Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Yakima 1A Raingutter is probably the easiest roof rack in the history of roof racks to install on a vehicle. I've been trying to get this one on the van for weeks now. This same rack has been on all kinds of vehicles and it's been passed around from the Corbitt brothers to me. In fact, I used this rack to haul a tricycle home from St. Louis in treacherous winds on our last trip (it belonged to Adam's girls and it now has been retired to a house decoration and a mighty fine at that). Every time I go to install it there is entirely too much play where it attaches to the gutters. I have all the correct pieces for it. The clips are fine and the gutter is in fine shape. It's so sketchy that I wouldn't even haul a scrap 2x4 on top of the van. I called Yakima today and they were no help which I knew would be the case as it's pretty hard to diagnose that over the phone. Next I decided to head to one of my Colorado Springs Yakima dealers. First the guy told me that I had to have the riser kit in order for the towers to fully secure. I tried to explain that the risers are simply for clearance between the roof and the mounts. He insisted that it made the rack more secure. OK. Next I installed it so he could see for himself. Then he tells me that I just need to get a Vice-Grips and torque down the knobs a bit more. Then I explained that, in my experience, those don't need to be that tight. Again...they need to be super tight. OK. Then he tells me that it's simply because the towers are old and that I'm gonna have to fork over 160 bucks for a new set. In a side by side comparison, the towers and clips are identical but a new set does clamp down enough to where I'd be comfortable putting a bike up there. OK. Finally....the creme de la creme. This guy tells me that what I really need to do is take the afformentioned Vice-Grips and modify my raingutters to see if that will allow the clip to have a better grip. I looked at Heather and then back at him and asked him to re-state that. He did. To SEE IF it will work. First off...I would never do that to any vehicle b/c it's just hack mechanics. Second...what if it doesn't work??? Then I've mangled up something that was perfetly fine?? Not sure what to do but I really want this to work.

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