Luggage racks versus Thule racks for carrying a single?

Luggage racks versus Thule racks for carrying a single?

Post by Johnbowe » Wed, 07 Jul 1999 04:00:00

  In the past I have used a homemade system that clamped securely on the rain
gutters in order to carry a single.  My new car does not have rain gutters, but
has a built in factory luggage rack.    
   Does anyone have any knowledge or horror stories about whether the luggage
rack will hold a single, or is a Thule or Yakima type rack required?  Given
that the luggage rack attaches to the roof structure with 8 bolts - it is not
obvious to me that the Thule type racks would actually hold to the roof better
than the luggage rack.     Any comments?


Luggage racks versus Thule racks for carrying a single?

Post by Abfis » Wed, 07 Jul 1999 04:00:00

I found that Thule made brackets that attached directly to the tracks of the
built in roof rack on my Mercury Sable wagon.  I've carried a single and a
double with no trouble.

They had such brackets for several makes of cars with built in roof racks,
perhaps something for your car.  With two different cars I only have to swap
the brackets to mount the rack and carriers on either car.    


Luggage racks versus Thule racks for carrying a single?

Post by Andy and Abbe Lync » Wed, 07 Jul 1999 04:00:00

It really depends on the car that you have. Raingutter towers for both Thule
and Yakima are generally more secure than the luggage rack slots that come
with the car. As was stated in a previous post, most of these luggage racks
are rivotted to the roof and are not particularly strong. The raingutter
attachments are more secure. However, it still depends on the car. My car
for example, is a Volkswagon Fox and the Yakima and Thule instructions say
not to put more than 100 lbs. of weight on the roof rack. This is because of
the construction of the raingutters on that particular car. Some cars have
no such weight limit given.

If you car (like most recent model cars) does not have raingutters, then the
towers for the Yakima or Thule system will attach to the underside of the
roof (in the doorway) with clips specifically designed to fit your
particular model of car. This is a very secure system and much stronger than
any factory luggage rack slot as it is hooked under the actual frame of the
roof. The only potential problem with this sytem is that with a few models
of cars, there have been problems with the *** door seals being damaged
leading to leaks. I used to sell both Thule and Yakima systems and this
problem only occured on 3 or 4 models of car. (I can't remember any more
which models they were.) I would find a bike or outdoors store that sells
one or both of these brands and ask if there have been any problems with
leaks in the model of car that you have.

There are some cars out there where the factory installed luggage rack is
stronger than most. The Subaru Outback is one of them. In that case, the
recommended system does attach to the luggage rack slots. Again, you just
need to find a knowledgable sales person and ask them. I would definitely
NOT trust the factory installed cross-bars on any car. I have heard
countless stories while working in retail sales of those things breaking
under any significant stress (such as a shell travelling at 55 mph.) Don't
be cheap with your rack system. Your boat is a significant investment and
you should protect it.

Good luck,

Andy ***