Kayak roof carriers | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Kayak roof carriers

Tmlugo91

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Joined
May 30, 2020
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City, State
Centreville, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Explorer XLT
Any suggestions on kayak mounts for OEM style cross bars for a 2013 Explorer XLT? Thanks!
 



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Keep in mind the maximum weight is 100 lbs.

Peter
 






Keep in mind the maximum weight is 100 lbs.

Peter
Thanks Peter, I’m only planning on mounting one. Seems like the standard J Hook mounts have issues staying steady due to the round shape of the bars. Thanks!
 






I know that there are at least a couple members that have discussed kayaks before. Perhaps they might chime in. Let us know what you end up going with so others might benefit as well. Good luck.

Peter
 






I use the Thule AeroBlade Edge. They are rated at 165lbs for this setup. I chose them because they are a lower profile since I only use them to mount a roof basket and sometimes a Yakima single bike rack. If you have a sunroof tho, they recommend not using it due to how low they are..
 






On my 07, I'm using stock cross bars and just mounted one of these kits up top a few hours ago. (It's actually "swiss cargo" brand but looks exactly the same).

It uses 4 bolts & thumbscrews to mount the brackets to the cross bar. Seems fairly solid and hugs the bars well. The dual / single mode switch-ability is kinda nice for when I go solo or if someone wants to go with me.

I'll report after I use it sometime in the next few weeks.
 






Any suggestions on kayak mounts for OEM style cross bars for a 2013 Explorer XLT? Thanks!
I just purchased the OEM ford crossbars and 2 pairs of J style kayak carriers (very inexpensive ones, $99 total online for 4 J's) for my 2 Old Town Otter Kayaks (wide, shorter, river style kayak). I drove a total of about 700 miles, much of it highway at 84 MPH cruising max speed. No problems with both of them mounted at all. Rock solid. I was careful to install the hardware well and tight, and secure yaks with the included straps to the J's. Straps fit around the spray skirt lip very well and squeezed them down as well as front to back, I didn't even use bow/stern straps. If your kayak is longer like an open water/sea kayak, you will want bow/stern straps because of the shaking/bouncing at speeds. My buddy's does this.

All the J style racks are roughly the same, don't be fooled. It all comes from China as well. Check Ebay and Amazon. What the "namebrand" companies are offering you for > $250.00 to hold 1 kayak is absurd. Its a painted steel pipe and some plastic with padding and a strap. A foolish suburban yuppie and his money are soon to part. Good paddling to you!
 






I agree with runningonfords. I went with the standard J style from Amazon. I spent about $100 and they are attached to the factory cross mounts.

These are actually better then the ones I got as they fold down. I have two kayaks that I strap on and travel a few hours down to the beach. Most of it is highway miles with no issues.
 






I agree with runningonfords. I went with the standard J style from Amazon. I spent about $100 and they are attached to the factory cross mounts.

These are actually better then the ones I got as they fold down. I have two kayaks that I strap on and travel a few hours down to the beach. Most of it is highway miles with no issues.
Mine don't fold either. I feel like thats needlessly complicating, a weak point even that might come loose at speed. You're basically tossing a 40 lb kayak on to the thing, so rigid pipe seemed best. The bracket is not a perfect shape to fit exactly onto the bladed airfoil shape of the crossbar, but it works fine and is snug. They come off in about 30 seconds with the 2 thumbscrews on each plate. I took mine down as soon as I was done using them. Don't shatter your moonroof glass or scratch your paint while working up there!!
 






Looks like I’m headed this route as well. Just ordered 2 kayaks today.

Looking at getting a Rhino Rack system that attaches to my 2 side rails and can hold enough weight.

Still undecided about what to use for the kayaks though. The link you guys posted is out of stock. Are the J mounts better than the smaller ones?

You guys are good with the Ford bars and the mounts for your kayaks?

Let me know.
 






Looks like I’m headed this route as well. Just ordered 2 kayaks today.

Looking at getting a Rhino Rack system that attaches to my 2 side rails and can hold enough weight.

Still undecided about what to use for the kayaks though. The link you guys posted is out of stock. Are the J mounts better than the smaller ones?

You guys are good with the Ford bars and the mounts for your kayaks?

Let me know.

I see you have a 2018 limited. SURPRISE! If you have the panoramic roof glass, you are limited to 45 lbs total on the roof racks no matter what brand/configuration you get. My 2014 with moonroof can only hold 100lbs total (smaller glass panel). So even if you get rhino brand, you'll only be hauling 1 yak at a time, assuming crossbars+carrier+kayak weight is less than 45 lbs. It's like they designed it to NOT be used.
 






The two different weight recommendations only came out with the 2016+ Explorers. Before that it was 100 lbs across the board.

Peter
 






I added a Rhino Rack system to my Explorer. It has worked great so far.

I am aware of the weight restrictions (looking at you Peter ;)), but I have had 2 each 45# kayaks on there. My roof is still fine.

Here are some pics.

If anyone has any questions, I'd be glad to answer.
 

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I added a Rhino Rack system to my Explorer. It has worked great so far.

I am aware of the weight restrictions (looking at you Peter ;)), but I have had 2 each 45# kayaks on there. My roof is still fine.

Here are some pics.

If anyone has any questions, I'd be glad to answer.
I believe the weight has more to do with vehicle stability than the strength of the roof. :)
Looks good BTW.

Peter
 






On my 07, I'm using stock cross bars and just mounted one of these kits up top a few hours ago. (It's actually "swiss cargo" brand but looks exactly the same).

It uses 4 bolts & thumbscrews to mount the brackets to the cross bar. Seems fairly solid and hugs the bars well. The dual / single mode switch-ability is kinda nice for when I go solo or if someone wants to go with me.

I'll report after I use it sometime in the next few weeks.
It's been a busy time since I last posted on the racks I've installed. Here are some pics all loaded up. They are very secure, been driving with them unloaded since my last post in July and they don't make much noise nor have I seen an MPG decrease in the folded down position. I've only made short trips to the lake and back. The boats feel pretty secure although I wish I had running boards to use as a step for lashing them down. See attached photos.
 

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It's been a busy time since I last posted on the racks I've installed. Here are some pics all loaded up. They are very secure, been driving with them unloaded since my last post in July and they don't make much noise nor have I seen an MPG decrease in the folded down position. I've only made short trips to the lake and back. The boats feel pretty secure although I wish I had running boards to use as a step for lashing them down. See attached photos.

We drove pretty far with the yaks up top on highway and there was a 22-25% MPG drop for the trip. Ouch. Nothing noticed with just the racks or empty carriers. Gas was around 1-2 dollars per gallon at the time though, so who cares?
 






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