Soft Roof Rack
Posted by: old_user on Feb-23-11 12:13 PM (EST)
Some years ago I bought a Malone Handi-Rack system as a reserve and an alternative to the standard blue foam blocks. The Handi-Rack is very well made and consists of a pair of inflatable crossbars that sit on your roof. Each is secured by an easily adjustable web strap that passes inside the car. When you close your doors the crossbars are locked in place . Each crossbar has two inflatable air channels with 5 d-rings running between them for tie downs. The kit includes a hand pump to inflate the crossbars. Inflating takes about 15 seconds per channel. It comes in a shoe box sized Cordura case and packs easily. I finally got a chance to use it.
It may be overkill but I LOVE it. I use a Thule system on my main vehicle for stability, but for two car trips or if I travel and rent a car and canoe this is a perfect alternative. The D-rings allow you to cinch your straps down tight and prevent the 'blue block shuffle'. The straps inflated easily and stayed firm overnight with the canoe in place. I haven't tried more than 24 hours but I expect it would last a good deal longer. The only caveat is that if transporting a canoe or 2 Kayaks you must be sure that the gunwales do NOT press on the inflating nozzles or you may inadvertently deflate the channels. It happened to me once, but even without air that one crossbar protected the roof from any damage.
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Posted by: jcpeters46 on Feb-23-11 7:52 PM (EST)
I bought one of the bed extenders years ago, and I while I use it primarily for transporting my boats, I also use it for those trips to Home Depot. The one thing I didn't see mentioned was that you can reverse the bed extender to use it in an upright position for transporting cargo on the roof of your pickup or SUV. This allows me to put the boat in the bed of the truck for short day trips, and also to transport on top of the truck when I need the bed for luggage and equipment. Well worth the money. Designed for 2" receivers.