Rack help

I just purchased a Chevy HHR, and when I went to the Yakima site to find out what Q clips I needed…low and behold…Yakima said they could not fit that vehicle. So, what I’m askin, what are my alternatives? I transport canoe, kayak and bike. Anybody else have an unfittable vehicle and what have you come up with?

rack advice for HHR
We looked real hard at one since they have a lot going for them. If we had bought one we would have installed Thule Top Tracks as we have on other vehicles we’ve owned and it’s not as scary as you think. Well…I can say that since my husband is the fearless one with the drill! But he says it’s a snap on flatter roofs like the Element or HRR. With the tracks you can adjust the load bar spacing for bikes or boats. But if it’s a lease vehicle well…looks like neither Yakima or Thule want to mess with the door jam style fit kits.

exactly, best fit option

– Last Updated: Jun-17-08 10:16 PM EST –

sometimes there are great fit options from the factory, sometimes from the aftermarket guys, sometimes the best fit, or only fit option is custom tracks. i prefer the Yakima myself, but Thule is great as well. as mentioned above, it is a little intimidating to drill holes in your roof, but with some care and attention to detail, it is bullet proof, without problems, and by far the best rack solution for real cartopping. if you carry sea kayaks or canoes on any regular basis, get tracks and a wide crossbar spread and do it right, you'll be glad you did. for the best info on this contact Rackattack.com or go to one, and they'll do it for you. they are the best in the business at doing so.

I just drilled last week
Put tracks on my topper and on the cab of my pickup. My truck even had a good fit option from both Yakima and Thule but I way prefer tracks. So much that I swear I will drill every future vehicle I own. Took me about two hours, but I’ve done dozens of track installs.

Tracks on an HHR would look very cosmetically appealing.

I agree with the drilling
And Yakama screwed up by not telling you about the landing pads that you affix to the roof with their toggle bolts, (I forget their name).

I have a 2006 Ford F-150, and when I decided I wanted to put Yakama bars on the cab roof, lo and behold it was the only Ford model that yakama didn’t have in their catalog, and two differnt stores as well as a e-mail to Yakama confirmed that they didn’t have any towers, etc that would fit it.

In talking with a Yakama rep. they asked if I had considered the bolt on landing pads, and I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. I had used bolt through ones on the cap of the truck, but they come all the way through to the inside of the cap roof.

She explained that they are similar to a toggle bolt, so the “nut” portion ends up located between your outer roof and the inner headliner roof.

The final job comes out looking like they were installed at the vehicle’s factory.

Like a post above,(except mines Yakama) I’ll never worry about affixing a rack to a car/truck again.

I did mine two years ago, and have made several two thousand mile round trips at interstate speeds with three boats on them and they are rock solid.

Like yourself I carry canoes, kayaks, bikes, and skis on my roof.

If you are handy at all, that is the way to go.

The first hole you drill is the only one that hurts!

Check them out.



I custom cut Yakima tracks

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 10:01 AM EST –

I cut the 2 ea 42" Yakima tracks into four pieces so I could increase my bar spread. You could custom cut them to whatever lengths you wanted. If you go this route, shoot me an email and and I'll tell you what extra bits you'll need to order to finish it right (since you'll have 4ea tracks instead of 2).

The Landing pads affix to the tracks and hold the bar.

As others here have, I drilled my roof and used the special Yakima nuts without regret or issue of any kind.


landing pads, not q-clips
Yakima sells everything for track installs bulk so a good dealer will have all the pieces you need. They even sell tracks in 72" lengths bulk but you won’t find them that way in any pre-packaged kit in their catalog. There’s another reason to talk to a good rack dealer.

Gad Zooks! Ah’ sure be glad…
ah’ bought me 2001 Jeep Cherokee wit welded rain gutters - last car (non-full-size van) made wit dem. Rackin’ life be so easy… eat yer hearts out.

Fat Elmo

Yes FE, but wait till you have to…
get rid of that wonderful Jeep Cheerokee, (if you are talking about the little ones that evolved from army officers cars).

I had three of them and traded each of them at 200,000 miles and vowed I would never have another vehicle.

It had the best in-line six on the market.

I would just transfer my rain gutter mount Yakama towers to each one that I bought.

Then Daimler bought them out and in their “infinite wisdom” discontinued them. I am sure now with all their stupid copy cats they realized they erred, but that car was irreplaceable as far as I am concerned.



thanks, I edited my post
It’s been a while and I don’t remember all the Yakima nomenclature.

Yakima makes longer tracks, too
The ones on my truck topper are almost 5’ long.

Yer right about dat, JackL

– Last Updated: Jun-19-08 9:03 AM EST –

Great engine (a bit thirsty on gas, though) 110,000 miles an' only a water pump replacement. An' dem welded rain gutters - well, wat kin' ah' say. Gonna hold on ta me Cherokee Sport 'till it rots inta de ground (no rust at all yet, either).


But by cutting them and using 2 pieces per side, I was able to take the curves and features of the minivan’s roof completely out of play and get more bar spread than I could have with a single piece on each side.

For rack help…

…call 1-800-implant

Danger Dave, I just bought a new HHR yesterday. What did you come up with for a rack to fit? Dan