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Old 08-16-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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Wrangler kayak rack

We made the mistake of looking at a 2015 Jeep Willys edition and DW is in love with it. Not a done deal but the day we looked at the MH I said "we are not buying that today". When we left the window had a sign that said "sold to Mark and Nancy".

The only things that will make or break the deal are it has a hard top and we want a soft top and we need a tow package for PWCs (SeaDoos). Then a base plate and cables for the Ready Brake and Ready Stop.

So my question is does anyone with a 3 piece fiberglass hardtop have a kayak rack that is not one of those exoskeleton tube type things that attach to the windshield hinge in the front and frame or body in the back? Our plan would be to transport the kayaks back and forth to Florida on the hard top and switch to the rag top while we are there all winter.

I did a Google search and don't see much other than the big, ugly exoskeleton things for roof racks. TIA Mark
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:30 AM   #2
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"Exoskeleton...." What a great description! Had to respond, even though I don't have what you are looking for. Good luck! \ken
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumps View Post
"Exoskeleton...." What a great description! Had to respond, even though I don't have what you are looking for. Good luck! \ken
Lol can't take credit for it. We were looking for a solution for the current toad and talked to a guy that suggested an exoskeleton rack for it. I got a chuckle out of it too. It is a good description.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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When we had a canoe, we had foam blocks the griped the gunnels and went directly on the roof. I bet someone makes them for kayaks. If not you could make them.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:34 PM   #5
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We have a 2013 Jeep wrangler unlimited sport with the three piece hard top and just love it. We also carry (2) 13' ocean kayaks (+50 lbs ea) on the exo skeleton rack. It works great and the kayaks do not load up the plastic roof. I tow the jeep behind our 42' Country Coach. I have had semi trucks go by me when not towing that would push the jeep all over the road when the kayaks were on the top. I surely would not want them hanging on the plastic top when those truck cross winds hit. The rack is high enough that I can easily remove and replace the top in a couple of minutes - which keeps us dry after loading the kayaks. The rack adds a bit to the wind noise however.
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
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I don't think I'd trust anything bolted to the plastic roof. Not so much for the weight you'll be carrying but the wind loads, especially when passing or being passed by big trucks - likely to tear the mounting bolts right out.

I had one of those racks you describe, Kargo Master. It connected to brackets that did use the windshield pillars in the front and brackets that attached to the frame in the back but stuck up between the body and the bumper. With a couple of guys it could be removed easily, leaving only the brackets. There was one big problem, the damn thing didn't just whistle at highway speeds but roared. I got rid of it for that reason. I tried devising a wind deflector for the front, nothing worked.

Other brands may provide a different experience.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:10 AM   #7
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I have a rack similar to the Cargo Master in all respects including the wind noise. I found that by wrapping 1/4" diameter rope around the front bar (above the windshield) it helped break up the air flow and considerable reduced the wind noise. Wrap the rope with a couple of inches between each wrap and used black wire ties and black electrical tape to hold the rope in place. It has been there 2 years now. Yes, the rack comes off quickly.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:26 AM   #8
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It the top really plastic? It looked like fiberglass to me. At least the rear part. Also I believe about the only time the kayaks would be on top would be while we were towing the Jeep behind the MH so do you think the wind would be less of a factor or more?

We don't own the Jeep yet so this may be all for nothing if the dealer doesn't come through with the soft top and tow package.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:22 AM   #9
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The "wave" coming off the top of your coach is significant. When I had a soft top I could see it fluttering significantly, the radio antenna will flail around. I originally had the front license plate attached with only two screws, the force of the air coming off the back of the coach would bend it in half.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:40 PM   #10
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The exoskeleton rack is the only way to go. If you look deep in the owners manual you'll find a note that says: "The hard top is for protection from the elements only."

It is not strong enough to support any type of load without the probability of damage. I know it's been done, but it's not something you want to do to a new vehicle under warranty. There's a good likelihood it will crack, and if it does Jeep will not cover the damage under warranty.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:17 PM   #11
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Heres a discussion over at a Jeep forum on the same subject . . . .

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f354/je...l#post12663490
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Heres a discussion over at a Jeep forum on the same subject . . . .

Jeep Kayak Rack - Finally - Jeep Wrangler Forum
That rack is pretty cool. We were trying to fabricate something like that for the Geo Tracker we have now. No one makes a rack for the soft top that I could find. I think the single paddle board would be much lighter and have less wind resistance than our two sit on top kayaks though.

Some of the racks we looked at cost almost as much as the kayaks We could have a set for NY and another for Florida then never have to transport them.

The Jeep dealer is supposed to call us today with a price and details on the tow package and soft top so we will see what happens. Wish us luck!
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:36 AM   #13
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Then there is this one.....

http://www.quadratec.com/products/92...L0caAqfS8P8HAQ
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:09 AM   #14
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Thanks Rick,
I actually looked at that and thought it might work. The Wrangler we are after is a 2 door though and it might be a little too big. Yakima does make a similar 42" model that may be OK but we will need to own the Jeep first so I can measure it up. If it comes down to it the kayaks can ride down to Florida on the bed in the RV just like they came back from there.
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