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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

I've got a 2017 Colorado and I want to set it up to carry a pair of kayaks. I do not want to put permanent racks in the stake pockets. So...decided that the rear rack will be one of the folding "T-Bar" types that bolts into the trailer hitch. I just need a SINGLE roof rack to anchor the front ends of the kayaks. Plus, I want the roof rack to be relatively easily removable for when I'm not hauling the boats.

Finding info on who offers what for the Gen 2 Colorado is a bit confusing. If I'm correct, Thule appears to be the ONLY company that has an actual rack base designed for the Gen 2 Colorado? Are there any other manufacturers that offer a specific-fit roof rack for my vehicle? I can't seem to find any others.

GM's dealer rack is the Thule aerodynamic rack, but I believe it comes packaged as TWO racks, not just one. That is yet another problem...are all Thule racks packaged as a set of two? I just want ONE!!!

Can anyone please offer me some advice and specific part numbers of what fits and what doesn't?

Thanks,
-D Man
Over 1 Mile High in N. Arizona
 

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I am very adverse to drilling holes in the roofs of vehicles. At some point, it seems they will always spring a leak.


If it were me (and it's not) I would fab a rack that attaches to the front of the bed, and then extends out over the top of the cab as far as you want it to so it doesn't touch the cab in any way.


A kayak doesn't weigh anything, so it doesn't have to be anything massive. Make it out of 2x2 steel tubing, and then you can use it to carry ladder and lumber, too.


Or just buy a ladder rack like this one

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am very adverse to drilling holes in the roofs of vehicles. At some point, it seems they will always spring a leak.


If it were me (and it's not) I would fab a rack that attaches to the front of the bed, and then extends out over the top of the cab as far as you want it to so it doesn't touch the cab in any way.


A kayak doesn't weigh anything, so it doesn't have to be anything massive. Make it out of 2x2 steel tubing, and then you can use it to carry ladder and lumber, too.


Or just buy a ladder rack like this one

Bob: The Thule racks do not require any holes, they have clips that grab the upper door frame.
 

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I have a Thule AeroBlade 53 set up for my truck. Can install it and remove it in minutes once it's all set up. May add a "tray" to it later. I made my own fairing using Rhino-Rack clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
why don't you just use a universal crossbar for the roof? they can be had cheap and it is not permanent
Perhaps my terminology is incorrect. Yes...I just need a SINGLE crossbar and mounting feet that do NOT require drilling, such as the Thule and Rhino. The problem is...who sells just ONE bar, and not a set of two???
 

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Perhaps my terminology is incorrect. Yes...I just need a SINGLE crossbar and mounting feet that do NOT require drilling, such as the Thule and Rhino. The problem is...who sells just ONE bar, and not a set of two???

You might try craigslist

I've seen good priced used Thules. If you can get a good price on a used pair it beats having to buy a new pair. They are costy $$$

or share a pair?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rhino Rack sell crossbars on their website individually
Installed rhino vortex crossbars on mine great fit and easy on/off once setup
Ron:

Thanks for the tip. I may actually need to go the twin Rhino bar setup after all. Reason being...the single Rhino bar is available for the FRONT location only. If I measure from my trailer-hitch "t-bar" kayak rack to the front bar location...it is longer than the length of the kayak! I see that Rhino has a system for carrying kayaks on their twin bars, but then, they recommend tying both the front and the rear ends of the kayaks down. This causes a bit of an issue when I have my bed cover in place - there is no access to any tie down points. Grrrrrrr.

There doesn't seem to be any perfect solution to carrying the kayaks while at the same time have my bed covered with a tonneau to protect my camping gear from rain. Perhaps I should re-phrase my question to see if somebody has a solution to carrying kayaks that is easily removable, yet allows a cover to be in place over the bed?

What are other people doing for this situation? I thought this was going to be easy!
 

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Big D-Man: Without a canopy, handling bigger kayaks is not easy. Before going with a canopy, I also looked into a hitch mounted T bar solution plus cross bars over the cab. I tried a set of Rhino Rack HD2500 bars on my cab but decided not to keep them; the supports are really high, the angles front and back were a little too extreme for my purposes but most of all the load rating, off tarmac was only 70lb per pair. I didn't want to limit myself.

I've attached some pics for you to think about. The curvature of the roof of our cabs is extreme enough that I'm sure that a "front" bar will fit just fine at the rear position if the base rubbers are put on in reverse, i.e. right on left side and left on right side. I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Big D-Man: Without a canopy, handling bigger kayaks is not easy. Before going with a canopy, I also looked into a hitch mounted T bar solution plus cross bars over the cab. I tried a set of Rhino Rack HD2500 bars on my cab but decided not to keep them; the supports are really high, the angles front and back were a little too extreme for my purposes but most of all the load rating, off tarmac was only 70lb per pair. I didn't want to limit myself.

I've attached some pics for you to think about. The curvature of the roof of our cabs is extreme enough that I'm sure that a "front" bar will fit just fine at the rear position if the base rubbers are put on in reverse, i.e. right on left side and left on right side. I hope this helps.
MHR:

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Helps a lot. In theory, a single Rhino bar on top with a "T-Bar" in the hitch should work OK. But I too, am concerned about the load rating of the Rhino bar when driving on dirt. And...will I be able to get TWO kayaks side-by side on the front bar and rear T-Bar?

Another variation on this theme would be to but a stake-pocket ladder rack in the FRONT of the bed only, and still use a folding T-bar for the rear, like a Rhino. Might be a bit sturdier, and have a higher load capacity overall. But then again, this configuration poses two new problems: 1) I would need a front ladder rack that is EASILY removable, as I don't want it in there permanently, and 2) Using the front stake pockets will probably now cause interference issues with a tonneau bed cover.

You see, this is a brand new truck for me, and before I start buying expensive rack components, I need to plan out the entire accessory system and how it is all going to work (or not) together. I basically want to keep water out of bed, and be able to carry two average-sized Kayaks all at the same time.

This is starting to look like an impossibility. Can't have it all, can one? The easy way out is to just buy a small trailer for $300 at Harbor Freight and tow the kayaks on it. After one starts adding up all the rack and accessory costs...a trailer is actually one of the cheaper solutions to this problem, although cumbersome and not as elegant as truck-mounted racks - especially for off road use.

Any further advice?

Thanks,
 
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