Roof Rack for 2007 Honda CRV

Just got a 2007 Honda CRV, and it didn’t come with a rack. Yakima and Thule are both still without an option. Other than the factory rack (over $320 installed), does anyone have a rack solution?

Honda CRV
If you are planning on keeping the CRV for a number of years you should look at Thule’s TK 14 Base which can be direct mounted to many roofs and would allow you to use their 430 foot with any length bar you find suitable. But if you have a sunroof you may not be able to use the direct mount Base. The TK base was brought out in response to more and more vehicles not having good places for attachment. While the thought of drilling holes in the roof of a new car sounds really scary it’s not hard to do and it would provide a super solid rack that you could remove in seconds if you want to go through a car wash.

unfortunately Honda goofed
my folks just bought a new CRV and i was very disappointed to see how Honda ruined a good thing with the previous gen CRV’s (which i own). they had straight rooflines with an awesome fit by Yakima, now they’ve made a proprietary only rack and it’s substandard at best. also the new more urban look with the swoopy roofline makes for uneven bar heights, and an even narrower crossbar spread, not appropriate for anything other than river kayaks and bikes. Honda took a lot of the utility out of the new CRV in favour of a sportier, city look, which i suppose was due considering the more trucklike appearance of the last gen.

the best option i can see is to get the Yakima tracks installed and put the bars where you want them. if you live in a city with a RackAttack store (Portland, Boston, Denver) they will do a custom install that is slick, good looking and highly functional. again, it’s too bad Honda made it difficult for CRV owners.

agree and disagree

– Last Updated: Feb-03-07 5:50 PM EST –

Honda screwed paddlers by reducing the bar spread on the new CRV down to 26 inches. That does suck since it is considerably shorter than the previous versions.

But, the sloping roofline is mostly a clever optical illusion. The windows slope alot, the roof only a tiny bit. By creating the illusion, Honda kept the new CRV from looking like a minerature mini van.

Both Thule and Yakima are working on feet to fit the studs on the new model. There is really nothing proprietary about it.

I will be drilling mine ... eventually. I really don't want to live with 26" bar spread. Getting behind tractor trailers is where it matters and I do a lot of highway travel. I'm in no big hurry to drill though, I've got a minivan with 65" or so of spread. I'll mostly use that anyway.

Are you guys suggesting a larger spread for stability? Does that really matter when you’re using bow and stern straps anyway? I’ve got a 16’ Madriver Adventure besides my kayak, so I would always use the bow & stern ropes.

Go with a trailer. I have a subaru forester and love my trailer. Wish I had built it long ago!

Boats always ready to go, just hook up and take off. No need to worry about how fast you drive either. You can lock the boat to the trailer or the car if you want.

bow and stern lines vs bar spread
IMO, bow and stern lines are great as a back-up for a failure of the straps or the rack. But, I don’t think they do much to keep boats stable and relatively movement free in the dirty air of tractor trailer wakes.

If you have plastic boats that you can tighten up pretty good without damaging the boat and you don’t primarily travel highways with lots of trucks, you’ll probably be fine with 26". I think Yakima considers 24" to be minimum.

But I would definately wait for Yakima or Thule to come out with their attachments for the new CRV’s roof lugs. Not much utility in the Honda rack. I’m ninety-nine percent sure you couldn’t get two boats on it, even one is a kayak on its side.

if money and storage are not a problem
… a trailer may be the best way to go in his circumstances.

Toyota has it all over Honda when it comes to roof racks on their minivans and SUVs.

Crossed Honda off my list…
of small SUV’s to buy, because of the poor rack spread and I believe they don’t recommend more than something like 75 lb. load on the roof. Toyota Rav4 is the leading candidate now - it sure seems like it much better fits the “utility” term. I have an Outback now, which is a good hauler - too bad the seating is made for small people - both in height and width.

6’3" and too wide…

The CRV is a little roomier than the Rav. The Rav felt a little tight to me and I could never find a comfortable place to keep my left foot.

I wish I could take the rack and V6 engine from the Rav. That would be the hands-down winner.

Roof rack for 2007 CRV
We have a 2004 CRV with the Thule landing pads that bolt into the Honda roof rack holes (T-8). We attach thule feet to then, with thule bars (no honda roof rack). It is the best system I have used in 3+ decades transporting canoes/kayaks.

I have been looking at the new CRV and the Rav4 V6.

On the CRV the slight sloping of the roof at the windshield, combined with the slope of the rear (not as bad as it looks as most of the apparent slope is an illusion created by the side styling) and the pinching in of the sides at the rear make it less desirable for me. There are improvements in handling and reduction of road noise. Many like the hatch lifting up instead of a door that opens on the wrong side. Roof rack attachments are too close, so making brackets that function like the Thule T-8 and bolting them on will leave the crossbars too close in my opinion.

The Rav4 has the optional V6, long bar spread between factory rack bolt holes, higher price (for V6), a rear door that opens the wrong way and some good options (that you of course have to pay for). It can be set up to tow up to 3500 lbs.

As noted above, there are no bolt-on options for the 2007 CRV or the 06-07 Rav4 from Thule or Yakima. When you pick either vehicle you have to make your own, go with less desirable options or wait for something to be made. The Rav4 has been on the market for 1 1/2 years with no bolt-on being made. My personal guess is nothing will be made for the Rav4, as most are sold with factory racks. Something may be made for the CRV because the factory rack spacing is so poor.


I test drove a 2006 Rav4 with the six.
The thing would zoom big time, but its more power than the Rav can use well. The four should be more than enough engine and would not be as squirrelly. I do like power, but not over powered vehicles. I felt the Rav4 could get you in trouble fast with the 6, especially if not used to driving a small, tall vehicle with lots of power.

yep, my 11 year old will be driving it
… in another 5 years. A small car with two-hundred-sixty-nine horsepower in the hands of a 16 year old … I don’t think so. The insurance premium would be astounding!

CRV >Forester
Had the previous CRV model and went to test drive the 07. After looking over the roof and that antenna in back, went with Forester instead. Lower and more spread!

Antenna on 2007 CRV
I forgot about the antenna in the center of the roof, near the back. One could transport two kayaks on their sides with the antenna in the middle. Taking a kayak and a canoe to an event such as Raystown would be hard as the canoe would be on the antenna. If I had the 07 CRV I would relocate the antenna and plug the hole left on the roof.


Must be the reception via placement that precludes Honda from placing it in the windshield, as my Outback has. My 2004 CR-V has the thin whip antenna, which although dated looking and a minor PITA when washing the windshield or clearing snow, is at least out of the way. One of my colleagues has the new model and that antenna would be smack dab in the way of attempting to transport three boats, were a rack system to be designed or adapted. Even with front/rear tie downs, which I always use on the highway or extended road trips, with a longer/heavier boat, like my tandem, you get a fair amount of torsional ‘twist’, due to the narrow spead. Narrower is definitely not a good thing. The CR-Vs are wonderful little autos, but their designers seem to drop the ball in a number of areas each time, usually sacrificing function for form, and sometimes ‘gimmickry.’ The rear visibility on mine is simply awful, and whoever designed the auto locking feature should be auto locked inside my black on black vehicle on a August day.

On power, my brother has the Outback GT with the turbo. Copious amounts of power-too much in fact, for such a high chassis. It’s easy to go into a corner a little too hot when the boost kicks in, only to realize you’re in what they reclassified as an SUV. Just something to always keep in the back of your mind…

Antenna is a very small problem
Just to clarify, I went out to my CRV, and the antenna is so flexible, I’d have no problem just letting it get smashed down. It bounces right back up. If one was more faint of heart, it took 10 seconds to unscrew it by hand. Since the stereo plays MP3 cds, I wouldn’t miss the radio reception on the way to and back from the water anyway.

On the spread: I also notice there is a pop out tab a the front of the gutter/track. It has a single bolt in it on each side. I’ve been thinking about making a rack myself anyway. Anyone have any ideas on using the small tab at the front instead of the one in the middle to make a much longer spread? Bad idea?

making a custom roof rack for 07 CRV

I would check with a Honda dealer or body shop to find out how strong the bolt backing is on that single front bolt hole. Is it for some structural element or for some minor trim attachment? Don’t think I would trust a single bolt on each side; Two bolts on each side would be much safer. Put lock tight on threads if you use one bolt hole mount and chect frequently.

If bolt holes are strong enough and you decide to go for it, attach a mock up of your rack and check for wind noise. Attachments near the front of the roof can howl if the wind flow is wrong.

If I buy the 07 Rav4 I’m looking at I will try to mount the Thule T-88 landing pads made for the previous generation CRV in place of the factory rack. Thinking about using adaptor pads to fit the Rav4 roof rack bolt spacing (double bolts at each attachment point). Will also have to check for wind noise if I try that.


Another option
You could use one Yak or Thule crossbar with a Goalpost (Thule) or Dry Dock (Yakima) to extend the spread between bars and compensate for different bar heights due to a sloping roof line. Problem is, both the Goalpost & Dry Dock require a 2" receiver hitch. A 2" receiver looks a little funky on a small ute, but I put that setup on my 2006 Escape and it works well. Extended the spread between bars from less than 4’ to over 6’. I carry two canoes and the extra spread helps a lot since I do a lot of interstate driving. I can’t raise the rear hatch with the rear support in place, but the Escape allows opening only the glass portion and that works fine.

May be worth a call to Thule to see if a rack is currently in the works. Don’t know how Yakima works, but Thule usually invites individuals with new model year cars to test their new rack fit kits, and provide feedback. Sometimes they can give you an indication if one is in the works, and when to expect it.

Your post had me examining my colleague’s new CR-V today in the lot; his is a nice shade of green. Slick little vehicle-good luck with it.