how will carrying a 50lb kayak on my rav4 roof affect towing? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
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how will carrying a 50lb kayak on my rav4 roof affect towing?

another newbie-ish question. i'm not really a newbie to towing but it is so different with a small car. thx.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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No effect. Might even increase your fuel economy a bit.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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I often have a Thule box on the top of my Forester. I do think it may help mileage a bit. However in cross winds be careful as adding that height plus the trailer height could make the effect of the wind pretty bad.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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really????? it will help? why? cuz it holds the car down? so good to know!!!
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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Not sure the kayak will do the same, but the box seems to help lift the air up and over the trailer in a more streamlined way. I don't really see better mileage but it isn't any worse as long as the box is lightly loaded. (Could be better but I've never compared on two similar stretches of road- the box only goes up and down I5 over the mountains.)
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:39 AM   #6
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Think of it like the bulbous front of a tanker, except upside down. It breaks the wind, so to speak. But the effect would probably be too small to notice.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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oh. neat. my boat goes really fast with out much paddling too...i bet it will really help me. thx.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:11 PM   #8
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I carry my 45-pound, 10-foot recreational kayak on a J-cradle carrier, with the trailer in tow, and haven't found that it decreases fuel efficiency as long as I'm staying under 60 mph. Between 60-65 I get a very minor, almost negligible decrease.

I did end up having to drive across PA last fall on a super windy day and REALLY felt the cross winds. I've been wanting to get my kayak into the Susquehanna River, but not while it's still attached to the car....ended up bagging the turnpike and taking it nice and slow on route 30 to get over to Pittsburgh.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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I tow with a Honda minivan and a 13' scamp and the two 10' kayaks on top of the minivan decrease gas mileage 1-2 mpg.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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Eric, Just to be clear, are you saying that with the kayaks you burn more gas?
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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Eric, Just to be clear, are you saying that with the kayaks you burn more gas?
Correct, I burn more gas with the kayaks on top. I agree you can feel the cross winds more, but it has not been a significant issue for me.

I don't mean to discount anyone's experiences. I am just sharing my own. The top of the kayaks are above the top of the scamp in my setup. I had wondered if my minivan was taller and the 13' scamp shorter and with having two kayaks my setup did not not experience the gain described above.

However, my intuition says adding a couple kayaks on top of minivan should hurt the gas mileage.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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No problem-o. Done all the time...
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericw View Post
Correct, I burn more gas with the kayaks on top. I agree you can feel the cross winds more, but it has not been a significant issue for me.

I don't mean to discount anyone's experiences. I am just sharing my own. The top of the kayaks are above the top of the scamp in my setup. I had wondered if my minivan was taller and the 13' scamp shorter and with having two kayaks my setup did not not experience the gain described above.

However, my intuition says adding a couple kayaks on top of minivan should hurt the gas mileage.
Same here. When I add a small kayak to the top of the RAV 4 with a Thule mount, it doesn't make all that much a difference, but the slight loss is measurable. When I added a spare tire for the RAV4 on the car top carrier I was hoping it would act like a air dam for the Escape. Unfortunately, it didn't. With the addition of the tire & a pair of the large Aero mirrors, I lost about a half MPG. I haven't tried both the tire & the kayak yet...
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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No problem-o. Done all the time...

HAHAHA! One of the reasons I got the 10-footer instead of something longer is to avoid any unscheduled bonus ventilation of the front of my trailer!
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