Is there a way to install a roof rack on tracks (without clips)?

Discussion in 'Prius v Accessories and Modifications' started by Nick G., Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Nick G.

    Nick G. New Member

    Dec 30, 2017
    2012 Prius v wagon
    It's a 2012 Prius V wagon.

    Looking for a roof rack, but I don't like base towers that are held by clips and would like the one that gets mounted on tracks. However, I can't seem to find a clear answer about whether it's possible without drilling holes in the roof at all. There's a "recess" in the roof, which I hope there're tracks that can somehow mount in.

    There're Yakima and Thule tracks that are universal, but I haven't been able to find a post/video of someone installing it on a newer Prius.

    Does anyone has experience and/or can point to posts/videos with details?
  2. Offline

    Offline Active Member

    Sep 3, 2012
    Lenexa, Kansas
    2012 Prius v wagon
    How would that "somehow" work? One of the Honda Accords we bought in the 1980's had threaded mounting holes for a roof rack underneath the removable rubber that was stuffed into the channels on both sides of the roof. Does your Prius v have mounting holes for a rack under the rubber trim in the channels? Roof racks have to be very securely attached - I've had a number of them on which I carried bicycles, snow skis and cargo. I've seen an entire roof rack and its contents fly off a vehicle at highway speed and more than one case of just contents spilling off ... including a brother-in-law's wakeboard disappearing in the distance behind his vehicle - landed in the median but was taken by somebody else before we could get back to it.

    The only thread I remember about someone installing permanent tracks for a roof rack involved drilling holes: Prius v (Lowercase v for the Prius v wagon) Five - Custom Yakima 54" track and DIY instructions | PriusChat

    A potential problem with installing drilling holes and mounting permanent tracks for a roof rack in roof sheet metal is that there is potential for collapsing the roof if the rack is overloaded. Toyota vehicles with factory installed roof rails have steel reinforcement girders above the headliners where the roof rails attach. For example, a Sienna like our has the factory installed roof rails and the reinforcement girders. The base trim "L" Sienna, however, doesn't come with the roof rails or the reinforcement girders and Toyota warns against carrying anything on its roof.

    The very outboard portions of the Prius v roof where OEM Toyota roof racks mount are obviously much more sturdy than the thin sheet metal of the main portion of the roof. There is a photo of the roof rack sold in Europe for the Prius v/+ at Mount Roof Rack in Roof Channels? | PriusChat

    What do you want to carry on a roof rack? Would a trailer hitch work for your purposes? It took about 15 minutes to install a $100 Curt receiver hitch on our Prius v. We use it only for a receiver mounted bike rack but I suppose it could be used to carry a small cargo tray or box. If we weren't retired from snow skiing, I would get ski attachments for our hitch mounted bike racks. One of the best aspects of carrying stuff on a hitch is that it puts the gawd awful wind noise behind the vehicle where it can't be heard.
  3. Bill the Engineer

    Bill the Engineer Senior Member

    Jun 6, 2013
    At the beach in Delaware...
    2010 Prius

    Above is a cross-section of the Prius v roof. All of rhe strength is above the side door openings. The remainder of the roof is one thin sheet of metal that won't take any weight at all. Your best and really only option is the clamp-on style of roof rack which works perfectly well by the way.

    (Photo from the early stages of the Firebrid Project.)

    Bill the Engineer
    2012 Prius v wagon 3 likes this.