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Kayak J hooks....are they needed?
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June 8, 2017 - 9:01 am
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I just purchased 2 kayaks and I have a Thule roof rack system on the cab of my truck.  Currently I only have the flat bars.  No bike racks or kayak J hooks on there.  I am debating about if I need the J hooks or not. 

-Is it better for the kayak itself?
-Is it to put the kayaks on their side to fit more on a smaller roof?
-Are they supposed to make the kayak more secure?
-Are they supposed to make it easier?
-Do you need ropes going from the kayak to the bumper of your car?  That looks like overkill to me.

*I am confident in my tie down abilities and have the proper straps.  I used to go to flea markets with my dad and the roof of the van looked like the Beverly Hillbillies truck driving in with tables and oversized stuff strapped to the roof....never lost anything.
*The bars are super long so putting 2 kayaks side by side laying flat is not a problem.
*I have been watching people load their kayaks on the J hooks and frankly it looks like a major PIA.  Right now I can just put the kayak on the edge and slide it on.  I can load up in under 5 minutes....2 straps per kayak.

Matt O 2006 Skyline Nomad 27' travel trailer.  Previously owned 1986 Coleman Columbia / 1992 Coleman Senecca / 1989 Born Free Class C RV.

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June 8, 2017 - 1:03 pm
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Flat on the bar is fine if you have room . J-cradles can buy you some bar space but also add wind resistance side to side.  You should use bow and stern straps, I watched a $2300 kayak take off from a roof on 95 that wasn't tied bow and stern.  Don't over tighten the bow line it just needs to keep the wind from lifting up.  If you do use some kind of saddles or cradles be sure to strap around the load bar not just the door of the mount.

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June 11, 2017 - 12:11 pm
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I bought J cradles from amazon, 2 sets for $99. I couldn't get two kayaks to stay on top of my SUV load bars and be comfortable going very far like that. They work great. I do have bow lines too, but they are really not necessary for short/local trips as I strap the kayaks to the cradles securely. I do use them when transporting long distances. The straps for the bow lines fold down under the hood and are not visible when not in use.

When in doubt, you can put them in your camper. They should fit. Hmm... might be interesting to watch you pack up  ;D

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June 12, 2017 - 7:58 am
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I have put the kayaks in my camper before.  But I wanted to be able to transport them to the local lake when not camping and I just didn't like them in the camper.  I guess I'll make some bow lines for my 3 hour drive next week.

Matt O 2006 Skyline Nomad 27' travel trailer.  Previously owned 1986 Coleman Columbia / 1992 Coleman Senecca / 1989 Born Free Class C RV.

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