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2009 Pilot Roof Rack Extension

BearLeeAliveBearLeeAlive Posts: 6
edited June 2014 in Honda
I am quite disappointed in the spread of the roof racks on my '09 Pilot. I often need to carry a 17 1/2 foot canoe, and the crossbars are only somewhere just over 3 feet apart. Even with tying down the front, it does not sit right, mainly because it sits so far back on the car when centered.

I asked a service tech at the dealer I bought from if the front rack could be moved forward and longer rails put on. He said he did not believe so, because they have fixed mounting positions. I find this strange, because the track it mounts in goes all the way to the windshield. If anyone has any knowledge as to whether this really would work or not, it would be great to hear your thoughts.

So, I am looking for a good solution to deal with this. I have a couple ideas and if anyone has any to add that would be great. I really would like a solution that looks good too.
1. Buy a Thule/Yakima rack that would fit on the front of the roof. I could just remove the front Honda crossbar.
2. Buy or build a rack extender that mounts to the existing rack. I do think this might be less stable, as it still would be mounted on the short spread of the factory rack.
3. Install a front receiver and use a rack that fits in there, like the ones used for the back of pickups. This might work good, but there would always be a post in my sight line.

I will be towing a travel trailer quite a bit, so might add a roof rack there, but that still does not deal with carrying the canoe when not towing the trailer.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Get two short solo boats. :shades:

    I'd go with the new rack, and maybe take the Honda rack off entirely and use the Yak/Thule bars front and rear.

    Here's another short spread, but it was balanced.
  • Good thinkin' on the two boat thing Steve. :)

    I am leaning to just adding the one bar at the front. I would likely leave the Honda rack on, rather then bother to take it off. I does do fine with the storage box on it.

    Nice photo, reminds me of loading canoes on my old Volvo many years ago. I don't think I have a photo of a canoe on my Pilot, but it looks funny. It hangs well over 4' off the back, with the front of it just over the windshield when centered on the racks.

    I really find it strange that they did not install a longer roof rack.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Don't have a good pic handy, but my tandem hangs off the back of my minivan a good 3 feet. It does help the visibility out the front. :)

    I use the OEM rack on my Subaru occasionally around town (not that I boat much anymore), but I'd just as soon not have an OEM rack on a new car. The one on the minivan is mostly useless for hauling the stuff I like to haul.
  • The problem with hanging over the back of the Pilot, is that I can't open the tailgate without releasing and lifting the back of the canoe with the boat back that far. I don't mind being able to see the bow of the canoe if I look up, I like to see that it is there and stable.
    This is the front mount I was referring too, but would need a receiver mounted in front though.

    By far, the biggest reason for canoe repairs, is from them coming off the vehicle during transport.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I can get the minivan hatch opened part way without untying anything but the stern line, especially with just a short boat up there. link.

    I had a rig like the Jeep one back in the mid-70's when I had a CJ-5. It wasn't stable, but that was a long time ago and surely these are designed better than my garage built one was.

    It drives me crazy to see boats not tied down good. And it's a big pain finding something to tie the front painters to. I put a Perlon loop near the radiator bracket in the van. link. A front hitch would help that issue.
  • For tying down the front of the canoe, I have a V-shaped tie down, and there are a couple holes above the lights (under the hood) that it hooks in to fine. I really don't like that they angle back more then up with the canoe so far back. When I used my 2002 Ford F250 longbox crewcab with a topper, the canoes would tie down about 3' from each end and I did not have to tie the bow down which was nice.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Nice, unless the rack fails or the tie down parts. ;)

    I had a rack fail on me with a Grumman on top and it's not fun, even though I was tied off front and rear and across the top. Kayakers are the worse - I give those guys a wide berth on the roads and I've known a few who have had boats fly off going down the highway.
  • The rack was bolted to my topper, not much chance of failure there. I have seen many a poorly tied down load that I have steered clear of too. How about the homeowners carrying lumber home from the store using on twine to tie it down? Scary.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The only thing worse are the homemade trailers overloaded with firewood....
  • I have one of those trailers built our af an old truck box, but it never leaves the rec acreage it is on though. Not a stable unit at all.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Maybe you can post some pics on your CarSpace page when you get the racks figured out?

    Yet another one of mine:

    17' Dagger Venture
  • vrmvrm Posts: 308
    Is it easy to install the Honda roof rack (rails and cross bars) on the 2010 Pilot LX? Do I need any special tools?

    Also, are there any cheaper after-market roof racks you recommend?
    The Honda roof rack (rails & cross bars) sells for $400.

This discussion has been closed.