etrailer Watersport Carriers Review - 2009 Dodge Ram Pickup

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Review of the etrailer Watersport Carriers on a 2009 Dodge Ram Pickup

Today, we're doing a test fit on the etrailer kayak carrier. As far as our test vehicle today, this is a 2009 Ram 1500. This is a folding, adjustable kayak carrier, offers 150 pound weight capacity. When folded, it only adds 4-5/8 of an inch to the top of your crossbar. It's going to work with just about all varieties of crossbar out there, whether that's the square, the round, the arrow, the elliptical, or most of your factory systems.I think this kayak carrier solves a lot of problems, and that's kind of why we've designed it the way we did. We get our hands on all the different models from all the different manufacturers, and it really allows us to perfect ours.

I really like that adjustable arm, I think that's going to be critical, especially if you have different types of kayaks you're going to be carrying. Whether it's a smaller flat bottom, larger rounded, you'll have options there.I like the padding, I think everything's going to stay really well protected. I like the easy to use clamps on the bottom, and I also really like the aluminum construction. It's going to make sure that this lasts for a very long time, we don't have any issues with it. The only knock or little bit of a complaint I would have is going to be the tension on our strap holders here.

Like any other kayak carrier out there, they include the straps so you can come down and around, so you might just have to tie them off like you normally would. I really like the neoprene covers there, though. That's going to protect our kayak so we don't have to worry about scratches.I also really like the bow and stern tie-downs. I think, most of the time in a kayak carrier, you'll have bow and stern tie-downs, but we don't always have, or really very rarely do we have those body panel bones, or those dog bones we can put in between those panels and close it down to create a connection point. This helps to alleviate having to bring it down and around your hood, around your bumper, and down to a connection point underneath.

It can save a lot of the wear and tear on your paint.All in all, you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck here. It's got a lot of the features the higher end carriers have, it includes a couple of extra features, and it's going to work out really well.Now, to install the carrier, we're going to remove one of the nuts and washers completely. I just loosened the other one up just about all the way. You can see, with that loose, that allows our metal plate that's rubber coated to swing around. We'll then just place that up and on.

We're going to center it on the crossbar. Bring our plate around, put that up and on, then we can place on our washer and also the nut. We'll tighten them both down equally.Something I really like about this particular set-up is that we've got our release levers there. We're just going to rotate those. That's going to allow us to position this carrier at whatever angle we want. You don't always see that out of the J hook style carrier. Most of the time, they're going to be fixed, or they can be adjusted in maybe two positions. This gives us just about unlimited options on the angle we want, so regardless of our hull size, we're really not going to have to worry about it going in, or our hull shape, anyway.Also, here in the bottom, where our hull is going to rest, we've got a nice thick rubber pad there, and then at the other connection points you can see good dense foam pad, should keep our hull protected. Really shouldn't have to worry about any scratches or abrasions.When doing your bow and stern tie-downs, just want to choose a connection point, pass the strap through, and then we'll pass that tag end through the loop and just cinch it down.We'll grab our kayak, and we want to get that set up and in the cradles. I like to adjust it forward and back to where we get as even as contact as we can. Looks like about right there is good. Now, we'll use our straps to go over the top. We'll pass that over. We're going to loop it through that top arch in our carrier, and then we want to pass it back to us. Now that's going to go through the center, just like that. I like to keep these as flat as possible, too. Around the crossbar, and then right back up through the center. Push the button on our cam, pass that through the back, and then cinch it down.You can see the neoprene cover comes down over the cam, protects our hull, and then we can just loop this up and pass it through the band there. That'll hold it in place for us.This will go in between a body panel and give us a good connection point, or the end of the strap's going to have a loop, so we can wrap that around something and cinch it down on, if you choose to do it that way. I really like the way these body panel ones work. We're just going to pass it through the loop, pass it through itself, and then this is going to go right underneath our hood here. It should sit right in there pretty nicely. Nice secure anchor point. And then we'll pass that through our buckle just like we did our other ones. We'll get the excess of those secured as well.I like the positioning on this. It's going to get that well away from the body of our vehicle. Here on the back side, I'm just going to use the tailgate panel there. Go between the tailgate and the fender, or truck bed, I suppose in this case. Pull that up just in case. Now, if you didn't have a camper shell on, you could go right down to one of your cargo tie-down points too. Loop it up, get it tidied up. At that point, we're ready to head down the road.

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Info for this part was:

Video by:
Andrew K
Test Fit:
Colin H
Test Fit:
Randy B
Video Edited:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Hayden R
Video Edited:
Zach D
Video by:
Jacob H

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