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Old 11-11-2011, 10:00 AM
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Roof rail options

In the past, with my '99 GC, I carried my canoe with foam carriers and ratchet straps that would wrap around the raised roof rails and hook back onto themselves. With the flush mount rails on the new '12, I can't do that. And I don't really like the look of driving around with cross bars mounted all the time. Has anyone come up with a solution for hooking straps/bungees to the flush mount rails? I'm thinking some sort of mount that fits into the flush rails and provides an eye hook. Thoughts?
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:29 AM
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Re: Roof rail options

Looking at the rails, I'd think that would be easy to rig up during a trip to your local hardware store. You'd need a plate that fits inside the rail, another that fits on top of the rail, and an eyebolt and nut to cinch it all together on the rail. How hard could that be?

I bought the Mopar crossbars from my Jeep dealer for $212, but won't have a reason to even take them out of the box until next Spring.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:55 AM
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Re: Roof rail options

Sounds easy enough, except for the fact that as I'm visualizing your solution, the nut is down inside the rail track underneath the plate. Not sure how to cinch everything down if I can't get access to that nut. I suppose I could have someone tack weld the nut to the plate?
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:05 AM
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Re: Roof rail options

Two years ago, I made a Cedar Strip Canoe and wanted something a little more reliable / dependable on the roof than blocks of foam and rope.
So I sprang for the Mopar crossbars and the Canoe Kit to fit my Pacifica. I believe they are both made by Thule.
They come on and off quite easily.
They are excellent quality and really hold the canoe tight to the roof. They also came with black straps to hold it to the racks, but I augment that with blue adjustable straps front and back.

Now I'm hoping the crossbars that I bought for my Pacifica also fit the GC.
Here is a pic:

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Old 11-11-2011, 11:11 AM
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Re: Roof rail options

^That is one spectacular woody!

+1, I wouldn't recommend putting a load of that weight or that much air resistance up top without a proper set of crossbars. It looks too easy to cause damage to the roof of a vehicle or expensive gear. Worse, it could result in lost equipment and chaos on the highway. Maybe the raised rails on the '99 JGC allowed you to get better purchase, but the WK2 rails are pretty flimsy to start.

You certainly don't need to go as far as some of us did in this thread, but it may give you some ideas: Rack Attack Rails & Yakima Roof Rack - Pics

YMMV.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:38 AM
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Re: Roof rail options

Thanks, all. I guess I will bite the bullet and get the Thule rack. I just have to figure out if I'm going to leave the cross bars on or take them off between uses. I don't like the look of them on when not carrying a load, but I also don't know where I would stash them in the Jeep so that I was ready to carry a load if necessary.

I guess if that's my biggest worry, life is good!
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:00 PM
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Re: Roof rail options

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Originally Posted by JTP (WI) View Post
Thanks, all. I guess I will bite the bullet and get the Thule rack. I just have to figure out if I'm going to leave the cross bars on or take them off between uses.
I bought that rack and I take it off between uses, mostly because I don't like the wind noise. Now that I have some practice, it takes me about fifteen minutes to put it on.

I tie my two kayaks down to the tow hooks front and back. I use carabiners, not the silly hooks that Thule supplied.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:28 PM
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Re: Roof rail options

I agree - with the wind noise you won't want to leave it up all the time, regardless of how it looks.

If my old rack fits, I'll put it on and take a better pic of it.

Another trick I picked up from some canoeing friends of mine was to make up 2 special short straps (out of seat-belt material) that bolt under the hood at two front corner locations.
They sit folded under the hood when not needed, but when required slip between the fender and hood and provide a neat place to anchor your front two straps
(without chafing the front edge of the hood).
I'll post a pic of them in my new JC after I transfer them over.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:28 PM
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Re: Roof rail options

I have a pair of Riverside Cartop Carriers Hood Loops that I installed on my Saab. They work great on the rare occasions that I use front tie-downs. Here's a link:

http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...732/2937.0.1.1
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:56 PM
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Re: Roof rail options

My old Explorer had these handy movable D rings that you could slide up and down the rails to use as tie downs, it's a shame someone doesn't make something similar for the Jeep
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:41 PM
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Re: Roof rail options

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Originally Posted by SW03ES View Post
My old Explorer had these handy movable D rings that you could slide up and down the rails to use as tie downs, it's a shame someone doesn't make something similar for the Jeep
The WK2 rails are designed to stand up to weight -- a force pushing down. I don't know that they can withstand a lot of force pulling up, so I would be leery of using them for tie-downs.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:10 PM
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Re: Roof rail options

My thought it like, tying down a Christmas tree. I hate to spend $250 on cross bars just for that, and I feel kinda dumb strapping the thing down to the hood and all on a vehicle like the Jeep.
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