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Toyota Highlander Roof Crossbar Installation

staygoodstaygood Posts: 5
Please let me know if you have installed cross bars on a 2008 Highlander. Describe how you removed rear covers without breaking them. I saw a post for 2002 models, but want to know if it is the same for 2008. Thanks


  • vinnyd13vinnyd13 Posts: 9
    You need to first leave the car in the sun for a while to soften the plastic. Then with a paint can opener , slide it between the rubber and the plastic cover. Push down on the cover with one hand , and pull/pry one side of the cover with the opener. This should disengage the hooks on that side. Repeat for the other side. Here are the instructions from the manual Cross bar link

    By the way, did you already buy the cross bars? Just asking because I am selling mine. Bought Thule bars instead.
  • staygoodstaygood Posts: 5
    Many thanks for replying. The instructions leave a lot to be desired, but I am learning that Toyota policy is to give as little information as possible to customers and dealers.

    Yes, I have purchased the cross bars, but they were damaged in shipment via UPS and are on their way back to the dealer in WA. Replacements are to be shipped shortly. It appears that the roof rack leg covers are very fragile and almost expected to fail when removed. Hopefully, with info you sent, I'll be able to remove both without breaking them. Thanks again.
  • jersey208jersey208 Posts: 2
    Just picked up my highlander, shocked to find out that the crossbars are extra. Can you tell me what you are looking to sell your's for ??? S & H costs also
  • staygoodstaygood Posts: 5
    The fellow who had cross bars for sale is "vinnyd13"; see item #2 in this thread. Yes, Toyota apparently is increasing profits by making all accessories optional and very expensive. If interested, I can e-mail you where I got Toyota factory cross bars for $162 plus shipping from the West coast.
  • jersey208jersey208 Posts: 2
    If your crossbars are still for sale, could you drop me a note

  • vinnyd13vinnyd13 Posts: 9
    Hi jersey208, yes the crossbars are still for sale.
    Send me an email : vgdistef at hotmail dot com

    I couldn't figure out how to send a note in these forums.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You can use your CarSpace email and that'll keep the ads off the forums and the spam spiders won't be able to grab your email address as easily. You can also mark your email public in your profile and other members can see it when they click on your name.
  • cgantzcgantz Posts: 1
    I don't know if it's okay to continue a thread this old but I also just replaced by Toyota crossbars with Thule. Sadly, I sold my previous car with the Thule cross bars still on it! My Thule topper works on the Toyota crossbars, but they are so flimsy that the topper spent the entire trip bobbing up and down on top of the car. I replaced them with the Thule bars and the topper is completely stable. I paid $236 for them and used them once. :( Not the smartest choice I've ever made.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't know if it's okay to continue a thread this old ...

    It's perfectly okay! Sometimes a discussion can use a little revitalization. :)

    Can anyone help out here? Thanks.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I have a 2008 Highlander Limited and would like to get a topper gear carrier. I have the side bars but no cross bars. What would the forum recommend I get - the Toyota crossbar or some other (e.g. Thule, Yakima)? If something other than the Toyota part, please make a specific recommendation. Thanks for your advice!
  • I would recommend Thule or Yakima cross bars as opposed to the Toyota ones.
    52" length minimum. My personal opinion is that they do not flex as much.
    I purchased the Yakima Skybox 16 and it fits great. If you have a spoiler, make sure not to buy one that is too large. See this link

  • lennyb4lennyb4 Posts: 1
    Great advice with the paint can opener. It took 10 seconds to get the cover off. I actually pulled down toward the outside of the cover while prying with the paint can opener. The outside popped right off and then the inside released easily.
  • ghpghghpgh Posts: 1
    I just bought Toyota crossbars for a 2012 Highlander - trying to install. The link to the manual above is no longer functional. Do you have any other instructions? Thanks.
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