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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT Limited, Nav+EyeSight
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my Outback a few weeks ago, and this was the first occasion I had to need the roof rack. I fished the Torx wrench out from the spare tire area and moved my rear crossbar to the back location, put the board on the roof, then scratched my head.

I have 4 ratchet straps - one end of the strap has a metal hook (rubber coated) and is 15ft or so long nylon strap - the end is just strap. The other part is a hook, about 4-6 inches or so of strap, and the ratcheting mechanism.

These straps have worked great for me in the past for putting ANYTHING on a roof or in a trailer. You hook one end on the roof rack (or loop around it and hook it to itself), run the strap over whatever you're securing, hook it back to the roof rack, and tighten.

We spent maybe 10-15 minutes trying to figure out how we could do that on the 2013 Outback, and eventually had to give up and just TIE the board to the rack using the straps. There's just nowhere to put a hook. When you swing the lateral bars in to become the crossbars, you're left with exactly zero places on the side to put a hook.

I could switch to using smaller bungee cords or rope, but I've really gotten used to the strength and utility of ratchet straps. I'm considering all sorts of options for how to add loops onto the stock rack, or other crossbars or something. Currently just waiting for the Landing Pad to be updated for 2013 as that seems to offer the best reasonable option - but even so, that also won't really fix the mount-point problem (although it does allow you to loop a strap over the end of a bar, something you can't do with the factory bars).

Thoughts / Suggestions?
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Put a flag on the back and have the majority of overhang off the back as the front will have a tendency to want to lift due to the wind blowing up the angle of the windshield.

For a 1X which is 3/4" thick, can't you hitch the bungee hooks (loops) to the edge of the board?

Keep it 40 MPH or slower. Make sure no large knots or weak points are on the rear and not the front, as the board will most likely break there, if weak.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT Limited, Nav+EyeSight
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For a 1X which is 3/4" thick, can't you hitch the loops to the edge of the board?
I wanted to avoid putting the metal hooks on the board itself, so we wouldn't damage it.

Assuming it didn't cause damage, then what? You'd have a hook on one side of the board. You'd go over the board and past it.... but to what? There's nothing on either side of the roof rack to loop around to come back. On a normal car, there's a rail that runs front to back you can loop around, but on the Outback, that rail swings out and becomes the crossbar.

No way I'm putting a hook on the narrow edge of a 10" board, that's just asking to slide off and end up going through a window or under a tire.

EDIT: A smaller hook like a bungee would fit better, but there's still nothing to hook it to apart from the crossbar or the board itself. Specifically, nothing to stop it from sliding side-to-side or rotating, as a long board would tend to do.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Use a clean rag at each point. Wrap the bungee around the bottom of crossbar (even through the openings in the long side bars) and back up around the top of board as many times as you need.

Even paper towels will pad the edge of the board unless you are driving from Maine to California, in which case you will want to wrap the whole thing in plastic or a large tarp.

The other option is go buy a truck or full size van:17:
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5 EyeSight & 2010 Legacy Premium, 2010 OB Limited (traded)
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2,129 Posts
g3106.jpg

Quik Grip mini bar clamps work well.
 

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2017 2.5 Touring
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1,412 Posts
I usually set one end on the dash, and set the rest on the rear seat back, and drive home with the gate open, it it is that long.
But then, I'm nuts.
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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I agree the engineer that designed the rack has never tried tying anything down

Think outside the box, you are fixed on strapping it down at the point where you start the attachment.

Try this


slip the hook onto the front of the crossbar next to the board, run the strap along the board back to the other cross bar, go under it and then over the board at the back of the crossbar then under the crossbar and run it along the board and hook the front bar with the 2nd hook then ratchet it tight.

Take the 2nd strap and repeat the process starting the hook at the rear crossbar
 

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15MY 2.5i w/ES
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This might sound odd to you or you might not like the idea, but whenever I've ever had to carry a long piece of wood on a roof rack, I used a couple screws and bungee cords.

I'd look at the board and on the side that will not be seen, I'd put a screw in. One screw for each cross bar. This way, I can wrap the bungee around the cross bar, board and around the screw to keep the board from moving front to back or side to side.

Good luck!!
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT Limited, Nav+EyeSight
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
slip the hook onto the front of the crossbar next to the board, run the strap along the board back to the other cross bar, go under it and then over the board at the back of the crossbar then under the crossbar and run it along the board and hook the front bar with the 2nd hook then ratchet it tight.
I did have that thought the day or so afterwards, and I think that's what I'll do the next time. It still doesn't do anything to help with left/right motion, but it will at least let me use the ratchet straps rather than having to use bungees!
 

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2012 Outback premium 2.5 CVT
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I carry a 10'4" SUP (stand up paddleboard) inside. Fold down the rear seat(s), remove the passenger seat headrest, slide the seat a bit forward and recline it until it hits the folded down rear seat, feed the board or other long object so the nose or front rest on the dash, pad with a towel or something, close the lift gate carefully as not to push the object into the windshield as it cracks very easily from the inside out. You can also pass a number of 10' 3/4" pvc pipes through the supports of the raised passenger seat headrest, they will rest on the dash a few inches in front of the windshield, a wood board 10' or less would fit easily as well, just carry a towel to wrap around to keep form scratching something.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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.....help with left/right motion....
That is precisely why I stated to run the strap over top the board, with one long edge of the board parallel with, and against the left or right roof rack. Then on the board edge which faces the middle of the crossbar, loop the strap down, under the crossbar, back up and back to the side as in the photo below. You can even wrap it around the crossbar more than once to use up some length of strap - like this:

Atlantic Bodyboard Shop | Free Shipping Low Prices - East Coast NY Bodyboarding

You can actually run the strap as well, at the outer-edge, around the crossbars in the same fashion. Of course, any clamps or hooks which may be present on the face of the board only need a rag under them to prevent marring of the wood.

If the straps, or whatever, have hooks on the ends, hook the hooks to the side bar openings, or, to the crossbars and/or hook to the long-edge of the board using a handkerchief, a clean rag, several sheets of paper-towel folded up, etc. which would prevent any damage to the board's edges.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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I carry a 10'4" SUP (stand up paddleboard) inside. Fold down the rear seat(s), remove the passenger seat headrest, slide the seat a bit forward and recline it until it hits the folded down rear seat, feed the board or other long object so the nose or front rest on the dash, pad with a towel or something, close the lift gate carefully as not to push the object into the windshield as it cracks very easily from the inside out. You can also pass a number of 10' 3/4" pvc pipes through the supports of the raised passenger seat headrest, they will rest on the dash a few inches in front of the windshield, a wood board 10' or less would fit easily as well, just carry a towel to wrap around to keep form scratching something.
The only problem with this is, if you have to slam on your brakes, more than likely, that thing you are carrying will be continuing right-on, and through the windshield!
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i CVT Limited, Nav+EyeSight
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is precisely why I stated to run the strap over top the board, with one long edge of the board parallel with, and against the left or right roof rack. Then on the board edge which faces the middle of the crossbar, loop the strap down, under the crossbar, back up and back to the side as in the photo below.
Putting the board against the side of the roof rack doesn't make it stay there - there's nothing to prevent it from sliding away from the edge - the whole board+ strap combination can slide. And actually, I don't think the side is any higher than the crossbar, so there isn't even a solid edge to butt it up against. Even if you wrap the strap around the crossbar 100 times, the only thing keeping it in place is friction, not the actual pull of the ratchet.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Base, Cypress Green
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The only problem with this is, if you have to slam on your brakes, more than likely, that thing you are carrying will be continuing right-on, and through the windshield!
That could certainly be true, but if you're really concerned about it you can just wad up some rags to take up the space between the object and the windshield. If the object is snugly against the windshield it won't have opportunity to build up the momentum to break through the glass and become a projectile. And if you're just talking about a board or length of PVC pipe, it isn't going to have enough weight to break through without first gaining some velocity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That could certainly be true, but if you're really concerned about it you can just wad up some rags to take up the space between the object and the windshield. If the object is snugly against the windshield it won't have opportunity to build up the momentum to break through the glass and become a projectile. And if you're just talking about a board or length of PVC pipe, it isn't going to have enough weight to break through without first gaining some velocity.
Really, it's a non-starter for me. Roof rack has a purpose, and this is exactly it. Also, I had 2 other people in the car with me at the time, so it wasn't going inside regardless.

I'm considering if it's possible to add some D-ring anchor points to the plastic towers or to the crossbars themselves. I'm worried that I'll drill a hole and end up creating something that rattles, whistles, creaks, kills gas mileage, or isn't strong enough to be useful, though.
 

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I just got my Outback a few weeks ago, and this was the first occasion I had to need the roof rack. I fished the Torx wrench out from the spare tire area and moved my rear crossbar to the back location, put the board on the roof, then scratched my head.

I have 4 ratchet straps - one end of the strap has a metal hook (rubber coated) and is 15ft or so long nylon strap - the end is just strap. The other part is a hook, about 4-6 inches or so of strap, and the ratcheting mechanism.

These straps have worked great for me in the past for putting ANYTHING on a roof or in a trailer. You hook one end on the roof rack (or loop around it and hook it to itself), run the strap over whatever you're securing, hook it back to the roof rack, and tighten.

We spent maybe 10-15 minutes trying to figure out how we could do that on the 2013 Outback, and eventually had to give up and just TIE the board to the rack using the straps. There's just nowhere to put a hook. When you swing the lateral bars in to become the crossbars, you're left with exactly zero places on the side to put a hook.

I could switch to using smaller bungee cords or rope, but I've really gotten used to the strength and utility of ratchet straps. I'm considering all sorts of options for how to add loops onto the stock rack, or other crossbars or something. Currently just waiting for the Landing Pad to be updated for 2013 as that seems to offer the best reasonable option - but even so, that also won't really fix the mount-point problem (although it does allow you to loop a strap over the end of a bar, something you can't do with the factory bars).

Thoughts / Suggestions?
Couple of things first off the nylon webbing straps with hooks are terrible tie down tools. The webbing will stretch some and hooks that are not captive simply fall loose and come off.
When your lashing down to anything it is always best to tie vs hook unless your hooks are captive ie have locking gates on them to keep them hooked.

The cross bars on the OB and for that matter any roof rack can simply be tied to - the trick is having your strap or rope tied in such a manner that it grips the cross bar. This means having the strap or rope wrapped around the bar more than just crossing under it. Put a physical wrap around it then a simple Bowline knot this wrap then tightens up around the bar and grips it when you pull it tight and over the item your lashing down.

Boats and boards can be crushed easily if you get out of hand cranking down tight on them. Look up "truckers hitch" super simple to use - works with nylon webbing straps and allows you to crank down tight and crush your board or boat if your not paying attention to just how tight your going.

How do you keep them from sliding forward or aft? If the shape of the board and your bar spread prevent you from a simple mid board tie at the bars which keep it captive due to its shape narrower on the front end and tail end vs fat on the front end or tail end which makes keeping them captive fore and aft very hard - then you need to create a strap that goes around the board its self then this can be tied off to the straps crossing over the board at the cross bars. Hard to describe without a drawing etc.

But think of it as you have two different things to address when you tied down. You need to hold the board too the roof "the cross bar lash down across the board via simply compressing the board to the rack" - then you need the board leashed so it can't slide forward or pending the shape of the board - sliding backwards. Or both.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Base, Cypress Green
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Really, it's a non-starter for me. Roof rack has a purpose, and this is exactly it. Also, I had 2 other people in the car with me at the time, so it wasn't going inside regardless.

I'm considering if it's possible to add some D-ring anchor points to the plastic towers or to the crossbars themselves. I'm worried that I'll drill a hole and end up creating something that rattles, whistles, creaks, kills gas mileage, or isn't strong enough to be useful, though.
I understand that hauling inside the car may not work in all cases, I was just offering thoughts on the other person's response that hauling inside the car was turning the cargo into projectiles flying through the windshield if you slammed on your brakes.

And, for good measure, I hauled a 10' length of 1.5" PVC pipe on Saturday with a car seat in the backseat of my car and the passenger seat upright. I didn't have anyone else in the car with me, but I just folded down 1/2 of the rear seatback and put the PVC between the two front seats and rested the front of it on a balled up sweatshirt on the dash. I could have easily had 2 people with me in the car if I had taken the car seat out.

And while I agree that the roof racks are there for a reason, the difficult associated with properly securing cargo to them, when it is much easier to just toss it inside the car, is the reason that I haul long items inside when they will fit instead of on the roof where they 'belong'.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Putting the board against the side of the roof rack doesn't make it stay there - there's nothing to prevent it from sliding away from the edge - the whole board+ strap combination can slide. And actually, I don't think the side is any higher than the crossbar, so there isn't even a solid edge to butt it up against. Even if you wrap the strap around the crossbar 100 times, the only thing keeping it in place is friction, not the actual pull of the ratchet.
No, but my side rails have slots in them through which the fastening rope, web, bungee can be run through which would prevent lift of the board, and if the bottom portion extends to the inboard rope, web or bungee, there is no way the board will slide off the side of the roof racks!

That is the very reason the securing strap extends both over the board and under the board - and, as SubieSailor stated, two or more wraps around the crossbars will hold the board from sliding left and right pretty sufficiently, unless you happen to start road-racing on your way to where you are going. Then, anything is possible.

I would think all the Subaru side rails have openings in them, like my '05 does, however I could be wrong. The only way it wouldn't work (as you stated) would be if the side rails are, in fact completely solid with no openings. With that being said, if the same thing is done - wrapping the webbing or whatever down, under the crossbar then back over the board again, the only way a loop of taut webbing (or whatever) could slide off the crossbars and off the side rail would be ONLY if the crossbar end becomes unfastened! Even then, the larger ends may be just large enough to hold the board on the racks long enough to stop the car and make necessary adjustments!:17:

I have addressed the issues as best as I care to here and now. If the OP wants to continue the "what-ifs" then other members can deal with him/her.

As in many things, there is much common sense in play here, and common sense is not so common anymore.
 
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