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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I could probably get a 10ft gutter to fit in the car, but it didn't so I wound up using the roof rack. The last car I had with a roof rack had raised rails so straps and ropes could be routed under the rails to tie cargo down to the cross bars.

Are there any best practices or good modifications for securing stuff to the rack with its flush-mount rails? I wound up putting a ratchet-strap through the rear doors, but once it was tightened it pressed into the headliner quite a bit, and I'd rather not do that very much.
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I like this, but I don't want to rely entirely on modified boards and with tie-down points like in this video because I may not always be prepared with the board (like today).

Does anybody have any methods they like to use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you not trust the cross-bars? I'm trying to understand the straps going inside the vehicle...but can't.
That strap is pinning the bundle down against the crossbars so it can't shift or fly off while I'm driving.
With raised rails you can run a strap under the rails and tighten it down directly against them, doing the same thing.
 

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I also must not understand the issue. I have always secured my items directly to the cross bars with my straps. 24' extension ladder, lumber, etc.... I will say that the use of two 2X4's to carry full sheets is pretty awesome. Had never thought of that.
Maybe if you formed a double loop with your strap that passed under the cross bars and across the load twice it would be more secure. Also wrapping the item once keeps things secure so long as they can't be crushed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also must not understand the issue. I have always secured my items directly to the cross bars with my straps. 24' extension ladder, lumber, etc.... I will say that the use of two 2X4's to carry full sheets is pretty awesome. Had never thought of that.
Maybe if you formed a double loop with your strap that passed under the cross bars and across the load twice it would be more secure. Also wrapping the item once keeps things secure so long as they can't be crushed.
I think that would have worked well for something stiff like a board, but I couldn't get the gutters secured very tightly using the cross-bars alone. They failed the test-wiggle by squeezing, twisting, and rolling. The strap through the door kept the lateral forces off them. Pressing straight down spread the top apart onto the cross bars so the sides couldn't squeeze in and loosen the strap.
 

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I thought I could probably get a 10ft gutter to fit in the car, but it didn't so I wound up using the roof rack. The last car I had with a roof rack had raised rails so straps and ropes could be routed under the rails to tie cargo down to the cross bars.

Are there any best practices or good modifications for securing stuff to the rack with its flush-mount rails? I wound up putting a ratchet-strap through the rear doors, but once it was tightened it pressed into the headliner quite a bit, and I'd rather not do that very much.
View attachment 41930
View attachment 41929

I like this, but I don't want to rely entirely on modified boards and with tie-down points like in this video because I may not always be prepared with the board (like today).

Does anybody have any methods they like to use?
Been there done that. As a few one offs, it's fine but if you get into biking or kayaking you will want to get rails and footings that are rated for your car. Thule website you can put your car make and model and see the setup you need.
 

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At first, I assumed that the rack instructions told you not to secure directly to the rack, or something legalistic like that. You have a specific problem with a specific load. I wonder if tying a clove hitch onto each gutter near each rack-crossing point and tying down slightly diagonally might restrain them enough. Or tying a big clove hitch with a turn, around both each gutter and the rack crossbar. It's not reasonable to drive 65 on an Interstate with a load like this.
 

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Do a search for "trucker's hitch". It's amazing what you can strap down with one. They are not too difficult and when done right they provide mechanical advantage and are self-holding while you secure the end.

I strap a 17" Grumman canoe to our minivan's cross bars and drive hundreds of miles every year. Often at 80 mph. No ratchet straps necessary.

Trucker's hitches are your friend when securing a load.
 

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I will admit that when I look at my canoe strapped to just the crossbars I wonder what would happen of the crossbars let go. Then I remember the epic story my B-i-L tells of when as a kid his family (he was one of 10 kids) was on a road trip and the rooftop carrier his father had borrowed came off at speed when the roof rack bolts let go. All of their stuff was everywhere.

He said they collected everything and drove the rest of the trip home with everything plus the borrowed rooftop carrier inside the car. He said it felt like everyone was smashed up against the windows. This was back before kids had to be in car/booster seats and your dad's arm thrown across your chest was all the seatbelt you needed to keep from flying through the windshield.
 

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Then I remember the epic story my B-i-L tells of when as a kid his family (he was one of 10 kids) was on a road trip and the rooftop carrier his father had borrowed came off at speed when the roof rack bolts let go....
My roof rack anecdote was trying to bring home 7 sheets of gyprock. I was able to load each sheet one at a time easily enough without properly appreciating how much weight was accumulating up there. The rack collapsed onto the roof halfway home - I was able to just keep going but the car had some extra indentations up there for ever after...
 

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You'd think I would have interesting roof rack stories considering my relative "creativity" and comfort with "unconventional solutions", but I don't. Recently on a work trip a canoe flew off a guy's roof rack on a highway bridge with no shoulder. I swerved to miss it, but eventually someone was going to get in a wreck. I pulled over and helped the fella grab his boat out from the highway. Don't think he could have done it himself.
 

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I thought I could probably get a 10ft gutter to fit in the car, but it didn't so I wound up using the roof rack. The last car I had with a roof rack had raised rails so straps and ropes could be routed under the rails to tie cargo down to the cross bars.

Are there any best practices or good modifications for securing stuff to the rack with its flush-mount rails? I wound up putting a ratchet-strap through the rear doors, but once it was tightened it pressed into the headliner quite a bit, and I'd rather not do that very much.
View attachment 41930
View attachment 41929

I like this, but I don't want to rely entirely on modified boards and with tie-down points like in this video because I may not always be prepared with the board (like today).

Does anybody have any methods they like to use?
I hear ya’. I just ordered my EUV and was really bummed to see that the roof rails aren’t raised up from the roof, for the same reason you mention.

I posted on a Reddit page to see if anyone has ever drilled or cut in to the roof rails to make just enough space for straps to go through.

Got some interesting suggestions. The one that makes the most sense was probably to buy tamper-proof screws that fit the side-rail mounting points and make some kind of mounting plate out of metal. (They suggested Rackattack or eTrailer as sources for the screws). I won’t have my car for a couple months, but if I pursue this solution, and it works well, I will let you know.
 

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I hear ya’. I just ordered my EUV and was really bummed to see that the roof rails aren’t raised up from the roof, for the same reason you mention.
Yes, it is annoying that provisioning for roof racks seems to be more decorative than functional. Flush rails are so much less useful than raised rails, so it is strange that when car companies bother to put rails on, they use the much less useful flush rails. It is almost as if they are trying to avoid people install roof racks.

The 2017-2021 Bolt EV came with flush rails on the Premier trim, but they were only useful as fixed point mounts, and the fixed points were not level (with the front higher than the rear).
 

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Yes, it is annoying that provisioning for roof racks seems to be more decorative than functional. Flush rails are so much less useful than raised rails, so it is strange that when car companies bother to put rails on, they use the much less useful flush rails.
I think you‘re being a bit dramatic. I’ve used racks/rails like this for over 30 years. Including similar loads. No problems. Ever.

You just need to adjust your tie down techniques.
 

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I think you‘re being a bit dramatic. I’ve used racks/rails like this for over 30 years. Including similar loads. No problems. Ever.

You just need to adjust your tie down techniques.
It is not just about the tie downs. Raised rails allow installing the crossbars anywhere along the raised part of the rail, while flush rails used on the Bolt and other GM cars only have fixed points, limiting the flexibility of choosing crossbar locations (e.g. wider apart for long loads, or positioning to be level with each other). Also, crossbar setups for raised rails are more available and generally do not need vehicle-specific connection points or adapters.
 

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It is not just about the tie downs. Raised rails allow installing the crossbars anywhere along the raised part of the rail, while flush rails used on the Bolt and other GM cars only have fixed points, limiting the flexibility of choosing crossbar locations (e.g. wider apart for long loads, or positioning to be level with each other). Also, crossbar setups for raised rails are more available and generally do not need vehicle-specific connection points or adapters.
OK, fair enough. I was primarily commenting on the "more decorative than functional" wording.

I still believe that with a little out of the box thinking, you should be able to make the current system work. I can think of a few different possibilities - similar to what I've used in the past (shims, front/back tie downs, etc). It probably depends on the specifics of the particular load, and when I've used things like that in the past I think it almost always was out of an overabundance of caution. Not just belt and suspenders, but also a drawstring, long underwear, duct tape...
 

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I think you‘re being a bit dramatic. I’ve used racks/rails like this for over 30 years. Including similar loads. No problems. Ever.

You just need to adjust your tie down techniques.
How would one tie anything down purely using the rails as-is ? I’m trying to avoid buying any additional hardware, because I’ll probably only use it once or twice per year and already have a roofbag that I want to us.
 
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