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Rooftop loading & hauling solution - AI on Toyota Sienna
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Author:  Steverino [ Tue May 29, 2018 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rooftop loading & hauling solution - AI on Toyota Sienna

I realize this thread is old now, but since I started it, I thought I'd give an update...

I have an old set of Thule square load bars, so I bought used Thule adapters for them that allow me to attach the bars to the Toyota factory rails. My friend loaned me her Yakima kayak "saddles" which thankfully also adapt to the square bars. So that all takes care of the rack part.

For loading, I ended up buying one of the Rhino Rack Side Loader setups. That allows me to get the bow up at roof level on the loader arm, pivot the stern over onto the front saddles and then shimmy the bow from the side loader onto the front saddles. My biggest challenge is keeping it under control - there just aren't convenient grip points where one wants them on the kayak - especially at the tapered, rounded ends. 100 lbs doesn't seem like much, but when it's something bulky & awkward, AND you're pressing it well over your head...

Anyway, I'll post up a few pics next time I have it out - which will also hopefully be my maiden voyage.

I have thought about getting a ladder rack for our pickup truck so that we could take the AI along on camping trips (maybe with another kayak or two) but our RAM 2500 is even taller than the van. I'm not yet sure how I'd get the AI up there. Maybe a crane? Helicopter?

Author:  Chekika [ Tue May 29, 2018 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rooftop loading & hauling solution - AI on Toyota Sienna

Steve, you need a trailer.


Author:  Steverino [ Tue May 29, 2018 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rooftop loading & hauling solution - AI on Toyota Sienna

Not gonna disagree, Keith. Baby steps... :D

Author:  Steverino [ Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rooftop loading & hauling solution - AI on Toyota Sienna

It has been a busy summer so far, and between weather, other commitments and vacations, I didn't have time to get the AI out until today. All went well loading at home, and my daughter and I headed to the lake nearby. Upon unloading, the telescoping support post for the Rhino loader collapsed with the kayak on it. Fortunately nobody was hurt, though it did break the passenger side mirror off of our van. Kayak was apparently unharmed. I thought the post was tightly assembled, and I don't know exactly what happened because I was at the rear holding the kayak and couldn't see.

We went on with our morning, and after a brief trial run, added the amas and tramps. I did the driving and my daughter rode on one tramp. We had a great time and the Mirage Drive is absolutely fantastic. I didn't try the sail this time - perhaps next outing.

After a few hours we decided to head home. Then I discovered that I could not tighten the Rhino support post at proper length. It has a "twist to tighten" design, but every time it would start to get tight, the next little twist would send it loose again. So I gave up, put a thick towel on the van's rear spoiler and prayed I wouldn't break that off, too. Fortunately, while the spoiler did flex a bit, I was able to carefully load the kayak from the rear and we headed home.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the AI. I do wish it wasn't quite such a beast, though. Am a bit gun-shy of the Rhino now - I think I need to make a fixed post for sure, but even then... Am also going to give serious thought to buying a rack for our pickup truck, though it's even taller than the van.

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