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etrailer Watersport Carriers Review - 2020 Toyota RAV4

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Review of the etrailer Watersport Carriers on a 2020 Toyota RAV4


Hey, everybody. Welcome etrailer.com. I'm Bobby. And today we're taking a look at the etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier here on our 2020 Toyota RAV4. Now that's gonna be an excellent way of getting your kayak to your destination guys. You're gonna see a lot of those great features that you might see in more premium kayak carriers, but still not having to break the bank to get there.

Right out the gate too, you are going to get a very nice little strap kit included here. We actually try to kind of gauge people to see if they want to get it for the other kayak carriers out there, as you are going to get a lot of great little elements. Right out of the gate, you're gonna get a little bit of a nicer fabric, not going to be too harsh on us, but still thick enough to hold up in that weather, and for the years to come. Also, a lot of times it happens, you get a lot of this extra strap that just kind of hangs out there. Nice that we have this little nylon holder to go ahead and make sure that this extra strap isn't billowing in the wind.

Another huge little feature, you're gonna see this nice little felt covering over your metal cam buckle. Now this cam buckle is great, of course, I'm making sure we can cinch down, but it could cause damage to our kayak if left unattended. The felts gonna go ahead and protect our kayak, but not only that, when we go ahead to take that off, you know, sometimes accidents happen, that kayak, or I'm sorry that cam buckle can flip over the kayak and land on your roof causing damage. So hopefully we can go ahead and, if we are careful, we'll combat that entirely. But if we don't and that does fall down, we have a nice little protective coating, therefore preventing any kind of damage.

You also are going to get your bow and stern anchors, respectively, and therefore you can go ahead and make sure that our kayak isn't gonna be gusted by any kind of wind. We have a nice safe drive for ourselves. Well, let's go ahead, see how we get those in place and how we have it hanging. Now, a lot of times we might see on some other kayak carriers out there, for the bow and stern straps, you're going to have an S hook design. For us today we actually have what's commonly referred to as a dog bone.

This foam anchor's gonna give you a great, little, temporary attachment point anywhere in your vehicle, whether it be in your front hood or your back hatch. So what's great about this, you know, for the RAV4, we do have a couple of little nice frame mounts for those S hooks, however, all we have to do, simply place this right here, on the side, bring our hood down, and therefore we're going to have a great, little, temporary mounting point for ourselves. As you can see you see, see we actually do have room for our hatch to open up. Now they can also be just slightly dependent on your roof rack system, but the carrier itself does give us a nice, little height advantage to make sure that the end of our kayak is going to be well enough out of the way. Looking here closer in the middle, you can see that we just have our straps left to actually take off. Now again, we have that nice little nylon holder to unbuckle there. You simply pull it right out, get it out of the way. And that does bring us to our cam buckle system. We just simply have to press in this lever and that's going to start releasing this. Then we can start pulling it through. Now, I do want us to take note of exactly how we have our straps in place. So it's all one strap. This is our cam buckle in here that we have on the front of our kayak. Now we are actually going from right here. We're going to be underneath our roof rack system here, back up into our carrier. Why we have that running underneath it, we don't want that pulling, of course, our kayak, our entire carrier off, and this just takes a lot of that pressure away from our carrier and puts it on our main system there. Then that simply goes back around, across the back of our carrier, back across our kayak, and therefore all of our pressure is pushing us into our carrier. None of it's gonna be pointed up, that way if we do hit any bounces, it's going to stay nice and secure on our roof. So let's go ahead, start taking this down. To do so, I just simply pull on our cam buckle end and take this off. Now that we have our straps removed, we actually can take off the entire kayak. You'll notice you have a little bit of space here. I really like taking advantage of that by pushing on the bottom of the kayak into that position, it's going to want to rotate this entire kayak towards me. As long as I'm catching that top, I can go ahead and balance that weight on our carrier. And that allows me to get a good firm hand on our kayak. Now, one thing you guys will probably notice is how deep our carrier's actually sitting. And that's just because we actually have these Rhino-Racks on here. So these series of towers right here are just a little bit of a deeper well, so that's actually forcing us to go a little bit further. Now, unfortunately for us, our carrier, not the best loading assist here, you are going to have to get it over this little guy. So just keep in mind, if you do have another roof rack system that puts it deeper like this, it's just going to make that mounting a little bit harder. However, it shouldn't be too hard for ourselves to go ahead, grab our kayak and get it on and off. Now that we have our kayak off, we actually take a closer look at our carrier. You are seeing these little foam blockers on either end. Now they are made of that, like marine foam style. So they should be okay, getting wet easily to be dried out, as long as we are keeping them in a nice dry place for themselves. It also is going to be made of aluminum, which makes it very lightweight to get on here. And also you don't have to worry about any rust or corrosion building up over time. Now, right out of the gate too you guys know, we are having a foldable style here. So to do so we just have these little lever systems and they just simply pull down and allow our teeth to rotate. Now, one thing I like about this, you can set this in a variety of different positions, as long as you're watching those gears, you guys can see how many different positions we actually can get this in, which makes it really nice for a variety of different styles of kayaks. Well, I'm going to go ahead and set it in. It's pretty much J-style position here. Maybe one more back to go ahead and give us that J-style height. Now I would probably put it back just a little bit more, but this is gonna get us our most height here. So from top of our roof rack to the very top of our carrier is going to be putting us right at 18 inches there guys. Maybe an eighth of an inch over the top of that, but definitely not adding too much height on there. And of course we can quickly drop that down by simply pulling on our levers and getting it in position. Now when it comes new, cause you guys are gonna see this foam does a really good job of having friction, so you kind of really have to give it a lot, unfortunately, but once you start utilizing that, that foam will go ahead, get a little bit more malleable for ourselves. As you can see you shave down a lot of that space now, with only about four and one quarter of an inch to the end of our carrier there. I don't think we're going to have any trouble getting this in the garage or especially through those drive-throughs that we may be hittin' up. Now, excuse me, one thing with it too, you are getting a little pad right here in the middle. This soft plastic is becomes great of making sure our kayak can rest in there. However, I find that the kayak generally starts resting on these arms here, so therefore you're really not going to get full use of that rubber, but it's nice to go ahead, have a little bit of shock absorption to take out some of that kinetic energy. We can actually go ahead and see how this is installed. It's very, very simple. We just have two little hand knobs here. All we have to do is back these on or off, tightening of-course, righty tighty, lefty loosey, and that simply allows our hinge flange to simply swing out of the way and around our bars. Now I find that they fit way better on aero bars, as you guys can see getting that longer feature, however, they will fit on all the bars, round, square, factory or aero with relatively no problem. Just keep in mind, each one is going to be just a little bit different. So let's go ahead and just watch that as we get it mounted. As you guys can see too, that installation doesn't take too much time at all. That flange just simply goes in place, we tighten it on, and we're good to go. With that though, there's really no great security measure here. Really, the only way you can make sure that this is going to stay with you and leave it unattended is to take it off. Now, luckily for us, our hand knobs don't take too much time to tighten down. I'd probably say roughly 30 seconds to a minute to get each carrier installed, which doesn't take too much time. However, if that is becoming an aggravation to you, one headache that you don't want to worry about when you are at your lake or your destination, I highly recommend taking a look at the Yakima JayLow J-style Kayak Carrier. It's going to give you a lot of the benefits you see here today on this carrier and a locking core capability. Now it is sold separately, of course, but that way you can go ahead and be secure in the knowledge that your carrier stays attached to your vehicle when you leave it unattended. However, the etrailer kayak here is definitely gonna get the job done. It's going to get you and your water sport to some fun. Well, guys, I think that about does it for our look at the etrailer J-Style Kayak Carrier here on our 2020 Toyota RAV4. I'm Bobby. Thank you for watching..


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