Attaching the old Thule square bars to my Subaru

So I finally retired my 22 yr old Honda Civic for a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek It’s much fancier and fun to drive… but not nearly as handy for hauling kayaks. I’ve been using the factory evo bars and Malone saddles (think that’s what they’re called ? ) but can only carry one kayak. I’m too short to deal with J racks.

My question - does anyone know of a way to attach the old Thule square bars to this car? I checked their website and looks like they’re not making that type of hardware anymore.

Thule Crossroad 450 (not 450R or Rapid Crossroad) should work with the old square bars and will definitely work with the Crosstrek’s raised side rails. It sounds like you already have a pair of Thule crossbars, do you know what length they are? I think 48" is the minimum for the Crosstrek.

The new Thule Crossroad feet require a slot in the bottom of the bars to fit the bar on the foot. You’ll need to find a set of the older style feet unless you also want to get new bars.

48" bars should be wide enough for two kayaks, but if you do decide to get new bars, might be worth going up to 53". That’s what I have on my '14 Crosstrek and I can get three kayaks on a stacker, or two flat, as long as they aren’t too beamy.

I can’t lift my kayaks into J cradles either but I just use a cheap bathmat on the back of the roof and slide the kayak into a set of Marco saddles (similar to the Malone SeaWings).

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Looks like your Crosstrek has rails similar to my 2015 Forester. I’ve got square bar racks, but don’t recall the model name of the towers for them. Thule doesn’t make those specific towers, but do still sell square bars and something that should fit your Crosstrek.

The towers I have sit on top of the raised rails and have reinforced straps the go under the tail and tension with a bolt. They would fit most vehicles with raised rails, not just the Forester. Racks with those towers are occasionslly available on Craigslist. I got a spare set of crossbars with saddles and those towers for $50. I’ll see if I can find the name of those towers.

Celia and Brodie beat me to it. The 450 Crossroad. They also make a 450r Rapid Crossroad which won’t work with square bars.

Shop secondhand first.

OK - I am an idiot. Your car has raised rails. Like mine did before this one.

I am going to PM you.

I’m guessing the cross rails I have are 53" or maybe even longer? They stuck out pretty far on either side of the Civic and on the 1980 Datsun wagon I had before that. I could easily fit 2 fairly wide kayaks or one kayak and a canoe on them.

Best to measure them to be sure! Also, if the bars are old and very rusty, I would strongly consider replacing them for peace of mind.

My crossbars are about 25 years old, and I’ve used them with different towers on everything from a Buick Regal to a Ford Ranger, and now my Forester. There are very mild signs of white corrosion under the end caps, but no rust, and the coating along the length of the bars is intact. I can’t imagine them ever getting rusty enough to structurally fail. Maybe if they were left outside year round with no end caps on them.

If you say Thule isn’t selling that hardware any longer I think I know why. The “strap” that goes under the rail that affixes the tower has a rubber coating that doesn’t last very long. It gets the dry rot and chips off exposing bare metal. (I have a '19 Crosstrek and I use the Thule towers and crossbars).

I will have to look, but I am pretty sure that my cross country or whatever units that attach to a raised rail have not suffered or created such an issue. Or are you talking about the FitKit plus foot configuration for recessed rails?

@Rex, Thule still sells a very similar set of hardware, but their new square crossbars have a slot in the bottom to attach to the towers. So if you’re reusing an old set of bars then you need the old towers.

@Brodie The bars are at least 25 yrs old but aren’t rusty at all. and yes I’d need the old towers (thanks for that word - couldn’t remember what those things were called)

Does Thule make them anymore? I can’t tell from their website.

I don’t think the old crossroad 450s are still in production (the 450R or Rapid Crossroad are different). You’ll need to try and find either a used set or find a shop that has a new “old” set laying around.

Glad yours are in good shape. I have seen some scary rusty bars out there (the perils of working at a kayak shop and installing racks for several years).

acy please check your messages. I have the parts to allow you to use your existing bars and they are in good shape. Not trying to be mercenary here but I would like to get them to a good home rather than walking by them every time I go out back.

OK - my reply to acy went away and it appears that they are not able to find their message.

acy, I will try again to message you. I just found a link on EBay to a new set of these, but since I have no idea what happened to my earlier reply I am not going to try again here.