Roof Rack & Kayak Carrier Recommendations for 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab

Question:

Hi, I have a 2016 RAM 1500 crew cab. I need a way to haul a couple of kayaks and was wondering if a roof rack would provide enough stability and capacity to do it safely. I have an 8.5 foot 41 lbs. kayak and an 11.5 foot 86 lbs. kayak. Ive been looking at a yakima system, but it seems like the crossbars will be quite close and I just want to make sure its safe. Thanks

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Expert Reply:

Your thought process about kayak stability on your Ram's cab roof is correct; a roof rack with a wider bar stance will provide a better foundation for installing rack-mount kayak carriers. That said, since all kayak carriers include bow and stern tie-downs you don't have to worry about stability so much.

I suggest that you first confirm the cab's roof weight rating. Your two boats alone weigh 127-lbs, so adding a roof rack (say 10-lbs) and a kayak carrier (anywhere from 2-lbs up to about 15-lbs for most) you're potentially looking at roughly 150-lbs total. Most pickup roofs will handle this load but it is best to make certain of the Ram's weight rating since this will be helpful in choosing your best option in a kayak carrier.

The roof rack I recommend is Rhino-Rack's Vortex Aero system, made of parts # RRVA150B-2, # RRRLKVA and # DK043. This rack offers a wide bar spread (29-1/2-inches) and a 165-lb weight rating which should be fine for you. You can see installation on a Ram 1500 in the linked video.

The linked page displays all kayak carrier that fit aero-style crossbars. For a carrier that handles two kayaks I like the side-loading Yakima BigStack Roof Mounted 2 Kayak Carrier # Y04041 which holds the boats on their sides. Please click on the included video link to see more on this carrier.

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Adam R

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