you can’t read the subtle humor, then maybe I was too subtle and do need to get a life! Have no intention to get a large SUV. A vehicle with 4 wheels is all I need and I’m good to go.

Andy Szymczak

2 . “milk crates”

Posted by Bob A. on Oct-06-00 at 10:25 AM (EST)

I’ve got a lower car so haven’t tried it, but I’ve seen people use those plastic milk crates to stand on, then throw them in the back to help organize there.

4 . “SUV”

Posted by LarryC on Oct-06-00 at 10:36 AM (EST)

A tiny bit too subtle, Andy, but very good! Thanks for the smile.

5 . “suvs”

Posted by MW on Oct-06-00 at 12:36 PM (EST)

I use a climbing rope and harness to ascend the hood of my Suburban. I toss the end of the rope around the Yakima racks, then quickly secure the end to my harness using a large caribeener (red, to match the vehicle). “On Belay” I shout as I lean in toward the windshield and scale the final two feet to the roof of the SUV. From there it’s a breeze to strap down the boats. The climbing gear fits snugly under the rear seat (the first row).

(Yea, I know, “get a life”…)

6 . “Suv’s”

Posted by Andy Szymczak on Oct-06-00 at 01:02 PM (EST)

MW, How do you deal with nosebleeds due to high elevation?


7 . “SUV”

Posted by Paul on Oct-06-00 at 01:06 PM (EST)

FMC builds a nice self-propelled overhead crane that you can tow your SUV with and …

Seriously, have you thought about Thule outriggers? They hang out and for you to load your boat and then “retract” to place your boat on the rack bars.

Me, I jump from second story windows with my yak under my arm, just like the Lone Ranger… you should see the dents in the roof of my Cherokee!

(This has been a message of reading between the lines… lines of BS that is)


8 . “Off with the racks”

Posted by Rackless on Oct-06-00 at 02:09 PM (EST)

After years of loading/unloading on roof rack systems and the constant need to refit the racks to adapt to new vehicles I just plain decided enough was enough! I modified a small boat trailer with a double-decker T-bar rack system. Now I connect the trailer to gas guzzlers and rice burners. I unload at the water and reload for the trip home and that’s it.

9 . “Maximize Your SUV”

Posted by Joe Suv on Oct-06-00 at 02:17 PM (EST)

I just pull my SUV directly into lake and then paddle off the rack. At the end of the day I paddle back on and drive out.

10 . “Racks”

Posted by jack on Oct-06-00 at 08:38 PM (EST)

I thought that this was a serious web site,

that could help greenhorns like me,wwho doesnt

even know if the paddle has the blades at the

same angle or not,seems I was wrong.

Har Har har Love it!!! good stuff.


11 . “BIG Vehicles, Roof Racks, & Ladders…”

Posted by Frank in Miami on Oct-06-00 at 09:33 PM (EST)


Many of the larger vans are just as big as an SUV, especially the extended wheelbase 15+ passenger ones. And they’re plenty tall, too! Saw one this afternoon as I left the gym -had a poly open cockpit sit inside (something along the lines of a 15’ Keowee or Loon) on top of a triple set of Yak racks, with a hully roller setup on the rear bar, and a yak yoke setup on the front bar. The thing was, it had these spiderman kind of towers that -literally -towered over the roof of the van about 6" or so high. So there’s THAT class of big land yachts to consider as well.

The new Toyota is pretty dang big, and don’t forget the Hummer: that thing’s a REAL monster!

Ahhh, fergetit…

Get a trailer. That way, you’d be able to tote without altitude sickness, and be able to park in the “cars with trailers only” section of marinas and boat ramps.

Just thought I’d add a little spice…!!!

Frank in Miami

12 . “Sikorski Skycrane…”

Posted by Bruce S. on Oct-06-00 at 11:47 PM (EST)

…gets a little better gas mileage

13 . “Why use the roof at all?”

Posted by Pete G on Oct-08-00 at 11:52 AM (EST)

I had it with the whole up-down-lift-fall routine so I just made a bunch of cheap metal skid plates, strap them onto the boats and drag them behind my

car. In Southern Georgia that kind of stuff is just not that unusual to see out driving.

14 . “racks? we don’t need need no stinkin’ racks”

Posted by BruceMcC on Oct-09-00 at 12:48 PM (EST)

If you install a thirty-two inch lift kit, you won’t need no stinkin’ racks. You can carry two to three boats under the vehicle.

Bruce McC


15 . “You Got Back Windows-You Got Racks!”

Posted by Reddnik on Oct-09-00 at 02:17 PM (EST)

Hey…it works. I do live rather close to the put-in though. Joggers and bikers stay clear!

16 . “windows”

Posted by Andy Szymczak on Oct-09-00 at 04:43 PM (EST)

Simple, ingenious solution! Cleaning the streets of rif raf at the same time! Kudos


20 . “a line stolen from T.L.”

Posted by Bruce S. on Oct-11-00 at 02:37 AM (EST)

I’ll reply as soon as I’m finished laundering my shorts.

17 . “Joey Chitwood method”

Posted by T.L. on Oct-10-00 at 01:34 PM (EST)

Our club has a demo Ford Explorer ( yes, I’m from Detroit, I have contacts in the industry). We have brought in Joey Chitwood for professional instruction. With proper technigue and a little practice we have been able to execute the “J-turn” just right and gently lay the the SUV over on to its side. The boats are then very easy to get at, and are usually undamaged. I have found that I prefer to lay it over onto the passenger side, this leaves the steering wheel as a valuable hand grab for exiting the vehicle. Funny though, I seem to be doing more solo trips since I bought that SUV.

I have also thought that if I get the 77" Thule bars, perhaps they would stick out far enough that the vehicle would lie over onto the bar-ends. This would eliminate the need to drop my SUV off at the body shop after every other paddle. We tried mounting Hully Rollers some which way on the bar-ends. Unfortunately most of us couldn’t get the Hully rollers to work properly. When someone finaly did get them to work right, of course the entire mechanism just rolled around to the other side of the Yakima bar because we couldn’t secure it tight enough…

I’m asking for a winch and cables for Christmas this year, people are not always so eager to help me flip my SUV upright again at the end of a good paddle. I tried placing 200 of those CO2 inflating self rescue devices found in the back of the sea kayak mags under my SUV to pop it back upright, but that gets exspenive and they don’t leave enough room for sandwhich supplies in the back of my SUV.

Feel free to have your club contact our club for a demonstration. We have contacted the ACA and BCU, and Sea Kayaker mag for demos, although we are yet to receive a response. So far our only demo request has come from the local Monster Truck Show.

Cheers, and remember to keep those arms and shoulders within the “paddlers box” when loading and unloading boats to prevent those nasty shoulder injuries.

19 . “Yerfa kencrazee”

Posted by Bruce S. on Oct-11-00 at 02:27 AM (EST)

but then you already know that.

23 . “J-roll”

Posted by LarryC on Oct-11-00 at 12:13 PM (EST)


T.L. stands for Totally Loony, correct???


18 . “Racks??”

Posted by Huindekmi on Oct-10-00 at 04:06 PM (EST)

The Expedition is one big vehicle. Just open the back and set your 18’ kayak inside. It should fit with room to spare.

21 . “read this dad”

Posted by andrew szymczak, andy’s son on Oct-11-00 at 09:34 AM (EST)

get a life dad

24 . “life”

Posted by LarryC on Oct-11-00 at 12:18 PM (EST)

Geez, Andrew, if he got a life, how would he be able to entertain the rest of us ???

25 . “Thanks”

Posted by for coming to my defense! on Oct-11-00 at 01:14 PM (EST)

My son likes to bust my chops!


22 . “Get a trailer.”

Posted by Sarasota Dave on Oct-11-00 at 11:06 AM (EST)

Make your life easier and keep your new truck

in good condition. Shouldn’t cost more than $400.

What Jack said
but add a tag line from the stern to the vehicle so the boat cant slip back. Always load from the high side. If you are on a slope park nose down.