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Toyota RAV4 Roof Racks

4ravman4ravman Posts: 1
I am looking at a 2002 Rav4 and noticed the back roof rack is lower than the front due to the slope of the roof. I don't think this would be very good for wind resistance when carrying a large canoe. Does anyone carry a canoe on a 2002 Rav4 or have a solution to the problem?


  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    I doubt that it would make much difference since canoes have a lot of windage up on top anyway, but you could always build up the rear rack crossbar with some extra padding or clamp a 2x4 on it.

    You could also look at some aftermarket racks ( or - you may be able to mix and match towers and put shorter towers up front.

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  • dmendeldmendel Posts: 16
    I am currently in the market for either the new CRV or Rav, and the roof rack issue is extremely critical. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it possible to get a 07 Rav4 without a factory roof rack? From what I can tell, all models have the factory rack. It is not an option. Is this true? If so, third party racks are not possible.

    I would also like to know what the weight limit is on the roof rack. My understanding is that it is only 75lbs. Is this true?

    For me, I need to carry a cargo box, which empty weighs 50lbs. A factory rack with a 75lb limit is completely worthless. Aftermarket racks (Thule or Yakima) can support about 125lbs. If factor rack is standard in the Rav, then Toyota has just lost a sale.
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    Well Base does not come with roof rack as standard but you will be hard pressed to find one without it I think.
  • dmendeldmendel Posts: 16
    I'm looking at the 07 brochure right now and says that roof rack is standard on the base. It's standard on all models according to the brochure.

    Wouldn't be an issue if it was more than just cosmetic (i.e., if it actually could hold more than 75lbs). Still looking for an answer to that question.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    You might be able to remove enough of the factory rack to get some Yak or Thule towers to fit, assuming the rack makers work up some fitment clips for the new model.

    What do you carry up top anyway?

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  • dmendeldmendel Posts: 16
    Unfortunately, Thule and Yak only make fittings for factory rack on the Rav4, since it does not come without one.

    The box is used in the summer for weekend trips to the family cottage to haul mostly luggage -- backpacks, duffle bags, small suitcases -- that sort of thing. I need the space up top because the rest of the car is filled with two adults, two kids in carseats, a dog, some additional bags and a couple coolers full of food for the weekend.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    Oh yeah, you did say cargo box. D'oh.

    Someone may have figured out a way to kludge a different clip to fit the RAV4 and hold the Yak/Thule towers on that way, but that's a dicey solution. Overloading the factory rack isn't a good option either. I suppose you could sell your box and use the proceeds for a hitch mounted carrier but that would block access to the rear.

    I rue the day that car manufacturers went to internal rain gutters. :sick:

    If you don't mind drilling holes in your new SUV, you could bolt on some brackets to hold towers (link). I did something similar to my old Tercel (link), but I drive them forever and don't worry much about resale value. :shades:

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  • I'm wondering if anyone has found a way to remove the rack crossbars without having to take the whole luggage rack off. Seems to me like you could reduce wind noise and drag, reduce weight slightly and therefore increase MPG if you could take the crossbars out. I only need these in the Winter when I put the ski racks on.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    To take the crossbars off you need to pry off the rear endcaps of the roof rails - then the crossbars can be removed. I had my dealer do this before delivery.
  • truggertrugger Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2003 Rav4 2wd and want to carry my canoe.

    Both Toyota and Yakima rate the factory rack at 75lbs; my boat is 85lbs.

    The Yakima rep suggested using all of their equipment, not the factory rack to carry the canoe, which is rated at 125lbs.

    Does anyone have another possible solution - or know how to take off the factory rack without ruining the car?

    I think it would look a little nutty with two racks on it.

    or better - does anyone have any experiencne putting yakima bars onto the factory rack?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    I tried Yak bars on my factory minivan rack and didn't like the way everything sagged. So I got the tower system - it doesn't live on the van full time so you don't see two racks too often. When both racks are installed, everyone is gawking at the canoes anyway. :shades:

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  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Roof rack & bars are OPTIONS in the following 2007 Rav4 according to Toyota's brochure ... the package 1 includes the roof rack/bars

    4430 4 cycl 4x2
    4431 4 cycl 4x4
    4432 6 cycl 4x2
    4433 6 cycl 4x2
  • Can you, or anyone else, tell me specifically how to remove the rear end caps
    from the OEM roof rack rails ( so the cross bars can be removed)? A diagram/
    exploded view would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your trouble.
    (2001 RAV).
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    I am expecting buying a 2008 RAV4 4WD 3.6L. I had a Tucson V6 sold to me with roof rails. A note on the Roof rails said that no more than 175 pounds is allowed. I ordered a Cross bars / Roof Rack (Tucson accessory) and I installed it myself. The cross bar/roof rack did not come with any weight cautions so I assume that the cross bars will sustain similar weight. I bought a Yakima Space Cadet with a weight of 35 pounds so I had left 140 pounds. I have using this assembly for a long time so far without problem. If the limit of 75 pounds refers only to the cross bars (that I think) and not to the roof rails then you might install other two stronger cross bar close to the Toyota original cross bar (roof rack) and the problem is solved.
  • I hate roof racks. I have one on my Surburban and it is loud and has a lot of wind drag.

    I got a rear hitch installed at U-Haul; got a rack to hold on luggage and a big bag to protect the contenst. No wind drag, no noise and a lot easier to load and unlad.

    Maybe that will work for your RAV.

    I am looking for a 2008Rav 4 and if it has a roof rack I'll never uise it.

    I think the marketing guys put them on to make it look like an SUV has muscle or something.
  • fontrefontre Posts: 1
    Hi, have you been successful in getting the crossbars removed from your RAV4? If not I can be of some help as I just removed mine by myself yesterday. It may seem tricky but some patience and perseverance will get it done.
  • andrea00andrea00 Posts: 1
    I am currently trying to remove the crossbars from my 2008 RAV4. If anyone knows how to do that I'd love to know.

  • I'd like to know how to remove the crossbars. Please post the solution!

  • bullett55bullett55 Posts: 4
    The rear plastic end caps 'pop' off. Then you can slide the bars off and
    replace the the end caps. Be VERY CAREFUL when 'prying' the caps
    off to avoid breaking the little 'hold down' tabs on the caps. If you can
    find an exploded view to show you where the 'tabs' are located that would
    be helpful. Good luck!
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    Roof racks are handy for carrying skis...or canoes. Other than that mine doesn't get used much. But I haven't noticed any noise from it either...
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