Yakima rack

Question about the yakima rack. I just got a rack to haul my 17’ boat and was wondering about other’s experiences with this system. I have followed all the directions, used the proper clip and measurements, but the rack doesn’t feel rock solid. I can’t move it an millimeter outward, but I can move it a tad forward and back. I’ve got it as tight as possible, I even broke one of the cam covers because I had it so tight and had to replace it.

Do they secure even if they move a bit like that? I’m a pretty strong guy, but I’m not a bodybuilder. Is this secure enough? I plan to use bow and stern lines, but this kayak is my baby and I don’t want it to end up a piece of scrap plastic.

I have been back and forth to Florida
from NJ with my sea kayak and found that the Yakima towers loosen. The clips scratched and rusted my car. When it was time to get rid of the car, I made sure my new one had factory racks. Luckily, I never had a mishap, but I wouldn’t trust those towers. I also had to drill holes in the bars to prevent the hully rollers from spinning when loading the kayak. Steve F

Problem is not the rack, but the car
Clips for the darn gutterless cars have to grab an area that was not designed for anything but a door seal. Some clips must compress the rubber door seals and others hold onto the slightest metal edge. You can muscle any clip style rack fore and aft. Will it come off, probably not. Will it loosen, depends on the car and the clip.

Definitely use end tiedowns, and dont tailgate big trucks and buses. Keep out of the turbulence as much as possible.

Without knowing what car and where the racks attach, i can’t give a definite. Best roof racks for cars attach to real raingutters or to bases bolted to the roof. Control towers on landing pads, much better than clip style towers.


Car is an
04 Chevy Impala

I have the Q towers on an 03 Malibu. Q87 clips, I belive.

I find they grip like King Kongs cousin, no movement. I didn’t like Yakimas recommended bar spread, so I moved them out. Seems to work just fine, I’ve had them for two or three years. Use them almost weekly, taking them off when not in use.

So what’s my suggestion? Don’t take Yakimas’s measurements as Gospel. See how it rides, and feels, and adjust it to your car. They have designed a wonderfully adjustable system. It may be that you have to learn to adjust it.

I guess I’ll find out if Yakima has lawyers or engineers reading this website.


BTW, no offense intended, you may have already spent a bunch of time adjusting the crap out of these things, in which case, I haven’t a clue…see if they have a customer support number…

Good Luck.

I wouldn’t trust or use a rack
unless it is rock solid and firmly attached to the vehicle.



follow the directions
I’ve installed Yakima racks for 4 years now and the only vehicle I’ve seen lose a rack was an Impala. The guy had been loading surf boards on it which are listed by Yakima as “will not fit”. It may not seem like a big deal to carry surf boards but the engineers at Yakima are pretty dialed in on what the rack can and can’t do. I would not suggest spacing them any further than recommended either.

Check and make sure you have the right Q Clips.

hmmmm ??

I drilled up thru the clips
My taurus has the wrong curve. It was easy to build racks when cars had roof gutters. Now the curve is wrong to make them solid. I hauled a 19 ft glider at 75 on south95 and it was totaly solid becayse I drilled up thru the yakima clips and used a stainless screw that would barely fit. practice to get the exact size and use only the best drill becuase yakima clips are tough to drill thru. I now have about 40 in of span with fron rack by front windshield and back rack by back windshield. Span is the key to safe carrying. problem is you might lose 5mpg by leaving racks on and they whistle and maybe a few drops of water come in around the screws up above the window. It is worth it to me knowing rack will not blow off anf kill someone. Under the table yakima salesmen have admiitted drilling is the only safe option on some cars. My 2002 taurus calls for triple post with small span.