Toyota Sienna tie downs

I’m considering getting a Toyota Sienna and I’m hoping someone here has come up a with a solution to attach bow an stern lines. It doesn’t appear that the Sienna has any convenient attachment points.

Has anyone tried these:



I have a sienna
fantastic boat hauler, great racks, lovely bar spread.

Those things from Rutabaga would work great under the hood. There are bolts you can remove. As far as stern lines, I basically don’t use them. I’m not aware of a good place to attach anything at the back.

In the front there are tow hooks. In the rear we had a trailer hitch installed and I used an attachment on that. I tied boats down on it before I had the hitched installed but that was a long time ago, I don’t remember what was there in the rear.

Top Ties from Rutabaga
Here are a few photos of our use of the top ties on our Toyota Camry which also has no convenient attachment points. The bow top ties consist of loops with a metal grommet which is attached under the hood under a convenient bolt, but not so it touches the radiator. The stern top ties consist of a loop with a big plastic cylinder about the size of a large spool of thread. This stern top tie is not attached to the vehicle but just dropped in place before the trunk is shut. The loop is thin enough to slide out to snug the cylinder inside the trunk.

The photo of the stern top tie doesn’t show the cylinder inside the trunk yet.

There have been prior threads from all of the p-net do-it-yourselfers who duplicated the top ties for almost no cost.

These have saved my crawling on the ground to find attachment sites.

So if you buy them, you need the two different types.

Hope this helps.


Top Ties from Rutabaga-photos
Sorry if that link to photos didn’t work, but I had omitted the www. Please try this link:


Stripping paint?

– Last Updated: May-01-08 1:54 PM EST –

Wouldn't these gradually rub-off the paint where they come around the hood/trunk lid? Do they come with some sort of clear tape or plastic (like some Yakima wind deflectors come with) to place at the rub spots?

I drive an old '02 Prius that has only 28" spread on the racks, similar to a Camry I'd assume (which we also have - an '00), and for under 60 mph and a single boat I do not feel the need to use front/read tie-downs. But I keep my boat upside-down and if anything, the wind only pushes it against the rack rather than try to rip it off it. Side winds should not be much of a concern unless it's a very strong gust.

I suppose it depends on the boat's length. For a 10 footer I would not bother on the Sienna. For longer boats, these will help I suppose in extreme conditions and for added fault tollerance, should the rack fail somehow...

I'm thinking of a similar easy way to do front/back ties on the Prius as the boat does wobble on occasion and an unexpected bad weather/storm will have to slow me down considerably for safety's sake... These seem easy enough to do - my local hardware store sells nice flat ribbons for $0.50 to $0.80 per foot (I use them as the harness on my Kayak pulley system in my garage).

These can also be hooked under the bumper I presume and just wrap around it and up to the boat (like some trunk-mounted bike carriers do) - on a city car that has the bumber already well scatched it would not matter much if it gets another rub mark or two...

Top Ties

– Last Updated: May-02-08 2:57 AM EST –

Made my own, but they're not that expensive to buy. Have had mine since '05 and no problems with them rubbing paint, unlike every other tie down I've used over the last 3 decades. I will NEVER be without these handy little things on our vehicles.
Here's a couple pics illustrating their use on our Honda Element. WW

Thanks for the photos
Do I see that you twist the tie-down? Is it to minimize wind vibration/noise at speed?

When I tie my sit on top to the roof-top racks I get tons of vibration in the tie-down belts, so I tend to try to twist them or wrapt them with the tail of the tie-down belt that is left over once things are tightened-up. Yet I still get a lot of vibrations, even from something that is may be 20 inches or less (by the way, I get no wind noise with two other different boats on - they allow nicer tie-down with no sections of the belts that are afar from the boat hull).

So, folks who have used the front tie-down, do you get wind vibrations? Would you rather use a round rope than a flat ribbon for the up extension?

You’re Welcome

– Last Updated: May-02-08 10:35 AM EST –

Rope or round tiedowns will definitely have less vibration and wind "Music" than straps. That said, I use straps because I've got a ton of them and they're just so quick and easy. So I just give them a few twists to decrease the noise and vibration. WW

Top ties
We have them on 5 different vehicles in our extended family (and yes, all purchased from Rutabaga). There are no downsides: No wind noise, no paint wear, nothing. And they take all of about 5 minutes to install. They provide easy access to front and rear attachment points so there is never an excuse not to use those bow and stern tie downs. And they cost $8.95; how hard a committment is that? They permanently solve your problem and they’re cheap. There are few real no-brainers out there, but this is one of them.

I’ve used those tie-down straps
for years on two vehicles, coincidentally, one a Toyota Sienna (the other a Subaru Outback) with no problems. They don’t rub off any paint, can be easily tucked under the hood when you aren’t using them, and are simple to install and remove. I highly recommend them for any car without easy attachment options.

tie downs
I have a car with no clear place to anchor stern ties also. I did the nylon strap thing under the hood, but for the stern, I got a heavy eye bolt at the hardware store and found a spare hole in the frame under the rear bumper to bolt it on. I have a stern line with a gate hook that I can reach under the bumper and snap right in place. So used to doing it now I don’t have to fumble around, I know right where it is.

Been using my own for 12 years
and never a problem. I have had them on four or five cars of my own and several friends (my own, never saw any commercially available till 6 months ago).