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Old 05-30-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
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Thule Racks?

Tips on Thule racks welcomed here.
Looking to purchase and install Thule racks on our Tacoma for our son who paddles one man.
Where on island? Which one is best? TIPS! TIPS! TIPS!
Mahalo!
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #2
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Go Bananas in Kapahulu or Aiea.....
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Do some research between Thule and Yakima. I used to have a Yakima setup but it was for snowboards and skis. Now I have the OEM roof rack.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Thule

Thule and Yakima are the dominant aftermarket rack manufacturers. Both products are good, but I feel Thule racks are better.

I used to work for Thule years ago and can state that their designs undergo significant product testing before getting to market. Racks were tested beyond existing specifications found in DIN specs, routinely overloading the racks and performing emergency manuevers. Also, plenty of time spent in development of ergonomic features for improved/easier functionality. When it came to watercraft rack systems, Yakima held the edge back in the 1990s, but in 2000, that shifted towards Thule with their kayak carriers. Now I see efforts to 'clone' the looks and functionality.

As for the truck racks, Thule offers a bed mount system. Couple that with a set of feet and a loadbar for the roof (if your Tacoma does or doesnt have a rail system), you would have a system long enough to handle most competition style kayaks or canoes. Just be sure to tether your craft for safety. Although the racks are strong, you'll want the added security your boat wont become a projectile!! Plus the guy in front of you will appreciate it.

Do your research, price both systems and make your choice. Yakima has been at it a long time, and they'll be in business whether or not Thule is there (and they will be). Good luck on your pick!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rackster View Post
Thule and Yakima are the dominant aftermarket rack manufacturers. Both products are good, but I feel Thule racks are better.

I used to work for Thule years ago and can state that their designs undergo significant product testing before getting to market. Racks were tested beyond existing specifications found in DIN specs, routinely overloading the racks and performing emergency manuevers. Also, plenty of time spent in development of ergonomic features for improved/easier functionality. When it came to watercraft rack systems, Yakima held the edge back in the 1990s, but in 2000, that shifted towards Thule with their kayak carriers. Now I see efforts to 'clone' the looks and functionality.

As for the truck racks, Thule offers a bed mount system. Couple that with a set of feet and a loadbar for the roof (if your Tacoma does or doesnt have a rail system), you would have a system long enough to handle most competition style kayaks or canoes. Just be sure to tether your craft for safety. Although the racks are strong, you'll want the added security your boat wont become a projectile!! Plus the guy in front of you will appreciate it.

Do your research, price both systems and make your choice. Yakima has been at it a long time, and they'll be in business whether or not Thule is there (and they will be). Good luck on your pick!!
MAHALO PLENTY!!!!!!
Thank you to everyone who posted. I received a few private messages about Go Bananas, so we are headed there this weekend to research, price and decide. Thank you again.
Aloha!
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:21 AM   #7
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I just put on a goal post and 1/2 pack over cabin. I went with thule since I had good experience with them in past and my existing kayak saddle would fit.


Here we are about to go to a nearby lake using the new setup.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmdpowell View Post
I just put on a goal post and 1/2 pack over cabin. I went with thule since I had good experience with them in past and my existing kayak saddle would fit.


Here we are about to go to a nearby lake using the new setup.
That looks awesome!!! I have been looking at the Thule 422XT to haul a couple of kayaks with but I hated to not be able to use my tonneau cover. Look like with the goalpost you get the best of both worlds. Glad I ran across this thread today.

Are you satisfied with how well it works?
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben83 View Post
That looks awesome!!! I have been looking at the Thule 422XT to haul a couple of kayaks with but I hated to not be able to use my tonneau cover. Look like with the goalpost you get the best of both worlds. Glad I ran across this thread today.

Are you satisfied with how well it works?

Yes, I am happy with how it works. Much better than sticking out the back. I ordered from autoanything.com, good price, showed up in two days (free shipping).

After a few tries I can get the boats attached pretty quick.

The gate opens and leans on the goalpost (the plastic on the touches the goalpost) with enough room to pull the inside strap to open my toanneau.

With proper planning and balancing I can get the boat on / off without any help. My wife and daughters are more apt to go kayaking if they don't have to do any lifting!
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmdpowell View Post
I just put on a goal post and 1/2 pack over cabin. I went with thule since I had good experience with them in past and my existing kayak saddle would fit.


Here we are about to go to a nearby lake using the new setup.

So with a Tonneau cover, I wouldn't be able to install the Thule racks right?
(Blonde question?) Ha ha ha ha ha
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:58 PM   #11
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Goal Post vs Bed Rack

AnJ,

The 422xt is the bed rack system. As it locks into the fenders walls/bed rails of the bed, it protrudes inward into the bed where the tonneau would be. If you have the tonneau and don't want to ruin it, the Goal Post is a possible solution. I think that you can install it in either a 1 1/4" or 2" hitch receiver. I used to have one, but I gave it away when I installed the bed rack system. Mine had a 2" stinger.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rackster View Post
AnJ,

The 422xt is the bed rack system. As it locks into the fenders walls/bed rails of the bed, it protrudes inward into the bed where the tonneau would be. If you have the tonneau and don't want to ruin it, the Goal Post is a possible solution. I think that you can install it in either a 1 1/4" or 2" hitch receiver. I used to have one, but I gave it away when I installed the bed rack system. Mine had a 2" stinger.

Regards,

Kevin
Mahalo! Makes more sense when I see the pictures and read your dimensions.
Can't wait to get this ball rollin. My Taco is gonna be so pretty! Ha ha ha ha
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:24 AM   #13
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About the rack....

Something to keep in mind -

Leaving the rack in place increases drag and reduces your MPGs. Not a lot, but over time, it could add up. The Goal Post is nice in that you can take it off with a pull of a pin. But then you'll need to store it, which because of it's awkward shape, might take up a bit more space than the bed system leaning against the wall. The bed system takes more time to uninstall and if you use it frequently, like I imagine is your case, you'd be more inclined to leave it inplace. The bed system is aluminum, so for 'salty' regions, this solution won't rust on you and a good choice. The hitch system is steel, so at some point, it will concede to the elements. Our Tacoma colleague from New York has to contend with the road salt around our neck of the woods, but unless a diehard kayaking enthusiast, his hitch rack probably stays out of the elements. The half rack systems (the loadbar on the cab) generally stay put year round. The system can be removed, but folks tend not to bother with that.

For me, I put the bed system onto my Ford Ranger and drove it year-round with it inplace. I do a lot of work on my own home, so the bed system was a practical choice for me. I didn't have a tonneau so I avoided that issue. That rack could be loaded with lumber in a flash my only restriction being the weight/load limit for the truck. 4x8 sheets slid over the wheels and under the bottom of the rack legs. Many professional handymen commented on the rack as I was able to load up and leave with a secure load quicker than they could. SAFETY is an essential consideration when loading. Inevitably, I would get claims of product failure to only found out that somebody tried to haul a picnic table on the top of their Volvo because 'they could'. The rack systems are stronger than they need to be, but the sheetmetal on most vehicles is rather thin, so while the rack holds, the roof dents. Roof damage is rather expensive to have repaired (and most don't do it as a result).

My only complaint about the goal post is that when you drive, the rack wobbles a bit in the receiver hitch. In order to put the stinger in and take it off, there has to be some clearance between both. Thule developed a few solutions to treat this problem, but they were not in place yet while I was there (only prototypes). This may have solved the problem, but I didn't keep my Goal Post long enough to acquire one of the solutions. Perhaps wmdpowell can comment on that. Otherwise, that rack is very strong and a nice solution for longer watercraft. If I had the tonneau, I might have kept my Goal Post.

And as for looks, the bed system was nicer looking to me.

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Old 06-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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wmd: Which kayak holders from Thule are you using? I just joined this forum for this very issue and was pondering the rack system that Rackster mentioned but I have a tool box and don't know that the rack will work. Also, I was wonder about the swaying issue that Rackster mentioned. Also, is there increased wind noise where the brackets connect in the door?

Rackster: do you haul kayaks on your rack? From looking at the Thule site, I can't tell where they have a special purpose system for holding kayaks on the rack. Also, how long does it take to remove the system?
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hullabelew View Post
wmd: Which kayak holders from Thule are you using? I just joined this forum for this very issue and was pondering the rack system that Rackster mentioned but I have a tool box and don't know that the rack will work. Also, I was wonder about the swaying issue that Rackster mentioned. Also, is there increased wind noise where the brackets connect in the door?

Rackster: do you haul kayaks on your rack? From looking at the Thule site, I can't tell where they have a special purpose system for holding kayaks on the rack. Also, how long does it take to remove the system?
Hullabelew - no hayaks just mostly lumber. I may have carried my canoe once or twice, but I mostly just loaded it into the bed of my Ranger. Time to remove the rack is under 20 minutes, but I was delayed by the bedliner a bit especially by the cab.

Wind noise is variable on a vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle. If too loud, a wind fairing is a good sollution. Many vehicles these days have mounting locations stamped into the steal around the window jams. So in these instances, you should mount the system where the manufacturer recommends. In the 'olden days', we'd work with a few manufacturers to get these locations established.

As noted, the rack has adjustment to be raised and lowered, but in compact/midsized truck applications, the uprights will make contact with the inner lining of the bed reducing or eliminating range of movement. In that case, it might be worth taking off the rack when not in use, especially if you don't use it for much more than transporting your kayaks if FE or drag is a concern. I used mine most every weekend, so I left mine on.
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #17
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I am looking for a rack to transport my paddle boards on and was told that the Thule has bad wind noise. The previous message mentioned that the noise could change depending on the type of truck. What is your experience with the Thule rack on a Tacoma? Is there a speed restriction with boards on top? I would hate to be driving down the highway and have my boards fly away since they are shaped like airfoils.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi8tor View Post
I am looking for a rack to transport my paddle boards on and was told that the Thule has bad wind noise. The previous message mentioned that the noise could change depending on the type of truck. What is your experience with the Thule rack on a Tacoma? Is there a speed restriction with boards on top? I would hate to be driving down the highway and have my boards fly away since they are shaped like airfoils.
If you don't install the rubber strips that go on the top and bottom of the crossbars, the racks will whistle really loud from about 20 mph on up. The whistling is loud enough to attract peoples attention as you drive by. Install the rubber strips, and everything is quiet. There's maybe a slight increase in wind noise (not whistling) but not real noticeable unless you're trying to hear it.

I'm not sure about speed restrictions with the boards on top, but I've been up to about 60 mph with my paddle board strapped on, and it's pretty solid.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:36 PM   #19
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Whistling

Yes, you'll need to use the rubber strip to quiet the rack. Also, the rubber strips provide better grip on your payloads. You should be able to do the posted speedlimit safely with your paddleboards properly secured. Review mounting instructions and abide by them and you should be fine.

In my experience, you can't have too many tiedown straps in your bag. Finding the right combination of straps might make the difference between a safe payload and one where at the least, you ruin your boards and at worst, hurt someone.
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