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Wish we could lock the cross bars in place with a security key.


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Discussion Starter #3
How many people actually use them ? . I used them on my trip to key west from Toronto , 2 Thule racks , and was pleasantly surprised as to no wind noise . As mentioned in previous post , a torex bit or Allen key , would have been the ideal fastener for the cross rails . If anybody wants to see theirs ( cross rails ) I’m looking for a 2nd set , send me a message . Thanks
 

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Have you used your roof rack and rails for anything ? What would you change about it ?
They are a nice looking and clever accessory (being able to stow when not in use). But that said, mine stay stowed. Why? Because of two things: 1) The 150 lbs weight limit rules out most use of the racks. A cargo box or bike carrier can use used, but the weight limit threshold rules out practical use of these accessories, as I can't store multiple bikes or load my roof box like I want. 2) Aftermarket providers of racks such as Thule or Yakima have not yet come out with their own rail system for the Pacifica, which would allow you to bypass the weight limit on the facotry rack. These exist for Sienna and Odyssey, and I am not sure if it's just there's not enough market for them or time on the market that has prevented them from rolling them out.

So with these two things, they are useless to me. Love the engineering, but functionally disappointing. That is, until we get an aftermarket rack solution.
 

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I leave my crossbars on for about 7 months of the year, while I'm in Florida. I regularly carry an Ocean brand tandem kayak or a SUP on it. Have some nice pads for them that I picked up at West Marine. The pads definitely add wind noise however, but I use it frequently enough that I leave them on all the time during the season.
 

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Just did 3500 miles from midwest up to New England area and back with a Thule cargo box mounted, no wind noise and we averaged right around 32-34mpg on a hybrid with 6 occupants and fully loaded down.
 

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Just did 3500 miles from midwest up to New England area and back with a Thule cargo box mounted, no wind noise and we averaged right around 32-34mpg on a hybrid with 6 occupants and fully loaded down.
You must have covered virtually every road in New England! I'd budget max 2000 miles for the to/from, so that leaves 1500 miles within NE, which ain't exactly Texas-sized!
 

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Have you used your roof rack and rails for anything ? What would you change about it ?
I don't use the cross pieces, but I've got a couple angle irons screwed into the side pieces. I used bolts through the angle irons with a varying number of nuts under the angle irons to allow me to screw the bolts into (existing) holes in the side pieces, keeping the angle irons more or less horizontal.

With this setup, I've been able to mount both Thule and Yakima crossbars and all of their various specialized accessories.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I’m shocked that Thule or any other rack retailer hasn’t come up with a aftermarket cross bars and rail system to plug right into the factory ones. All the piece and holes in place , all they would need is a lockable unit with a key to lock it down to the side rails .
 

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Probably simply a demand issue. I find the stock rack system to be bulky and ugly even when not in use. I'm also disappointed that the stow cross bars don't have slots.
 

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They are a nice looking and clever accessory (being able to stow when not in use). But that said, mine stay stowed. Why? Because of two things: 1) The 150 lbs weight limit rules out most use of the racks. A cargo box or bike carrier can use used, but the weight limit threshold rules out practical use of these accessories, as I can't store multiple bikes or load my roof box like I want.
How much do your bikes each weigh? And what do you want to load the box with, gravel? 150 pounds is no ladder rack, but it's not useless by a long shot.
 

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I used the roof rack on my 2017 for the first time last month. Had never even LOOKED up there until I realized I needed to transport two big ladders. The un-stowing & installing was pretty straightforward after paying attention to all the A B C D markings. It was plenty sturdy for just a couple of ladders, but you can "feel" that it could not hold a lot of weight overall.

This is clearly a "you'll probably never need this, but here it is just in case" sort of implementation. I am guessing that when they did user research, the percentage of previous "minivan" owners that actually utilized a roof rack was low... and those that needed a heavy-duty weight limit was even lower. Honestly, this was probably the first time I've even USED a roof rack on any of my vehicles in the past decade or two... so for ME... this implementation is perfect. Out of the way and reduced wind-drag for 99.99% of my driving, but available when needed.

Having SAID that... it would have been nice if there was a means of appending-to... or supplementing the built-in rack to allow for a beefier solution without having to modify your vehicle... even a Mopar-designed solution that you buy aftermarket to install alongside (or upon) the stock solution.
 

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How much do your bikes each weigh? And what do you want to load the box with, gravel? 150 pounds is no ladder rack, but it's not useless by a long shot.
Ok, let's do the math: I would add two Yakima front loader bike racks and a Yakima Skybox 21 (maybe not the lightest components, but I'm brand loyal and already own some of them). Dry weight on these without anything is 98 lbs. Add my two bikes to the racks (Trek FX3's) and you add 26lbs each for 52 lbs. That brings the whole thing - two racks, two bikes and an EMPTY box up the 150 lbs weight limit. So no, one doesn't need to haul gravel in a rooftop box to exceed the weight limit - the dead air seems to do that already.

Sienna and Odyssey might not be that much different on their factory rack weight limits too, I'm not sure. But when I say the Paciifca rack is useless to me, it's also a statement that there are no third-party, off-the-shelf rack systems available by which you can bypass the factory rack (and it's weight limit) which I have done on my previous Siennas.
 

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Odyssey is 165 pounds, Sienna is 110.

If you need to carry more than that, why not get a trailer hitch? Tounge weight on the Pacifica (without heavy duty radiator) is 150 pounds, and a rear mounted two bike rack is ~20 pounds (Thule has an aluminum hitch mount bike rack with this weight). The max weight that rack supports is 2 bikes at 37.5 pounds - a 95 pound total load. Then add that to the ~100 pound remaining load on your roof (150 max weight rating less ~40-50 pound box) and you have plenty of cargo capacity.

The weight rating isn't just the cross bars - it's the structure of the vehicle and the anchor points for the side bars. 3rd party vendors haven't come out with an alternative to the factory rack because there is no market for it. Ever since Chrysler/Dodge came out with the stowing cross bars (I think it was 2011) there has been no real need to provide other options. Is it the perfect cross bar? Maybe not, but it hits 90%+ of all use cases, and it's always on top of the van, but not in the way (clearing snow) when it doesn't have to be. That eliminates all but the "I always have something on my roof" crowd.
 

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Ok, let's do the math
What vehicle are you using or have you used that met your load requirements?

FWIW: The roof of this vehicle can support the weight of the vehicle if turned upside down without collapsing. I think the force rating is something like 20k lbs.

Any number of aftermarket track systems could be used and small adapter can easily be fabricated to support fixed foot/podium/ditch racks.

I'd have zero concern re-racking this van and putting more weight than spec'd on the roof.
 

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FWIW: The roof of this vehicle can support the weight of the vehicle if turned upside down without collapsing. I think the force rating is something like 20k lbs.

I'd have zero concern re-racking this van and putting more weight than spec'd on the roof.
Well, yeah... I think it's safe to presume that the weak link in the chain are the screw-in crossmembers. The rails themselves are light and do not feel "substantial" at the hinged joints... and all that's holding them in place are those thumb-tight screws. That seems to me to be where the restriction comes in - not the rails affixed to the body/chassis.
 

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Well, yeah... I think it's safe to presume that the weak link in the chain are the screw-in crossmembers. The rails themselves are light and do not feel "substantial" at the hinged joints... and all that's holding them in place are those thumb-tight screws. That seems to me to be where the restriction comes in - not the rails affixed to the body/chassis.
My 2010 Town and Country (much beefier cross bars, heavier connectors) had a 150 pound weight rating. My 2015 Dodge Journey, with factory rails and cross bars - and the cross bars clamp into pre-slotted positions and grip into the side rails - also has a 150 pound weight rating.

It's not just one component - it's adding large amounts of weight to the top of an already slightly top heavy vehicle. The laws of physics (of particular concern here is momentum) are unkind.

Sure - the factory equipment will probably hold 250 pounds without a problem. It's not tested for it, and it's not factory rated for it. That doesn't mean you can't do it, it just means it has not been tested and the manufacturer cannot guarantee the safety of using it in that manner. And if it does cause a problem, you're the one who ignored weight limits.
 

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Well, yeah... I think it's safe to presume that the weak link in the chain are the screw-in crossmembers. The rails themselves are light and do not feel "substantial" at the hinged joints... and all that's holding them in place are those thumb-tight screws. That seems to me to be where the restriction comes in - not the rails affixed to the body/chassis.
Agreed. I personally would replace the entire system rather than fab new cross bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I used the rails and rack on my trip from Toronto to key west Florida . I put 2 of my Thule racks on the cross bars and loaded them up . The ride was flawless with zero noise and never had a concern about the factory screw downs . I would also summiize that the load weight is more than 150 lbs as long as it’s distributed evenly and over the cross bars .
 

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I’m shocked that Thule or any other rack retailer hasn’t come up with a aftermarket cross bars and rail system to plug right into the factory ones. All the piece and holes in place , all they would need is a lockable unit with a key to lock it down to the side rails .
Any chance of you posting some pics of your modification? As a long time owner of numerous Thule and Yakima setups on several vehicles over the years, I'm determined to adapt my 2020 Limited's useless factory rails to mount either Yakima or Thule towers and crossbars so I can carry two kayaks.
 
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