Gen III - Recommended Roof Rack?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by inverness, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. inverness

    inverness New Member

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    I'm considering a roof rack for my Gen III. I frequently carry 2 road bikes in spring and summer and several sets of skis in fall/winter.

    Any recommendations?

    Any serious drawbacks re mpg?
     
  2. MXFanatic

    MXFanatic New Member

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    I installed a Yakima Q-Tower Rack with 2 of the new RockyMounts slim trays and the Yakima Faring. Without the Faring, there was a really loud groaning noise over 40mph. With the faring, it is very quiet. It also looks good and allows me to find my Prius in the sea pf Prii's here in Boulder. I think I experience less than 1mpg difference without bikes on it. The real test will come when the temps warm up.

    As far as install goes, I thought it installed fairly easily. I made 2 changes to the Yakima recommendations.

    1: I only used 48" bars. I don't like them sticking out so much.
    2: I put some clear thick vinyl stickers (roughed up with some 80 grit) under the rear clips so that they couldn't be pulled out. The angle of the top of the door opening in the rear is fairly shallow and I just wanted it to be really secure.

    Good luck!
     

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  3. inverness

    inverness New Member

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    This is great! thanx much. I miss Boulder - lived there for several years after college.
     
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Lots of photos here and here using my Yakima rack, over the moonroof.

    [​IMG] . [​IMG]

    .
     
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  5. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Active Member

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    CAN you still open the sun roof with the rack on the car:confused:
     
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Yes, but then you'll never be able to shut it ever again. :crutch:

    The rack itself sits on the metal, so it all fits nicely. But the glass would make damaging contact if you attempted to open the roof.
    .
     
  7. Vondutch

    Vondutch New Member

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    Thanks for those pics john1701a!

    I've been saving for my Prius and had become very interested in kayaking in the interim, so much so that I considered not getting the Prius in favor of something a little more...rack-friendly. However, your pics just helped to reaffirm my love affair with the Prius and squash any fears I may have had about racking a kayak.

    So, thank you very much :)
     
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Yeah, thanks a lot! I had done my best to not think about the kayaks... knowing that the lakes will still be frozen for 2 months and ice cold for another beyond that. Now I'm yearning for that sound of splashing water and the feel of the waves lifting me up & down. It's going to be a long spring.
    .
     
  9. btaylor

    btaylor Junior Member

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    Check out the installation that the guys at RackAttack in Portland Oregon have done on several 2010 Prii.

    This approach is based on permanent, Plusnut installation of two Yakima tracks to the roof of the Prius. That's a big commitment...but I think the end results are impressive. RackAttack also sells tower/clip roof racks for the Prius (both Thule and Yakima), but they report that the roof track installation is stronger.

    Yakima roof track installation on 2010 Prius


    Video of the track installation
     
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  10. Vondutch

    Vondutch New Member

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    Wow! That's a really clean install. Impressive!
     
  11. J.R.

    J.R. Midnight Blue

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    The permanant tracks don't look too bad, but not sure where I'd get that done around here. I have a Yakima system that I used on an 02 Jetta for about a year, and then went back to a Tacoma so I haven't needed it, just throw the bikes in the bed. I now have a '10 Prius and want to know if it is just a matter of getting an adapter to fit the rack to the new ride.
    When I had the Jetta, it had some posts in the door for the rack to attach to. How does the rack attach to the door of the Prius? I don't see anything for it to attach to.
    Thanks for the help! -J.R.
     
  12. rrolff

    rrolff Prius Surgeon

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    You might take a long look at a class III hitch/receiver. Rather than keeping stuff way up top, you can get a plethora of cheap heavy duty easy to use bike racks, and ski racks for the back. You can even get little hitch mounted 'trailers (no wheels - just a 3x5 platform for cargo/storage)'...
     
  13. KenzoTH

    KenzoTH Member

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    The track mount is interesting and looks great. I don't know if I want to drill into my roof. How long will the mount last?

    I recommend you look into a receiver hitch mount bike rack. I am an avid cyclist, and have roof racks (Thule) mounted on my Camry. There is NO WAY a roof rack will not scratch the roof.

    See threads on bike racks in accessories section on this site. I recommend the Curt receiver (almost invisible and easy to install) and a Kuat aluminum hitch mount rack. The Kuat rack is only 10 lbs for a two bike rack. I am going to custom make a foam fitting to allow me to carry my carbon track and road bikes in the existing rack fittings which work very well with round steel or ovalized ti tubes. Look into hitch mounts before committing to roof mounted racks.
     
  14. JonathanK

    JonathanK Junior Member

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    I have a Thule rack (400XT feet, rectangular bars, no fairing) for carrying kayaks, lumber, and anything else that doesn't fit inside. I went with Thule because I like them a little more than Yakima, and my attachments were set up for Thule from my old Corolla. I used to work someplace that rented Yak racks and I didn't like the way they adjusted, and seemed mostly plastic. That being said, Yakima round bars have an advantage on the curved roof of the Prius when carrying kayaks. Also, Thule recommends a very short distance between bars, too short to adequately support a sea kayak in my opinion, especially with no easy bow tie-down locations. I couldn't even find the fit measurements when I got my rack so I made up my own and it seems to work well. (I found them here on Prius Chat before I found them from Thule :).)

    Thule has a new foot (480 Traverse) that I have not seen in action, but maybe it allows for longer bar spread and flatter bars.

    This is my first car without rain gutters, so I am very careful to clean the roof where the feet sit, and I have not had any scratching so far.

    I try not to have the racks on long enough to see how much MPG impact they will have. On my Tercel bikes on the roof seriously dropped MPGs and highway speed.

    As I have read, Toyota does not recommend any hitch installations, even for bikes.

    Have you thought about a rear mounted "trunk" rack? I bet it would be better for mileage, and pretty cheap, too.
     

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  15. J.R.

    J.R. Midnight Blue

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    I need to know what clips are used to attach the rack to the vehicle, I think I have all other necessary parts. Does anyone know the clip number? I was trying to use the Yakima fit guide and was having some trouble, I think it was telling me to use Q99 and Q5 clips, can anyone confirm that? Thanks!
     
  16. tzh

    tzh Member

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    Thank you for the pictures. My question is what do you mean by never be able to shut it again? What will happen?

    I have the Yakima rack system from my old car, all I need are the clips. Don't know if it's worth to buy them and install in my Prius.

    Oh, I also have the solar roof.

    Thanks
     
  17. KELPYC

    KELPYC Junior Member

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    ????DID any company come out with a roof rack for sunroof model ...that allows the roof to operate w/o damage...?????????
     
  18. gugy

    gugy Junior Member

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    Does anybody know if a Prius Gen. II rack would fit a Gen. III?
    I have a friend who owns a 2008 model and is willing to give his rack for my 2011 model.
    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  19. unreal

    unreal Junior Member

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    Do u guys leave ur racks on all the time? Any problems with paint chipping or water leaks?
     
  20. Insight-I Owner

    Insight-I Owner 2006 Insight-I MT + 2011 Prius

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    I had Rack Attack in Massachusetts put these on my 2011 Prius Two. They used 54" tracks, which give me several inches more spread between bars than I was getting with my Subaru Outback Wagon!! Spread is critical for me because I carry rowing shells: quite long (27-31 feet) though not very heavy (30-60lbs).

    Another advantage is that the crossbars clip on/off in a few seconds, so it's easy to clean up the aero when I'm NOT carrying anything on the roof. The crossbars fit nicely inside the car in the trunk (I used slightly shorter crossbars than Yakima called for because the ones the Yakima catalog suggested seemed too long for the car). None of the Yakima spoilers fit well for this application, so removing the bare bars is essential to prevent wind noise. When something is on the bars, it breaks up the airflow enough that I don't get humming.

    These should last a long time between the Plusnuts and the sealant for extra protection.

    This solution works great for me.
     
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