2014 Honda CR-V: Roof rails or no roof rails

Hi everyone,
We’re considering getting a new CR-V. One question I had was whether or not to buy the roof rails. Is it possible to buy them at a later date, if we decide we need them?

Alternatively, is there an after-market roof-top carrier for extra luggage? We’re only considering roof rails because of the car top box, and only on the off chance that we might take one or two car trips a year in which we would need extra luggage space.

I appreciate any advice or thoughts you might have.


If you decide you might want them later, get it now. Standard roof rails on some models may have them installed at the factory are made for your car and have mounting holes and installed exactly as it should be. They are under warranty not to leak. If they have pre drilled mounts and are dealer installed, you can do either. In that case, find out but you may get to pay a lot more for rack at later date from the dealer. Either way, I would buy them now to have a negotiated price from the dealer whether they are factory or dealer installed.

I agree with @dagosa. Get them now and save some money.

You can get the rails later, but you could probably negotiate some sort of a discount now, Yakima is a popular brand of aftermarket roof box, comes in different sizes. With two small children and a Subaru Legacy wagon my brother’s Yakima box gets alot of use on road trips.

You should also check the weight ratings of various options. I believe the Honda rails are rated for 165 lbs. Yakima racks or others might have higher capacities.

I would get a roof carrier later if I needed it. But they’re kind of a last resort for me, they kill mpgs and make the car less stable in cross winds. Both Yakima and Thule make good ones, I used Thule for skis and a canoe.

Factory rails/crossbars sometimes make wind noise, and have to hurt mpgs a little.

How often do you see someone with something strapped to their roof? Very rare around here.

Is this really an option? I thought Hondas came pretty much ‘as-is’, as defined by the model (EX, LX, EX-L, etc.). If this is a dealer installed option I would definitely skip it. EDIT - I checked, they’re a dealer installed option.

Thanks all - I appreciate the feedback.

Roof Rails come standard on the EX-L and a dealer option for lower trims, you can get a box from Honda but I suspect you can get more of a selection from the aftermarket for the same price or less. $1,200+ at retail for the rails,crossbars,cargo box according to the Honda Website

If you’re even waffling about the future need and can even foresee the probability…
get them factory installed now.

I ordered my 92 Explorer with no roof rack/rails and I never needed them.
Yet when I sold it…it was an issue for the buyer.

All the mounts and the mounting screw fittings were already in place in my 2006. Look for the four pop out panels. I purchased and installed Flathead metric bolts and 150 pound picture frame D ring hooks. They hide nicely under the pop out panels. When I want to carry relatively lightweight rooftop items, I place a movers pad on the raised rib roof portion secured by a bungee net attached to the the D rings.

Both my SUVs have roof racks. I have only used them sparingly but, when I needed them, they were there. I would not have an SUV or wagon without them. Of course we Kayak and canoe and ski and…
Heck, I would encourage you to put on a 2 inch reciever hitch. I use it for a bike rack and keep a step inset in it when not in use for climbing up to the back to put loads on.

A 2 inch reciever hitch will have to be aftermarket, my dad put a curt hitch on his 2007 (partially for the bike rack and partially to reuse the reciever from the hitch on another vehicle) I think the EX-L trim now comes with the cross bars as well as the rails. He just has the Rails on is '07 EX-L

I have had no problem asking for a dealer installed 2 inch reciever hitch on any car I have purchased., thrown in at the last moment of negotiation. Are they after market, sure. But around here, everyone wants one and dealers have them in stock. I don’t recomend CRVs for very heavy towing, but even light utility trailers are 2 inch and bike racks seem more available.

I have only used them sparingly but, when I needed them, they were there. I would not have an SUV or wagon without them.

Same here. While I don’t use them often…they do come in handy when I need them. I use to have a bike carrier when I had my 90 Pathfinder which had the tire carrier on the back of the truck. But my last 2 SUV’s the tire is put under just behind the bumper so I have a Hitch/Bike carrier.

@Dagosa the tow rating for the CRV is only 1,500lbs and we stay well under that. Our towing with the CRV is a small utility trailer that probably weighs 500lbs and can carry no more than 900lbs which we have yet to get even close to that. The Honda factory hitch uses a much smaller reciever that some racks will probably fit but ours is a 2" that previously was used on a vehicle with a Class III hitch. There weren’t any aftermarket 2" hitches available when we bought ours but one was introduced a few months later. Dad installed the trailer hitches on the two previous tow vehicles so didn’t mind doing this one.

I hear you. Our awd is the second awd car based they tried to get us into smaller hitch. We use ours also for utility trailer and bike racks too. But, my Thule aluminum ultility trailer and even most small boat trailers all come with 2 inch now. I get why they want you using the smaller one, but it’s so inconvenient.

BTW, while driving into town, a Subaru Forester passed me in opposite lane pulling a 17 foot glass IO. If it didn’t weigh near 4K lbs with trailer, I’ll eat my hat. It had to have had a 2 inch hitch. That’s the reason these dealers "don’t like " to put them on these wimp cars.

I would have to guess a 17’ fiberglass boat would probably be in the 1500 to 2500 lb range. If you are getting a vehicle for towing get one that can handle it. My towing capacity is 5500 lbs for my 17’ lund fiberglass boat, formerly a galaxy but swapped boat engine to a free lund fiberglass boat due to transom failure. Go for the roof rack, and go for the hitch and towing package, on the original purchase.

@dagosa that’s why we bought the CRV in that it can tow the utility trailer and nothing heavier. We learned about not towing close to the rating with the 1973 Volvo 144 rated for 2,000lbs with the Volvo factory hitch (Not the best choice but we only paid $550 for it in 1986) and when Chrysler introduced the V6 Grand Caravan/Voyager with a 4,000lb rating Dad put in his order. Our fiberglass 16ft runabout with an outboard weighed in at no more than 1,700lbs ready to go and close to or over that with all the camping gear. Now we just drive to the marina to take the 25 foot Rosburough out for a cruise (a friend with a near twin to ours uses a diesel F250 to tow his in and around the bay area)

There is a big variation of weights depending upon it’s design… This deep V boat with potholes on the bow with below deck sleeping quarters and an I/O with a marine version of a car motor with trailer is well over 3k lbs and close to 4k. It was also framed and shrink wrapped for winter and being driven slowly. Looked like he just bought it but it was substantial. He just pulled out of a local boat dealer. There was a line of cars behind him and he wasn’t moving too fast.
If it were like you said, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
BTW, it looked about seventeen feet without the swim platform which seemed to be removed for transport.