Mount Roof Rack in Roof Channels?

Discussion in 'Prius v Accessories and Modifications' started by sengler, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. sengler

    sengler Junior Member

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    I would like to install a roof rack on my 2017 Prius v Four (no sunroof). I don't want to mount the rack though the doors as most racks are installed on this car so that it's a cleaner look and I have more flexibility on the position of the bars. I've seen channels that can be permanently installed on the roof, but the car is leased and I don't want to get charged for modifying the car. I also noticed that under the black plastic trim on either side of the roof is a channel that is somewhat concave. Has anyone tried mounting a rack in this channel using a t-bolt or wedge without drilling through the roof? If this won't work, is there a rack that could be installed by drilling in this channel so that I could replace the plastic trim at the end of the lease and cover up the drilled holes? Thanks.
     
  2. Offline

    Offline Member

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    Oh how I hate roof racks for lots of reasons but mainly for the horrible wind roar that comes with them. I've had a number of roof racks and baskets and still have a Yakima in the basement that might work on our Prius v if I wanted to use it.

    I looked at that roof channel on our Prius v this morning and I don't think there is anyway that a rack attachment could be wedged into it. Similar roof channels on Honda cars in the 1980's were actually designed to hold roof racks but I never saw the racks in the U.S.

    Drill holes in the roof of a leased vehicle? Surely you jest.

    If you absolutely have to have a roof rack, you could buy one specifically designed for the Prius v / Prius+.

    Here is a link to a company in the UK that ships the Prius+ roof rack worldwide: Genuine Toyota ROOF RACK PZ403G8610GA

    And here is a link to the installation instructions for this rack: https://www.toyota-tech.eu/aimuploads/6a3d684f-1e77-4e2d-8f52-4d36fc35e3e9/Prius%20plus_Roof_Rack_PZ403_G8610_GA_AIM_002_288_1.pdf

    What do you want to carry? Is there another way besides a roof rack?

    I installed a inexpensive Curt receiver hitch ($95 from etrailer.com) on our Prius v for hauling bikes on a Pro Series 2-bike rack and I'm sure the Prius could easily to tow my 4'x8' utility trailer if I didn't have a larger vehicle for that. Little utility trailers are pretty cheap and last "forever". A trailer hitch and wiring harness could be removed before turning your Prius in a the end of the lease.
     
  3. lrisius

    lrisius Junior Member

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    I'd hate to be the poor schmuck that bought that car with the holes in the grooves when you turn it back in after the lease.

    We've got a Yakima that we put on and off as needed, I think we have only used it about once a year. As offline said, it generates some wind noise and affects the mileage but it works without causing any permanent damage to the vehicle.
     
  4. sengler

    sengler Junior Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I’d looked at the Toyota rack, but couldn’t find any reviews about it. Does anyone have experience with it?

    The main use for the rack will be to carry a roof box for skis. Putting bars across at the door openings will place the roof box too far forward such that it will extend over the windshield and leave extra space at the back of the roof. I was hoping to find a system that would allow me to mount it further back on the car. I would surely seal the holes before returning the vehicle at the end of the lease.

    The good news is that the dealer installed the hitch for us when we picked up the car, so we can carry our bikes on the back and don’t need to worry about removing it at the end of the lease. They even installed a wiring harness, which is curious, because I thought towing a trailer would void the warranty.
     
  5. Offline

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    I wouldn't worry about the quality of that Toyota rack. Toyota and Lexus dealers in Europe have been selling essentially that same rack for decades with attachment hardware for a variety of vehicles.

    Wouldn't a roof box have to fit rather far forward in order for the rear hatch door to open? Do you already have a roof box? You're going to need a fairly long one unless you're carrying only "baby skis" or snowboards. Toyota sells a Thule 232 cm roof box in Europe for the Prius+/v. It's the Thule Dachbox 700.

    Gosh, if you have a trailer hitch you could buy a hitch ski rack and put the noise behind you where you won't hear it at all. Google "hitch ski rack". Depending on your bike rack type, you might be able to get a relatively inexpensive ski / snowboard attachment for it.

    I carried naked skis on the roofs of vehicles for decades and detested the noise but I was driving about 800 miles each way to get to my ski destinations. A simple roof ski rack might work for you and the noise probably wouldn't be any worse than the noise from carrying a roof box. Magnetic ski racks have been around for at least 20 years. A ski shop where I live had a magnetic ski rack on display and would give one free to anyone who could pull it off the display roof panel - many tried, including me, but no one ever could.

    If I was still skiing, I would be using a hitch ski rack.
     
  6. sengler

    sengler Junior Member

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    I have the roof box already and it's handy for carrying lots of gear in addition to skis. When I put the box in the standard position for most racks, including the Toyota rack, the roof box extends over the windshield with lots of room to spare behind it. I was hoping there was a way to mount it further aft to avoid this. I found the image below showing the Toyota rack with the Thule box they sell in Europe. It looks like it has the same issue. Perhaps I can just mount the crossbars further back.

    I wish Toyota would include at least an option for a factory installed rack. This is standard equipment on most wagons (such as the VW Sportwagen and Subaru Outback). I doubt the side rails would add much wind resistance until the crossbars are installed, so it wouldn't hurt the mileage too much most of the time.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Offline

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    Maybe the positioning is to more equally distribute the weight in the roof box. I don't understand why you think extending it over the windshield is a problem.

    I kind of liked looking upward and verifying that our skis were still there. I've seen a number of skis and other stuff fly off roof top racks over the years and once saw an entire roof rack and contents come off a vehicle at highway speeds.
     
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