Honda CRV Roof rack

My Forester, having suffered transmission disease whose repair exceeds 50% of value has been dispatched and replaced with a 2005 Honda CRV with factory rails that have some removable plastic covers for factory crossbars. I have not seen any carrying kayaks. Anyone out there have suggestions or knowledge of options for crossbars? I have nice Thule crossbars for my saab that work with Saab factory rails, but don’t see a way to make them work on the CRV unless some adapter was fitted to the factory connection. Thanks for any help offered.

CRV roof rack
There is a great rack option for the CRV that i installed on my wife’s CRV. You remove the small ports in the rails and install the Thule fit kit for that CRV-From memory I think it is Tracker-8 fit kit, but check that number. The fit kit (a horizontal bar that comes just above the rail) bolts on with the two bolts under the ports. Thule Tracker II feet then attach with just a push down and remove with a push of a button. Th rack system can be removed in about 25 seconds, with most of the time spent unlocking the four locks. It’s so easy that there is no excuse for not removing the rack for better gas milage when not in use.

This system is so slick that I went to considerable length to make adapter plates to install the same system on my 07 Rav4. Thule doesn’t make fit kits for the present Rav4 because almost all come with a factory roof rack installed and so they see little market. I think Yakima makes something similar, but I’m so please with the Thule system that I didn’t investigate it.


CR-V roofracks
My friend with an '07 CR-V bought the Yakima footprints that fit into the cutouts in the CR-V roof. He pops his racks off at the launch site and stores them in the vehicle while he’s paddling. (He already had the Yakima racks and saddles for his kayak from a previous vehicle.)

No problems with the system, so far.



I have an '04 CR-V with the Thule set up. The plastic cover plates on the rails pop off, as noted above, and adpter plates from the Tracker kit fasten with allen bolts. Make sure you use some lithium grease or similar when installing-you can get them tighter. The footplates are keyed and just pop on and off-very slick and very secure.

The only downside to the CR-V is the narrow span between the rails-longer boats require bow and/or stern lines. (You should see it with my Seda Tango or the surfskis up top.)


Thanks for pointing me in the right
direction folks. Checked out the thule and Yakima options on line. From a practical standpoint are the locks necessary if the base unit is so easy to take on and off? Sites seem to recommend the lock tumblers as optional equipment.

Locks on Thule Tracker II
The locks are somewhat light duty but without them someone can push the buttons, releasing the rack and drive away with your rack and whatever accessories you have attached. I think the Yakima locks are the same.

So, I use them as a mild deterrent, like thin cables used to lock up a bike. Of course, also being from CT, I know no one here would steal your rack from a launch site-right!



– Last Updated: May-11-09 8:50 AM EST –

I use the locks on my Yakima rack on my CRV. If you're just going on a day paddle, you're right, it isn't too much trouble to just throw the racks into the vehicle. But if I'm traveling and either camping or staying in a hotel with my boat on the car, I'd prefer it locked, and also use a cable lock to secure the boat to the rack. Sure, it won't stop a determined thief, but hopefully it's at least a little deterrent against a "crime of opportunity".

I’m extremely happy with the Yakima set-up on my 2004 CRV.

I have the Landing Pads (#1) which screw into holes that are exposed when you remove the small covers on the factory rack. Control towers which hold the cross bars clamp onto these landing pads. I’ve got hull-raisers attached to the cross bars.

When I’m not using the rack, I just unlock the control towers and lift off the entire control tower, crossbar and hull raiser assembly as a single unit and then put on the plastic covers that are provided with the landing pads. Putting on or taking off the rack literally takes less than a minute.

Good idea on the grease
My hullaport pro bolts rusted a little and had to be retightened a couple of times. This year they get the grease job.

Remove opportunity…
smart move. I did think about the long distance trips, and it would be nice to make things slightly more difficult. Of course, I’d never have to lock them up in CT…all of our crooks are politicians!!!

I use locks on mine (locks on the control towers to lock them to the landing pads and locks on the hullraisers to lock them to the cross bars). Then you could use something like the Lasso Kayak Lock to secure the kayak to the rack. Won’t stop a determined thief, but will deter the opportunistic thief who will move on to easier pickings.

Just wondering
why no one seems to use the factory bars? I have the factory roof rack (99 CRV) and bought a Malone Sea Wing w/stinger load assist. Yes, I had to get longer bolts for the mounting thing to fit the oval cross bars, but is this a bad idea?

Just not sure why someone would get a yakima or thule system when they already have a roof rack. cant you just get the kayak saddles and use the existing rack? I know it doesn’t lock, but I figured I’d cross that bridge when I got there…

newer Honda crossbars are dealer option
Your 99 may have factory racks, but newer CRV’s come with them only as a pricey option from the Honda dealer. I once saw a mark-up of over $500 on the sticker for the 2 Honda crossbars. I’d rather pay Thule or Yakima than the Honda dealer who treats you like he’s doing you a favor.

amen brutha, make mine thuleNM

ok, thanks!
I only paid a little over $100 for mine and installed it myself (shockingly easy) and I forgot how much the dealer charged.

After maket roof racks
My 2003 Honda did not come with roof racks – they were extra. I looked around and could find Honda racks for $100 + shipping, but for the same price I picked up a used Yakima system (landing pads + towers + bars).

There are a couple of other advantages of the aftermarket racks. I now have a longer set of bars (78") that I can swap out for when I need to carry 2 canoes. Also, they are “portable”. I can use the same bars and gunnel brackets on my daughters car (with different towers).

Load Limit kind of low on Honda Rack
I noticed on the Honda accessories site that the weight limit for their rack is 75 pounds. Not enough for two kayaks…