OEM Cross Bar Review

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by altruistguy, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. altruistguy

    altruistguy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    7
    4
    0
    Location:
    Holland, MI
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I've been using this product for over a year on my 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. I find this product to be engineered FAR better than I expected -- the only thing I could possibly ask to be better would be materially less hi-speed wind noise (which is a really tough nut to crack -- probably impossible).

    On my past Priuses, I've used Yakima's "Control Tower" crossbar attachment mechanisms (i.e., with their crossbars). But I didn't like that, when some load was on top, whether it be kayaks, bicycles, or load boxes, the force of oncoming wind would be so very strong as to blow the entire unit backwards on the car -- by as much as six inches (!!). Once, this effect was so severe as to permanently DENT the roof of the Prius. So I was looking for a solution which didn't move fore-and-aft. I was semi-seriously considering permanently installing Yakima's "Landing Pads" on the roof of the car -- but decided against it because I was so scared of damaging something when drilling through the roof to install it. But now with this Toyota OEM product, there is no longer any need for Prius Prime owners to consider ANY other crossbar options.

    It is difficult to imagine this item being any better than it already is. Among the desirable considerations:
    1) Like the Yakima Control Towers (and virtually all other non-permanent rack systems), there is a clip that grabs the underside of the door sill to secure the unit to the car. HOWEVER, rather than this being just a "friction-fit" (as is the case with virtually all others), this unit prevents fore-and-aft motion of the unit by having a metal "nipple" aiming up from the clip. The metal nipple fits into a small hole in the underside of the door sill (this hole is built into the vehicle during manufacture -- to install the unit, you just have to remove a plastic piece that is orginarily covering the already-existing hole). Thus, the unit is 100% prevented from moving aft on your roof because of the force of wind.

    2) Because of the holes alluded to above, there is no measuring necessary when installing the bars. With my old Yakima setup, I had to use a tape measure to ensure that I was attaching the bars in the precisely correct places on the car. This is easier -- there is only one place on the car (the right place) where the unit will attach!

    3) When Installing, the unit comes with a special allen-wrench that is also a pre-set torque wrench. It ensures that, when tightening the clip that pulls up on the underside of the window sill, you don't over-tighten and damage the vehicle. CONVENIENT!

    4) When installing, on the underside of the four "feet" (i.e., the rubber pieces that actually contact the top of the roof), there are obvious indications to guide placement. For example, "RF" means right-front, "RR" means right rear, "LF" means left front, and "LR" means left rear. CONVENIENT!

    5) After you attach the rack, there are plastic covers that fit over the attachment mechanisms to make them more aerodynamic. There are two convenient "keys" included for attaching them (the special keys are light and easy to use -- they just require a 90° twist to lock in place).

    So could this be any better? Yes, but not very much better.
    - It would be better if there were less wind noise at high speeds. But I'm thinking this is pretty difficult to eliminate. While I noticed the wind-noise at speeds above 40 mph or so, it wasn't particularly obnoxious, but "your mileage may vary." It wasn't obnoxious enough to cause me to remove the crossbars when I wasn't carrying cargo up there.
    - The instructions are to limit loads to a max of 152 pounds -- and even then to center it on bars both fore-and-aft and left to right. I think that I've exceeded that. I'm just thrilled (and surprised) that the load limit is greater than ZERO (which was the max recommended roof load on my 2008 and 2014 Priuses -- and which I dramatically exceeded on those vehicles).
    - While it certainly reduces gas (and electric) mileage somewhat, I don't think that the effect was that great. I have no way of measuring the effect, of course, but I found that, even with the bars, careful driving allowed me to do some SERIOUS hyper-miling with my Prius Prime.

    The instructions recommend not exceeding 75 mph with the crossbars attached. They also recommend checking the torque on the four attachment points every 600 miles -- something which I failed to do last year, but when I removed the rack for the winter, I don't recall noticing that it had loosened.

    Here are the installation instructions:
    https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/resources/installation/TPD/my16%20prius%20my17%20prius%20prime%20cross%20bars-dio%20issb.pdf

    This product is apparently available at the moment in the Priuschat store. It is Toyota Part Number
    PW301-47005.
     
    kevin.c and broncobilly_69 like this.
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,185
    7,313
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Thanks for the write-up. When I first acquired my PRIME two years ago, I seriously considered buying this OEM cross bars to circumvent small cargo space. However, after reading some thread here mentioning about the high wind noise at highway speed, I decided not to. After all, only time I would need to use a roof carrier is when I am traveling a long distance with full load of people. Fortunately, I never had an occasion needing such a roof rack in the past two years. We now added a second car, SUV for that purpose, so it is no longer needed for PRIME.
     
  3. heiwa

    heiwa Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    222
    214
    0
    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    What kind of attachments are available? I'm particularly interested in ski and snowboard attachments. How about kayak? Costs? Thanks.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  4. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    920
    601
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    When I had a round bar roof rack, I found that wrapping one bungee cord in a spiral around the front crossbar almost completely eliminated wind noise. I don't know if it would work here, but it's worth a try.

    If the load has to be centered, then they need to make the shark fin removable or lower profile. On most cars with a shark fin, my roof box will hit the shark fin unless I move the box all the way to one side.
     
  5. SteveMucc

    SteveMucc Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    391
    266
    0
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    didn't someone try a thule wind deflector on the OEM's and state that they saw a significantly decreased amount of wind noise?
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,185
    7,313
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Yes, I remember reading about it. I can't find the thread though.
     
  7. SteveMucc

    SteveMucc Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    391
    266
    0
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    neither can I... I do remember reading about it as I noticed and disliked the wind noise when I first got my car (it "came with" the roof bars). My wife liked the looks of the bars on the car and wanted to keep them on, but I just couldn't live with the roof noise on a daily commuter. If I remember the thread was way back in Sept or Oct of 2017 or so (just around the time I bought my car).
     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,185
    7,313
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I think I found it. comment #26 (the last comment on this thread)
    Crossbars Noise | Page 2 | PriusChat
     
  9. SteveMucc

    SteveMucc Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    391
    266
    0
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Salamander_King likes this.
Loading...