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View Full Version : Roof rack: maximum bar spread with OEM roof rails and Thule/Yakima towers?



CCR76
09-06-2012, 01:09 AM
I'm deciding between fixed mount Yakima Landing Pad 11 and Control Towers, or getting the OEM rails and clamping on Thule Crossroad or similar. Attaching at the fixed mounting points gives a wider spread--42" to 48" from the looks of it--which is important because I have a long flexible kayak which needs as wide a base as possible. 42" would be adequate. My previous car gave me 47" or more. Other threads have suggested the CX-5 bar spread with OEM rails and bars is much less, but I'm wondering if the aftermarket clamp-on bar holders would give at least a little wider spread. The ability to adjust would be nice. It looks like the OEM rails don't allow enough forward travel.

I am also intrigued by the idea of mounting universal tracks in the roof gutters, but that looks like more trouble than it's worth.

Your experience?

Thanks,

Kurt

ZuluCX
09-06-2012, 09:12 AM
I replied in the how to thread, but i will measure tonight.

icarlos
09-06-2012, 09:14 AM
I have the aero blades from Thule and they look great, just be ready for some wind noise. Here is the setup i got :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kN7RrqKEpA

Schief
09-06-2012, 12:55 PM
Here is a site to compare the Yakima options http://fitlookup.yakima.com/fitlookup.aspx. I am now using the Yakima RailGrab setup and the max bar spread is 33". For the Control Towers it is 43". I have a 16' Hobie Adventure kayak that I car top and on my previous vehicle the spread was only 25". I had no problems with this setup so I'm confident that the 33" spread I have now is adequate.

rjdee
09-06-2012, 01:57 PM
I'm deciding between fixed mount Yakima Landing Pad 11 and Control Towers, or getting the OEM rails and clamping on Thule Crossroad or similar. Attaching at the fixed mounting points gives a wider spread--42" to 48" from the looks of it--which is important because I have a long flexible kayak which needs as wide a base as possible. 42" would be adequate. My previous car gave me 47" or more. Other threads have suggested the CX-5 bar spread with OEM rails and bars is much less, but I'm wondering if the aftermarket clamp-on bar holders would give at least a little wider spread. The ability to adjust would be nice. It looks like the OEM rails don't allow enough forward travel.

I am also intrigued by the idea of mounting universal tracks in the roof gutters, but that looks like more trouble than it's worth.

Your experience?

Thanks,

Kurt

Without drilling into the roof the LP11 fit will give you the longest bar spread. If boats are all you plan on carrying it'll work well. One of the advantages is that the rear bar is real close to the rear of the car. You do have to drill or cut the black trim strip on the roof. I did a LP11 initially and have swapped over to a custom track with Whispbar through bars. It's hard to tell in the photos but the front bar is more forward on the Whispbar system than on the LandingPad system.

The other option you could run would be to use a Qtower on the front door and a Control Tower/LP11 in back. That would give you the longest bar spread of a "stock" system. It would come close to the 47" you had before. You'll also be hard pressed to find a barspread greater than 40".

I find factory roof rack systems to compromising for my preferences. My other car is a Suburban with 78" Yakima bars when I really need to carry a load.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/47895251/IMAG1003.jpghttps://dl.dropbox.com/u/47895251/IMAG1042.jpg

I'm more than happy to give you additional feedback. I also notice I should get better images one of these days.

CCR76
09-07-2012, 12:20 AM
Thanks all for the responses. The tracks look nice but I don't think I have the guts to drill holes in my car just yet. Interesting idea about a hybrid Q-tower/landing pad system. I wonder about the Qtowers though, there really isn't a very good lip inside the door, and I'm leery of any kind of clamp against the paint. Rjdee, looks like you put your front landing pads on the rear pair of front holes, could they instead attach to the front pair? That would give even wider spread and would maybe make the front bars a little lower in relation to the rears? I wonder when the mfrs will start offering towers or bases in a selection of heights to help users level their bars, as we get more vehicles like the CX5 with roofs that slope downward in back?

Carlos, you mentioned wind noise with the Thule aero bars on factory rails, do you also get noise with just the rails?

icarlos
09-07-2012, 06:42 AM
No noise with the rails. Good luck!

rjdee
09-07-2012, 10:31 AM
I did use the rear holes on the front and the forward holes on the rear bracket. I needed to get the box and a bike mount to fit. It is about 5" between the holes on each bracket.
I've used the Qtower front fit to complement the rack on a number of vehicles when I needed a third bar due to a heavy load or when I need the longest barspread (Tandem kayak or 4 sea kayaks).
With the Q towers most cars grab the car in this manner. There are thin vinyl pads (stickers) that attach to inside of the clip to protect the paint and adds to the grip to the car. I know some folks also use the clear 3m vinyl to protect the paint under the tower and where the clip touches the car.

Regarding the height difference between the front to rear bars, I contemplated making a tapered shim under the tracks but the difference isn't significant on the CX5. I have seen a number of Acuras and Lexus CUVs where it's bad and the boats/box seem like they're launching off the roof. The PT Cruiser is horrible in the opposite way since there is such a drop on the front roofline.