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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you secure flat boards (or other similar objects) on the standard roof rack on the Gen 5? I see the rails and the tie downs. Just not sure how others use them. Are there a specific brand or product you use or carry with you. Ropes, elastic cords and clamps come to mind.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,859 Posts
I have hauled 2x4 as long as 12 feet with my subaru, rolling down the passenger window, laying the front seat forward, laying out blankets where the boards can make contact with the interior. to stop the board from making contact with the outside mirror, remove the front seat head rest, and put the seat upright. (with a blanket on it)

I have also hauled things very short distances with the windows and roof open hanging out the tailgate. (like a 10foot step ladder).

anything bigger or badder,...find someone with a pickup to borrow.

or get it delivered, (local lumber yards, vs. the big fish typically deliver free or cheap,...and are cheaper on lumber).

homedepot also rents that odd dropside flatbed pickup for $20 a day,... Uhaul works too, (pay by the mile though).

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what I have not done with lumber or a ladder, put my cross bars on the car to stick anything up there. (I put them on once in the past 10 years to haul some lightweight baby room furniture for a neighbor, when I had a piece of it inside already).

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long ago I worked in a lumberyard, watching customers load things on roof racks, (wise policy of that particular lumber yard was to not actually put the things up there,....and I did watch paint get scraped off,....and a I did wonder if the lumber would fly off from a short stop, or a 45mph head wind. )
 
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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited, Twilight Blue
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57 Posts
I used to use paracord and trucker's knots to secure things, but then I bought a couple of these last year from Amazon and they work great.

Nite Ize NCJSA-01-R3 CamJam XT Aluminum Rope and Cord Tightener with Carabiner, 280 lb Limit
by NCJSA-01-R3
Link: http://a.co/63ilNlp

They clip to the rack tie down points well. I secure one end of the rope to the tiedown point with a bowline knot then use the CamJam to cinch up the slack. They haven't come loose yet, but I use two of these setups at a time and often tie off the free ends to the cross bar to be safe.
 

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Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,345 Posts
if I needed to haul 4x8 stuff - I'd do what was suggested on one of the Forums , buy a TEN foot long 2x4, cut it in half and secure 'crosswise' to the roof rack. Gives you 5+ or so inches on either side of 4 foot wide panels to tie cordage.
 

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Registered
2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used to use paracord and trucker's knots to secure things, but then I bought a couple of these last year from Amazon and they work great.

Nite Ize NCJSA-01-R3 CamJam XT Aluminum Rope and Cord Tightener with Carabiner, 280 lb Limit
by NCJSA-01-R3
Link: http://a.co/63ilNlp

They clip to the rack tie down points well. I secure one end of the rope to the tiedown point with a bowline knot then use the CamJam to cinch up the slack. They haven't come loose yet, but I use two of these setups at a time and often tie off the free ends to the cross bar to be safe.
This looks like a good idea. Thanks
 
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Has anyone found and used cross bar pads (that can give a long term report) that fit our bars... 36"? I've been hesitant to tote boards up there out of concern for marring the paint on bars. Whatever I put up there will probably be up there 100% of the time so they'd need to somewhat stand up to UV and the elements.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R EyeSight, 20mm RSB, STB, 2" ECOhitch
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627 Posts
I have carried a variety of 4x6, 2x4 and 1xs on the rack. I use Thule straps because the have soft covers over the buckles and the straps fit in the tie down slots. So under the bars and over the boards then across he boards to the other bar, under/over/through tie downs. Easier to do than explain. One strap is generally enough to do back and front. If I just have a few 10 foot or less I will just put them inside. For heavy long loads I will use a hitch riser and keep half the weight on that, the rest on the bars.

https://amazon.com/Thule-521-Straps-2-Pack-9-Foot/dp/B004L02YYA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1504190950&sr=8-3&keywords=thule+strap

https://amazon.com/gp/product/B00HDL2DX6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I had to cut some off to match the roof rack.
 

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Premium Member
2019 2.5i Limited PZEV, EyeSight, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Black Interior
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219 Posts
The safest way is not to do it. Put the stuff in an enclosed pickup bed or trailer if possible.

The second safest way is to use quality load stops to prevent lateral movement (perpendicular to the forward motion of the car) which then make the tie-downs more effective at preventing longitudinal movement in the event of a panic stop.

A product like this from Thule is a must: https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/roof-rack/accessories/thule-load-stops-503-_-1025



You can make your own with some steel if you can weld or some lumber and u-bolts if you're so inclined.

Otherwise the secret is to use several ratchet straps to bind the load into a cohesive bundle, then another set to bind the bundle to the racks. Good discussion here: https://diy.stackexchange.com/quest...way-to-transport-lumber-with-just-a-roof-rack.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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12,281 Posts
Open bars.

Throw boards on them.

Ratchet down with ratchet straps.

If not available, trucker knot works almost as well just takes a lot more time and rope and isn't reusable.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R EyeSight, 20mm RSB, STB, 2" ECOhitch
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627 Posts
Found a picture from when my car was less than a week old, had rags on the bars to prevent them from getting marked up. What you can't see is the other side where the straps go through the tie down points. The most difficult items are the slippery ones like shelving that is plastic coated. If you stack 3 or more the inside ones want to slide out on braking or acceleration. I have taped the ends and strapped in front and back to prevent movement. Common sense required but the OB is my truck and I expect it to use it that way when needed.
 

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... the secret is to use several ratchet straps to bind the load into a cohesive bundle, then another set to bind the bundle to the racks.
^ This. Every single time. It takes a little longer in the parking lot, but well worth the piece of mind you get from KNOWING your load is as secure as it can be.
 

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2018 2.5i Limited w/EyeSight
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207 Posts
Pretty much what others have said. Tie your boards together securely with rope/cord/what have you, then ratchet everything down to the crossbars using a decent set of ratchet straps. Never had an issue on multiple cars and multiple roof racks.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. All are helpful.
 

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STUBARU = 2016 Outback Limited with Eyesight (package23+) Lapis Blue/Ivory
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30 Posts
Ratchet straps work, but you risk marring your roof and paint. If you have the OEM swing away rack bars you should also have some nice tie down brackets for webbing straps. But some 2" x 12ft webbing straps with plastidip protected CAM style buckles. These are available at most outdoor stores. NEVER get the cheap plastic straps. Get true nylon webbing. First of all, NEVER assume that tying the board to the rack has enough purchase. The technique is called LASHING. Keep everything snug as you go. Loop the webbing through the anchor eye behind the bar and then one loop around the rack bar. Toss the strap OVER the item you are securing.Twist the strap at least once or twice (keeps it from catching air and buzzing, which it will do if it's flat). Then make a loop AROUND the item you are securing. This will keep it from moving fore and aft. Loop t he webbing around the bar several times, then back OVER the item, aound the bar again and repeat in an X pattern. Use up ass much of a 12ft strap as necessary. Then put the end through the cam buckle. Snug everything up and then REEF on the end (the bight) and tighten the cam as much as possible. Finally, loop any excess strap the buckle and around the crossbar,then finish off with several half hitches. IF you do this well, your item isn't going anywhere. The trick to flat objects (or any long object) is to put enough friction by looping the item so it won't move backwards or forwards, or sideways - even in strong winds.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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2,424 Posts
Has anyone found and used cross bar pads (that can give a long term report) that fit our bars... 36"? I've been hesitant to tote boards up there out of concern for marring the paint on bars. Whatever I put up there will probably be up there 100% of the time so they'd need to somewhat stand up to UV and the elements.
I might look at foam pipe insulation for occasional use. I haven't looked, but it might be hard to find something not custom for the OB because of the aero crossection.
 
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I might look at foam pipe insulation for occasional use. I haven't looked, but it might be hard to find something not custom for the OB because of the aero crossection.
I've seen a couple that are made for aero bars, but they aren't long enough to span the length of the whole bar.
 
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