• Happy Eddie Arcaro Wins 2nd Triple Crown (Citation, 1948)! 👑👑👑👑👑👑

New cars: are they as impossible as they seem for cartopping?

Not quite what I had in mind, yknpdlr! I suppose one could combine an e-bike with a bike trailer for hauling a canoe, but that's a topic for a other thread!
 
Had an ’07 Outback and put wood crossbars (xbars) on railings. They are a very heavy, dense pine I got from a construction site. They’re spacers between the batches lumber used to build houses.

Tied down xbars on railings, and canoe on xbars. Had bow and stern tie downs. In CO, I’m told the main reason for end tie down is prevent canoe lifting by wind. When I had a Grumman on a van many years ago, tie downs helped (in my mind) canoe from sliding fore or aft in case of an accident. That’s what I learned as a kid in the Catskills. Now, I’m told by other, out here it’s wind. Used store-bought loops under hood for front. There was a tie down under the rear of the ’07.

This January I bought a ’23 Forester, Premium model. Mostly, I wanted the same type roof railings, as no other car I saw (in my price bracket) had a railing as secure (IMHO) as the Forester (same as the ’07 Outback). Adjusted the boards a bit for wider body. Drove it with canoe, concerned the end hanging in front of rear view mirror and cameras might defeat the cameras. Dealer said it wouldn’t effect the driving if they were off-line. It drove fine.

The ’23 has no tie down in the rear. Had to make a loop of flexible webbing thru a 1” dia. PVC pipe. Put pipe inside back end a little right or left of door latch, let webbing hang out a few inches, shut door, and used the loop for tie down. Forgot to make photo of PVC, and I’m away from my place for a week. Hope you can visualize and makes sense. So far it works fine.

Dealer told me there’s no wind/bug screen for this model due to the cameras looking right over the hood. Even a piece of plastic sticking up an inch would mess up the cameras.

Recently decided to help prevent any lateral movement in a crosswind (this is CO, WY, NE, UT) by placing 2” “L-brackets” wrapped with tape (to avoid scratching aluminum gunnels) on either side of the gunnels. Haven’t driven this rig yet, but I know the canoe fits snug between the brackets, and I’ve tied down the canoe several times on the ’07 with two, 1" NSR cam straps. It’s secure.

Last, I made a longer (blue) hood loop thinking I was going to need an alternative attachment system because of the different engine mount. Turns out I didn’t need the longer blue webbing, but you see how it can be used if you can’t screw down the grommet end. The black store-bought webbing is easily screwed down securely, and it’s easy to remove the webbing when not transporting the canoe. Now that I have some extra blue webbing and grommets, I was going to offer to make some loops for folks in the Rocky Mt Canoe Club….if anyone’s interested…or any of you readers. Not trying to make $…just help out.

Here are a few pics to show what's described above. Hope that helps a bit.
 

Attachments

  • Stops 1.jpg
    Stops 1.jpg
    72.3 KB · Views: 18
  • Stops 2.jpg
    Stops 2.jpg
    51.5 KB · Views: 18
  • Front tie-downs 1.jpg
    Front tie-downs 1.jpg
    136 KB · Views: 18
Had an ’07 Outback and put wood crossbars (xbars) on railings. They are a very heavy, dense pine I got from a construction site. They’re spacers between the batches lumber used to build houses.

Tied down xbars on railings, and canoe on xbars. Had bow and stern tie downs. In CO, I’m told the main reason for end tie down is prevent canoe lifting by wind. When I had a Grumman on a van many years ago, tie downs helped (in my mind) canoe from sliding fore or aft in case of an accident. That’s what I learned as a kid in the Catskills. Now, I’m told by other, out here it’s wind. Used store-bought loops under hood for front. There was a tie down under the rear of the ’07.

This January I bought a ’23 Forester, Premium model. Mostly, I wanted the same type roof railings, as no other car I saw (in my price bracket) had a railing as secure (IMHO) as the Forester (same as the ’07 Outback). Adjusted the boards a bit for wider body. Drove it with canoe, concerned the end hanging in front of rear view mirror and cameras might defeat the cameras. Dealer said it wouldn’t effect the driving if they were off-line. It drove fine.

The ’23 has no tie down in the rear. Had to make a loop of flexible webbing thru a 1” dia. PVC pipe. Put pipe inside back end a little right or left of door latch, let webbing hang out a few inches, shut door, and used the loop for tie down. Forgot to make photo of PVC, and I’m away from my place for a week. Hope you can visualize and makes sense. So far it works fine.

Dealer told me there’s no wind/bug screen for this model due to the cameras looking right over the hood. Even a piece of plastic sticking up an inch would mess up the cameras.

Recently decided to help prevent any lateral movement in a crosswind (this is CO, WY, NE, UT) by placing 2” “L-brackets” wrapped with tape (to avoid scratching aluminum gunnels) on either side of the gunnels. Haven’t driven this rig yet, but I know the canoe fits snug between the brackets, and I’ve tied down the canoe several times on the ’07 with two, 1" NSR cam straps. It’s secure.

Last, I made a longer (blue) hood loop thinking I was going to need an alternative attachment system because of the different engine mount. Turns out I didn’t need the longer blue webbing, but you see how it can be used if you can’t screw down the grommet end. The black store-bought webbing is easily screwed down securely, and it’s easy to remove the webbing when not transporting the canoe. Now that I have some extra blue webbing and grommets, I was going to offer to make some loops for folks in the Rocky Mt Canoe Club….if anyone’s interested…or any of you readers. Not trying to make $…just help out.

Here are a few pics to show what's described above. Hope that helps a bit.
Great that you could engineer and build your own rack system instead of having to buy the outrageously priced commercial stuff. I continue to use Yakima stuff I have had for years and have used on multiple vehicles, mostly Subaru Foresters (I am on my fourth Forester), the current one is 2021.
 
I’d have gladly traded all the new safety junk on the 2023 4Runner for a CD player. I generally set all the electronic gizmos to off, where they let you, and I’m not above pulling fuses and unplugging antennae so my vehicle can’t communicate with “base”. If carrying a canoe causes some system I don’t want to give me grief, said system will get excised.

Fortunately, the 5th gen 4Runner is pretty old school compared to contemporary vehicles. I’m really rather grumpy about all the screens in these new cars. I want analog gauges, I don’t want a “Home Screen” and no, I don’t want to customize it. If it has one, I want it off.

Now, I’m going outside to shake my fist at the clouds.
 
I’d have gladly traded all the new safety junk on the 2023 4Runner for a CD player. I generally set all the electronic gizmos to off, where they let you, and I’m not above pulling fuses and unplugging antennae so my vehicle can’t communicate with “base”. If carrying a canoe causes some system I don’t want to give me grief, said system will get excised.

Fortunately, the 5th gen 4Runner is pretty old school compared to contemporary vehicles. I’m really rather grumpy about all the screens in these new cars. I want analog gauges, I don’t want a “Home Screen” and no, I don’t want to customize it. If it has one, I want it off.

Now, I’m going outside to shake my fist at the clouds.
My '22 Ram had no CD player, I refuse to pay for satellite radio, the dealer told me the antenna MUST be connected for the black box and driver assist to work, so I had a local tuner delete Sirius from the computer, cost me $75.
I travel in a lot of areas where there are no am or fm stations for hours- I bought an aftermarket usb cd player and just put it inside the console and plugged it into the AUX usb port, the Cd also came with a 1/8 stereo phono cable for systems that only have an analog input.
the only issue is it's hard to swap cd's with my arm in the way, so when I stop for any reason, I swap cd's then.
 
I recently purchased a 2024 Forester Wilderness to replace my 2016 Forester. My biggest (not the only) complaint is the dang giant electronic key fob and hateful push button start, the first of its kind I have ever had. At least the 2016 key fob was relatively small enough in my pocket without me being accused of being happy with a large pocket lump. When I parked my car at home in my attached garage, I simply dropped the key in the cup holder, so I always knew where it was and it was secure there with the garage door closed. Away from home, with the older real key fob in my hand, I easily remember to lock the car as I walk away.

But now I cannot leave the new giant bulky fob in the car in my garage because I am told that will quickly discharge the battery as it continues to communicate with the car when it is left inside. So I have to take the fob inside the house and hang it on a hook by the door (if I remember to take it out of my pocket). Unlike in simpler days, If I don't want to take that fob with me, protected from getting wet in the canoe or elsewhere oudoors, I don't know where I can safely hide it that is not too near the car out of the unlock range.

Wanna guess how many times I have sworn 4 letter words every time I got into the car in my garage without remembering to take the giant key? To lock the car, I have to press little lines inscribed on the door handle with the fob in my pocket. Easily later unlocked by placing my hand on the handle (with key fob in my pocket), but I tend to walk away forgetting to lock it because I don't have the older-style small fob button in my hand. I yearn for the old days when I had a simple flat metal car key that fit with my house and work office key into a small leather folder carried in my back pocket.

Regarding car topping, new Subarus, even if they have roof rails, do not come equipped standard with crossbars as older model years did. So I removed crossbars from my 2016 Forester before I traded it in. But they do not fit between my Wilderness rails unless I modify them by cutting to shorten them, which is not a big problem, but is annoying.

Also no CD player.
 
Last edited:
I always liked a push to start button, but the kind where you insert a key, turn to “on”, then push the starter button next to it. I don’t really love the fob either. I’m still uneasy with this locking method as I never feel really sure I locked it. I do however love that with the fob in pocket, I can put the 4Runner’s tailgate window down by pressing a button on the outside of the vehicle!
 
Woodpuppy’s post reminded me of my first British sports car , a ‘58 Triumph TR3. My recall is that it had a small key to turn on the ignition and then you pushed a starter button. I soon discovered that the keyed ignition lock was so worn out that I could simply use a fingernail to turn the switch to “on”. Unfortunately, I told some friends about this and some soon took to a bit of joyriding with my car.
 
I always liked a push to start button, but the kind where you insert a key, turn to “on”, then push the starter button next to it.
My 1953 Jeep had that system also. Another vehicle long gone...
I recently purchased a 2024 Forester Wilderness to replace my 2016 Forester. My biggest (not the only) complaint is the dang giant electronic key fob and hateful push button start, the first of its kind I have ever had. At least the 2016 key fob was relatively small enough in my pocket without me being accused of being happy with a large pocket lump. When I parked my car at home in my attached garage, I simply dropped the key in the cup holder, so I always knew where it was and it was secure there with the garage door closed. Away from home, with the older real key fob in my hand, I easily remember to lock the car as I walk away.

But now I cannot leave the new giant bulky fob in the car in my garage because I am told that will quickly discharge the battery as it continues to communicate with the car when it is left inside. So I have to take the fob inside the house and hang it on a hook by the door (if I remember to take it out of my pocket). Unlike in simpler days, If I don't want to take that fob with me, protected from getting wet in the canoe or elsewhere oudoors, I don't know where I can safely hide it that is not too near the car out of the unlock range.

Wanna guess how many times I have sworn 4 letter words every time I got into the car in my garage without remembering to take the giant key? To lock the car, I have to press little lines inscribed on the door handle with the fob in my pocket. Easily later unlocked by placing my hand on the handle (with key fob in my pocket), but I tend to walk away forgetting to lock it because I don't have the older-style small fob button in my hand. I yearn for the old days when I had a simple flat metal car key that fit with my house and work office key into a small leather folder carried in my back pocket.

Regarding car topping, new Subarus, even if they have roof rails, do not come equipped standard with crossbars as older model years did. So I removed crossbars from my 2016 Forester before I traded it in. But they do not fit between my Wilderness rails unless I modify them by cutting to shorten them, which is not a big problem, but is annoying.

Also no CD player.
We bought a 2022 Subaru outback with the same giant key fob system that you have. I too have sworn many, many times at the fob (which is usually back in the house since it takes up too much pocket space) and at designers of the overall intrusive, time consuming, noisy electronic system with so many "notices" that one is not sure what that last BEEP was about. It also lacks a CD player.

Had my wife and I known about the negative aspects of this car, we would have chosen a different vehicle. The mechanics of the Outback are fine but the integral electronics are a pain in the gluteus maximus!

On the rack issue, I bought the Yakima bases, towers and round bar adaptors and use my early 2000's round bar (60").
 
Last edited:
On the rack issue, I bought the Yakima bases, towers and round bar adaptors and use my early 2000's round bar (60").
I do not know that is possible to buy any new car without it being basically a computer on wheels that atemts to do everything for you (much of it by government madate), and to reporrt all back to the company, whether you want it to or not. There is one Subaru option (which I do not have) that will detect an beep if your eyes are not focused directly ahead on the road at all times. I rejected my insurance company's phone app that would have reported my detailed driving habits to them in return for a percentage off of on my premium. I am not a crazy driver. But when I read what it did, I chocked that it was simply way to intrusive. I'll pay the extra to remain private.

I am able to use my older Thule square bar rack system, with three different bar length choices that I have. My complaint was with the (lack of) Subaru cross bars as no longer being included with new car purchase. I don't need to install the much beefier Thule crossbar system if all I am carrying is an ultralight solo canoe on the lighter cross bars. The base crossbars were sufficiient for that. The Thule bars have gunwale stops to securely stabiliize larger wind grabbing heavier canoes. I'm glad I removed the old stock crossbars from my trade-in and I can modify them to make them fit the new Wilderness Forester.
 
Last edited:
Why does one need a CD player? Just download your favorite songs to your phone and then connect the phone to your car/Subaru and play them. I don’t understand why people don’t connect their phones to their vehicles and use all the features available to them, GPS, texting, hands free phone, their favorite music, etc.
 
Why does one need a CD player? Just download your favorite songs to your phone and then connect the phone to your car/Subaru and play them. I don’t understand why people don’t connect their phones to their vehicles and use all the features available to them, GPS, texting, hands free phone, their favorite music, etc.
There are still folks who live the "old school" lifestyle and do not carry a cell or smartphone. For the audiophile, CD also has a greater frequency range than what is available in digital download formats.

Do not be a distracted driver and text or use a cellphone while driving. People die that way; keep your eyes and mind on the road.
 
There are still folks who live the "old school" lifestyle and do not carry a cell or smartphone. For the audiophile, CD also has a greater frequency range than what is available in digital download formats.

Do not be a distracted driver and text or use a cellphone while driving. People die that way; keep your eyes and mind on the road.

Just to play devil's advocate there is so much noise present in a car that I doubt it's possible to tell a difference in audio quality in most situations.

I can also remember shuffling CDs around inside a moving car (was still doing it a couple years ago) and it was more distracting than my current setup with phone and bluetooth connection. I'm able to control most of my phones music functions from the radio screen.

I'm sure there are plenty of cheap devices that allow you to install audio files onto them and then connect and play through bluetooth devices. I ripped all my CDs to audio files and then transferred them to a micro SD card which I then installed into my phone. Many car radios accept USB inputs so you could also put them on a thumb drive.

Alan
 
Or change CDs around traffic, especially cyclists. That killed a 5yo kid near where I lived, and it notably changed my behavior.
Very true. That is why I wait until I am stopped or let my passenger do the changing.

The same goes with the touch screen in my car. I realized that when using the touchscreen, the driver's eyes are off the road for quite a distance at driving speed. It is scary out there when you start counting how many times you have seen a car veering into the next lane or onto the rumble strip of the road and suddenly jerk back into their lane; I gave up road biking a few years ago due to the obviously distracted (or drugged) drivers.

Lets keep it safe as possible out there.
 
Why does one need a CD player? Just download your favorite songs to your phone and then connect the phone to your car/Subaru and play them. I don’t understand why people don’t connect their phones to their vehicles and use all the features available to them, GPS, texting, hands free phone, their favorite music, etc.

  • 300+ CDs
  • Don’t own a computer and don’t want to
  • Don’t want to give toyota the contents of my phone
  • Don’t want to talk on the phone via the car (or much at all really)
  • Certainly don’t want to text while driving. Whatever it is it can wait.
  • My Garmin is superior to any of the onboard nav or Apple Maps.
  • One must have Siri activated to use car play, and I have Siri as locked away as I can. I’d prefer to delete that annoyance.
The only thing I like about my “infotainment” system is that I can turn the too-big and distracting display off.

You know what? I still have cassettes that work in the player in my garage. Cassettes work fine in a car too.
 
Last edited:
I think when the day comes that I find my 2002 Tacoma converted to a pile of rubble in my driveway (unfortunately Toyota won't pay for a SECOND frame replacement), I will strip it of anything useful which might be primarily the factory installed combo AM/FM, CD and Cassette player.

1714384809175.png

4wd / 5-speed manual, no power windows/locks/mirrors, no AC, no cameras, analogue display, driver airbag shutoff. The only real concession to "modern engineering" is that unlike it's predecessor you don't need to get out and turn the hubs to switch in/out of 4wd mode.

Pic is from 6 years ago, it has unfortunately deteriorated quite a bit since then. I dread having to shop for a replacement.
 
Back
Top