Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

After market car roof rack v.s. dealer installed crossbar only rack

I was surprised to learn that the most affordable trim line of the ?10 Forester does not include the traditional style roof top rail rack system. In fact, all you can get as an option is a pair of fixed cross bars (not the rails that run along the longest sides of the vehicle, but a pair of fixed bars that run across the roof horizontally), which seem a bit too close together to balance our rather longish family canoe. Would I be better off getting the dealer installed fixed crossbars or an aftermarket model?

Why not look for a third party roof rack?

You should check out the roof racks at Sears.

I am not a big fan of Sears Automotive Center, especially when it comes to tires, but for roof racks, they seem to have the best selection. You could also try Bass Pro Shops and other sporting goods stores that sell canoes.

can I get racks that will attach to a 1994 Cadillac anywhere?

Try this place.

They carry the biggest names in Roof Racks (Thule and Yakima).

Thule and Yakima both make EXCELLENT products.

Yep, I’d go with Thule and Yakima, I don think I’d use a factory rack for a canoe.

I always prefer the dealer installed fixed for canoes. Even though they are close together, they do offer the advantage of fixed attachment. It’s not always possible on all cars to get good tie down points on the front and under bow attachments to the rack that’s fixed is an advantage. If you are lucky enough to have good tie down areas on the car, heck, even foam blocks on the gunnels work. What I have done on short vehicles with long canoes, is use your hitch(doesn’t everyone have one) to attach a telescopic support to spread load. They are available on line. Proline Products, receiver mounted load bars from Thule and others.

Bottom line, it’s really car dependent. We are lucky enough to have an Old Town canoe outlet with experienced sales people who can advise you best, the rack you need for your canoe and car combo. If you know any experienced canoeist who trip a lot, talk to them to.

I have seen so many vehicles (many skiers) with wind-catching roof racks and roof containers, when the materials in them could have been placed in the vehicle.

If I had to store/haul something outside the vehicle, if possible I would place it on the back where it would not create drag and would also be easier to access.