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I made a wooden roof rack to be able to carry a canoe on my Insight. It's designed to spread the load over a large area of the roof, near the internal beams, to support the weight safely. I've posted some more details and photos on my website.

I expected greatly degraded mpg with the extra drag, but, at least on the 30-40 mph roads I used today, I got surprisingly good mileage--65 mpg on the way (uphill) to the lake, and 104 mpg on the way back down (with lots of coasting with the engine off), for an average of 80 mpg (averaging fuel consumption per mile, and the inverting again to mpg). I'm not sure what I would have gotten without the canoe, but I'm certain that If I decided I needed an SUV to carry my canoe, the number would have been a lot lower than 80!

I expect it to be useful for carrying lumber, ladders, etc. I suppose it could be adapted to bikes as well, but I use an old rear-mount bike rack, similar to those now made by Saris.

Charlie
 

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WOW :!: :shock:

GREAT post.

Had been thinking of trying something similar myself. But our 18' Winona barely fits our 00 Civic Hx. And I'm afraid that visibility out the front windshield would be too limited in the Insight. Nabbed a local copy of your pages for future reference. ;)

Thanks :!: :D
 

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Thanks for the great detailed info Charlie.

As I've been building my own custom roof racks for carrying various watercraft, I'd considered a design for the Insight that would fit, one over the center of the roof, and one on the rear of the hatch. However, based on some numbers I'd seen on the forum, it appeared that the fuel economy wouldn't be much better than with the minivan.

Seeing your remarkable fuel economy with the canoe, building Insight roof racks now seems like a worthwhile project.

Brian
 
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