Yakima truck rack question


My trusty old Subaru wagon died, so I replaced it with a Nissan hardbody pickup truck (long bed). I couldn’t use the old raingutter towers I had on the Subaru, and the short cab of the truck could only reasonably hold one cross bar (with Yakima Q towers). For the rear cross bar, I got these tall Yakima towers that sit on top of the side edges of the bed, with hooks that go around and tighten underneath those edges.

They seem quite secure, but I do notice that they can sway a bit side-to-side (the “overhang” metal of those bed edges seem a bit flexible, facilitating the side-to-side sway of the towers that sit on top of them).

I’m not sure yet if this is something to be terribly worried about. Is it? If it is a problem that should be dealt with, should I see about having a welder stiffen up those bed edges somehow?

If anyone here has this sort of rack system on their truck, I’d be happy to read any comments or suggestions you might have.



I have the racks you have.

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 6:04 AM EST –

But they are on a Frontier, mine is very solid with no movement. With the bars tightened down it doesn't move. The difference might be body styles.

JT in Central Florida

I have the Yakima outdoorsman (compact) 300’s on the bed of my Tundra DC and I have experienced the same thing. While they appear to be prettty sturdy, there is a slight side to side wobble that is caused by the weak lip of the bed. I increased the spread between my bars and have been pretty happy with the results…

Wouldn’t worry about it.
I’ve been using the Outdoorsman 300 on my Ford Ranger for a little over 2 years; a set in front and back of the bed. There is some side to side movement toward the top, but nothing’s loosened up all this time. I’ll carry 2, sometime 3 kayaks on them and my 120lb. daughter does gymnastics on them. Good racks. Make sure the clamps are very tight and use an extra lock nut on them.


Thanks guys! :slight_smile:
I’ll check to make sure that the cross bar is screwed down as tight as possible. This is a used rack I got from a friend, and one of the cross bar tightening screws is a bit bent, so I’ll replace that and see if I can get it any tighter.

Thanks again!


Oh…another question about…
…the placement angle of the hooks that tighten the Outdoorsman towers to the truck bed edges.

I was at the car mechanic’s shop this afternoon, and had an opportunity to look at the bed edges of a Toyota truck (about the same size as my truck). The bed edges on the Toyota were much narrower than the bed edges on my truck (mine are 3" wide, while the Toyota’s were just over 1" wide). This got me thinking (a potentially dangerous proposition, naturally).

I’m now wondering if there’s an optimum angle at which I should point these hooks? Right now, my hooks are set perpendicular to the sides of the truck bed, so that the “business end” of the hooks are closest to the outside of the truck bed. Obviously, on a truck bed like I saw on the Toyota, the hooks would have to be angled either fore or aft, as there simply isn’t enough room for them to be perpendicular to the truck sides.

So, is perpendicular best if that’s possible? Or would there be any good reason to angle these hooks either fore or aft? I just want to get the most secure fit.



Thanks for a useful hint!

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 6:40 PM EST –

Hi JT,

I re-checked the tightness of the cross bar clamps, and indeed, they could have been a bit tighter. After tightening them up, the racks are now rock solid (if I try to push them side-to-side, the towers are solid, and only the whole truck moves).

I feel much better mow. :-)


J-hook angles
On my Ranger’s bed, the tower’s weight is more on the inside edge of the bed; so I angled the hooks toward the inside edge underneath. Probably makes no difference if they’re perpendicular or angled. Just figured it’d be best to clamp it directly opposite, like a vice.


You could to this
Take two straps, run them from the top of each tower to the opposite side at the truck bed making an X brace. Pull the straps down tight. It should take the sway out since you have a rigid top bar going across.

I use the same setup on my 1997 Nissan
truck with no problems. I wouldn’t worry about a little side-to-side sway.

Thanks again, everyone! :slight_smile:
After replacing all the old clamp bolts, and tightening them down fully, the racks are absolutely rock solid; no sway at all.

Thanks for all your helpful suggestions!