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Thread: Travelling speed for a Discovery with a canoe on top?

  1. #1

    Default Travelling speed for a Discovery with a canoe on top?

    Hi

    We're off for our France holiday and would like to take the canoe.

    Any suggestions as to speeds that are comfortable/safe for a canoe on top?

    Thanks in advance.

    Adri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Canada
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    389

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    I'll happily travel at 70mph provided there are no sidewinds. Sidewinds can ruin your day.

  3. #3

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    I was dubious about carrying a canoe on a car, roof bars at 700mm centres, it is very, stable at normal road speeds, surprising even to me as a worrier!

    Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Somerset
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    +1 for what bobt said.
    Much depends on your roof bars and how well they're fixed to your roof, and also how well you have the boat tied to the bars.
    Other than that, your limitation will be the French speed limits which have recently changed on A roads.
    Last edited by OLD MAN; 31st-July-2018 at 07:08 AM.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  5. #5

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    I have driven literally tens of thousands of miles with my boat(s) on my car(s) on all sorts of high-speed roads & I almost always happily average somewhere around 75 mph, sometimes for days on end (it's a big country... ) . Just have a good rack, properly secured, and front and rear tie-downs as well as cross-ties on your boat. After an hour or two you'll forget the boat is even there. Have fun.

  6. #6

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    When I had a car () and drove for the first time with a canoe on top I was really nervous, and went along at about 45 watching and peaking my blood pressure every time it shifted a tiny bit or wobbled a smidge.

    By the time I got home 4 hours later, I was hoofing down the M5 at 70 mph officer. i think it's all about confidence and realising that actually, even with a couple of flimsy looking ratchet straps, it is highly unlikely to go anywhere.

    I think the biggest risk is probably height restrictions with a canoe on a Discovery. Like when my friend Paul drove into Ranscombe car-park on the Quantocks with two mountain bikes on a Freelander. Straight into a metal barrier after following me in, I had our two bikes in the car, he had him and Simon's on the roof 8 feet up. Oooops

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    NE Scotland
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    55

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    I have a roof tent normally fitted to my Navara - once my canoe's on top of that it's sitting just at over 8ft high. Not really noticeable up to 60 and I get a little bit of noise at 70mph but no issues with stability/security. I do drive a little more cautiously (corner speed, braking and acceleration) just to avoid sudden loading but nothing that really interferes with my normal drive. I use two ratchet straps to tie down and cam straps for the forward 'safety' line. As noted above just ensure you're bars/rack and straps are all suitably rated - drive for a wee bit then stop and check to assuage the paranoia...

    [IMG][/IMG]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Dumbarton
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    2 issues - safety and fuel economy.

    Speed limit on the autoroutes is 82mph (unless it is raining, or there are signs saying otherwise - note there are frequently signs lowering the limit for caravans or trucks but not for cars). Fuel economy at 82mph is terrible, but with a long way to go and a short time to get there... no wait that's the theme to smoney and the bandit... either way I drive up to the speed limit whenever I can.

    Safety - side winds are an issue they will buffet your car around and force you to slow down, but even without sidewinds, the faster you go the more headwind you have, and the trouble is with a canoe on the roof your aerodynamics are comppomised. Normally the air flows up over the top of the car smoothly - note that it flows up the windscreen and over the top. If you put a canoe on top, some of that air is going to hit the canoe, having the effect of trying to lift the front up. You may get really lucky and end up with an aero package that somehow works even better than the car on its own, but to be on the safe side, always assume that as you drive forward, there is apparent wind trying to lift the front (with respect to the car, may not necessarily be the bow) of the canoe off the top of the car. The roof rack straps are all very well for keeping the canoe attached to the roof bars, but if you have 6 feet or so of canoe overhanging the bars with wind trying to lift it, you can actually peel the roof bars up from the roof still attached to the canoe, some siderail bars can even be peeled off! To prevent this it is essential that if you are carrying a long overhang that you tie the front down to a towing eye or other point (lots of people fit straps under the bonnet) so that the wind can't peel the rack off. If you tie the front down and notice that the load can nod down makingthe rope temporarily slack, also tie the back down to a towing eye - not too tight just take the slack out to stop the boat bouncing with the flex of the roof rack.

    As long as the ends are tied down to prevent nodding and lifting, I am quite happy that my load is secure enough to drive at the French speed limits - I haven't done it with a long canoe, I have done it with WWR and OC1 on the roof, and with 5 slalom boats on the roof both in the last few months without any problems.
    Being happy with the fuel cost is another matter, but I had limited time for both trips so had to take that hit.

    Oh, and regarding the new 80kmph limit for A roads, if you have a TomTom you can download a map update with the new limits, but I found it was often wrong.... Considering the reliability of TomTom updates, start at least a week before you intend to travel, I have found it most reliable if you delete the map first, and then install from fresh, only takes about 4 hours where an update will run for 8-12 hours and then fail.

    How hard can it be?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Surrey
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    As long as your canoe is properly secured, no problem to drive at normal motorway speeds. You need to be aware of cross winds (especially on long bridges between countries, eh, MarkL?) but otherwise the main concern is a slight increase in fuel bills. I tend not to go up to the 130kmh limit in France, where its allowed, as this noticeably hits the wallet, but at 110-120mph its just easy steady driving over there.

    You'll find that most drivers are courteous and aware, let you out, etc, though they do tend to cut in rather quickly once they pass you! The Belgians will tailgate you. If you drive alone in the car on the toll autoroutes (Péages), you have to either clamber across your passenger seat to work the tolls, or stop and run around. This will inevitably lead to somewhere peeping a horn if they're busy, even though they can clearly see what you're having to do...I suggest a Gallic shrug is required at this point.

    Otherwise, driving the length of France with a canoe on the roof is an easy, if long, journey. Once past the busy cities of the north, its normally much less tiring to me than heading north in the UK.

    Where ya going then?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Dumbarton
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    2,608

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    I misread the title, I thought the canoe was the discovery not the car!
    Same thoughts apply, your roof rack may be stronger but worth tying the ends down anyway.
    The main differences are that side winds will affect you even more than a regular height car, and fuel economy at 130kph is likely to be ruinous, not just annoying!

    How hard can it be?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    North Lancashire, South Lakes
    Posts
    128

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    I paddle a Nova Craft Pal in Tuffstuff. I drive a discovery 4.Tie down with Cam straps fore and aft and I tie the bow end down to the towing ring at the front of the disco. I can do 70 mph easily and if I'm going to be really honest I have done more than that on occasion but NOT in a high wind. The Disco is a heavy car and it takes a lot to shift it but there's no point in pushing it.
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    313

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    I have a Discovery II with a full safari roof rack. I commonly drive with my 16' plywood prospector and my wife's 12' fibreglass Apache on top at motorway speed. Two cam-lock straps per canoe to tie down, and a fore and aft strap with cam-lock when on long journeys. I also use gaffer tape to stick down the ends of the straps if I can't tuck them in tight enough. Having them flap about in a 70 mph gale does bad things in terms of wear to your straps. If your trip is multi day between removing the canoes, check the straps before you move off in the morning, some straps relax overnight or with a bit of damp and can need tightening. Going to Loch Lomond in 2015 I was towing a trailer tent as well, (that hurt the wallet!) but the Disco kept on rolling. A big side wind can buffet you around a bit but the canoes don't shift. If you have a decent roof rack and good straps all will be well.
    Calefactio orbis? Culus meus!!

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