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Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

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alweiss77
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Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 1:48 pm

Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

Post by alweiss77 » Fri May 08, 2009 2:03 pm

I want to car top my Kayak (I have solved the rack problem) but now I need to find a way to tie it down in the front and the back. I have found a places on the front bumper to safely attach my straps. However, I can't find anywhere to attach the straps to the back bumper--or, not in ways that wouldn't ruin the plastic shell covering the bumper. So, has anyone on the list car-topped a boat and have they successfully tied down both the bow and the aft?

Thanks,

Al

Wheelman
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 9:31 am
Location: Yorkton, Saskatchewan Canada

Re: Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

Post by Wheelman » Fri May 08, 2009 3:35 pm

Do you have a hitch? If so, get a welder to get a piece of square tubular steel or better yet aluminum (it doesn't rust and is light for handling) to fit your hitch receiver and weld on a similar material length to that to make it look like a "T" with a short stem. The long top of the "T" runs parallel to the bumper fascia and can be as far back as you like within reason. Next, drill a whole in the short stem to receive a hitch lock pin, then drill a hole near each end of the horizontal piece to accept a hook or eye bolt to which you can secure a rope or strap. When tightening the rope or strap do so evenly on each side and there you have it.
I haven't actually done this myself, but I know it should work just fine.

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mmsstar
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Re: Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

Post by mmsstar » Fri May 08, 2009 5:03 pm

I have not tied my kayak on top of my Freestyle yet but when I was putting it on top of a Windstar I had a couple of years ago I just went around the bumper and under it to hook into holes in the frame on either side. It worked quite well
Drove an 06 LTD FWD from July 08 to August 10, moved on to a 2011 Flex

tadpole
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:36 pm

Re: Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

Post by tadpole » Sun May 10, 2009 4:57 pm

Man, I wish I'd read this earlier! I just took the kayak off the car. Anyway, I installed a trailer hitch, so at the rear I use the loops for the safety chain to secure the rear of the kayak. On the front I use hood loops (or hood straps). I found them on the internet for $6.00 a pair, and once I saw them I figured I could make them easily. And I have - given several sets to my friends. Here are some pictures of them installed.

It seems like every strap I own is at least 2 feet too long. It takes about 12" to make one of these. I already had the grommet tools and a box of grommets. The only issue is finding a way to make a clean hole in the nylon webbing. I used a piece of thin-wall steel tubing, heated with a torch, and used like a branding iron. It cuts a clean hole and melts the edges to prevent fraying. Put a hole in each end, fold, install the grommet, and you're done!

You just fold them in when not in use, flip them out when you want them.

I can't remember where I bought them, but search for "hood straps" or "hood loops" and you'll find them.

Good luck.
Attachments
Here's the "store bought" version installed, and two home-made straps.
Here's the "store bought" version installed, and two home-made straps.
DSCF1990s.JPG (52.34 KiB) Viewed 972 times
Here they are ready for use - just put the strap, rope, or hook through the loop.
Here they are ready for use - just put the strap, rope, or hook through the loop.
DSCF1989s.JPG (72.13 KiB) Viewed 972 times
They attach using a fender bolt - remove the bolt, put bolt through grommet, replace bolt.
They attach using a fender bolt - remove the bolt, put bolt through grommet, replace bolt.
DSCF1987s.JPG (71.49 KiB) Viewed 974 times

alweiss77
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 1:48 pm

Re: Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

Post by alweiss77 » Mon May 11, 2009 10:07 am

Thanks for the tips. I don't have a trailer hitch but it looks like it might be a good idea to install one for tying down the kayak (and it will be one less thing I have to buy when I get the sailboat :-)). Since I want to get out to the water soon, I may try the Windstar solution and see how sending the straps over the plastic part of the bumper works. If anyone else has tried this I'd like to know. Also, I like the idea of the "hood straps"--I'll definitely check them out.

Thanks for the good ideas guys!

--Al

tadpole
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:36 pm

Re: Tie Down Kayak on TX 08

Post by tadpole » Mon May 11, 2009 5:48 pm

I've looked all over the liftgate area to see if there was a suitably strong looking fastener to use with a hood strap - no such luck.

When I installed the trailer hitch - it's not as easy as they make it sound, halfway through I would have gladly paid $100 except that I felt challenged - I had to cut out a section of the rear bumper fascia with a razor knife. You could just cut some slots in the fascia where you can find a suitable anchor point in the structure underneath. But I got the hitch mostly to mount a bike rack, and to do some light towing if necessary. If you think you're going to be add the hitch - I recommend you get it now and use it for the tie-down point.

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