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Can I Use J-Style Carriers in Conjunction with the Rhino-Rack # RTL002 on My 2016 Subaru Outback?

Question:

The factory roof rack weight capacity of my 2016 Outback is 150 lbs with a 1 1/4inch hitch. One of the kayaks I want to transport is 12foot and 73 lbs, the other kayak is 129foot and 85 lbs when combined exceeding the weight limit. Would this work: 1 Use a Malone Fold away kayak carrier weight capacity 150 lbs. 2 Add a Rhino Rack T-bar weight capacity 165 lbs. 3 Add a 1/ 1/4inch to 2inch adapter cuts the weight capacity of the Rhino Rack in half In this way I was thinking I could split the weight distribution with 2/3 on the car roof and 1/3 on the T-bar thus staying within all the weight limits. The kayaks would be on their side. Can the T-bar accommodate this? Would this work, or am I way off. If way off, any other suggestions?

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Expert Reply:

Technically, this setup might work. However, there are some caveats. Firstly, the Malone FoldAway-J Kayak Carrier with Tie Downs - J-Style # MAL98FR is not confirmed to be large enough to clamp around the crossbars of the Rhino-Rack T-Load Hitch Mounted Load Assist and Support Bar for 2" Hitches # RTL002. For this reason, I recommend using one of the Rhino-Rack 2 Kayak Carrier w/ Tie-Downs - J-Style - Folding # S512-S512X instead. This j-style carrier is confirmed to fit larger crossbars than the FoldAway. It is designed to work with Rhino-Rack crossbars and has a higher weight capacity of 165 pounds. In order to make sure that this set can clamp around your factory crossbars on your 2016 Subaru Outback, I recommend measuring your crossbars to make sure they do not exceed 3-1/8" wide x 1-3/16" tall. If they do exceed those measurements, you need the adapter # HD-FK1.

The second caveat is that you most likely will not be able to use both crossbars on your roof. That's because the J-style carriers elevate the kayaks from the crossbars so they will be uneven on the front. In the best scenario, you will be able to attach the kayaks to the rear crossbar of the Subaru and the crossbar of the # RTL002. With the capacity supported at 2 points, you will still be under the weight limit of all components involved.

As far as the hitch adapter, if you have a 1-1/4" inch hitch, I recommend the Hitch Adapter 1-1/4" to 2" Trailer Hitch Receiver # HTAD. This allows you to have a 2-inch receiver opening to use the # RTL002. It is important to note that using this adapter bar will decrease the weight capacity of the hitch by 50% (not the # RTL002). Depending on what hitch you have, I recommend making sure that the weight you load on the T-Load do not exceed the maximum capacity of the hitch with a 50% reduction.

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