Help: Need Advice About Load Limits Carrying 2 Kayaks

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by mark1154, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. mark1154

    mark1154 Junior Member

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    We are traveling from MD to Fl and have 2 kayaks along with Thule roof rack system (Load bars, Feet to attach load bars, and 4 JBars to secure the kayaks. Toyota just told me they recommend NO loads carried on the roof. However, in our previous 2008 Prius we carried the 2 kayaks back from FL with no incidents. We purchased a 2013 Plugin recently. The weight of the two kayaks is approx 100lbs, and according to Thule the total weight of the roof hardware is btw 15-20lbs. I'm nervous about approaching load limits. Anyone have experience in this?
     
  2. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Nope never heard that.
    Believe they took some weight out of 2015 model, but never heard roof top forbidden.
     
  3. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Nothing would surprise me. Weight is a bigger issue with the Prius than with most cars, therefore it makes sense that some of the strength would be sacrificed to save weight.
     
  4. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I mean they (Thule Yakima) sell roof racks for Prii.
    I do not recall any warning message Toyota does not allow this but we sell it
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    every warning in the o/m is lawyerspeak for: if you try this, you're on your own.
     
  6. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    What a mechanic tells you is not always what Toyota will tell you. What Toyota will tell you is not always what will not be covered by warranty. What's not covered by warranty isn't always what can't be won in court.
     
  7. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Interesting.
    The owners manual on my 2013 clearly states that they don't recommend towing anything with The Prius.
    But it doesn't really say anything about roof racks or carrying something on the roof.

    I've always assumed it was very possible. I mean they build some Prius with relatively heavy glass moonroofs. And with weight being put on the roof, you're not pulling it as you would be if towing.

    I would think 200lbs, would be akin to simply riding with one or more passengers of similar weight.

    The only concern would be the metal of the roof. Is it strong enough to NOT dent or bend? With a Prius this might be a more valid concern than with some other vehicles.

    But honestly? I've also never read of anyone claiming to use a roof rack system, and then complaining that their roof did become damaged or bent.

    But it's interesting to me, that Toyota is claiming a zero tolerance policy for this action.
    Of course, yes from a legal or warranty standpoint, saying NO...solves a lot of potential problems for Toyota.

    You might call THULE and ask their opinion.
    It's not that I don't think The Prius could accept the extra weight, especially if it's NOT being pulled, my concern might be damage to the roof. And really? I don't know where the "bending" point might or might not be in that equation.
     
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Structurally (but not necessarily cosmetically), the roof as a whole will easily handle this weight if the car can meet requirements for rollover crashes.
     
  9. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. If you like to travel rough roads, adding to your rock collection, you might damage your car. If you zip around town, using it for light cargo, I'd say no problem.
     
  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I'd assume that as well, but cosmetically IS a big concern. You really don't want a huge dent in your roof, even if that roof is still structurally sound.
    Which is why I recommended he contact THULE. I'm also assuming the mounting hardware and braces for the roof rack system is designed to protect the roof, and spread the weight out more to the sides.

    But I'm making a LOT of assumptions here. Would be easier if a PiP owner simply had a history of using a roof rack system.

    Kind of surprised nobody "yet" has simply said...I've done it...it's OK...or I've done it...DON'T do it.
     
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