Roof rack for newer Dodge Grand Caravan

I am looking at getting a newer Dodge Grand Caravan. The one I am looking at has a smooth roof. Should I hunt up one with factory rails? The kayak I would carry would not weigh more than 50 pounds. I don’t have it yet, but don’t want to preclude having a roof rack. I’ve looked at Thule systems, and they look OK, but I have to say that I don’t really know what I am looking at. I don’t want to drill into the roof because of the side air bags. Also, I’d like to be able to take the rack off to wash the car. What would be easier to deal with for that?

side air bags
why are side bags preventing roof angle aluminum mounts for bolting a rack on ?

interior bolt heads are above the headliner.

Dual sliding doors?
If so, get a model with the (appears to be) flush roof tracks. It’ll make mounting roof racks (Thule/Yakima) easier and proved more flexibility to bar location.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

More info

From the 2015 Dodge Caravan owner’s manual - Sorry, I tried but could not fix the spacing. Yes it has dual sliding doors. I can try to find a picture of the roof.

Your vehicle is equipped with SABICs. In order for

the SABICs to work as intended, do not install any

accessory items in your vehicle which could alter

the roof. Do not add an aftermarket sunroof to your

vehicle. Do not add roof racks that require permanent

attachments (bolts or screws) for installation

on the vehicle roof. Do not drill into the roof of the

vehicle for any reason.

the factory
not known for any particular intelligence, is writing for the complete idiot.

the factory does not want you to drill into the whatever.…0…1ac.1.64.img…22.18.1803.kU59oCKHhFg…0…1ac.1.64.img…23.17.2171.2xMyAFq6nXg

Dodge isn’t forthcoming as is Honda. Honda WANTs us too se what HONDA is building.

I just bought a
Toyota Highlander with what is known in the rack biz as a naked roof. The alternative in many of the 2015 models is known as flush rails. Thule and some others make a rack system that fits flush rails on some cars. Try their online “fit guide” to see which rack system will go on your auto. Thule also makes a rack for naked roofs but not for all cars. Crutchfield is a good online store for Thule racks. Be careful of EZ Trailer I’m having some issues with them. They sent me a Rhino Rack system in a dog-eared box that had been opened several times and had no warranty, parts list, or installation instructions.

Good luck the naked roof thing has been a real hassle for me.

Please let me suggest consulting with a
Bike shop that sells Yakima racks. I suspect their clamp on rack will work but installation requires some know how.

(Location) custom metal roof racks

poss in Google Maps

I suppose a visit to a knowledgeable dealer that carries both Yakima and Thule would be a good idea. Of course, that could be difficult to find. I recall going to a paddling event and the factory rep from Thule told me that there was nothing for a Dodge Caravan.(!) I know that there is a way to get crossbars on there.

Do the clamp on ones hold OK in the wind on the highway?

Thanks to all responders btw.

Get to a stocking dealer that installs. According to the Thule dealer locator there’s lots of options near you.

Just keep the speed under 86.735 mph and you’ll be fine. Using bow/stem tie downs of course.

Alternate plan would be to bring your new Caravan to Hyde Park, NY and do some paddling on the Hudson after Rackification.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Honda doesn’t want you drilling, either
Hm. Go figure.

listen to Marshall
He knows what he’s talking about.

I’ve used “clamp-on” for years and with 5 different cars and never had a problem. Shortest bar spread for a 17’+ kayak was under 3’. But if you’re really worried about bar spread or spacing, you can get an extender from (I think) either yakima or thule.

Better yet,
make the drive up to visit Marshall. Your info states you are looking for your next boat and want to improve your skills. One stop shop in Hyde Park.



Road trip!
I have thought about heading up to Marshall’s store and checking things out. I should take a friend or two.

Nice today
It’s close to 57 degrees out and I have drysuits if you want to put boats on the water this afternoon, I could be talked into it. :wink:

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Go for it, paddlerlady!

– Last Updated: Dec-12-15 9:18 PM EST –

Sales staff at my local paddle shop are occasional paddlers so the gear they sold me collects dust, starting off with an expensive PFD that didn't fit well. I got the feeling that making the sale was top priority or maybe they just didn't have the knowledge whether a particular item was the best option.

Marshall's my outfitter now although he's 800 miles away and I've never met him. The gear he's recommended has worked (and fit) so perfectly, including a different PFD, I won't deal with anyone else for the important stuff.

Am betting you'll have a great time.

I don’t have the vehicle yet, so it’s premature. But it’s good to know Marshall has drysuits to borrow.

It turns out that I could probably get the factory rails put on. That could be a better alternative from my understanding than the bare roof.