Roof racks $40

Anyone know if these will work on recent model cars sans gutter?

$40 roof rack
I would be wary of any type of universal roof rack.

Clearly a rack which is specific to your make/model of vehicle will cost quite a bit more however ask yourself this : " Is my boat worth more than $40?"

Point is if the rack fails you may damage or total your boat and possibly cause injury to others!

Personally i like the Thule rack system. Besides they are the only company that has a rack for my vehicle (09 Genesis sedan).

Yes I balked at the thought of dropping $400 for a rack but it will last me for the life of the boat and i have peace of mind.

Just my thoughts. In the end it’s your call.


Hope I’m not stepping in stuff…
After trying to afford one of the high priced racks - unsuccessfully - I turned back to a 40 year old “universal” roof rack I had in my garage since my old VW bus days. Yes, even rusted a bit it could still fit onto my Honda Accord. No, the holes and width didn’t fit the now more standard sizes of saddles and other gear to hold a kayak onto it.

So with a bit of ingenuity, some fiddling and persistence, I was able to finally outfit it with new saddles. It’s all metal, basically steel, so no plastic to break.

And so far it works fine to hold my kayak on the highway.

No, it wouldn’t lock anything, so if theft is the issue I’m a goner. No, I wouldn’t drive it above 65 mph, but no rack is recommending that you do that anyway. No, it isn’t pretty and won’t win me anything but odd stares if anyone bothers.

But YES, a cheap universal rack can work. And despite warnings, lately I’ve seen several kayaks successfully carried long distances on those foam removable racks too.

To be honest, I would be very leery of any rack that has plastic mounts. Those I wouldn’t trust with my boat, nor yours! YMMV, of course.

And, for some folks
$400 for a rack is simply not possible, but they still want to paddle. Before Bonnie and I started dating, she showed up at a canoe club outing with her Epic GPX stuck in the passenger side of her convertible. She had it upside down with the passenger seat stuck up into the cockpit. The stern was stuck down in the foot well and the bow was sticking up in the air! It helped that it was only 12’ long. I went over and looked at it, it looked pretty, um, different. I pushed and prodded it and it was solid. Worked well.

I like it when I see people thinking outside the box. It’s how a lot of our inventions were created.

Good ol’ foam blocks
A lot of people use foam and straps

It has to be safe and affordable to get used.

And worth every penny

looks like it
As other have mentioned: some concerns with the ultra low price and “universal” nature of this rack.

However reading the instructions on the page it looks like it comes with a couple sets of hooks that are intended for rain gutter-less cars.

There are other similar racks in the same price range with straps that run through the entire vehicle rather than just clip to the door frame. I think Seattle Sports makes one.

I’ll bet it would work on our Accords.
But I’ve had experience adapting “universal” non-rain-gutter racks to strange cars.

One thing, in order to add stabilizing force to the bars, I would improvise fore-and-aft struts connecting the crossbars into a single unit. I’ve done this with the Yakima racks on both Accords. A unified assembly like that is much less likely to come loose.

I had something like that for my Camry, you will have to find the correct hooks for your car. I’d just go with foam blocks.

FYI when using foam blocks
If you don’t want your roof scratched, ensure that it is clean before you put the foam blocks on its surface as sand can be like glass and scratch the heck out of it. Been there, done that.

Sort of changing my opinion.
I examined their all-purpose clips, and I’m not confident they would hold in place on modern sedans. I also wonder whether they would cause small amounts of rainwater to enter the car.

Their clips are quite different from the ones on my Yakima Q-tower racks. Their clips have to go past the first weather seal, and then grasp around the inner weather seal. I can’t be confident their clips would fit sedans, except by chance.

Of course, for $39, they might be worth a try. But I would not try to carry more than a single canoe or two relatively light kayaks.

I have that one. Purchased it from
Advance Auto. It works great BUT…

It put dents in my roof.

It drips inside the car when it rains, water wicks through the straps.

The metal hooks chipped the paint on the A-Frame of my car.

The clips push your car door down when you close it and scrapped the paint off the Rocker Panel.

It’s stronger than you would think, I’ve carried 3 boats on mine with no problem. Tip: once you get it set-up, only loosen one side to take it off. Also, the rubber caps for the ends of the pipes fall off so glue them on when you first get it.

Get some SeamGrip and soak the
straps with it. That will stop the wicking.

On the denting, compare the foot size and structure with the foot area of a Yakima rack. Are your rack’s feet big enough to spread the load?

I suspect that Yakima (and Thule) examine the support structure under the roof surface of every car when they specify where the tower feet should go. If it didn’t matter, why are the foot locations so otherwise irrational on our '08 Accord?

What I’m saying is that all car, truck, and van roofs have hard places, supported underneath by ribs or something, and soft places, where the sheet metal is not reinforced underneath.

If you had to do it again, you might have taken your vehicle to a body shop where they’ve worked on the same model. They could perhaps have told you where the “hard” points are.

Call Proline and ask
After dealing with them a few times I would not hesitate to buy what they suggested. they also sell most brands of very expensive racks and should be able to tell you why the more expensive ones are better and where the cheaper ones might work.

I have
a very similar set. I use bow and stern tie downs in a V pattern since the rack isn’t solid enough for me to risk ANY failure. That being said they do a good job of keeping the boat off the roof. Since my wife has a decent car I invested in a set of yakimas.