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Recommended Roof Rack and Kayak Carrier for 2015 Ford Explorer with Raised Side Rails

Question:

I have a 2015 Ford explorer with side bars only. Looking to transport a 16 foot kayak. What would your recommend?

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Expert Reply:

In order to transport a kayak on your 2015 Ford Explorer you'll want to start with some roof rack crossbars, which provide a mounting point for a kayak carrier; for that I recommend using the Thule Roof Rack for 2015 Ford Explorer that uses parts # TH711520 and # TH710401. This system will attach to your raised side rails and provide you with a reliable roof rack that's capable of carrying your 16-foot kayak, but also cargo boxes, platforms and bike racks.

Because this is a larger kayak, I recommend getting a kayak carrier with load assist like the Malone DownLoader Kayak Carrier and TelosXL Load Assist w/ Tie-Downs - J-Style - Side Loading # MPG114MD-351XL. The DownLoader works with kayaks that weigh up to 75-lbs. If you've got a kayak that's heavier than that, you'll need to use regular J-Style carriers like the # MPG114MD and a load assist like the Rhino-Rack Universal Load Assist - Crossbar Mount - Side Loading - 132 lbs # RR-RUSL.

I've linked some review videos of these parts for you to check out.

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