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I have this on a 2008 Dodge ram and my tandem kayak fits good, both upright and flipped over on its deck. However my buddies Old Town 15' canoe hits the top of my cab b/c the canoe turns down more on the ends of it. 3" foam under the front of the canoe gives the needed clearance.
Installation was straight forward. The bolts are really hard to tighten. This is due to the fact that they are galvanized. I used a cordless drill on torque setting with an allen head bit. This made it much easier.
I bought this at a big box home improvement store for around $300 but I see they have since stopped selling them there. Online I see them for sale for upwards of $500. I would not recommend this product at this price for the main purpose of paddle boat transport. For that kinda money I'd look to the Yakima Outdoorsman, Thule Xporter, or something compatible with popular kayak transport accessories.
Although they advertise the Trac Rac as being easy to remove, that isn't quite the case. It takes a few minutes even with the right tools. I use a socket wrench in a ratchet which makes it a bit quicker, but don't plan on removing these puppies on a whim. As it is, the bolts make them harder to steal, which was one of my initial concerns.
About the only thing I don't like (the 9 instead of 10) is the hit you take in gas mileage. I figure on my truck it's about 4 or 5%, mostly from increased wind resistance and not weight. It seems to me they could change the shapes of their extrusions to make improvements in this area, but what do I know - I'm not an aerodynamics engineer.
BTW, I got mine new on Ebay for $350. Buy them, you won't be sorry!
Strangely, one of my side rails started turning a dark purple (from the original black). I called and they immediately offered to send me a new pair of side rails, so I can say customer service is fantastic.
You don't see alot of these around (yet!), but I still have the locking knobs, and would recommend the locking knobs if you get the TracBox (sliding tool box that slides on third inside rail).
Installation is simple. Took me an hour or two and I was taking my sweet time and torquing all bolts exactly. I re-tightened a few months later and the beast hasn't moved a bit.
Just as further testimony, I had to drive 2.5 hours to pick up my canoe (having already installed the tracrac and Mako saddles, but never testing them). I strapped the canoe on and headed back home....it just happened to be the day a tornado came through the midstate. I was going about 65 on the interstate with ~70 mph crosswinds (orange barrels flying across road) and the rack and 23' canoe held up perfectly. I didn't even have the canoe tied down in the front or back. I cannot imagine a better system.
Also, if the price is turning you off (I paid $600 with free shipping off the internet), keep in mind that it's more of an investment, seeing as if I buy a new Chevy/Toyota, etc, all I will have to buy again is the side rails (as they are slightly different than the rails for my 1977). All other components would work fine on the new truck.
I can't even tell you how many guys at the local hardware store and at the lake have asked me about the rack.
I have been extremely pleased with this system; it's heavy duty, can hold a heavy load (1000 lbs. as per the manufacturer) and NO DRILLING is required to install it on most trucks. The installation can take a little time a first but its worth it. It can be installed directly on the side truck rails, with or without an over-the-rail bedliner. I installed it on an over-the rail bedliner, although I modifed Trac Rac's instructions in this area. I used a dremel type tool to cut custom holes over the stack pockets with no danmage to the truck bed itself and minimal removal to the plastic bedliner.
If you purchase the racks, know that:1.Customer service is very helpful and should be contacted. 2. There are some options on the sizes for the upright pieces and lengths to the crossbars. (2 sizes on each part.) It is worth thinking about, in regard to how high you would like your boats to be above the truck cab roof. Customer service can help in this regard.
One downside-They are pricey. My system consists of a rail & rack system. I also purchased additional basetrack tiedowns (4) and locking knobs (2) to prevent theft. The total price was approximately $625.00 and this was with discounts from a local paddling show. Your price may be higher. :>(
Overall, these are an excellent rack system and I would recommend them to anyone.
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