Yakima Tracks & a new vehicle

I have a new Nissan Versa hatchback on which I need to install a rack for canoe hauling. I looked into my options and was unsatisfied with the 30" spread that the door clips offered. My next idea was to go with the Yak permanent mount landing pad (7 I think), but upon close inspection, I noticed that it was the only landing pad with a max weight limit and became concerned about the strength of the mount. I was most impressed with the Yak Tracks. I like the included hardware and am not opposed to drilling into my new roof. What do you guys think? Anyone with experience installing the Tracks? I plan on getting a schematic from Nissan to avoid dropping the headliner.

BTW… My other vehicle is a pickup with a home engineered rack constructed from 3/4" galvanized pipe and some rubber hose. Its nice for my pickup, but I don’t think the Ms’s would appreciate me bolting 1" pipe flanges to the roof of her new car.

Thanks for any advise and opinions in the matter.

did it and love it, but it can be tricky
I used the tracks on a rackless Honda Odyssey minivan. I was very pleased with the results. As you said, I would definitely get the schematic from Nissan. You do not want to drill into the roof struts.

I did not have a schematic for my Odyssey. But, a minivan is big enough that after a lot of messing around I could feel and hear (by tapping) where the roof struts were, or so I thought. Turns out that they may flair out wider at the ends than they are towards the middle of the roof where you can see and hear them (duh!).

Anyway, I just caught one of the struts with two of the holes (one each side). When I tightened the expanding “plus nuts” (included with track) they pulled the roof down to meet the strut below. Turns out the strut may actually be 1/16th inch or so below the roof.

Now, in practice the installed track completely covered the very slight roof depression I created by drilling and tapping into the strut. It is impossible to see, but I know it is there. Just beware of the possibility and get the schematic like you said.

Here is a major caveat: make sure that you mount the track so that it is 100 percent perpendicular with the center line of the car. Do not follow simply follow the roofline of the car. Modern cars get narrower at the rear than they are at the front. If you follow the roofline of the car, you will be completely screwed as the landing pads will be perpendicular to the bars but your mounting rack will not. This WILL NOT work.

I suspect that you would have to do what I did with my install. I cut the tracks so that I had 4 of them instead of two. Then, I mounted the four tracks ensuring that each of the short tracks was perpendicular to the centerline of the car.

To do this, you have to ask Yakima for four more of the track end-caps, and more plus nuts WITH SCREWS! Yakima will want to just send you the nuts without the screws for some reason. Make sure they understand. They will also charge you $5 per nut/screw.

I suspect that the sloping roofline requiring four short tracks instead of two, is the reason Yakima does not offer this set up as an option for your car. But, if you really take your time to figure it out and order the right parts, you should be very pleased with the set-up. With the Landing Pads, you can take the racks off the car and put them back on in seconds.

dont’ have one
But saw tracks on Toyota Matrix. The owner told me that Toyota dealer installed them.

BTW, Thule also has track system

Yak tracks
I also installed them on a Odyssey. In 04 Yakima had “fit specs” for some vehicles, including the Odyssey. Followed the diagram and measurements and it came out fine. Held up when a plywood canoe came off at 80 mph, turned sideways to van and then shattered.

Yakima doesn’t supply fit specs for newer vehicles and you must miss the crossbeams for the plus nuts to work correctly. I would suggest removing the roof liner to get the correct location. Dealer wanted $180 to remove the liner on my Scion Xb, so I got the door clamping attachments and never was happy with them.


I have installed the track on my truck camper shell. Mine are just bolts with larger washers. After time they have start to leak. Probably should re-silicone but it isn’t hurting anything.

How about your vehicle with real passenger areas during rain events?