Roof rack for kayaks?

  1. Maplecs

    Maplecs Member

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    I'm looking for a roof rack so I can get a couple kayaks. Any recommendations. Would like to be able to remove freedom panels still and easily removed to take top off.
     
  2. EZMFE

    EZMFE Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how much you want to spend, how many you want to carry, and if you want to use the rack for other items.

    Many previous threads on the subject can be found here

    Click here for one to get you started.
     
  3. aml

    aml Well-Known Member

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    The rhino rack backbone system is a good option, but it is expensive. I am assuming you have a hardtop? Jeep’s roof rack accessory is not recommend by Jeep to transport kayaks. External racks like Gobi’s are also good solutions.
     
  4. TCogs1

    TCogs1 Well-Known Member

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    I decided to build my own (8020.net), other options are too expensive, too heavy, too big for my needs and I want to run both my soft top and hard top (or no top) while I am carrying 2 11' x 30" kayaks.

    kayak.jpg

    rack.jpg
     
  5. aml

    aml Well-Known Member

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    Looks nice. I like 80/20 for projects. Great stuff. How did you end up attaching it? Any pictures of it attached?
     
  6. TCogs1

    TCogs1 Well-Known Member

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    Great question, this picture is hard to see but I think you will get the point. I bought some ( 4, 6x10) 3/16 304 Stainless plate on ebay ($15) cut a profile with a drill and cut off saw and bent it in a l shape (torch, hammer and vise), so the back looks like a boomerang with one end bent 90 degrees using existing hard top bolt locations and the front is similar ( z bend) except bolting to the existing holes used for the hard top panels. There is a hole for a guide pin and to the left (drivers side) there is an unused hole going through the sport cage structure.

    Connecting the back brackets is .750 X 3" https://8020.net/3034-lite.html going up and connecting to a 8020 dual hinge plate ( to flip it over as a shade spot if need be). https://8020.net/4356.html.. switch connects to the quarter round https://8020.net/1517-ls.html ( I did this profile thinking it would cut the wind noise down, some, jury is out on that).

    Probably not the best, but structurally stronger, lighter, narrower and cheaper (buy far) then anything I have seen on the market. And I did not have to drill any new holes in my jeep or run bars down the bumper or cowling. And I will probably keep it on my M416 trailer mostly (still have to figure out that bracketing), Jeepers Jamboree does not allow trailers.

    I will send completed pictures next week when I am done. I have to be done by July 30th because that is when we leave for my bucket list Jeep Jamboree.. Which will be the ultimate test for the rack, which I think will be fine as long as I remember blue locktite :).

    The down side was the time it took me to design it (Bill of material) and form - polish the brackets ~16 hours.

    I hope that helps.

    TC

    rack-brackets.jpg
     
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  7. N.C. Jeeper

    N.C. Jeeper Active Member

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    It's a high dollar option but top of the line for sure...

    I used the Rhino Rack Backbone with two Thule Hullavators (one on each side) on my JKU and have the same setup ordered for my JLUS. It'll be here 7/25/19. I carried my two 85lb fishing boats on top at 70mph with no worries what so ever. I was so happy two weeks ago when Rhino Rack finally released their JL option. The Freedom panels are still removable and the hard top is as well. The only difference is that there are two extra screws to remove from the roll bar (above the two rear doors) for removal of the hard top. It's well worth the price tag and the two extra screws.

    Here's the only pic I have of my JKU outfitted.

    The boat is a Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 12, a 12' kayak.


    IMG_0964.JPG
     
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  8. WaldorfJL

    WaldorfJL Member

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    If you are in the Maryland area, local fabricator that has some really good looking work....currently ordered the kayak rack for my hobie outback to hitchmount to my 2018 JLU soft top...I will post pics when I get it....It will have the open receiver so I can also add the basket carrier (separate addition)....

    left field fabrication kayak rack.jpg
     
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  9. CNY-JLUS

    CNY-JLUS Well-Known Member

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    #9 Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    I use Yakima 1A raingutter towers with 58" crossbars and Bow Down folding kayak racks. I carried three kayaks on a 500 mile trip on the interstate at 75 mph. Roof creaked a bit, but no problem. I mount the front rack 6" from the front edge of the raingutter on the main roof (not freedom panels) and the rear rack 36" from the front one. That spacing allows me to also use a roof storage box.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    20190703_105805.jpg

    20190703_105830.jpg
     
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  10. CNY-JLUS

    CNY-JLUS Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone found a good front tie down point for JLU Sport with plastic bumper? I thread a strap down with a hook down in front of the headlights to a hole in the frame. I'd rather have something more accessible. I am considering tying a rope around the frame in this area, leaving a loop to hook to from above. Another thought is removing the plastic rivet behind the tow hook and inserting some form of anchor with an eye bolt or eye nut to clip a carabiner to. Any suggestions on an anchor to install in this hole?

    20190725_174855.jpg

    images.jpg
     
  11. N.C. Jeeper

    N.C. Jeeper Active Member

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    @CNY-JLUS

    These are inexpensive and do a great job for me. Just unscrew one of the factory bolts on each side of the fender under the hood. They stay hidden under the hood until needed and then flip them out while transporting your boat or other cargo.

    https://www.rei.com/product/818318/seattle-sports-hood-loops


    And these for the tailgate or glass hatch. Just close them in the tailgate.

    https://www.rei.com/product/818227/seattle-sports-quick-loops-pair


    Pardon the JKU pic, haven’t gotten the BackBone installed on my JLUS yet.


    A95C9C67-7C54-4195-9F17-2899A1A35C6F.png C4B245FB-8AB3-424C-BD07-96E826410C8C.png
     
  12. TCogs1

    TCogs1 Well-Known Member

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    Well another productive day.. rack is assembled, pivots on ( so I open and shut the soft top), rabbit ears on (front supports, allows for window and soft top operation).. tomorrow install rack to Jeep, bolt on pool floaties for kayak cushion and held to the beach for a trial run..

    So far so good...

    finished-8020-rack.jpg

    finished-8020-rack-pivot.jpg
     
  13. Dethwalkin

    Dethwalkin Well-Known Member

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    Thule Hullavator. I love these. They lift 40lbs of your kayaks weight so i can literally push them up with a finger.

    new wheels .jpg12 (2).jpg

    new wheels .jpg10 (2).jpg
     
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  14. WaldorfJL

    WaldorfJL Member

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