Racks for a '96 Roadmaster?

I’m looking for some help finding a rack solution for a 1996 Buick Roadmaster. After trips to the local places and hours online, it appears that neither Thule or Yakima offer solutions for this model.

The car does have the factory rack in the back, but one of the boats I would be carrying is a 100+ year old Adirondack Guideboat, which needs to be elevated at least 6" off the roof or it severely limits visibility. The other boat is a 17’ Sawyer canoe.

At this point I’m thinking that a trailer may be my only solution, but besides the expense I really don’t like the idea of bouncing that guideboat behind the car for 300 miles every summer, so if you have a Roadmaster wagon and carry boats, please let me know how you do it!! :slight_smile:

General approach to fixed rack systems-


Idea - screw tracks or landing pads to your roof, take it from there.

Or, something like this is a possibility


Might, or might not work in your case. I’ve seen then installed on vehicles without any rail systems.

Oh, I don’t drive Buick Roadmaster

Thanks for the links! I should have checked Thules’ accessories section more closely - I think their artificial rain gutters may be what I need:


It involves drilling through the roof, which I’m not thrilled about, but I have an old set of racks I used to use on my Chevy van which will work with those.

Definitely open to more suggestions though…

here you go
This Thule system appears to use the rain strips on your roof:


If there is any way to avoid drilling holes in your car I think you’d be well advised to do so. It’s just a bad idea unless the rack manufacturer recommends it.

broken link?
If you meant to link me to a specific configuration, it didn’t work, thanks though!!

I went through that fitting guide several times. It’s no problem finding something that fits in the rear track, but finding something for the front of the car is impossible.

The guideboat in question is a bit unusual in that it’s extremely light and flexible, so I want a large spread to reduce flexing as much as possible.

The only reason I don’t want to drill is I’ve never done anything like that before, the car itself will be driven until it’s dead so I’m not too worried about the resale value :wink:

a few other reasons

– Last Updated: Aug-17-12 1:41 PM EST –

Mainly rust and structural integrity, but I think that car has a solid frame so you should be ok.

If it were me I'd call thule and ask for help (perhaps you already have).

For a longer spread there is another option, V bars to a thule or yakima rack:


Yeah the Roadmaster is a tank, not worried about that part.

Calling them up is a good idea, I went to a local retailer and they weren’t exactly Thule pros over there.

On my Roadmaster Wagon
I used rivets to install some adapters like gutter adapters to the roof at the front position. Then for the middle and rear rack I used adapters with racks I got from Proline. The center rack was not high enough so I put a really thick pad on it for a while and them made a block adapter from polyethylene block.

No other car or truck has ever taken so many boats so far with such ease. With stackers and bar extenders is was easy to carry 6 folks, six, boats, and gear! And the roof was so low. I do truly miss it!

roof top raingutter adapter

– Last Updated: Aug-17-12 7:46 PM EST –

You could try either a top mount or side mount raingutter bracket, then all you neet is any raingutter tower ,quick and easy,thule,yakima.etc.
You probably should take out the headliner and use the bolts supplied rather than just riveting, unless you get the heavy duty rivnuts...

What you need is a '56 Roadmaster.
I got to drive one, back in the day. No whale was ever as ponderous and clumsy.

You touched on the best thing since
bottled beer…Bar extenders!

On any rack, any vehicle, bar extenders make solo loading most boats possible.

They’re a real back saver!