The Warn VR series truck plus SUV winches are actually Warn’s basic level winches. It means they are small on price just, not on the performance. Every single winch inside the VR winch series can be packed with unique Warn features, including the typical wire rope with roller fairlead or Warn’s patented Spydura artificial rope with a hawse fairlead. The durable, easy, and always dependable three-stage planetary device train is the choice of the industries for the purpose of gearing as the series-wound motor gives lots of power and fast range speed. So read the following Warn VR8000 Review and select the best product for your vehicleser Continue reading
The Subaru Crosstrek is a smooth 148 horse power machine with just under 9 inches ground clearance. It is an all weather vehicle that can be driven well even over rough terrain. While it is not top of the range in terms of speed, it is a very comfortable car to be in especially on long drives.
Before installing a kayak rack on this vehicle, you will need to install cross bars. The Crosstrek unlike its Outback cousin does not come with inbuilt cross bars. There are many varieties of cross bars to choose from in the market.
Choosing cross bars will require that you know the load rating that is convenient for you, the length of the cross bar and how much you are willing to spend. There are various brands which you can choose from. When choosing the length, make sure the bar does not overhang. If it does, it might hit people’s heads as they leave the vehicle.
Rola Kayak Carrier Roof Rack | Best kayak rack for the Subaru Crosstrek
There are many quality kayak carriers out there. One of the best brands which you will get at an affordable price is the Rola Kayak Carrier Roof Rack. It has great features for water craft enthusiasts and these will work well on your Crosstrek.
This carrier is made of heavy duty powdered steel. The steel material makes it very strong and therefore long lasting. You can use it near salt water bodies as it is rust-resistant as well.
When you carry your craft on your car, you want it to be safe from dents especially when travelling on bumpy roads. This carrier comes with foam pads which shield your craft during transportation.
This craft uses universal hardware. This hardware is compatible with most crossbars that you will come across. Hence it will work well with the Subaru Crosstrek.
This is one of the few carrier brands that you will find with durable straps. The straps offered by ROLA are heavy duty straps that will last you a long time. The craft carrier also comes with bow and stern tie downs.
The ROLA comes with a five year warranty. This is another assurance of the quality of the product.
How to Install the Rola Kayak Carrier Roof Rack
The package will come with a list of all the components and they will be labelled with alphabetic characters. These will guide you in the installation.
Clean you crossbars before beginning installation. Wiping them down with a wet cloth will be enough. Let them dry before proceeding.
Remove the clamp knobs by unscrewing them from the J-Rac. This will cause the clamp bracket (labelled F) to come loose. The clamp knobs (labelled G) are screws which have a head with three sides.
Pull off the clamp bracket from the J-Rac and then place the J-Rac on your first crossbar. Once you are sure this is the position you want it on, hold it firmly down.
Now slip back the clamp bracket through the carrier bolts (labelled H) and screw back the clamp knobs so that they are snug, but not tight. This will secure the rack onto the crossbar.
Pick up the second J-Rac and repeat the process. Unscrew the clamp knobs, remove the clamp bracket, place the rack on the back crossbar, return the clamp bracket and screw on the clamp knobs.
It is important when using these carriers to place your crossbars at least 24 inches apart. If they are set any closer than this, they will compromise stability. Reset them to comply with this specification.
Also, align the J-Racs so that they match on each crossbar. Once you are sure that they match, tighten the clamp knobs completely.
Take the Cam Buckle Strap (labelled C) and pass it through the Cam Buckle Cover (labelled B) and leave the buckle exposed at the rear.
Loop the strap through the top of the J-Rac that is on the first crossbar and then tie a knot.
Now load the craft onto the racks and let the two ends of the strap (the one with the buckle at the end and the loose end) hang over the craft. If the craft is loaded sideways, and the top is facing you, then the straps should come from the back, over the side and hang on the side facing you.
Slip the loose end under the crossbar and then up into the cam buckle. Pull it through to ensure a tight fit. Now fit the Cam Buckle Cover over the buckle to keep it secure.
Repeat this process for the back crossbar. It would be more convenient to place the strap onto the J-Racs on both crossbars before loading the craft. This will allow for faster loading.
Take the rope (D) and put it through the hole in hook (E) and then tie a knot. Look for a place to secure the hook such as the tow loop or a metal surface on the bumper. Put the other end of the rope through the end of the kayak at the rescue bar.
Ensure that the rope is pulled to tautness and then tie a knot to secure it. You can tie up the excess rope.
Repeat this process of using the hook to secure the craft to the vehicle at the front. Look for a place to pass it through the front and tighten it as well.
Test the tightness of the ropes by trying to rock the craft back and forth or from side to side. If there is movement, then you need to tighten the ropes more.
Points to note
The weight limit of these carriers is 165 pounds. This consists of the weight of the crossbars, the carriers and the watercraft. You will thus require to know the weights of each of these components so that you do not exceed this total weight.
The ROLA rack is an excellent match for the Subaru Crosstrek. It will fit very well and also last you through the seasons and for many years. This is a carrier which has been made to last.
Vinyl wrapping is also known as car wrapping or vehicle wrapping. It is used to transform a car or any other vehicle and give it a completely new look and feel. It changes the color scheme and even texture of the car depending on which type of Vinyl Wrap for car. For Vinyl Wrapping, large sheets of Vinyl film is put on the surfaces of the car as required. It is very important to know how to remove plasti dip as well whenever you wish to change the look of your car.
Applying a vinyl sheet on your car
In order to apply a Vinyl film on the surface, extreme precision is required. It is usually done only by experts who are trained in doing this. This process has to be done very carefully as there are high chances with even the best vinyl films, there are chances that there are bubbles and creases. There might be a difference in the color schemes while applying the film.
Best vinyl sheets to choose from
Talking about the best Vinyl films to choose from, one should always opt for a 3M vinyl film with black carbon fiber which is flexible. You should ensure that the vinyl you choose gives you proper coverage. The key idea over choosing the best vinyl wrap depends on what you are actually looking for. You should keep in mind the kind of finish you are looking for. A lot of people apply a rubberised look vinyl which also acts as a protective layer for the surface it is used upon.
A good vinyl wrapping is such which will mold into the surface such that it looks like the paint itself. It is at times chosen over painting the car as a whole as it can be removed in contrast to the paints which are rather permanent. It is also cheaper than getting your whole vehicle sprayed on. It gives you a lot of options on terms of color, texture, finish, shine e.t.c. While removing the vinyl film, of done carefully, there is no damage at all to the paint underneath. You should always consider this factor for choosing the best vinyl wrap for your car. One of the other aspects of importance of Vinyl wrap is that it does not affect the value of your car and maintains it as is.
There are a lot of colors options available. Along with this, there are even vinyl wrap with special effects available. Companies use Vinyl wrap on their vehicles to advertise their banners
Also, the best vinyl wraps are those which are water resistant and have UV ray inhibitors to keep your car looking fresh and good as new.
Even if you purchase one of the best vinyl wraps, it all comes down to how well you apply it. The finish is what matters in the end. To buy the best vinyl wraps, always consult the experts for the type of surface you have and what suits the best for you.
The Subaru Outback is a premium all-wheel sports utility vehicle that comes with excellent specs. It has a lift gate rear cargo access, led brake lights, lip spoiler and roof rack among many of its awesome features. For kayaking enthusiasts, the roof rack is a great addition to an otherwise superior vehicle.
The Outback comes with the cross bars embedded in the roof rack system that comes with the vehicle. This is only for the Outback from 2010 onwards. The cross bars are locked down on the lengthwise carriers but you can detach them on one end and fix this end across onto the other side. This then allows you to fix your kayak carrier onto the cross bars.
It is a great help to have these as you will not need to incur extra expense getting them as extras. Once you are done using them you will return them to their original position and have reduced resistance while you drive.
One of the advantages of having inbuilt racks on your vehicle is that you will not need to buy cross bars along with the kayak carrier you purchase. You just need to get a model that fits onto these bars. However you can also purchase a multi-purpose base carrier system that will allow you to attach longer cross bars and carry more crafts.
There are many craft carriers available in the market. The type you get and the number of crafts you want to carry will determine the one you purchase. Some of these models allow for crafts to be carried while tilted on the side. This allows you to carry more than one. Others will transport the craft right side up or upside down making it possible to carry only one.
Choosing a carrier will require that you know what features are important to you. Most racks will come in strong steel material, have anti-rust coating, and have all hardware required for assembly, an instruction manual and warranty. There are some which offer helpful extras such as adjustable carriers which rotate down for garage access and up for transporting a craft.
Top 5 Suitable Kayak Racks for Subaru Outback
#1. 2 Pairs Universal J Shape Steel Kayak Canoe Paddle Surf Snow Board Carrier Roof Rack Car Top Mount
These racks come in two pairs with the J style design. They have four tie- down straps and hardware that is easy to put on and off. They can accommodate 36 inches width and carry up to 75 pounds. The carriers can be fit onto cross bars that are square, oval or flat. In addition to all these, they have adjustable padding to protect your craft as well as increase the carrying strength.
The carriers and the hardware are made of strong quality material. They will thus last long and you can carry heavy crafts on them.
They are very affordable. The price on Amazon is way below common name brands.
They come in two pairs allowing you to carry more than one craft. Some people carry three crafts with these carriers. Two of them face outward and one is stuck in the middle. However two is an ideal number to carry.
They take long to assemble and the instructions given are not very easy to understand.
The padding wears off quite fast. You may need to replace this especially of going on a long trip. However for the price that is offered, this will not be a major setback.
The straps provide may not be adequate when carrying your craft and you may need to bolster them with addition ratchet straps.
#2. TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier Canoe Boat Surf Ski Roof Top Mounted on Car SUV Crossbar
These J style bars are made of strong steel material with the J design being set wide mouthed for ease of loading and unloading. It comes with all the hardware for installation and can accommodate 75 pounds weight and 36 inches width. The carrier also has adjustable padding in place.
They are easy to install and easy to remove. You do not have to be tech-savvy to install these.
They come at a cheap price.
They are long lasting because of the durable material.
The 75 lbs capacity will allow you to carry more than one craft, or a craft and camping gear.
The adjustable padding offered here is great for protecting your craft during transportation. You will also be protecting your car with this padding.
The instructions that come with these are very poor and so is the diagram accompanying them. If you have no experience with this, this can cause a lot of frustration.
You will need to replace some of the tools coming with the set as they are not strong enough for assembling. For example, a stronger wrench will have to be sought.
The straps must be replaced as it is impossible to keep them tight. They seem to stretch when you tighten them and so cannot be relied upon to keep your craft safe.
#3. J-Bar 2 Pairs Universal Kayak Canoe Top Mount Carrier Roof Rack Boat SUV VAN Car
These carriers are offered as two pairs in the J-style and can carry two crafts. They come with 8 inch straps which can be used to secure a 36 inch wide craft. The design is made of steel including the mounting hardware. They can fit most cross bars except round and oval shaped bars.
The price is friendly and also a fraction of the price of name brands. The price also stands out because the offer comes with two pairs.
They are easy to install and mount. The installation is fairly easy even for someone without any experience.
The two pairs offered here will enable you to carry more than one craft on your Outback.
They are not a universal fit and will not fit on round or oval cross bars.
They are not rust resistant. Have some rust resistant paint on hand as you may have to coat them yourself.
#4. ROLA (59912) J Style Kayak Carrier Roof Rack
This is one of the high quality craft carriers you will find on Amazon. It is made of very strong steel with powder coating to resist rust and last for a long time. It has foam pads for extra strength and craft protection and is compatible with universal hardware. This carrier also comes with heavy duty straps and tie-downs for the bow or stern.
They are made from very high quality material that is long lasting. They are made from high density powder coated steel which is very strong.
They attach with wing-nuts by hand making it easy for anyone to attach them. No tools are required for this installation.
They work on almost all types of crossbars.
The instructions are accessed online and you will have to print them out. You can overcome this setback by downloading them onto your phone or iPad. This way you can access them during installation.
The bolts may be loner than you need and might need replacing.
#5. ABN J-Rack – Roof Top Mounted Kayak Canoe SUP Ski Surf Carrier for Car/Truck/SUV, All Weather Resistant Steel J Bar
This type of carrier can be used on most cross bars and load bars. It comes with all the mounting hardware plus two nylon tie-downs. The material is made of high strength steel and installation is tool-free. The coating on all the hardware makes it rust-free and therefore long lasting. Crafts of not more than 36 inches wide and weighing 75 lbs can be accommodated.
They are easy to assemble and attach.
They come at a fairly cheap price.
They are made of steel making them very strong and durable.
The straps are not of high quality material. They are very weak and must be replaced.
There are many brands of Kayak racks suitable for the Subaru Outback. Some name brands such as Yakima and Thule have very high quality carriers. However in most cases these will have to be bought with other parts in order to become useable. The prices of most name brands are quite high and none come in pairs
The brands listed above are some of the brands that come cheap. Some parts may need to be replaced such as tools and some bolts. Having on hand some rust-resistant paint is also a good idea. The price of these additions will still be nowhere near the higher priced name brands.
The ultimate goal is to get craft carriers that work well and last long. You will be able to achieve this with these brands. You pocket will not suffer much from choosing them either.
The Subaru Forester is one of the best crossover vehicles. It comes with ample space for passengers and luggage, all wheel drive, fuel economy and great visibility. For kayaking lovers, this vehicle comes with roof racks consisting of side bars.
This is a great vehicle to attach craft carriers on. It will need to be paired with excellent cross bars and craft carriers in order to become functional in this way.
Thus as a Subaru Forester owner, you will need to make a choice of carrier as well as purchase cross bars along with this. There are excellent brands of cross bars, though you can have factory made ones. Most people prefer to purchase them from recognized brands such as Yakima and Thule. However, there are cheaper alternatives that you can check out on Amazon.com or eBay.
You may attach the cross bars yourself or have a professional do it for you. Most of the brands are easy to attach without help. Just make sure that they are fitted securely as you will be attaching your craft carrier onto them.
Selecting a craft carrier
There are many kayak carriers in the market and the prices can be very cheap, average or really expensive. The name brands are quite pricey though they guarantee quality of the purchase. However for those on a budget, Amazon.com offers quite a number of quality carriers. A few of them are discussed below.
Top 5 Best Kayak Racks for Subaru Forester
#1. ROLA (59912) J Style Kayak Carrier Roof Rack
If you are looking for something of great quality and that will last long, this is one of the best brands. The hardware is rust resistant and the J-bars are made from high strength powder coated steel. It works well with universal hardware and nearly all cross bars. With this package you will get heavy-duty straps as well as tie-downs for your bow or stern. This carrier comes from Australia and has been tested in the outback. You can be sure that it will hold whatever the terrain you are travelling in.
It is made of strong durable material and will last you for years to come.
Its strong straps will not need to be replaced. They are heavy-duty and will secure your craft well.
You do not require tools to attach them as they come with wing-nuts which you attach by hand.
It does not fold. You will have to store it as it is or take it apart.
#2. ABN J-Rack
The design of this carrier allows for easy installation and removal from the vehicle. It is made from rust-resistant steel. It is strong and has a wide mouthed frame which enables you to load your craft easily and unload it as well. The padding on the frame keeps your craft from scratching as you transport it.
It is made of strong materials that do not wear out with changing seasons.
It is easy to install and to take down so that you do not have to spend a lot of time on this.
You will have to replace the straps as they are not of the best quality.
#3. 2 Pairs Universal J Shape Steel Kayak Rack
This steel carrier has tubes which are 1.5 mm thick and has adjustable padding for extra strength and to protect your craft. It comes in two pairs and has 4 tie-down straps. The weight capacity is 75 pounds and the width capacity is 36 inches.
They are strong and of good quality.
They are quite affordable as compared to other carriers in the market.
They cannot go through the car wash. You will have to take them down.
The installation instructions are pretty scanty.
The straps provided are not very strong and may need replacement.
#4. TMS® 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Rack
This is a carrier that can be mounted on all shapes of cross bars available. With a large vehicle you can mount four sets of racks. They are made of steel material with adjustable padding to protect your craft. The mounting hardware comes along with the package and it has rust resistant coating to make it last longer. The capacity is 36 inches width and 75 lbs weight.
It is easy to assemble and install.
It is made of very strong material and will last a long time.
They have poor locking mechanism and the clamps don’t hold up.
The wrench provided will need to be replaced with a proper ratchet wrench.
#5. J-Bar 2 Pairs Universal Kayak Canoe Top Mount Carrier Roof Rack Boat SUV VAN Car
These are carriers that cater specifically for flat or square cross bars. They come in two pairs and have four 8 inch straps. They can be mounted on bars that are no thicker than one inch and no wider than 2.5 inches.
They hold up quite well on long journeys.
You may have to replace all the bolts and nuts as they are made of poor quality material.
The straps may not be long enough when you want to strap them under the cross bar.
The hardware is not rust resistant. You may have to coat it if you intend to use the carrier near salt water.
For your Subaru Forester, the ROLA carrier would be the logical choice based on its strength and endurance. It is well tested and designed to endure all seasons. It is strong and rust resistant and the straps that come with it are heavy duty. It is a little bit pricier than others but it is also long lasting.
Owning a kayak means that you are an enthusiast. Whether you use it to go fishing, or for sport, you definitely want to keep it in perfect shape for your excursion. Not everyone is lucky enough to be living next to a water body. Thus for most of us transporting our crafts is just part of our day to day lives.
There are various ways to get a water craft to a river or lake. You can hire someone to carry it for you, or borrow a friend’s ride. But nothing beats the independence that you will have when you can get it there yourself.
Many kayak enthusiasts opt to have their vehicles modified with a rack to enable them to transport the craft themselves. Some craft carriers area designed so that you do not need to take them off your car ever. This way all you need to do is to load your craft whenever you are heading for the water.
Reasons for having a kayak rack for your pickup truck
To transport it
The basic reason for having a having this is to be able to transport your craft. You probably live away from a water body. Getting your craft there can be a tedious task if you have to rely on friends or tie it onto your truck bed.
It would thus be wise to set aside some money to get yourself a water craft carrier. Having a pickup track means that you have great options when it comes to these carriers. Your vehicle has the potential to carry about four crafts when fitted with appropriate racks.
There are many good ones that you can choose from. Make a decision to get these additions and you will not have a reason to keep away from the water.
To extend the truck bed
The truck bed of your pick up is functional and can carry much already. However when you have a craft rack added onto it, you can do much more. For example, the TMS T-NS Hitch Bed extender adds to the capacity of your pickup bed.
The increased capacity allows you to carry a distributed weight of 750 lbs which you could not carry before. This can be the weight of a kayak or two, camping gear, and even tools that you need for an outdoor excursion.
To carry other stuff
For most people, water crafts are a hobby that they enjoy participating in over weekends and holidays. Many people will thus use these racks for other purposes.
The TMS-T-NS model accommodates vertical adjustments which add the capacity of the pickup by thirty inches and increased the width by 7 feet. This is a large space with which to carry things around.
When you work as a carpenter and are hauling wooden planks all the time, the extender will certainly make your work easier. Tools especially long ones can be accommodated well with the extender without scratching the sides of your pickup.
To protect your craft
Some canoes are foldable and can be carried in a pickup without racks. Not all of them are this way. Your preferred make may be a long vessel which you would love to protect. When carrying it with an unfitted pickup, about half of it will be sticking out the back unprotected. You can be hit from the back and have your canoe damaged.
However when you install a carrier to your track, you will be able to secure your craft. You will either carry it on your roof extension or the bed extension. With these extensions the craft will be secure and you will drive with your mind at peace.
To utilize your truck’s potential
Pickup trucks can do a lot. Many of them are built with off road performance features. They allow you to go where most vehicles will not go. In addition, they are sturdier than most other vehicles. Having a truck sets you apart from most other drivers.
However there is still more potential in your vehicle. When fitted with craft carriers it can carry so much more than a sedan would. Fitting pick up carriers will allow you to carry not one, but four trucks.
Thus you may want to fit them onto your vehicle to take advantage of this. Everyone knows that sports are best enjoyed together. If you are a water sport kind of person, you will also have the chance to carry your friends’ crafts as well as your own. You can then car pool and enjoy the water together.
There are thus numerous reasons why you should fit your vehicle with these carriers. Choosing the right one will depend on what you want them to do. The checklist below will guide you on your decision.
For something that will last you a long time, you may want to save up for a quality brand. If money is no object go for the name brands. However there are good quality carriers within a low price range.
The capacity that you want can also be your guide. Many carriers will give you a distributed capacity of between 750 lbs and 800 lbs. This will allow you to carry more than one craft and even other equipment.
Some carriers allow you to adjust the width and the height. This is awesome for the extenders when you need to raise the back when reversing up a slope. If this is something that you want, you will definitely find it.
This can come from both the strength of the carrier as well as the resistance to rust. You may be using a salt water body for your water sports and this will make the equipment prone to rust. Thus either pick a carrier that is rust resistant, or buy one and coat it yourself.
The reason you may want to coat it yourself is that some good quality carriers don’t have this coating. You should not skip them because of a minor detail that you can correct.
With these many reasons to get a kayak rack you should start looking for one. Amazon has a great variety of carriers to choose from. You will find one that works for you.
Choosing a kayak rack for your Subaru is a task that can be accomplished with a little planning and with a few considerations. The goal is to find something that meets your requirements and works out well. There are a few things to consider when choosing your craft carrier.
These three things should be clear in your mind before choosing a carrier. Know the price range that you want. Be clear on the convenience that you want and also what you are willing to compromise on. Also know what your model of vehicle requires.
Your budget will dictate what type of rack you get. For some people, a budget makes no difference. Money is no object and they can purchase whichever carrier they want. However this is not the case for most of us.
A good quality carrier that will serve you for years to come will require some substantial cash outlay on your part. If you need to, save up for this purpose. In order to make your goal clearer, do some research on the prices of the carrier that you would want.
Some name brands such as Thule and Yakima will be of the higher price category. However there are others like the TMS brands, ROLA and universal brands that do not need much saving.
Also when considering the price it is good to remember that some quality carriers will require some work on your part. Some may require that you repaint them with rust-resistant paint. Others will require that you replace a bolt or two. These will be more affordable than the name brands and will fall in the lower price range.
Consider convenience when selecting the rack. Loading and unloading your kayak onto your vehicle can be cumbersome if you choose the wrong type of rack. Some racks come with the added benefit of being able to slide them onto the roof of the vehicle from the back. This will help you to load it especially if you are alone. It eliminates the need to lift the craft above your head which may be an impossible task for some.
In order to protect your car during loading, you can buy an anti-slide mat to place between the car and the craft. This ensures that the craft slides in easily while your car does not get scratched. The top part is slippery while the bottom of the mat is tack which allows it to stick to the vehicle without rubbing off paint.
The model of Subaru you have
Subaru has a line of great cars each coming with unique features. The Subaru Crosstrek comes with side bars but does not have inbuilt cross bars. Therefore when you choose a craft carrier for this vehicle, you will also want to budget for cross bars. Cross bars can be purchased online from Amazon or from a local store which stocks them.
For the Subaru Outback, the cross bars come inbuilt. All you need to do is detach them from the side bars and lock them across onto the other sidebar. Therefore you will not need to factor in this cost. The 2016 model of the Outback also comes with tie downs for securing whatever you are carrying on the carrier.
The same goes for the Subaru Forester. It also has inbuilt cross bars and you will not need to factor them into your budget.
Steps to Help You Choose the Best Kayak Rack for Your Subaru
Scout the market
You can look at what is available online through sites such as Amazon and eBay if you are shopping on a budget. If money is no object you can go directly to the name brand sites such as Thule and Yakima.
For budget shoppers, go through the list of the products online noting the ones which offer something extra. This could be replacement parts, technical help, lift assistance and other extras.
Also ensure that what you are looking for is actually suitable for your model of Subaru. Ask for clarity on this from the seller. Sometimes sellers especially those online selling unknown brands may tell you yes just to make a sale. You can verify this by visiting your local dealer and finding out from them.
Go through the customer reviews
Customer reviews on sites like Amazon are the best. They sometimes can be brutally honest. If something is not what it says it is, this is the place where you will find out the truth. The best thing about these reviews is that the writers can edit them in future as they continue to interact with the product.
Thus updates can be made on quality, how rust resistant the product actually is, the strength of the material, the quality of hardware, what needed to be replaced, and what broke within no time. This way you can tell what you’re getting yourself into when you make a purchase.
Reviewers will also go on about the awesome qualities in some products. You will find that good products have numerous positive reviews and very few critical ones. Go for such products.
Make the purchase and install it
Once you are satisfied with a product that you have researched on, go ahead and buy it. The product will come with a list of the items contained in it. The first thing you should do is to go through this list to make sure everything is there.
Most of these products will come with installation instructions. Follow the instructions carefully and assemble the carrier. If the instructions are unclear or not there at all, go back to the product reviews. Many times previous customers who noted this went and wrote down instructions on installation. Just follow these instructions and install the carrier.
Load your kayak and see how well it holds and if something needs tightening then do so.
Choosing your kayak carrier is thus something that can be done by following these three steps. Take your time and buy what ultimately fits your needs.
The Thule Aeroblade arb53 comes in five parts made up of the aluminium bar, the rubber spacer, aerodynamic spacer, end cap and the numbered spacer that goes into the bottom.
It is an aerodynamic aluminium bar that reduces any cabin noise. It is also strong and fits most vehicles though different accessories must be bought to fit the particular vehicle.
This bar has a built-in T-slot which enables you to mount other accessories you wish to have. It has a wind-diffuser surface which helps to reduce wing noise by having a rough texture. This diffuser surface is located on the T-slot cover.
In order to access the T-slot there is an end cap provided. You just swing it open and pull it out. There is also a measurement system to enable quick installation without the need for a tape measure.
Positive reviews – Thule Aeroblade arb53
The construction of these load bars makes them some of the strongest in the market. There is a cross-section of separate compartments all along the length of the bars. These bars have separate load-bearing vertical sections which add to the strength of the bars. The bars have a capacity of 800 lbs.
They are very quiet. These bars have been built to precision. When you select the correct ones for your vehicle, you will notice that there is no noise resulting from them. Many other bars produce some noise but these ones are very quiet.
You do not need a tape measure when using these bars. The bars come with a SmartSlide feature enables you to install the feet without a tape measure. This is a band which has measurements embedded on the exterior. It helps when cutting the T-strips and the wind diffuser.
When purchasing them you can visit the Thule website and select the precise ones that will fit your motor vehicle. Thule has a feature that allows you to input the make of your car, the model and the year of manufacture. This way you are sure that you have purchased the correct ones.
When you have the correct bars and install them properly, you will find that your fuel efficiency improves.
The bars come slightly arched. This allows them to contour to the roof of your motor vehicle better than square bars do.
The colour is very appealing. Some places also have the bars being sold with a black powder coating.
They are very sturdy and they can carry a craft over a long journey. There is no wobble as they are very strong and firm.
Critical reviews – Thule Aeroblade arb53
It has poor installation instructions which consist of pictures without wording or labelling. The installation instructions fail in several ways:
Rubber foot pads are provided but they are not symmetrical. They are designed this way on purpose and fitting them incorrectly will result in a faulty installation. The thicker, longer foot pad should be installed on the downward slope of the contour of your roof and the thinner one on the upward slope.
The importance of the tubing to cover openings is not emphasized. Leaving these openings uncovered will result in noise (caused by interrupting laminar flow of air) and less than desirable performance.
The instructions do not tell you that you will need extra parts to mount anything on the racks. Thus when purchasing these bars, ask about all the other parts that you will need to make them functional. This will give you an estimate of just how much you will need to spend before you can use them.
The ruler feature does not help much. You may be better off using your eyes to guide you on correct placement.
The aluminium colour will show any dirt that you drive through on your trip. This includes any bugs that you hit on the way. Some places do sell these with a black rubber coating. You may want to coat yours after purchase.
It can be tedious to keep removing the rubber stripping every time you need to use the T-slot. You will have to rip it out and the press it back in.
They do not come with mounting brackets. You must purchase these and any other accessory necessary to carry your craft, bike or luggage.
The price can be a deterrent. They do not come cheap. In addition to the price of the bar there will still be some cash outlay for a fit kit in order to make the product useable.
The bars scratch easily and so the finish will not last very long. This ahs especially been noted on the black powder coated bars.
The aerodynamic plastic cap that is supposed to lock down the bar in place is not tight. It will be tight at the start but it frequently comes up. It may thus be a good idea to purchase the four locks that Thule offers as an extra purchase. This will ensure the safety of your bars when you have to park in a public spot.
The rubber covering on the bar can wear out with one trip when carrying a heavy item such as a canoe. The company does not make replacement parts. Thus you may need some padding to protect the bars when carrying heavy items.
If you have Thule fairings, please note that they will not fit the aeroblade. They were made to reduce noise on the square bars and are actually not necessary on this bar.
The Thule Aeroblade arb53 is a very strong bar. It aerodynamic system is compatible with more vehicles than any other system in the market. Its SmartSlide feature and the wind diffuser make it a very quiet system to have. It comes in a silver anodized colour and recently in black as well.
Remember to keep all the instruction manuals that come with various parts. All measurements that Thule gives are very specific. You must adhere to them to make the product work perfectly. The instructions may not be great, but the product definitely is. Once it is in place it will serve you for a long time.
Thule AeroBlade Edge 7503 is a system that is known to be reliable and that is built to perform while eliminating noise from the wind. It offers a selection of mounting and accessory products. They come in matt black colours which is powder coated to protect it. This colour matches well with all vehicle colours and gives them an elegant look.
There are four lengths on offer with these bars. These are the 7501, 7502, 7503 and the 7504 bar. Thule has a fit guide which enables you to ascertain the length for your vehicle.
For Subaru vehicles with fixed point roof type, the 750x series will not be a good fit. However for the vehicles with roof railing or factory installed crossbars, this system will be compatible.
This system is designed for the cars that already have raised rails. The edge tower has a spring rolling mechanism on which it is mounted on. This provides a tight fit no matter the distance from one rail to the other.
This bar integrates the bar and foot in a pre-assembled design which makes it easier for you to install it. It has incorporated technology for wind diffusion which reduces the drag on your vehicle and makes it less noisy.
The set has been designed with box beam load bars which are some of the strongest load bars available in the market. It has also been made compatible for T-track mounting. You may however have to purchase the Thule Xadapt for this with some vehicles.
Determine the outside diameter of your raised rails. You will find a measuring guide provide with the installation guide that comes with the package. It is the last page of the manual.
There is a table on the instructions showing you what hole your mounting strap will be attached to depending on your diameter. The mounting strap is a rubber coated steel strap with holes in it.
Once you have determined the hole to use, slide the mounting strap through the edge tower. Then let the required hole be caught on the tiny hook at the base of the tower.
Position the crossbar on your raised rails and let the strap come below the rails. You will want to align the crossbar on both rails. Measuring with the distance from the end with a tape measure will help with this.
There is a pair of vertical posts at the end of the edge tower. Turn the strap up over the rails and then pass it through the edge tower so that the holes at the end of the strap come down on the vertical posts. Press the strap down firmly so that it is secured.
There is a recess bolt directly behind the posts on the edge tower. When the strap is in place, use the wrench provided to reach this bolt and then tighten it. Continue tightening until you hear a noise from the edge tower and the wrench.
By this time the mounting strap should be stretched tight. The inner side of the edge tower should be firmly pressed against the existing rails. The cross bar should be
There will be some rubber strips provided in the package for filling in any channel spaces that may be left on your cross bars. All you need to do is to press it firmly against the bar to fill in these spaces.
If you want to add other accessories on the bar, you can custom cut the rubber strip at the required areas. Once you have placed the strip on the bar, cut off any overhanging part to achieve a neat finish.
You may want to install your cross bars with lock cylinders. This will come at an extra cost. The cross bar will sit firmly in place without this but you can purchase them for security purposes. To install these, place the plastic cover onto the crossbar and hold it firmly down. Then press the cylinder down into the hole as you rotate it. Now lock it and remove the key.
The set will however come with plastic cylinders which you can install to keep the cover in place.
Advantages of Thule AeroBlade Edge 7503
The edge is very attractive and looks superb on any vehicle on which it is installed.
It is made to be very strong and does not wobble. It is ideal for a long journey when you want to transport something over a long distance.
They have a tight fit when installed. The plastic ends are also quite strong.
They do not emit any additional noise and so you will have a smooth quiet ride when using them.
The arched bar is designed to follow the curves on the roof of your car. This greatly complements your vehicle
They interfere with the sunroof on a vehicle. You may find that you can no longer open the sunroof once you install these bars.
The rubber parts may wear out very quickly. They are not very resistant to heat and may require to be replaced.
It is sold as one bar per pack. You will therefore have to get two.
This is the first rack system in the market to incorporate an aerodynamic design within a strong rack. It creates the highest carrying capacity of any aftermarket rack that there is. It is generally a great bar to have for carrying your watercraft, bicycle, or any other luggage.
Do a fit check on the Thule website to ensure that the bar you get is the recommended fit for your vehicle. This will save you both time and money. You can also take your car to the local dealer to get the correct recommendation.
Generally Thule makes very strong products. This is one of their best products in the market. The price may be a bit higher than other bars, but the quality probably is too.
The Tacoma pickup truck is an excellent vehicle for kayaking fans. It is great for off road trips to water spots that provide that much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Tacoma has superb features allowing these road trips such as the button selection for off road settings.
Pairing your truck with the best racks for transporting your craft is a task that needs to be under taken carefully. There are various things to consider when making a selection
Frequency of use
How frequently will you use these carriers to carry your craft around? If you hit the water regularly, then you will need something that is long lasting. Reviews can tell you how long people have had their carriers and how they have performed.
You will want to have the carrier made of strong material especially if you are hauling more than one craft. Strong carriers also allow you to carry other gear together with your craft. This could be camping-gear or other equipment. Strong materials such as steel will last you a long time.
Most people will use their crafts on salty water bodies. You thus want your carrier to be rust-resistant. Otherwise your gear will wear off pretty fast. This requirement can be overlooked if the gear is strong and comes at a cheap price. You could always paint the carrier over with anti-rust paint.
Carriers for pickup trucks are many and the price may range from very highly priced name brands to low priced brands. Your budget will determine what you get.
This is not to say that you will get poor quality for low prices. Sometimes something of high quality may lack a strong bolt which you can replace at a small price. When you compare the total cost of replacing the bolt and the price of the carrier, it will still be much lower than some brands.
It is a good to have adjustable bars which allow you to raise the gear you are carrying or lower it. This is necessary when negotiating sloping areas especially on reverse.
With these considerations in mind, consider the following carriers for your Tacoma truck.
5 Most Suitable Kayak Rack for Tacoma Pickup
#1. ROLA 59742 Haul-Your-Might Removable Truck Bed Rack
If you have not installed bed rail systems on your Tacoma, then this is a good alternative to consider. This carrier is not only beautiful on a Tacoma truck, but it also comes with anti-theft features for the lock cover and for the T-bolt applications.
It comes with an installation manual to ease the process. This is especially handy when you have never installed one before.
This carrier is quite strong as it is made of steel material and it can haul several water crafts.
The colour goes well with all the colours of Tacoma trucks.
The alignment may be off. This will require you to drill some holes yourself in order to secure it.
#2. TracRac 27000-01 TracOne Universal Truck Rack
This carrier comes in a strong aluminium make which has a superb look due to its dual stage powder coating. It weighs 50 lbs and has a distributed capacity of 800 lbs. This makes it handy for carrying more than one craft as well as other stuff along with it.
It also comes with single-axis mounting clamps for securing it as well as composite loop tie-downs which are adjustable.
You are able to haul several crafts with this carrier. It makes it possible for you to carpool with a few friends.
The colour is very appealing and goes well with all Tacoma colours.
While the colour works well, the material is susceptible to scraping especially when it comes in touch with anything else. Thus bumpy roads which are no problem for your truck may create scratches on the carrier.
The extender bolts are not very strong. It is a good idea to replace them immediately so that when you install the carrier, you won’t need to take it off again.
#3. Darby Extend-A-Truck 944 4-Feet Truck Bed Extender
The Darby allows you to either carry your craft above or behind your truck. You can extend the bed to allow you to carry the craft behind. This would be great when you are driving on wide roads which are not too steep. Carrying the craft from above is great as it allows you to drive on any road without worrying about the craft.
The height of this carrier is adjustable and it comes with width support of 4 inches.
The assembling of this carrier is easy and can be performed even by first-timers fairly easily.
The hardware is of good quality and will support more than one craft.
The packaging is not ideal and you may find the parts to be dusty when they arrive. They come in a plastic bag which is not very good at protecting them over the long shipping trip.
You will need to have or buy a strap for tying the bow of the craft to the front as this carrier does not come with straps.
#4. TMS T-NS-HITCH-BED-EXTENDER Heavy Duty Pickup Truck Bed Hitch Mounted Extender Rack Ladder Canoe Boat
This is a bed extender with a capacity of 750 lbs distributed weight. The arms adjust both horizontally and vertically at 28.25-48.75 inches and 4-10 inches respectively. The side arms can also be folded to form a work table.
The vertical and horizontal adjustments enable you to have great ground clearance.
You can fit the carrier inside the track when you are not using it and then close the tail gate.
The fitting is not tight and you may need to correct this to avoid a wobble effect.
#5. TMS 800 LB Adjustable Fit 2 Bars Utility Ladder Truck Pick up Rack Kayak Contractor Lumber Utility
This is a carrier that can have multiple functions. It can carry your craft as well as loads of other gear. It has strong frames with a carrying capacity of 800 lbs. Widths can be adjusted between 5-7 feet. Thus longer crafts can be carried.
You can adjust it and carry more than one craft.
It is fairly easy to put together even for a novice.
You will need to paint the parts with rust resistant paint.
The poor packaging that the parts come in causes paint damage.
These are just a few of the kayak racks out there in the market for Tacoma pickup trucks. These are priced reasonably and the few fixes that they may require will not cost you much. However they will last you a long time.