Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: drop down roof rack

  1. #1

    Smile drop down roof rack

    Hi all - this summer I've realised that our favourite canoe is getting a bit heavy for loading onto the roof of our VW T4. Worse still, we're keen to buy a taller van. We don't want to get a lighter craft, we want to keep using this one as it's the only one I feel entirely safe in (yes am a wuss). We did have a look at one sort of roof rack that had a way of loading and unloading at the side of the van, and then sort of levering everything up onto the roof. But it was still pretty heavy, plus the cradle was right for Himself's sea kayak (I shall wash my mouth out later) but needed changing every time we wanted to load a different shaped boat - very fiddly, as we have 4 different shapes. We don't want old age to stop us canoeing, and we still want to travel in a camper, so what do other people do about heavy boats and vans?

    If you guys don't have the answer I shall give up, because I reckon you know everything.


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    6,846

    Default

    Karitek is the market leader in these things, have a look at their website and see if you can work out how to make them fit your needs

    https://www.karitek.co.uk/

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks Adrian. the dud one was a Karitek but we should look more closely at their range. OH is muttering about Thule so we'll look at those too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr Hampton Court, West London
    Posts
    2,850

    Default

    I have a karitec, and without it might have given up canoes. They are the most helpful, useful firm I've come across and I would be tempted to through myself at their mercy and ask what they suggest .

    To arm you with an undestanding of how it works, the various padded, shaped "holders" are attached to the cross bar by means of countersunk allen-headed bolts which mate with square "chocs"which slide in the channel of the cross piece and lock when tightened. This makes the changing of the rig for different boats slightly fiddley, but pretty quick. I mark the position of big Open, small open, surf ski, RS Aero, Topper dinghy on the rear side of the each cross piece in felt tip.(all of those have been carried in the last 6 months.) They are not cheap, but nor are the boats we carry, and they are far cheaper and more convenient than a trailer. I do, I'm afraid, only have a car, and friends who have them for vans do have a slightly harder lift. However, at a price, a solution is available in that Karitec make a cable operated version for taller vans which was demoed to me in GandTully car park. Very clever and appeals to the engineer in me.

    A picture tells a better story. I'm not prepared to go through ther hosting charade on here, but if you, and anyone else interested, would pm me their phone, I'll text you some explanatory piccies.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks very much for this. I will run it past Himself, who basically hated the karitech because changing the holders was just too fiddly, he thought. maybe you'll convince him otherwise, I hope so because the little bit of canoeing I do is a lot of fun. He's a coach so is constantly changing boats - uses a trailer when he has a group but when it's just the two of us we take the van.

  6. #6

    Default

    I also have a karitek and find it excellent. I have a sea kayak, sit on top and canoe and can fit all three on at once. It is heavy with these on, but with the three there are others to help lift. However, generally I only carry one at once leaving the other two sets of cradles unused. The racks come in at least two widths. I have the wider one hence the ability to have three sets of cradles adjacent to each other allowing flexibility in what craft is carried. You could also look at southern sea kayaks who do a similar system (LARS), but I believe it is a similar cost and I do not have any experience of its use. Steve Jones is very helpful there.


    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks so much. We got our karitek second hand and I'm beginning to suspect it just wasn't the right model, everyone seems so happy with them. It's be brilliant to be able to put 3 things on together, as we often take a selection of boats, the one I like, a sea kayak and a play boat for the surf.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Wantage, United Kingdom
    Posts
    51

    Default drop down roof rack

    We have the widest of the karitekís on our van and often carry a mixed fleet of canoe plus sea kayak plus ww boat or river runner, 2 sea kayaks and a surf boat. Carrying a mix is no problem but the trick is to find a carrier config that works more often than not so you donít need to reconfigure. For me two or 3 of pairs upright and one canoe carrier work as sea kayak and surf kayak also fit well sitting horizontally.

    The other thing Iíve learned is to have the right tools to effect the changeover rather than messing with standard stuff from the toolbox. So I have a massively long Allen key with handle which gives lots of torque and gets clear of obstructions. Likewise a matched ratchet spanner speeds things up. Marking up the frame also helps to enable precise positioning. Changing over still takes time but you get faster as you learn the sequence and tricks - am trying to recollect but suspect it now takes me about 10 minutes for a single set of boat mounts. Doing a fell set is faster though as you work in bulk. From 5 kayaks to 2 canoes maybe 40 minutes.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Andrew Sansum; 15th-September-2018 at 06:58 AM.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for this. It looks like Karitek is the way forward, but still some things to think through. OH says he always wants the heaviest boat on the driver's side, so would need to change the set up depending on what we were taking. He appreciates the suggestions re tools, thanks.

    Currently he's loading the open onto his car, this is pretty easy but one day it may not be (he plans to keep canoeing till the end of time).

  10. #10

    Default

    Have you tried using a canoe/kayak trolley inverted on the windscreen method?

  11. #11

    Default

    Not yet, but we're thinking of fitting a roller to the roof rack. Also it now looks like we won't be getting a taller van, so that simplifies matters.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr Hampton Court, West London
    Posts
    2,850

    Default

    Every now and then I take the rack off, so that it looks like an "ordinary" car. It takes about 10 mins to put it back. Even removing the little wheel and the tie bar to fit different chocks doesn't take much longer (although at ordinary ground level, not on a van). I am just a simple civil engineer. By far the most difficult moves if the rack is to be Full are loading the top boat, and the initial lift.

  13. #13

    Default

    OH has engineering background too (and is also pretty simple...). We are going to have to look into all the answers given here and work out our best solution. But first, he's having a little sea kayak in Canada.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •