Anyone use a VW van without a KariTek rack?

Having been quoted £515 for a rack which will take two boats, I'm trying to decide if we really need one.

Anyone use a VW T5 van, or similar, without a KariTek? How hard is it to load boats with two people? I'm keen to hear in the comments or on this thread.


Loz said...

When I worked at Pyranha/P&H we had one of the Kari-tek roof rack on the P&H Nissan navara, I spent most of that summer driving that thing back and forth from the P&H factory in Derbyshire, and up to Scotland and to various events.

My opinion of it:
Bloody awful: Rattles like hell when you've got boats on because of the wind resistance and the fact that the locking pins are attached by a chain that rattles.

Trying to put it back up onto the roof when it was fully loaded (3 boats) usually more difficult than it sounds. there's a clip (I shape thing that stays on the roof) that has to line up with a slot in the bars that slide down the side, if you didn't get this right you had to take it off and slide it back on.

Loading it fully loaded usually required two people to lift it onto the top.

The plastic J-clips were quite flexible which had two problems, if you'd gone to an event on your own you'd have to get someone to help you hold the boat on while you threaded the the straps through the hole in the J particularly if it was a heavier Diolen boat. plus the flexibility caused the boats to bounce around a bit. Not good when you need to deliver brand new boats in perfect condition.

Additionally the the sales guys drive transporters, these had normal roof racks and got loaded up with boat all the time, Even Bob usually managed and hes tiny. The Difficult bit was doing up the straps, one thing that helped was having big open alloys that you could put your feet in and stand on, or better still have a small set of fold up steps in the back.

Obviously everything I've said is just my opinion, some of the other people (Graham in particular ) thought it was great.

Simon said...

Loz - thanks for taking the time to write all this. It's really helpful in some ways, but in other ways it adds to my confusion ;-)

The same was true of all the excellent advice on the Forum in response to my inquiry.