We are looking at a Toyota Rav4 2011. Does anyone own one and know if the plastic factory rails are adequate for attaching Thule or Yakima crossbars and required brackets for canoes and kayaks?
I have yakima racks/bars with rail grabbers. Don’t use the factory cross bars. Easily carry two long boats. Here’s a photo with one…
make sure if you’re using the Thule system, you slide the mounts ALL the way to the ends of the rack side rails. Toyota uses a fairly weak set of side rails that screw into the primary mounts front and rear. Since the roof line curves a bit, I at first attempted to ‘level’ out the mounts by attaching the 450 Crossroad footpack to the level part of the side rails alone. Much to my surprise, it bent where it attaches to the primary mount. This is with two 26 lb. surfskis. I slid them back all the way, and no problems since.
As Andy said, get rid of the stock crossbars, or just slide them all the way front and rear to further reinforce the span.
On our '03 Honda CRV we opted not to
get the dealer installed rack and instead got a Yakima system that bolted directly into the factory roof mounts. Not sure if that’s an option with the RAV4. R
No prob with the Rav4
I use Thule 815’s to transport a 14’ Necky and 12’ Carolina weighing 56’ & 48’. So far, we’ve logged over 2,000 miles back and forth to the coast and it’s worked fine. I do agree with mounting at the end of the cross bars. I also wrap the straps around the rack and cross bars and use two extra tie downs across the kayaks. If the whole rack were to go I guess I would be telling a different story. The Rav4 does much better than the Jeep Liberty we had before and I still get around 22MPG with the yaks on top.