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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:14 am 
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I mentioned in another thread that my new vehicle (a Mazda CX-9) was giving me Hobie-loading Headaches. In fact, it is about the least suitable SUV for car-topping that I have seen.

Here's the beast:
Image

The Ute possesses a trifecta of loading challenges.

1. A very high roofline/railline
2. Super curved rear glass - and otherwise only curved surfaces such as bulging sides
3. A big round protruding arse that meets the bumper line
4. A severely raked front end which places the roof rack's balance well to the rear of the vehicle
5. A huge curved plastic spoiler on the rear deck incapable of supporting a Hobie
6. A total lack of 3rd party running boards or nerf bars to provide a leg up
7. Nowhere to attach front and rear tiedown straps
8. No trailer hitch.

Ok that's way more than 3 problems,.. but it's indicative of the issues anyone may face with a larger SUV, especially a 7 passenger model. (On the flip side, I can fit a full sized dishwasher with shipping carton inside the trunk, without even folding the second row of seats! :D )

So I beat my head on the wall for a month, and this spilled out. It's one of 3 load assist solutions I just finished. This one could be called the "quick and dirty" design.

Image

It's made from tall custom sized foam blocks, reinforced with spun plastic sidewalls and attached with 4x60lb rated suction cups on aluminum bars/sleeves. The grip is impressive. They are crowned with all weather carpet and no slip rubber mats complete the bottoms. As usual, a trip to the batcave yielded some sage advice and spare parts. :wink:

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I left enough foam at the bottoms to allow some compression, so the foam could adjust to the steep curve of the glass. Even so - more would be helpful. A minimum of 5" lift was needed to clear the rear spoiler.

Image

"Quick and dirty" ended up being a pretty solid and effective system. Fast, lightweight and cheap. The geometry is ideal and it seems stable enough to support a TI going up and down (though I will be loading an AI).

Image

I'll share some picts of the load test soon, as well as my upgraded PVC roller design.
For now, maybe this universal design will help point other vertically challenged sailers in the right direction.

Image

(Post #1000, what do I turn into now? 8) )

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Last edited by NOHUHU on Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:52 am 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
That can't be your car. It's not even red!!! Looks like a good way to get the boat up on the racks. Do any cars come with towing hitches? I've always had to get them retrofitted.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:01 am 
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Wow! Huge photos!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:02 pm 
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Can you post pictures if the AI loaded on top with amas?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Now you're thinking. Are you sure those suction cups will stay put. Have you seen the clamp-on suction cup holder with PVC bull horns for front loading.

How about add a kick-a** brush guard to that suv and clamp on some Yakima hilly rollers to it. Load from the lower front end.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:48 pm 
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eclipse504 wrote:
Can you post pictures if the AI loaded on top with amas?

We had really foul weather this weekend (flash floods, 2" hail and even a tornado!) so no photo shoots yet, but I will.

The quick load test was a complete success, though.

The AI sticks about 4 feet off the back. Both ends are going to need tie downs. There seems to be nowhere to put these on this sucker...

More troubleshooting ahead - stay tuned.

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Last edited by NOHUHU on Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:02 pm 
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LarryJ wrote:
Now you're thinking. Are you sure those suction cups will stay put. Have you seen the clamp-on suction cup holder with PVC bull horns for front loading.

How about add a kick-a** brush guard to that suv and clamp on some Yakima hilly rollers to it. Load from the lower front end.
The cups are rock solid and only pull the blocks down (>200lbs of pressure). The real work is done by the wide blocks, which distribute the load across the curved glass. So they feel VERY stable.

I have bullhorns finished for this vehicle as well and will post you some picts shortly.

Larry, I'm afraid the bullhorns won't work on the hood of this SUV. The CX-9 has a very long, very sloping front end and glass. Also very flimsy sheet metal... a combination I think you'll see in many cars these days as they try to cut weight and costs, while improving mileage.

But I'm finishing a side-load bar this week, which will provide another angle of attack.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:54 pm 
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Location: South Florida
I still can't imagine car-topping (pickup-topping) a tandem. Are we talking body-building courses in addition to an engineering course in car accessories for carrying objects longer/bigger than car?

I think they have helicopters for jobs like this. Geez... Oh, I think I hear one now. They are coming NOHUHU. whomp, whomp, whomp....

I see I've just passed 1000 posts--I believe they will just drop the "salt" part.

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Yeah, some of us will do ANYTHING to avoid hauling a trailer...

Keith, looks like us granders remain "Old Salts" for awhile. I guess next they'll stack the words "Really" in front, over and over. :roll:

Perhaps it's time for me to just shut up and listen for awhile.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Very ingenious NOHUHU. I know exactly where you are coming from. I've got the Mazda Tribute ( the pov version of the CX-9 ) and it was a challenge. Getting it up there was OK using my own 'rack and roll' design, but the roof rack centre distance was very short ( as you can see from the attached photo, the front roof rack sits behind the door pillar ) so a front tie down was a necessity to stop the dreaded 'Bow Bounce'.

Image

................. which worked OK but I was never really comfortable with it and finally bit the bullet and got the trailer. Your solution looks the goods though and sounds as though it's doing the job. If you look carefully at the photo, I profiled some HD foam to slot into the roof rack to transport the AI right way up. Are you thinking similar or are you going to strap it down inverted ?

Putting the AI on the CX-9 in the eye of a Tornado ...........photo opportunity missed I'd say :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Slaughter wrote:
Putting the AI on the CX-9 in the eye of a Tornado ...........photo opportunity missed I'd say :roll:


Yeah! Come on!! You live in FREAKIN Hawaii, the least you could do is take a few pics for those of us who are waiting for the ice to thaw! You can't let a little wind stop you! :P

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:12 pm 
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augaug wrote:
Slaughter wrote:
Putting the AI on the CX-9 in the eye of a Tornado ...........photo opportunity missed I'd say :roll:

Yeah! Come on!! You live in FREAKIN Hawaii, the least you could do is take a few pics for those of us who are waiting for the ice to thaw! You can't let a little wind stop you! :P
Real sorry - It was dark when the tornado hit our neighborhood and I was a bit occupied, moving the new SUV from hell to safety, dodging lightning and collecting hail from the yard for happy hour.,,

Image

Image

,.. which made the best Mojitos ever! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Slaughter, I'll be using the Thule glide and set saddles for the hull. So upright at first - if it doesn't blow off the roof. I hope to fit the Amas inside the cab.

If it's unstable - I'll flip it on its gunwale and grumble under my breath about my latest $200 Thule mistake.

On the plus side, I managed to build a $9 version of the "Rack and Roll". :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:44 am 
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A Thule on my old beast would stand out like a tiara on a scrubber.

Image

Image

These may have looked a bit rough but they did the job.

I have often wondered if there is a fuel mileage difference between carrying the hull right way up or inverted. I know that the fuel consumption on the Mazda went from woeful to ....house with the hull up there, but never flipped it over to do a comparison.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:03 pm 
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The new Bullhorns are done. Here's a few "tinypics" of the them. :wink:

These are a special version of the PVC roller/loader concept, engineered to maintain suction grip on a highly curved surface...

Image

Getting a 20 degree angle on each side was trickier that it looks, and was critical to making them work. There's an angled aluminum rod in the core of each loader, secured to 1" PVC, with an outer "rolling" layer of 1.25" pipe. Each suction cup is rated at 100lbs.

Image

These are a "2 story" version, because the goal was to clear the 4" overhang of the SUVFH's rear spoiler. The padded sections roll freely, to assist with loading/unloading.

The width matches the hull of my AI. But I trimmed the horns back a few inches after taking these test shots, to keep the load as "low" as possible. I have one last tweak in mind.

Image

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