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OT Car Top Carriers -- Toyota RAV4

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  • OT Car Top Carriers -- Toyota RAV4

    Never in my life have I ever used a car top carrier to haul anything. My wife has a 2018 RAV4 and it has rails running on the roof front to back, maybe 4 ft long at the most. I guess you purchase cross bars and then install your basket or in this case an aero dynamic designed plastic box on those?

    I see a huge difference in prices on those cross bars and those plastic boxes. So I don't want something flying off my roof because of cheap construction.

    Suggestions and comments welcome.

    Frankly I would rather take my Chevy pickup to Florida for the winter but this is something my wife could drive without issues.
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

  • #2
    Trailer? my Ford Fiesta doesn't have any provision at all.

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    • #3
      I had to keep looking at the date of this post after you said you were going to Florida for the Winter. Must be an early start.

      Check the owner's manual. I bet it has a maximum load for any rails. Some may be as low as 50 pounds, If the load is spread out. I don't know why they put those rails up there. I suppose they break up the huge dome appearance of the top. The top of cars are not made to hold much weight. I would not add any weight to the top unless the carrier brackets attach at the drip rails.

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      • #4
        yes, there is some cross bars to go with it.
        We have a 2017 model and the complete roof rack was a deal breaker/maker. Many times you might see the same car with complete roof racks, many times the dealer will charge you extra to get the whole shebang, (cross bars)
        if you are bartering/shopping the price of the vehicle, you can get it for the package negotiation

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
          ...
          Check the owner's manual. I bet it has a maximum load for any rails..............................
          I was curious so I did just that and couldn't find any reference of any kind to the roof rack. Did find a page about how to use the cup holders!

          Maybe I'm just too old and remember when you were allowed to carry loads on top of the car. Perhaps the new RAV4 rails are just up there as sort of an accent trim piece.

          Steve

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ringo View Post
            yes, there is some cross bars to go with it.
            We have a 2017 model and the complete roof rack was a deal breaker/maker. Many times you might see the same car with complete roof racks, many times the dealer will charge you extra to get the whole shebang, (cross bars)
            if you are bartering/shopping the price of the vehicle, you can get it for the package negotiation
            So how does the carrier do on the road. Vibration, noise, gas mileage goes way down ??
            Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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            • #7
              Here’s mine it’s not store-bought but it works good


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                So how does the carrier do on the road. Vibration, noise, gas mileage goes way down ??
                Vibration or noise not that much (havent ever notice anything) but mileage can go down 5% just with ski racks/cross bars and ~10% with slim cargo/ski box.

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                • #9
                  My wife has the same car and I've been meaning to put cross rails on it as well. Several aftermarket options out there, but all are priced about the same as what Toyota is asking, so I'm just planning on picking them up there. They likely can tell you the load limit as well.
                  George
                  Traverse City, MI

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                  • #10
                    Go to a good bicycle shop or boat shop where they sell kayaks. These shops have quality roof rack systems. Along with the limits from your owners manual you can determine if a roof rack will do what you need.

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                    • #11
                      I like the trailer hitch racks better than the roof racks. There are some nice options depending on what you plan to put in them. You can use something like totes to full out locking containers. I would think having the rear rack behind the vehicle will not be too hard on the gas mileage and there is no reaching or stepped stools involved. I inherited a good sized one and use it on the newer style Honda pilot. Nice to throw mulch, concrete bags or anything dirty you don't want in the vehicle. There are plenty of styles out there, fold up, swing out, steel, aluminum, etc. Ratings can be quite high depending on which one you choose. Mike

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                      • #12
                        Well I checked the owners manual, 101.9 lbs max roof load, no trailer towing and no hitch haulers. This is 2018 RAV4 with the 4 cylinder engine. Just for fun it has a CVT drive train, and you guys with snowmobiles know what that is!! We have the extended warranty thats good for 7 years or 70,000 mile, zero or was it $100 ? deductible. By that time we will be in the retirement village and driving a electric car.
                        Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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                        • #13
                          Confusing. First you shop for cross bars that fit, and more important will stay on!, Then a box to fit the bars, and will will stay on those bars.
                          George I found some decent bars with good reviews and appear to be flat aluminum bars. I may just make my own box attachment hardware drilling into those flat cross bars
                          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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                          • #14
                            You build a box that will fit nicely between those rails, then bolt to the rails from inside the box. No cross bars needed.
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                            • #15
                              Given that the load rating for the rails is 100lbs any bars will do fine. For some reason they're all 150 to 250 dollars here, which is why I used two planks of wood for years. I now have some second hand ones which do stay put without tying down. You don't need brand specific ones, just get some universal ones that fit.

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