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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:30 am 
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We have 2 AIs we have been transporting with a trailer, but would like to take our yaks with our camper. So we will need to car top, which I have never done. Our Jeep Cherokee is on its deathbed so I am looking for a replacement. Is it generally easier to load/unload an AI on an SUV (Wrangler Unlimited) or on a mid-sized pick up (Nissan Frontier), assuming both are appropriately equipped with correct racks? Or is there really no difference? Thank you for any advice!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:58 am 
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I would definitely think a pickup for a TI but may not be necessary for an AI. The nice think about a pickup is you can lower the back rack which makes it alot easier to load. I put the bow on the back of the truck, get on the truck and grab the bow handle, lift it about 2 feet to the back rack, then walk around to the back of the TI and just push it on the racks. With an SUV I assume you will have to just man handle the bow 6 feet or so high.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
One aspect of this question is what you are going to do with the 4 amas. Two AI hulls side by side won't leave much room on anything but a very wide rack. In a pickup, you can put them in the bed (but on a shortbed they will stick up).
I have a TI, an AI, and shortbed pickup. Then the amas are really too long for the bed. I intend to cartop both boats, on custom cradles, upright, with the amas lashed on top of each one. But getting them up there is going to be the challenge, since the TI with everything is a heavy beast indeed!
Maybe I should put them on their side, instead. Then there would be ama room, I think. though it is still a lot of stuff.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Location: sarasota,fl
jhannah :
I actually have a strong opinion about tow vehicles. We have almost a quarter million miles on our Yukon Denali's now (we are on our third one) with very few problems towing our 7000 lb camper with one or two kayaks on the roof all over the country.

Here is a pic of our current Denali all rigged to go down to our Key West place for a few weeks (we have a second home down there and try to get down there about once a month when we can)

Image

The only problem we have had is we mostly go in salt water and sometimes have the boat on the roof for weeks at a time. Well I scratched the roof, and it rusted out and had to be replaced (the whole roof, under warranty of course). More due to carelessness on my part than anything else.


The roof rack is very strong and we have had no difficulty hauling our TI, and our Revo on the roof. When hauling two boats we typically lash the TI's AMA
on top of one or both boats.
I highly recommend the T bar as shown in the picture, it really works nicely. Of course if you plan to use it with the camper you will need to weld a small rectangular tube to the top of the receiver (between the car and the ball) to hold the modified T-bar (you will need to saw off the bottom of the T-bar and fit it to your hitch. I got my Tbar from Amazon for about $80 bucks.
There is no better vehicle on the road today in my opinion, we came from a Ford explorer, that we wore out in about 60k miles, and it rode like a lumber wagon. The Denali has an all air ride suspension, jake brakes as part of the tow haul mode, it comes with transmission and engine oil coolers. The really powerful 6.2 liter engine got us through the mountains in Colorado, and the smokey mountains more times than I can count. It also has heated and air conditioned leather seats and a really good climate control system, that are really comfortable on those long trips. The super smooth air ride is unmatched by any other vehicle out there (well maybe the Cadillac Escalade, which is pretty much exactly the same vehicle). When on the road we crank up the 16 speaker Bose sound system and have as much fun driving as we do once we get there.
I only buy US built vehicles so I know nothing about the other vehicle you mentioned.
Hope this helps you
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:23 am
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Location: Belfast, Maine
Hi again Beebrain. I have a full size pickup and carry my AI around IN it. I load it tail end first and use a "pillow" made from a couple layers of pool noodles held together with duct tape to prop up the bow end where the drive well rests on the tailgate. Using only two bungies, one at each end of the aka support, I stretch them into the truck. A boat seat cushion screwed to the front end of the truck box keeps the rudder assembly from getting stressed. Also, I use a 4X8 1/4 inch plywood in the bed of the truck with pool noodles---with clothesline running through them to keep them in place--knotted off at the edges of the plywood. Makes it real easy to roll the AI in and out onto a set of sawhorses the exact height of the truck bed. I mention this because I've seen people use, not sure what it's called, but a T-type extender that goes into their trailer hitch. I figure if I ever get a TI that is how I'll carry it around. I wonder if that arrangement might work with your short bed? Sorry about not having pictures.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Location: Riverside, S. California, USA
Re Doug's post: I tow a trailer when I cartop on the pickup. Otherwise I have the boat on its trailer. With the trailer behind, I can't have the boat stick out as far even an AI would in the pickup bed, but I have racks on the pickup bed, and the cab, so I have plenty of rack length, its just up pretty high.

Re Fusion's post. For those of us not as handy with a welder as I reckon you are, Harbor Freight sells two adaptors that would allow use of the T and a hitch ball: their Multi-use Ball Mount, and their Dual Hitch Extender.
And, while I don't doubt the Denali is a nice rig, 250,000 miles / 3 vehicles doesn't add up (well, technically, divide down) to high mileage, though it is extensive experience with the vehicle type. What is your gas mileage?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:49 pm 
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Location: sarasota,fl
Beebrain:
The Denali actually gets pretty good mileage when not towing, about 20 mpg, the engine runs on 4 cylinders to save fuel when the power is not needed. When towing we are at the max capacity of the vehicle (14000 lbs). We get between 10 and 12 mpg when towing, kayaks on the roof or not doesn't change the mileage enough to detect.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:14 am
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Surferhunterguy, what rack do you use? Thanks again!
surferhunterguy wrote:
I would definitely think a pickup for a TI but may not be necessary for an AI. The nice think about a pickup is you can lower the back rack which makes it alot easier to load. I put the bow on the back of the truck, get on the truck and grab the bow handle, lift it about 2 feet to the back rack, then walk around to the back of the TI and just push it on the racks. With an SUV I assume you will have to just man handle the bow 6 feet or so high.


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