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Hauling Two Canoes When Thule Hates You

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Rochester NY
Hello folks,

I have to haul 2 canoes to Wabakimi in a month. I am taking a Nissan Frontier crew cab with a 5' bed. The truck has a cap and I have a Thule rack with max bar widths of 60". Both bars being on the 5' cap leaves a small distance between them to secure the canoe. I have another cross bar for cab so I can get three mounting points the length of the canoe fore to aft. Canoes are 36" and 32" wide.

Issue is I need longer bars and they are not available from Thule. I have heard, and read about people using metal and wood rods and attached them to their existing bars to achieve the correct wingspan. While this seems a bit freaky to me, it didn't seem to be an issue at all for those that have done this.

So is this a recommended (in a pinch) process, and if so, what material did you use and how did you attach it - zip ties, duct tape, hose clamps, all the above?

Thank you.
 
I'd use 3/4" black galvanized pipe from the hardware store and probably hose clamp it into place. You'll be fine. Even 3/4" electrical conduit would work fine in this application as there won't be much hanging past the end of your Thule bars.

You could also buy square tubing similar in size to your Thule bars and bolt it on top of the current bar.

I'd skip the 3rd mounting point if possible. I've hauled canoes on DIY rack setups with more than 2 cross bars and it's a pain trying to find something the right thickness to act a a shim since the natural arch of the gunwales won't sit directly on the middle bar.

Alan
 
It's not a truck - but the squared timber (4x6cm) works!

I tied the squared timbers to the existing roof beams with narrow straps. Zip ties should also work. However, I would then use two zip ties crossing over each other at each fixing point.

P1000647.jpg . P1000648.jpg . P1000649.jpg

P1000650.jpg . P1000651.jpg .P1000654.jpg .P1000655.jpg

or fixed to a trailer with hose clamps as shown here.

P1000730.jpg . P1000734.jpg . P1000735.jpg . P1000738.jpg

Everything worked well and held up. Even longer distances on the highway.

The only problem is that the beams stick out further and you can bump your head. Now guess why I'm writing this! ;)

ore you build an wooden Rack ... like this guy here:


 
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It's not a truck - but the squared timber (4x6cm) works!

I tied the squared timbers to the existing roof beams with narrow straps. Zip ties should also work. However, I would then use two zip ties crossing over each other at each fixing point.

View attachment 140933 . View attachment 140934 . View attachment 140935

View attachment 140936 . View attachment 140937 .View attachment 140938 .View attachment 140939

or fixed to a trailer with hose clamps as shown here.

View attachment 140940 . View attachment 140941 . View attachment 140942 . View attachment 140943

Everything worked well and held up. Even longer distances on the highway.

The only problem is that the beams stick out further and you can bump your head. Now guess why I'm writing this! ;)

ore you build an wooden Rack ... like this guy here:


don't trust those zip ties! the regular 8" ones are only rated for 26lbs and can shear very easily, or the locking tab (plastic) could snap off under load, in telecom we weren't allowed to use them at all except for color coding wire bundles, we had to use heavy duty uv-protected ones with a stainless steel locking tab (72lb) for temporary or non-critical use and 1/2" Deltec strapping for use under load or permanent installs, it maxed out at an impressive 250lbs and was reusable by cutting off one side of the strap at the acorn lock and pulling the strap through- the reason you see a ball of loose strapping on wires on telephone poles....
I've snapped lots of those cheapies with a single tug...
 
I have used 2x4’s which a friend routed out slightly so they fit over my existing 48” bars, then clamp in place. Or use pipe as pointed out in an earlier post. This should be an easy fix.
 
I have used 2x4’s which a friend routed out slightly so they fit over my existing 48” bars, then clamp in place. Or use pipe as pointed out in an earlier post. This should be an easy fix.
I screwed and glued together three pieces of 1" stock so that there was a channel in the bottom which fit nicely over the square Thule bar. The channel had blocks spaced at the length of the bar to prevent side to side movement. Once these were placed on the bars all that was needed was to put the canoes up and strap them down. The straps held the canoes down and the canoes held down the rack extenders. I have traveled thousands of miles with this arrangement. A side benefit is that it is easy to screw gunwale blocks to the top of the extenders.
 
I don’t have a pic but the last time I was in Ely Minnesota I saw an arrangement that I’ll try to describe. They used the foam blocks that one would use on the gunnels if you had no rack at all, but instead of the gunnels they put a long enough pipe through the foam, than lashed the pipe through the cab of the vehicle. Now you have two pipes secured to the car, then the canoes with padding get lashed to the pipes. Does that make sense? If not I’ll mock up the Prius tomorrow and take some pics. I thought it was very clever and seamed well thought out.
Jim
 
I don’t have a pic but the last time I was in Ely Minnesota I saw an arrangement that I’ll try to describe. They used the foam blocks that one would use on the gunnels if you had no rack at all, but instead of the gunnels they put a long enough pipe through the foam, than lashed the pipe through the cab of the vehicle. Now you have two pipes secured to the car, then the canoes with padding get lashed to the pipes. Does that make sense? If not I’ll mock up the Prius tomorrow and take some pics. I thought it was very clever and seamed well thought out.
Jim
Thank you Boatman, it does make sense, plus I had seen a picture of that on line. That might be my go-to!
 
Just posted a couple of days ago - Mike McCrae on another site, Thule compatible INNO bars at 65", 71", 79" long:


Looked up equivalent on amazon.ca --- $470 CDN!!! compared to $100 US
 
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Hello folks,

I have to haul 2 canoes to Wabakimi in a month. I am taking a Nissan Frontier crew cab with a 5' bed. The truck has a cap and I have a Thule rack with max bar widths of 60". Both bars being on the 5' cap leaves a small distance between them to secure the canoe. I have another cross bar for cab so I can get three mounting points the length of the canoe fore to aft. Canoes are 36" and 32" wide.

Issue is I need longer bars and they are not available from Thule. I have heard, and read about people using metal and wood rods and attached them to their existing bars to achieve the correct wingspan. While this seems a bit freaky to me, it didn't seem to be an issue at all for those that have done this.

So is this a recommended (in a pinch) process, and if so, what material did you use and how did you attach it - zip ties, duct tape, hose clamps, all the above?

Thank you.
I see lots of good solutions here, but let me suggest something different.

I've carried two canoes by removing the portage yoke from one and laying it partially on top of the other.

The bottom canoe is completely on the racks on one side of the vehicle. The cattywampus canoe has one set of gunnels on the roof rack and the other on the bottom of the first canoe. Some padding along the gunnels will help protect the bottom canoe's hull.

In this arrangement it's especially important to have some lines that pull the outer belly straps towards the towers. This prevents either canoe from moving outwards and the straps pulling off the towers.
 
I see lots of good solutions here, but let me suggest something different.

I've carried two canoes by removing the portage yoke from one and laying it partially on top of the other.

The bottom canoe is completely on the racks on one side of the vehicle. The cattywampus canoe has one set of gunnels on the roof rack and the other on the bottom of the first canoe. Some padding along the gunnels will help protect the bottom canoe's hull.

In this arrangement it's especially important to have some lines that pull the outer belly straps towards the towers. This prevents either canoe from moving outwards and the straps pulling off the towers.
I'll add this is a project the first time you do it. You might end up taking a thwart off too. It's good to budget an hour to do it and then some time to test it and adjust as necessary. It will take like three times the normal amount of straps too.
 
A word of warning- the INNO bars only work with old Thule Tracker II towers. The new style slotted Thule square bars and towers etc are incompatible.
 
Hello folks,

I have to haul 2 canoes to Wabakimi in a month. I am taking a Nissan Frontier crew cab with a 5' bed. The truck has a cap and I have a Thule rack with max bar widths of 60". Both bars being on the 5' cap leaves a small distance between them to secure the canoe. I have another cross bar for cab so I can get three mounting points the length of the canoe fore to aft. Canoes are 36" and 32" wide.

Issue is I need longer bars and they are not available from Thule. I have heard, and read about people using metal and wood rods and attached them to their existing bars to achieve the correct wingspan. While this seems a bit freaky to me, it didn't seem to be an issue at all for those that have done this.

So is this a recommended (in a pinch) process, and if so, what material did you use and how did you attach it - zip ties, duct tape, hose clamps, all the above?

Thank you.

A note of caution with adding a 3rd strap, remember that on a pickup, the cap and bed aren't connected, they can bend and twist a bit.

Adding the 3rd strap can anchor the canoe to one end and then the twist gets transferred to part of the canoe ... so personally, I stick with just 2 straps
 
Lots of good solutions offered above, but 2x4s are best in my opinion. I don’t often carry two canoes. In the past, I’ve attached the 2x4s to the bars with hose clamps. Very solid, and 2x4s are sort of magically sticky to ropes, and I’d think straps, although I’m a rope guy so just speculating.

Lately, I’ve been using a 2x4 on top of the rear bar to protect the bar from being gouged by bolt tops of the seat and thwart bolts. I had to replace a bar that rusted after I’d gouged holes in the coating while sliding the canoe up onto the bars. I put together a carpet-topped 2x4 with some 1-by material to create a groove such as described by Pgeorg. I place this 2x4 over the bar, load the boat, and tie down. The ropes tied to the 2x4 keep it in place. It can’t slide to side, because the groove runs tower to tower. My 2x4 is single-boat short, but the same set up can be used on a 7’ 2x4 to carry 2 boats.

IMG_8737.jpeg
Advantage: mounts with no hardware and is held in place by ropes or straps you’ll be using to tie the boats. Easily removable so you aren’t knocking yourself in the head when walking near vehicle.

Disadvantage: remember to remove the 2x4 when you take the ropes off, because nothing is holding it down! If you want to leave them on, leave the ropes or straps on. Run the ropes to the other bar and wrap/ tie so the 2x4s don’t fly off.
 
Lots of good solutions offered above, but 2x4s are best in my opinion. I don’t often carry two canoes. In the past, I’ve attached the 2x4s to the bars with hose clamps. Very solid, and 2x4s are sort of magically sticky to ropes, and I’d think straps, although I’m a rope guy so just speculating.

Lately, I’ve been using a 2x4 on top of the rear bar to protect the bar from being gouged by bolt tops of the seat and thwart bolts. I had to replace a bar that rusted after I’d gouged holes in the coating while sliding the canoe up onto the bars. I put together a carpet-topped 2x4 with some 1-by material to create a groove such as described by Pgeorg. I place this 2x4 over the bar, load the boat, and tie down. The ropes tied to the 2x4 keep it in place. It can’t slide to side, because the groove runs tower to tower. My 2x4 is single-boat short, but the same set up can be used on a 7’ 2x4 to carry 2 boats.

View attachment 141109
Advantage: mounts with no hardware and is held in place by ropes or straps you’ll be using to tie the boats. Easily removable so you aren’t knocking yourself in the head when walking near vehicle.

Disadvantage: remember to remove the 2x4 when you take the ropes off, because nothing is holding it down! If you want to leave them on, leave the ropes or straps on. Run the ropes to the other bar and wrap/ tie so the 2x4s don’t fly off.
you can get this stuff called "deltec" strapping , it's basically giant-sized endless cable tie material that you fasten with reusable "acorns" that have stainless, toothed tabs that bite into the nylon, and if you leave a long tail it's reusable too, you just cut the short side and pull it through, it's weather and UV proof, stupid strong (250lbs), and lasts years. I've been using it to attach 2x2's to my racks for years. My last set had non-removable racks and that stuff lasted until the wood rotted away- about 12 years...
 
Thanks for all the input - I just sat down and aw these. Going to grab a coffee and go through them. I will report!

Thanks.
 
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