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Lift Assist for Heavy Kayak on 2019 Toyota Highlander with Factory Racks


Purchased Malone Saddle Up Pro, but the Yakima Showboat 66 doesn't seem to work with the position of the roof racks that appear to not be able to move to the farthest back position due to the width of the vehicle narrowing as it goes back?? I really need a lift assist for when I'm alone, help?? Toyota Highlander Limited with factory roof racks -want to carry one 95# kayak and need lift assist


Expert Reply:

As a 5' 2" girl that has to load kayaks to test carriers here at etrailer, I understand the struggle. Here are my recommendations based off my experience.

Your crossbars are set to fixed mounting points like the Rhino-Rack bars # RRRVP31 that fit your 2019 Toyota Highlander. Even if you could mount them to the rear points, I would not recommend the Yakima Showboat 66 # Y04073 anyways since it is rated for up to 80 lbs and even at that it has a maximum roller extension of 24" which might not be as far out as you were hoping.

I recommend using the Rhino-Rack Universal Load Assist # RR-RUSL. It will make it easier since your bars are more towards the center. You can tilt the Malone SaddleUp Pro # MPG110MD carriers backwards for side loading. The downside is that you will have to readjust the carriers once the kayak is on there, so it is a little bit of moving around and adjusting.

Here in the etrailer bays, I use the Rightline Gear Moki Door Step # RL100660 whenever I need to load kayaks and strap them down. It might be extra useful for you if you're loading them by yourself. Especially since the Highlander is so tall, I remember having to go up and down a lot to strap things down on the roof. I attached a video below if you want to see how it works.

expert reply by:
Evangeline M

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