Shopping for a new vehicle can be overwhelming… so many decisions and options! Oftentimes the factory accessories are more costly than aftermarket solutions, and most people don’t realize how limiting factory racks can be (until it’s too late). At Rack N Road, we can help you in making the decision whether factory crossbars will actually suit all your future needs, and we’ll help you save some money in the process.
FACTORY RACK CROSSBARS
One of the biggest downsides to factory crossbars is that they come in all shapes and sizes but only fit that specific vehicle– any equipment purchased to fit one system may not fit on the next. Most dealer racks are flimsy and built mostly for aesthetic appeal. Consisting of large amounts of plastic, they cannot support long or unstable loads like kayaks, canoes or lumber. Dealer racks have limited usable space so only one or two attachments can fit at any given time.
On hatchbacks, such as SUVs or wagons, the factory systems are regularly too close to the hatch and cause interference when carrying loads. Many people find they can’t even use their old cargo boxes or bike racks and still open the back door!
Some factory crossbars are made by Thule for the dealer; in these cases the racks usually have the strength to carry larger loads, but lack the versatility of interchanging accessories or adapting to other vehicles. Replacement parts for these Thule-designed factory racks are hard to come by. Rack N Road is able to get keys for most of them, but most other parts are proprietary and only available through the dealer (at dealer prices!).
AFTERMARKET THULE OR YAKIMA CROSSBARS
Thule and Yakima both do a great job of making their aftermarket solutions fit a wide range of vehicles. This ensures that you can not only fit your new vehicle, but that most of the equipment will work on other vehicles for years to come. Because the shape of the crossbars are standard, most bike, ski, cargo, or kayak racks should fit, even if you own multiple vehicles or change cars often.
Many people choose the factory rack due to the aerodynamic shape and aesthetic appeal; however, the new Thule Aeroblade Edge and Yakima Whispbar Flush crossbars offer the same aerodynamics, but with far more functionality and flexibility. These new crossbars are available to fit factory mounts, rails, and any of our custom installed solutions. If you need extra bar space but want the same aerodynamic style, the through bars offer additional length to fit extra accessories. Aside from our custom solutions, Yakima and Thule also have clips, or fit kits, that grab onto the side of your vehicle if there is nothing on your roof. The clip-on racks are typically weaker, less aesthetically pleasing, and less versatile, than our custom installations, but still are a good option if there is nothing on the roof of the vehicle. Usually all you need to do is get new fit kits to transfer that rack to another vehicle.
Custom installed racks are the best possible solution for strength and versatility. These racks are strategically positioned on the vehicle to accommodate your gear, sunroof, and hatchback with ease. Our tailor-fit experts ensure that your vehicle fits your family and your toys. If you’re looking for the most flexibility and style, we install integrated smooth tracks that allow you to adjust your crossbars based on your gear. We here at Rack N Road are certified installers of Yakima and Thule equipment, and use our years of experience to help select the right choice for you. Check with us first! You’ll be surprised how much money and time we can save you.