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Roof rack problem
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 176
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject: Roof rack problem Reply with quote

I've had problems over the years with the style of roof rack that attaches directly to a car roof without factory rails (not my car here, but example photo: http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/car-biker/823835d1376531687-roof-rack-ranger-app-prevents-driving-into-garage-bike-gear-k9wcqd.jpg).

For the two previous vehicles in which I attached a rack directly to the roof (the two brands I've tried were Thule and Barrecrafters), I had problems including the racks shifting, badly scratched/rusting patches where the pads made contact, and leaks in the door weather stripping. My current vehicle has factory racks, which solved the problem because racks attach very nicely to these, but I'm now facing getting a new vehicle, and one otherwise great option does not have factory racks. It's been a while, so I want to ask if anyone has a better rack solution than the ones I've tried, or if any advances have been made in technology since I last bought racks > 7 years ago. This literally is a deal breaker on whether I need to only look at vehicles that include factory rack attachments. Thanks very much.

I know someone will probably tell me what I really need is a white van. Unfortunately it won't work due to my city living/parking situation, plus I also use the racks for bikes, skis, kayak, etc. thanks.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All after market racks leave rust spots, mess your rain seals, and ruin the paint where they sit on your car.
Just drive an older car, end of problems.
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 176
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For sure used; I don't think I'll ever buy a new car with this hobby!

I've seen some racks that seem to have less of a profile, or don't have that large pad on the roof. Here's one example: http://www.patrickaccessories.com/catalog/view/theme/patrick/image/saab-roof-racks.jpg

Has anyone tried anything like this and had better luck? I worry about stability even more than paint damage.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saab roof racks fit Saab cars.
You live in Corpus. Humid, car body's rot, fact of life.
Buy a mini van, be done with it.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I trust factory racks less than I do tried-and-proven aftermarket or well-secured home-made ones. Racks are Yakima/Thule/Barrecrafters' primary business; they live or die based on their racks' performance. Auto manufacturers, OTOH, realize that racks are only an infinitesimal piece of their liability and business, and invest a great deal of money figuring out how to fabricate and anchor their racks for insanely little money. Thus their racks' labels offer such sage advice as, "Don't even THINK about actually CARRYING anything on these racks, fool, or you'll damage your roof." My ruff, tuff Outback says as much, in lawyerspeak of course, and a bud's Nissan Xterra racks simply blew off his vehicle at modest load and speed.

SEARCH the forum on racks for many long and informative discussions.

I just noticed that you live in Corpus, and can thus sail more than a few days a year. Do you REALLY want to putz with racks every damned breezy day? REALLY? Buy a used minivan, throw yer $#!+ in it, and spend yer time sailing rather than tying $#!+ down and hoping nothing comes loose.

Mike \m/
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 176
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Saab roof racks fit Saab cars.
You live in Corpus. Humid, car body's rot, fact of life.
Buy a mini van, be done with it.


I do not want a van at all
I do not want one, big or small
Even if it's blue or red
My parking garage would take off its head.
In a car my sails will hide,
And on the roof my boards will ride.
I will not drive vans here or there.
I will not drive vans anywhere.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent poem, but a real man wears pink, cries at chick flicks, eats quiche, and drives whatever it takes to meet his needs. Very Happy
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 176
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my question was about roof rack integrity, but I had a pretty good feeling it would become a van debate, I don't know why Smile

If you really want the background info, I drive a style of car long enough to fit my boards inside, even my 9' surfboard. I have a gear box that holds my sails, boom, and all but longest mast (so the poem was wrong, but you get the gist). One turn of the key and my wet stuff is put away, not smelling up my vehicle, I can reach it due to my vehicle not being too high, and other than the 5% of time when I have a guest in my car and need to free up the passenger seat, there is no tying anything to the rack. As I posted above, I also have other gear to transport that necessitates a solid rack, such as bikes, canoe, kayak, etc.

I did read through some past threads on one brand vs. another, specific vehicle fittings, etc. What I'm looking for is any technological advances or recent personal experiences with newer rack systems that people love.

And happily I am not a real man, or even a fake one. Smile
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always wondered about your (and adywind's) gender. Couldn't tell whether the "marie" part was related to a first or last name.

And don't forget to remove the bikes and canoe before driving into that garage. One gas station owner used to run out waving his hands when I approached his station a couple of times a year. *I* knew my 10-foot-high van cleared his roof by inches, but *he* didn't.
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 216

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, Thule/Yakima in general are better/stronger than factory racks or rails, when attached properly (admittedly not easy, takes time and patience) they do not move around or damage car roof. However, I do prefer factory rails if they are strong enough (+Thule or Yakima rail attachments) for ease of use. I would not trust an actual factory rack (unless made by Yakima/Thule) or the factory tracks. Find out the actual load carrying specs for rails. dhmark
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