Need advice on car heights and loading
Posted by: old_user on Sep-28-13 5:01 AM (EST) Category: Kayaks
I have a shoulder injury and I mostly kayak on the ocean/bays where there are sometimes riptides and strong currents, and I like the ability to go long-distances to fishing spots, so I added a battery powered motor to my 14í Pescador yak.
With my shoulder injury itís impossible to get the yak up on my Hyundai Tucson b/c of the height, and Iím ready to replace it with a new car for lots of other reasons. I read a thread here in the winter, and a poster said that a 58Ē high car would be significantly better than a 63Ē car like the Soul. No matter the height, I canít lift my yak overhead so I will need to slide one side up. Iím fairly new to transporting yaks by car. How much difference do you think 4" or 6" makes?
Iím primarily looking at the hatchbacks of the Fit, Soul, Accent and Sonic, based on benefits for the price, which needs to be below $19k since I work for a nonprofit. Also maybe the Versa, Suzuki SX4 and Scion xD. I had ruled out several models because their hatchbacks seem to curve significantly such as the Yaris, Rio and Fiesta.
Two people said itís possible to get racks for any car model. But for models with fairly curved roofs like http://www.autoguide.com/gallery/d/607591-2/2013-ford-fiesta-hatchback-2.jpg, do the racks look strange assuming the rear parts need to be a few inches higher than the front?
Does it also help if the rear cross rail is close to the rear fender - because it seems to me that if I lift one end of the yak up, it would help if I only need to slide it several inches to place it on the rear rail? If the rear rail is 15 inches in, Iíd have to slide it further - for example the Rio - http://www.autoguide.com/gallery/d/611549-2/2013-kia-rio-sx-hatchback-4.jpg
Iím guessing the somewhat flatter roofed models will let the back rail be closer to the rear? Are there any tricks for getting yaks up and down from car tops if youíre solo?
Iíd really appreciate input on this. Iím rarely kayaking because of the loading issues. I need to replace the car anyway, but want to get something that will let me load and unload the yak on my own so I can go kayaking. Thanks.
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Posted by: Joebhamilton on Sep-28-13 7:53 AM (EST)
Use a Roller Loader and you can easily roll your kayak up on your car
Posted by: gnatcatcher on Sep-28-13 7:58 AM (EST)
One of our vehicles is a Fit base model. I am short and have a bum shoulder as well. If you get a cheap rubber backed bath rug to lay over the back of the car, all you need to do is prop the bow on the back and slide the boat up from the rear. Works like a charm.
Posted by: Kocho on Sep-28-13 8:32 AM (EST)
Lot's of good options available|
Posted by: randy_morgart on Sep-28-13 10:36 AM (EST)
as already mentioned. Here's another, we have a member well past 80 who put a hitch extender vertically just above his trunk. He put a set of Hully rollers on it and on his back rack. He only has to lift the front of the boat about 3' to set on the extender, then pick up the stern and roll the boat up onto the car. This won't work as well with square backed cars.
Should racks on curved roofs be level?|
Posted by: old_user on Sep-28-13 2:51 PM (EST)
Thanks for the replies. My Tucson came with a flat rack and I just tied it down. For cars with fairly curved roofs, do the roof rack systems slant downwards, and if yes, does this increase the risk at all of the kayak gradually sliding off while driving or is that not a factor to worry about? Or do the rack systems end up having the kayak level?
A bit of up or down|
Posted by: Kocho on Sep-28-13 6:04 PM (EST)
Posted by: tjalmy on Sep-28-13 8:50 PM (EST)
doesn't seem to be too much of a hindrance. Folks rack the Prius and Insight. My racks on the '12 Focus hatchback really do fall very near the same height from the ground, although looking at the naked roofline you may not think they would.
Posted by: WaterBird on Sep-28-13 8:30 PM (EST)
I've been looking at many of the same cars as you. I think the mechanical reliability of the car must be just as important as ease of loading a kayak. As far as I know, the best cars on your list are the Fit and the Versa. The Fit is one of the most mechanically reliable cars on the market and number one on my list. The only drawback I can see is that it looks low to the ground, which is a disadvantage on rough back roads to remote lakes.
C tug cart or bath mat.|
Posted by: FrankNC on Sep-28-13 11:19 PM (EST)
First I would like to say that a lower roof line is always easier.
I've also heard|
Posted by: old_user on Sep-29-13 2:51 PM (EST)
the Fit is mechanically reliable. I drove one yesterday and it is low to the ground. The Korean companies like Kia and Hyundai have much better reliability than 10 years ago. I didn't have a single problem with two different Hyundais that I owned 5 years each. I have a 2012 Versa hatch that I share with my parents in another state that I have to fly to for work. It's very sparse in terms of features but I heard that the new 2014 has more features. Do you happen to have an iphone, and if you do, do you know how well it wirelessly streams to the Fit, Versa or others?
Good advice. The finalists are -|
Posted by: old_user on Sep-29-13 6:39 AM (EST)
I've narrowed down to the Fit, Sonic, Soul and Versa. I like them all about the same in terms of features/quality for their price. I think the deciding factors should be which is the easiest (or least expensive) to add a yak rack to and which has the best compatibility for streaming bluetooth music and phone calls from the iphone 5/5s.
Posted by: gnatcatcher on Sep-29-13 9:47 PM (EST)
get rectangular foam block....|
Posted by: bigspencer on Sep-29-13 12:54 PM (EST)