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Recommended Method to Transport 120-lb Jon Boat on 2004 Toyota Highlander with Factory Roof Rack

Question:

I own a 2004 Toyota Highlander with factory installed roof/luggage rack. I need to transport a 12-foot aluminum Jon boat that weights about 120 lbs. What product would you recommend to mount my boat? thank you.

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Expert Reply:

A good first step is a check of your 2004 Toyota Highlander owner's manual to confirm the vehicle's roof weight carrying capacity. A boat of 120-lbs could certainly be near or even over the vehicle roof weight limit so I suggest you check on that before proceeding. I reviewed several online documents suggesting a limit between 100- and 120-lbs, but your manual should indicate the weight capacity of your particular Highlander as it is equipped from the factory.

If you have already crossbars that run side-to-side on the vehicle then you may be able to mount the jon boat directly to these bars, if the boat is not too wide, and secure it with some sturdy ratcheting tie-downs such as # EM34420 from Erickson. These feature vinyl-coated S-hooks to protect your vehicle. Each of the four straps offers a 500-lb working load limit (WLL) which means a nice safety margin.

We do not offer roof mount carriers for boats, but we do offer carriers for kayaks, canoes, paddle boards etc. If your boat turns out to be too heavy for the roof you might consider a small trailer like the Yakima Rack and Roll # Y08107. This lightweight (160-lb) aluminum trailer offers a 250-lb capacity, plenty for your boat.

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