Tying up loose ends of straps?

I use the traditional tie-down straps with cam buckles to tie my canoe down to the roof racks on my van. I also use 1" tie-down straps with cam locks to tie down my bow/stern. My question is what is the best method for tying up the loose ends of the straps? Unlike traditional rope, the straps seem to be a bit more “slippy”, and the ends always come loose and flap in the wind when I’m driving with my canoe on top. Is there a knot that is better suited for web straps than the knots traditionally used for ropes? Or is there some type of mechanism (e.g. clamps, Velcro, etc.) I could use to better secure the ends of the straps? Thanks.

if the tails hang near a window
run them inside and shut the window… Doesn’t work if you have the windows open…

Otherwise I half hitch ad nauseum. Whip some of the excess length around the bar first.

Bow/stern tie-downs are the worst for me
I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of tying up the loose ends of the straps that attach my canoe to the roof. Those don’t get caught up in the wind as much for some reason and, therefore, don’t come loose on me. It’s mainly the bow and stern tie-downs and particularly the ones at the front of the van. Those are driving directly into the wind and get hit the most. Unfortunately, I have no window I can roll them up into. Any tips on tying the loose ends of straps at the front of the car? Or gear that can help hold them down?

My suggestion is
use rope.

I use rope there.

and a truckers hitch to secure and half hitches for the excess.

No need for four cam buckle tiedowns for each boat.

Yeah, I know it’s overkill, but
I had them on hand from previous projects/hobbies. They’re quick and easy to use. I could use rope, but I’d have to go out and buy more.

if you have dedicated front and rear
straps, just cut off the excess but leave about a foot. Melt the end to stop fraying.

Then half hitch away.

hitch n tape

hitch to cross bars so the bitter end trails to rearward. The tape the end end with 33. 333 tapes to itself, stretches tight, eliminates flap flap


Irrelevant. Again
the OP is referring to front and rear tie downs.

Please stop roboposting

polyester rope

Old bicyle tubes
cut the tube into 1/2" donuts and slide one over each strap all the way down to the buckle. Then fold the excess strap up into a bundle and slip in into the rubber band. The rrubber bands do degrade from uv over time, but I keep a bunch in a small Altoid box in the car. One tube will last a lifetime.

The rubber bands used ti bundle broccoli in supermarkets also are about the right size.


Thank you, canoeist11!
That’s the kind of ingenious MacGuyvering I was after. I will have to give that a try! Thanks to everyone else for helping, too. If anyone has more “off-label” tips and tricks, I’d be very appreciative!

How I do it
Put a half hitch below the cam. That will help keep the strap tight in case of slippage. For the loose end, two half hitches will work if there is pressure against them (like pulling two straps together) or if the strap end goes between the strap above the cam when doing the half hitches. Use your imagination. You need additional friction to keep the strap ends from moving.

Daisy Chain 'em
Quick to unwrap to boot.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



no, really - rope.
Trucker’s hitch. Trim excess.

1/4"dacron is cheap and doesn’t interfere with vision as much as web strap. Why make it complicated?

shrink wrap.

In all honesty, this is where I use rope, bow and stern tiedowns. What you just said.

Okay, simple enough…
Guess I’ll just pick up some paracord the next time I’m out at my local big box store. I only used the web straps with cam buckles because I already had them on hand. I replaced the S-hooks on the straps with carabiners. So, it’s quick and easy to attach the straps to all the tie-down points without fear of anything coming unhooked. The cam buckles make it easy to cinch everything down tight. And the webbing sounded like it would be stronger than rope. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the loose ends of the straps coming loose all the time is a bit of a pain. And the wider straps do get in your field of vision more so than rope would, but it’s not really that bad.

But, I’ll pick up some paracord and try it out and see if I like it better than the straps. I’m just a newbie. So I have lots to learn. Thanks for all the replies and advice.

why not
use 33 for front and rear if applicable ?

When you hear a noise like that, please stop and look under the vehicle.

Some use paracord, but I think …
… “real” rope is better. I know paracord is pretty strong, but I just don’t like tying things to my roof with line that’s not any thicker than the laces on my work boots. Instead, I use 3/8ths-inch diameter rope with a woven pattern. It’s not even high-quality rope, but strong enough and it’s easy to work with, and has a very soft surface that won’t mar the paint on a car. My best-quality paracord has a surface that’s quite hard and even slightly abrasive in texture, which isn’t something I’d prefer rubbing against the paint of my car, in one tiny spot, for hours on end.