Cambuckle versus Ratchet Straps
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Thread: Cambuckle versus Ratchet Straps

  1. #1
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    May 2015
    Hampton, VA

    Cambuckle versus Ratchet Straps

    Through the years I've used a variety of tie-down ratchet straps to hold my bikes in place, coupled with the occasional simple cambuckle to keep the back from bouncing. One thing I always hated was trying to break those ratchets free once I was ready to get the bike loose. Even the expensive ones seem to lock on and not let go, no matter how much I pull the trigger or how far open I've got the ratchet itself. I've come to hate them with a passion.

    Once in a while on the road I'll see someone who uses cambuckles exclusively to secure their bikes and thought it looked risky.

    Anyone else prefer the Cambuckle over the Ratchet Strap? Are cams, indeed, just as good, if not better than a ratchet system? Pros and Cons?

    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  2. #2
    Member MidnightRider's Avatar
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    Oct 2015
    Orange County, CA

    I use a pair of the 3" Wide Green ones from harbor fright. They are sold in pairs. They grab nice and strong.
    LuvNot and TWilight like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Hailey, ID
    I use both! That is whenever I'm going on a 500 to 1000 mile trip at freeway speeds. For an hour enroute to some local ride, just cambuckles. One thing about the cambuckle is that if you always tighten it to the same spot it will eventually roughen to the point of being difficult loosen to remove. I replaced mine for that reason after four years. I never had them slip, and I think they are just as strong. I use a bit of old towel or sweatshirt under the straps where they contact so dust and sand can't turn them into sandpaper. For the ratchets I use a couple of loops of strap to mimic the strap/hook of the cambuckles like the orange ones in your pic. After around 30,000 miles of trailering or with the TW on the hitch carrier I have very little wear on the bars or the Cyclerack (which I only use 1" cambuckles on for the rear tire).

    I agree that the ratchets can be hard to release and they can also bite you if your hand is in the wrong position. One thing that helps is not to tighten them too much, no more than a bit more than halfway from static to fully compressed, which is better for the shocks anyway. I think of the cambuckles as back up if one of the ratchets lets go. I do a couple of thousand mile trips a year at 70-80 mph....I'd rather be extra certain. If the bikes are inside the trailer, I use the only the ratchets because it is very hard to pull the cambuckles tight enough when you are lying on top of the bikes.
    LuvNot, TWilight and admiral like this.
    2018 TW200
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Tuber's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    I have both and use both. first tie downs I ever bought were cam buckle type. Now I have more ratchet strap. prob the best thing is to get the extra loops for attaching.
    TWilight likes this.
    2005 Tdub

  6. #5
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    May 2015
    Hampton, VA
    Thanks guys! I appreciate all the 'real world' advice.
    ldmccain and TWilight like this.
    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  7. #6
    Senior Member boznarras's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Southeast Alaska
    I use the ratchets all the time for all sorts of loads. Hard to beat for getting things tight. If you play with them enough it gets easier to back them down for removal, and its worth it for the security.
    TWilight and 1911garand like this.

  8. #7
    Senior Member 1911garand's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    Great White North
    My experience towing toys during a decade at Polaris Ind. (which required me to have a CDL) : GET GOOD, HEAVY DUTY RATCHET STRAPS!!!!

    Something very bad could go wrong on the road and if you have Walmart 3,000lbs straps, well - expect the worst.

    There is no such thing as too much strap when it comes to securing your load and safety.

    We used something like these, because the price was right and they have 10,000lbs load rating: (only $13 a strap - cheap, buy 5! )

    SmartStraps Double J-Hook Ratchet Tie-Down – 27ft. x 2in., 10,000-Lb. Capacity, Model# 262 | Ratchet Tie-Down Straps| Northern Tool + Equipment

    Good Luck!

    Post #250 for me - WHOO HOO!
    Last edited by 1911garand; 04-30-2016 at 09:31 PM.
    LuvNot, TWilight and littletommy like this.
    Yamaha - 1992 TW200
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  9. #8
    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Frostbite Falls Ill
    Rope if you know how to PROPERLY tie knots and know which knots to use and what kind of rope to use.
    Nothing is as versatile as rope, and nothing is as secure as rope properly used.
    LuvNot, TWilight, wolfy and 3 others like this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member neckless's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    dryden ont canada
    i dont like to rely on the ratchet ...i take the tail and feed it through the eye and tie back on straps . the rachet cant come loose nomatter what.....

  11. #10
    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
    I have used both and prefer the cam. I also tie the loose end in a slip knot up against the cam.
    Byron likes this.
    2001 TW200 sporting a MT43 up front. Duro has gone to a good home. 2015 VStrom XT, 1996 DT 200, Broken 2010 Xingue 400 XY. 2009 WR250r now shared with my son.

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