Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

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 Posts: 52,462
    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.
  • 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 Posts: 52,462
    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?
  • 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 Posts: 52,462
    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:
  • 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 Posts: 52,462
    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:
  • 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...
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    How can you hate roof racks? I love roof racks. I have a 3-bar system on my Yukon XL. Oddly enough the $51k vehicle didn't come with the crossbars (or cargo curtain thing). Not that it mattered, since I would have tossed them in the trash anyway. If the wind whipping through it is loud I can't tell. It certainly doesn't overpower the Bose system at 2/3 volume or the BFG All-terrain T/A's humming--because they're truck tires--because it's a truck.

    I use my roof rack for everything from carrying a muddy mountain bike, a canoe-sized cargo box, skis, snowboards, and most frequently, 12-16' boards, posts, pipes, or trim pieces related to the weekend project at hand. I have a fairing which cuts down on the wind resistance. But I'd probably get better mileage if I kept it off.

    I too, am looking at a RAV4 (well, I already made a $500 down payment to have it delivered). And planned on buying a Thule system to replace the factor load bars. It uses the same system as the Yukon, so I could swap them back and forth, if only the load bars wouldn't stick out a foot on either side of the RAV.

    I think the marketing guys put them on to make it look like an SUV has muscle or something.

    Uhhh, my brother's 350V8-powered 1995 Yukon had 245 horsepower. The 2008 V6 RAV4 has 265 horsepower. Guess GM had the same thing in mind; his had a rack too. ;)
  • I was about to buy a 2008 Rav4 but realized that there aren't obvious
    tie downs in the front for an ocean kayak on the roof rack. Anyone
    have any experience to offer?

    The kayak is 19' long so both front and rear tie downs are required.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    My last tandem canoe was 17' long, but I'd tie a 5' kayak down front and rear. I'm not sure if you have a bunch of plastic around your bumpers like my front minivan bumper, but a loop of Perlon cord sticking out of the hood may work for the front tie-down. There's some pics in my CarSpace Album.
  • thanks for the pointer. I'd be happy to make those kinds of mods to my trusty
    1990 Toyota wagon but it doesn't feel so great to buy a beautiful new car and start immediately hacking it.

    I've since realized a few things:

    1) the 2008 car has two plastic pop-off things that have bolt holes under them.
    Apparently those had eye-bolts which were used as tie downs when the car was on the ship over from Japan. The dealer says that he can get us the bolts. But the plastic things will only survive being removed and replaced about a dozen times I would guess. Anyone tried these as tie downs?

    2) I've seen a recent model RAV4 that has the front tie downs so this unfortunate
    change must have been made very recently (same body type from what I can
    see but it was a limited rather than a basic). I can't buy a car with the moon
    roof because of the reduction in ceiling height so that limits me to the basic I
    believe (if I'm wrong there, I'd very much like to know!).

    3) the Honda CRV has the tie downs so that's pushing me in that direction
    even though I like various things about the RAV4 better.

    If any RAV4 lovers want to provide further input, that would be great. Thanks!
  • theazlittheazlit Posts: 4
    I have lost my passenger side rear plastic gloss black cap that you have talked about on your post. Do you know if this is a Toyota brand or is this a 3rd party roof rack? If so who makes this rack. i would love to get the replacement part. Do you recommend going to Toyota?

    Thanks Ted
  • bullett55bullett55 Posts: 4
    Yes..., it should be OEM. Good luck.
  • slr9589slr9589 Posts: 121
    got the 2008 rav 4 and have carried my old town penobscot,17,5" without problem.
    I am trying to find one more emergency towing eyelet so i can have two tie downs on the front bumper..
    anyone got them from toyota?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Are these the kind of eyelets that screw into a hole in the bumper? (I've seen them on Scions, but haven't looked at a RAV4 before).

    Maybe check with the dealer - the ones that come on the Scions get tossed in the trash around here I think.

    There's this alternative too:

    See more Car Pictures at
  • slr9589slr9589 Posts: 121
    not crazy about threading rope to inner frame!
    please look at highlanders,prius's,sequioas,and new rav4's ..they all have front bumper cavities for eyelets....Scions too?
    need help asap getting a second one...local toyo dealer no help,.
  • Im having a problem removing a crossbar from my OEM 06 RAV 4 roofrack. Anybody know where I can get removal instructions? Thanx
Sign In or Register to comment.