Roof rack for rails that are flush with the car?

I have a wonderful Thule rack, which has a roller bar, making car-topping my boats a breeze. However, my new car has rails that are flush with the roof, preventing me from using the Thule rack. :confused: Are there any after-market roof racks that can be used with flush rails?

Have you checked the Yakima and Thule online fit guides for your car?
Unless it’s a completely new model and unlike anything else out there, there aren’t many cars that they do not have a solution for. There are other companies online that have similar resources. You may have to call the companies, as the online resources tend to lag a bit sometimes when new car models come out.

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Yes, check the Thule and Yakima fit guides. You’ll probably have to get new “feet” that attach the bars to the rails, but if there is a fit from Thule you can probably reuse your existing crossbars.

Many SUVs that used to come with raised side rails now have flush rails. If you look closely along the top of the rail you might see small square panels that remove - that’s where the crossbars will mount.

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Flush rails will take either a clamp on adaptor to a Foot pack or the rail is decorative camouflaging fixed point threaded sockets that the adaptors will bolt to.

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You will have to get two things - a Fit Kit that bolts into the screw hole in the flush rail and a footpack that attaches to that fit kit and holds the cross bar. Go to the online fit guides.

The place the Fit Kit goes into can be seen by popping off the covers over it at four points in the plastic rail covering things.

There may be a further complication depending on the age of your Thule rails. If they are not the ones with a slot in them, instead solid all around, it will be damned near impossible to find a foot pack for them. Thule changed that long enough ago that those older footpacks are not available.

There is a way to mix Yakima and Thule components that may evade some of this. But I am not the expert on what that is. Suggest you send Marshall on this board (above) info on the car and existing equipment and see if he has advice.

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Thanks for your help–it is a 2019 Toyota Rav4.

Thanks for the heads up–I will look into this today!

Thanks for your input! My car does have cross bars installed, it’s the roller that I really miss. But, I will look into this, and see if there is a kit, where I can remove the existing bars, and install the roller bar Thule rack.

Your bars are further forward than the now discontinued Thule roller would be useful. Rather than reinvent the roof rack a set of Yakima Sweetroll saddles from The River Connection would be the closest approximation. Yes it’s a plug.

Option two would be saddles or foam blocks plus a Yakima Showboat.

Lastly might be vee bars from Llama Racks or Goodboys. A beach towel draped over the rear V would make for an easy slide 'em up.

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Those Yakima Sweetroll saddles look enticing! I wonder if I could use those for a solo canoe as well. But, I like the simplicity of the set up, as well as the little roller aid!

I use the rollers that attach to the car or window with suction cups. Works great.

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What is the brand of those rollers?

I have these: : Malone Channel Loader : Sports & Outdoors

They have a v shape which I prefer. There are several other brands available.

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Try going online to it’s where you’ll be able to enter your car make model and year. They will identify all types of racks for you. I bought the Thule cross bars for my 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

They have a terrific customer service department and most items have numerous photos and installation videos before you decide if it’s the fit you want.

Check it out. Hope this helps.

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