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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I just spent 2 hours reading many of the posts regarding SSD's Performance Rails and Crossbars for 2010-2014 Souls. After having gone through them, I'm making the following assumption, among others: SSD makes a roof rail/rack for all Kia Souls 2010-2014, with or without a sunroof, excluding the 2014 Soul w/ a panorama sunroof.

I do have a several questions/concerns if you'd be willing to indulge me.

1) I saw one post discussing in great detail the fact that this is being anchored to the roof via a spot-welded piece of hardware that wasn't intended to carry a load. There of course was a rebuttal but the point is a good one. While SSD claims that there hasn't been a single incident in three years, that certainly doesn't mean there won't be an issue, whether it be by an installation or mechanical error. In any case, I'm highly concerned about carrying two kayaks @ 75lbs each up top over long distances and having them fly off in to someone's vehicle and killing someone.

2) If I drill a hole through the trim on the roof to accomodate the bolt that sticks through it when installing the SSD hardware, wouldn't this create a rusting issue to the car or the SSD hardware at some point?

3) What would the load capacity of the end rail/rack be or is that dependent on a specific hardware selection? (Sorry, I'm not knowledgable about vehicles or anything involving mechanical equipment in general. I'm secretly scared that the spot-welded anchor points are what holds the weight and that pushing those to the max will either cave my roof in or kill someone when it rips off my roof.)

4) From what I'm gathering from the SSD website, the cost to buy the rails and the crossbars is around $438 US + shipping. Is that what people are paying to add a roof rack and rails to their Kia Souls? Yikes!

5) Can other third party crossbars be used or does it have to be those ultra ugly Malones? If the prior, what are the restrictions/requirements? Again, sorry, I really have no idea what I'm talking about.

6) How would I go about finding a compatible kayak (or any clam shell) roof system to work with SSD's rail system?

7) Would I still have full open and tilt function of my 2010 Kia Soul sunroof with the rails and crossbars installed?

8) I also assume that once they're installed, there is no taking them back off and moving them to a new car, right?

9) I'm sure that MPG suffers when you have bulky items up on the roof. I'm curious if anyone has taken any notes on whether or not there is a noticeable difference between pre and post-installation of the rack/rails system or when it's under a load. Again, just curious.

10) In a response to a forum member's mention of the 2014 Soul's anchor points being real anchors meant to carry a load, SSD mentioned in response that they were "light duty at best." If those were "light duty at best," wouldn't that make these spot-welded anchor points "ultra light duty" and what does that really mean? As mentioned, my loads would range from 2 x 75 lbs kayaks to a large multi-gallon tub full of light camping gear (i.e. sleeping bags, etc), to a clam shell carrier.

Thank you all a ton in advance! We have a great community here!
 

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what kind of kayak do you own that weighs 75 lbs? sorry, just never seen such a thing.

as i'm sure you read in my thread, you can use yakima towers and crossbars with ssd rails. thule should work as well with the correct tower. i discussed the different towers that i have been through.

downward load will be different from wind shear while driving. most factory racks are rated in the 150 lbs range, so you would be pushing anything out there with the load. wind shear is also a problem with boats on top however properly tied bow and stern lines greatly help with this.

like i also mentioned in my thread, that once i had the crossbars installed, i rocked, yanked, pulled, etc. the ever living crap out of mine. the soul rocked like mad, the rack did not move.

the holes are drilled in to plastic trim. there is a channel underneath that would drain water anyway. the bolts appeared to be stainless, so maybe eventually they will rust however nothing on the vehicle should rust because of installing the rack. as far as moving it, the ssd rails are year model specific, so you could move the rails to another of the same series. the plastic trim that gets drilled is replaceable. as far as the actual rack, i moved a yakima rack between 3 vehicles before eventually getting rid of it. they can last forever.

oh, and on cost. the rails are priced what they are. the rest you can get off of craigslist and such for way less. a typical full new yakima rack can run $1000 fairly easily. or can be had for a couple hundred dollars second hand.
 

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If you are really concerned about the roof rack issue with the two boats on them, there is also the option of using a tow bar from Curt or others and a Class I trailer to haul the boats on. Also not a real cheap option once everything is purchased. Then you could tie a light load down on the roof racks. But most of the folks the take a Kayak on their roof rails have talked of needing front and rear tie down lines attached to the car's bumper area and the boat, that should alleviate any issue with them flying off. And on any car, the cost of a roof rail system is going to at least be in the arena of the SSD rails. Every time I go and look at Thule or some of the other systems, I choke on their price because it is an even more expensive option than the SSD rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
what kind of kayak do you own that weighs 75 lbs? sorry, just never seen such a thing.

as i'm sure you read in my thread, you can use yakima towers and crossbars with ssd rails. thule should work as well with the correct tower. i discussed the different towers that i have been through.

downward load will be different from wind shear while driving. most factory racks are rated in the 150 lbs range, so you would be pushing anything out there with the load. wind shear is also a problem with boats on top however properly tied bow and stern lines greatly help with this.

like i also mentioned in my thread, that once i had the crossbars installed, i rocked, yanked, pulled, etc. the ever living crap out of mine. the soul rocked like mad, the rack did not move.

the holes are drilled in to plastic trim. there is a channel underneath that would drain water anyway. the bolts appeared to be stainless, so maybe eventually they will rust however nothing on the vehicle should rust because of installing the rack. as far as moving it, the ssd rails are year model specific, so you could move the rails to another of the same series. the plastic trim that gets drilled is replaceable. as far as the actual rack, i moved a yakima rack between 3 vehicles before eventually getting rid of it. they can last forever. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so much complaining about the price, I've just never priced this stuff before and as I watched the total cost of this project continue to rise, I was kind of surprised.



oh, and on cost. the rails are priced what they are. the rest you can get off of craigslist and such for way less. a typical full new yakima rack can run $1000 fairly easily. or can be had for a couple hundred dollars second hand.
Kayak: Northwest Kayaks Hand Crafted by Outdoor Synergy | Seascape 3

Never heard of wind shear, to wikipedia I go! The mention of the rain drain was also helpful info. I also didn't know you could replace the trim pieces. It sounds like the rails can move from Soul to Soul but not so much from Kia to Chevy to Ford for instance whereas the rack can move to anything that has rails? Of course, that probably depends on the rack.

If you are really concerned about the roof rack issue with the two boats on them, there is also the option of using a tow bar from Curt or others and a Class I trailer to haul the boats on. Also not a real cheap option once everything is purchased. Then you could tie a light load down on the roof racks. But most of the folks the take a Kayak on their roof rails have talked of needing front and rear tie down lines attached to the car's bumper area and the boat, that should alleviate any issue with them flying off. And on any car, the cost of a roof rail system is going to at least be in the arena of the SSD rails. Every time I go and look at Thule or some of the other systems, I choke on their price because it is an even more expensive option than the SSD rails.
I also didn't know of this "tow bar" situation. You're right though, the roof seems to be a better idea. I think the car manual states "we do not recommend towing with this vehicle" which of course is a whole other debate that I'm sure I'll be posting about haha. I'm sure there are anchor points to tie down the bow/stern on a Soul. I don't recall seeing what others have used for this in the other posts, though I could have missed it.
 

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...I also didn't know of this "tow bar" situation. You're right though, the roof seems to be a better idea. I think the car manual states "we do not recommend towing with this vehicle" which of course is a whole other debate that I'm sure I'll be posting about haha. I'm sure there are anchor points to tie down the bow/stern on a Soul. I don't recall seeing what others have used for this in the other posts, though I could have missed it.
The most recent thread on this is here: http://www.kiasoulforums.com/26-soul-accessories/33114-source-tow-hooks.html This is using the front and rear tow points on the car. You have one tow hook that came with the car, but this is about getting additional ones to use with a kayak. That is a pretty big Kayak, isn't it?

As far as towing goes, there are many threads on that also. Class one hitch with a less than 2K load and a tongue weight of 200-300 lbs does not seem to hurt the car at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The most recent thread on this is here: http://www.kiasoulforums.com/26-soul-accessories/33114-source-tow-hooks.html This is using the front and rear tow points on the car. You have one tow hook that came with the car, but this is about getting additional ones to use with a kayak. That is a pretty big Kayak, isn't it?

As far as towing goes, there are many threads on that also. Class one hitch with a less than 2K load and a tongue weight of 200-300 lbs does not seem to hurt the car at all.
Thanks so much for the primer/summary on that! You may have just saved me another 2 hours of searching and reading. I did see a tow hook by the back right tire. Is it ok to tie down on such an aggressive angle (far right side instead of the center)? I'll check out that thread...curious to see what others were doing with the second tow hook. Also very excited about the hitch business...I have plenty of uses for that. :-D
 

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I have the SSD rails. I use Yakima rail grabbers with 58" bars. I was the first guy to get the SSD lightbar with four tabs, he made it as a special for me, as I wanted lights and a good bow line attachment point on each side. I use a tie bar I made for the stern tie spot that goes into the receiver hitch.

I carry two sea kayaks or two to four whitewater boats, using bare bars, seawings, or stackers, depending on circumstances. If I anticipate wind, which is common on my travels, I use bow lines on short boats. I always use bow and stern lines on long boats. My mileage penalty varies depending on the shape of the boats and the wind conditions. It varies from nil to 5 mpg.

I remove the bars in between trips. I wanted that feature and chose Yakima instead of others based on my interpretation of ease of removal and reinstall of the various brands from what I could see on the internet.

I share your concerns about the strength. The individual rails have some play in them until the crossbars are attached. Thus my attention to bow and stern lines.

If I were to do it again I might go an alternate route, such as Yakima tracks and control towers. That would provide more mounting points to the vehicle and easier bar removal. The SSD does allow for a 52" fore/aft bar spread and 58" long bars, which exceeds what most people can get on their cars, even reknowned boat haulers like Subaru Foresters.
 

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yeah, i can see the concern with those boats. when i was paddling sea kayaks an 18' kevlar boat was super light and i typically used a 14' fiberglass that was even more so. i think you would be exceeding quite a few factory roof racks with that kind of weight.

i prefer tying to one side, but that's typically for a single canoe. this way i can pull it tight against a stop and get no wiggle.

if you are not going far, and not at interstate speeds, i wouldn't worry about it. if you are, a tundra with a big custom, industrial looking rack bolted to the frame would be the way i would go. then you could have a tent up there too. check out expedition portal, some of those are real adventure vehicles.
 
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