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Integral Threaded Studs for Roof Rack
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1889
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also worth mentioning that modern cars are equipped with plastic bumper covers and slow-crash impact bumpers that appear not to offer any tie-down options as did the older exposed or truck-style bumpers. But all must have front and rear tow-hook locations. Often these locations are hidden behind a plastic port in the bumper cover that can be pried open with a screwdriver. Some cars require a screw-in eye-hook, others have a loop welded to a hard-point on the body.

Windsurfers are not the first to carry big stuff on the roof and we might take a clue from the canoeists, kayakers and car-toppable dinghy transporters to see how helpful a single line to the bumper can prove to be. There is no better way to prevent liftoff than a line from the bow to the bumper. It's not pretty but it works.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13270

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gregnw44 wrote:
if I'm driving at 60 mph into a Gorge headwind of 30... the "pulling force up" is huge !!
So yes... I've looked into that stuff... and I've never had a problem.
And yes, I load the gear very carefully. And if it is "Nukin"... I slow down a bit.

You have more patience than I, Grasshopper. The windier it is, the spendier (i.e., faster) I drive (I'm always driving into the wind, sometimes in a motor home downshifted out of overdrive to bull my way through headwinds gusting into the 40s.) If it's not blowing yet, I may drive 55, but if it's cranking, so am I. Think about it ... 75 + 45 = apparent gusts to 120 mph. Can you imagine the lifting forces on a cantilevered rooftop board in those conditions, considering that drag increases with the square of the wind speed? No wonder my RV's TV antenna blew off. A guy's Nissan Xterra's entire OEM (um, factory) roof rack blew right off his vehicle on a two-lane highway on a day like that, and he was heading home in no hurry at all.

When I carried longboards on top of a two-seater sports car in Chinook winds in a state with no speed limit enforcement, I bolted the front roof rack to the overhead frame AND tied everything down to the front bumper. Negligent homicide is almost as bad as damaging a custom board ... maybe even worse if you're on the way home. Confused
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5435

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, when I started windsurfing in 1985 I had a VW Scirocco. In fact, I had to wait about a year before Thule came out with gutterless racks, but like you said, the spacing between the bars was very very short. As a result, I would tie-off my 12' board to my hooks below the front bumper. Worked like a charm at highway speeds. Needless to say though, the two vehicles I've bought since I sold the Scirocco have been vans. Nothing beats a van when it comes to windsurfing equipment, especially if you've got a lot of stuff.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL - Isobars, yes... I'm patient Smile

I just went out to measure the spacing between my crossbars and it's 4'6" (on the top of my AWD minivan). I can go to 5' and still have level bars.
I can carry longboards no problem that way, without tieing down to the front bumper.
Shortboards only (unless you've got a FW)... and the crossbars can be narrower, obviously.
But I agree, many cars only allow bar spacing of 30" or less... and tieing down the front to the bumper is VERY important in those cases.
But as Dan pointed out, this is tougher these days.
Both Thule and Yakima make devices that attach somewhere under the car's hood. And then you run a strap from that device, through the regular seam between the hood and the fender, and up to your board, for safe transport.
I'm not describing it well.. but if you go to a knowledgable store, they'll know.
Greg Smile
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1889
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thule makes something called the Short Roofline Adapter ("SRA") that connects the two towers on the same side of the car. It provides a lot more lift-off prevention and basically "boxes" the rack parts into a single stressed unit. I elected to go through the roof to save some money and also because I believe a wider spread is more stable even if "unboxed."

Please use strong caution when using integrated mounting points that are adjustable in location. Beefy as the plates or studs may be, it's most common for the tracks to be riveted but not welded to the car. That is a very bad system on which to rely and is of particular concern for those sailing in salt water, since the salt water will drip into the track and begin to corrode the rivets.

I've been out of it too long to be current, but my experience caused me to feel more confident in the northern European brands than either the American or Japanese brands when it came to original rack technology and strength. More welding, less use of rivets and plastic structure.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13270

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my sports car my rack spacing was well over 6 feet*, but I still ran a strap from my front tie-down strap to the front bumper to counteract the wind rising from the windshield. Considering what's at stake, the load (4 boards plus booms and sails), and apparent winds well into triple digits (in mph; NM can be windier than the Gorge), I demanded 100% reliability.

* I fabricated a metal conduit rack that rose vertically from the rear bumper then ran horizontally to the front gutter crossbar. Rock solid, painted to match the car, lightweight, and could be lifted off in several seconds, without tools, once unloaded. I wouldn't carry a large kiteboard on 30" racks.
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