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Carrying a Kayak on a 2017 Toyota RAV4 with a Factory Roof Rack

Question:

Can I carry a 40lb , 18 foot kayak with a J style carrier attached to the factory roof rack?

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Expert Reply:

You have a great range of options with the 2017 Toyota RAV4's factory roof rack. You'll want to ensure that the weight of the carrier plus the weight of the kayak. My research shows that your RAV4 is rated for 100 pounds on its roof, though you'll want to verify with your owner's manual the exacts of your configuration.

For a carrier, I recommend the Yakima JayLow, part # Y04073. This carrier includes small side ramps to assist with loading the kayak onto the vehicle, and also folds flat against the vehicle when not in use. It includes tie downs for the kayak, as well as bow and stern straps.

Another great feature of the JayLow is that it can convert to a two-kayak carrier, letting you load an additional kayak quickly and easily onto the roof.

I recommend the Malone Quick-Lash, part # MPG308 as an easy upgrade for your carrier. This kit provides two nylon hooking points that mount inside your hood and trunk to make tying down your kayak's bow and stern straps much easier, and at less of a risk of damage to your vehicle.

I also recommend Thule Multipurpose Locking Straps, part # TH832 as an additional level of security. These will replace the tiedown straps you get with the carriers with coated steel cords and add two rubber coated locks to the vehicle, improving the security of the kayak.

I've included our video review of both carriers and the straps so you can get an idea of how these perform and their features.

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