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Base Roof Rack Systems

Different cars require different Base Roof Rack Systems, so the first step is to assess which roof rack options are available for your car and then select the type best suited for what you want it to do for you. Once you figure out which type you would like, assembling the base roof rack system will be straightforward, and you will be off and running, or riding, in no time.

BASE ROOF RACK SYSTEM INFORMATION

These car rack systems are best dissected into the components which combine to create the complete solution. Towers or Feet sit on the four corners of your roof and attach to either your bare roof, with the addition of a specific kit/clip, or to your existing factory roof rails or factory mount track/fixed points. Load Bars or Crossbars attach to your towers/feet and run from driver-side window to passenger-side window to create a mounting point for your accessories. Different cars require different towers/feet and deciding which ones work for you can sometimes be complex. If at any point you find yourself confused, check one of our Automated Roof Rack Fit Guides and enter your car's year, make and model then we will do the thinking for you. Below we will explain the various options that depend on the current state of your car's roof, be it bare or maybe if it already has an inadequate roof rack installed by the manufacturer.

View Base Roof Rack Systems


BARE ROOF - BASE ROOF RACK OPTIONS

If your vehicle does not have rain gutters or a factory roof rack installed this is the option for you.

Yakima Q TowerThe Yakima Q Tower System is composed of 4 Towers that attach to the four corners of your vehicle's roof and requires 4 Q Clips that are custom designed to attach to the contours of your vehicle's roof and 2 round Yakima Crossbars. Bar size and Q Clip depend on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Note that Q Clips are sold in sets of 2, and two sets are required to complete a base roof rack system.

Thule 480 TraverseThe Thule 480 Traverse Foot Pack System is the best fitting foot for vehicles without a factory rack or rain gutters. Thule 480 Traverse replaces the Thule 400XT Aero foot, offering simplified installation and a stronger fit.

All Bare Roof Base Rack Systems come with built-in locking capability, simply add a Lock Cylinder to each tower/foot and you get complete security. Aerodynamics is the key to lowering your vehicle's fuel consumption and to eliminate the wind noise a roof rack will sometimes create. A Fairing attaches to the front bar of your rack and deflects wind above and around your rack and is an excellent accessory purchase. Note that Lock cylinders and Fairings are sold separately.


FACTORY ATTACHED RACK - BASE ROOF RACK OPTIONS

Some vehicles come with a roof rack installed by the vehicle manufacturer that in most cases falls short on functionality or lacks crossbars all together. Factory Installed Roof Racks generally come with either a raised side rail or a continuous side rail. In order to determine which style you have, if you can slide a finger underneath the side rail they are raised rails otherwise they are continuous.

Vehicles with Raised Side Rails:

Yakima RailGrabThe Yakima RailGrab grabs onto your rails and refuses to let go; finally a tower that mounts to both raised rail and flush factory roof racks. Requires 2 crossbars (sold separately). Bar size depends on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

Thule 450 CrossroadThe Thule 450 Crossroad is composed of 4 Feet that wrap around your vehicle's factory installed roof rack and requires 2 square Thule Load Bars (sold separately). Bar size depends on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

Thule 450R Rapid CrossroadThe Thule 450R Rapid Crossroad is composed of 4 Feet that wrap around your vehicle's factory installed roof rack and requires 2 oval Thule Rapid Aero Load Bars (sold separately). Bar size depends on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.


Vehicles with Continuous Side Rails:

Yakima RailGrabThe Yakima RailGrab grabs onto your rails and refuses to let go; finally a tower that mounts to both raised rail and flush factory roof racks. Requires 2 crossbars (sold separately). Bar size depends on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.


Thule 440 Subaru Specialty CarrierTo see a list of available Thule options for your vehicle, please refer to the Thule Automated Roof Rack Fit Guide.



All Factory Mount Base Roof Rack Systems come with built-in locking capability, simply add a Lock Cylinder to each tower/foot and you get complete security. Aerodynamics is the key to lowering your vehicle's fuel consumption and to eliminate the wind noise a roof rack will sometimes create. A Fairing attaches to the front bar of your rack and deflects wind above and around your rack and is an excellent accessory purchase. Note that Lock cylinders and Fairings are sold separately.


FACTORY REPLACEMENT RACK - BASE ROOF RACK OPTIONS

Lots of new vehicles come with pre-drilled installation points where one can attach a roof rack purchased from the manufacturer after the fact, which some might find drastically over-priced. If this is the case, or you want to remove and replace your under-performing factory roof rack all together, this is the solution for you.

Yakima Control TowerThe Yakima Control Tower System is composed of a set of 4 Towers that attach to the four corners of your vehicle's roof and requires 4 Landing Pads custom designed to attach to your existing factory mounts and 2 round Yakima Crossbars. Bar size and Landing Pad depend on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

Yakima 54 Inch Track with PlusnutsThe Yakima 54 Inch Tracks turn your vehicle's roof into a platform for adventure. Similar to factory installed channels, the Yakima tracks accomodate Control Towers as your base roof rack, and the usual range of gear mounts.


Whispbar S16 Base RackThe award winning Whispbar S16 base rack employs 1190mm (47 inches) through bars, giving your vehicle a quiet, solid, OEM style roof rack. The Whispbar S16 from Yakima is preassembled, and requires a fit kit specific to your vehicle.

Thule 460R Podium Aero Fixpoint FootThe Thule 460R Podium Aero Fixpooint Foot System is composed of 4 Feet that attach to the four corners of your vehicle's roof and requires a Podium Fit Kit custom designed to attach to your existing factory mounts and 2 oval Thule Rapid Aero Bars. Bar size and Podium Fit Kit depend on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

All Factory Replacement Base Roof Rack Systems come with built-in locking capability, simply add a Lock Cylinder to each tower/foot and you get complete security. Aerodynamics is the key to lowering your vehicle's fuel consumption and to eliminate the wind noise a roof rack will sometimes create. A Fairing attaches to the front bar of your rack and deflects wind above and around your rack and is an excellent accessory purchase. Note that Lock cylinders and Fairings are sold separately.


BARE ROOF WITH RAIN GUTTERS - BASE ROOF RACK OPTIONS

If your vehicle has rain gutters and no factory roof rack installed this is the option for you.

Yakima Raingutter TowerThe Yakima 1A Raingutter is composed of a set of 4 Towers that clamp on to your vehicle's rain gutter on the four corners of your roof and requires 2 round Yakima Crossbars (sold separately). Bar size depends on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

Thule Rain Gutter Foot PacksThule offers a variety of Rain Gutter Foot Pack Systems for a variety of different clearance requirements. Each is composed of a set of 4 Feet and requires 2 square Thule Load Bars (sold separately).


Some of the Rain Gutter Mount Base Roof Rack Systems come with built-in locking capability, simply add a Lock Cylinder to each tower/foot and you get complete security. Aerodynamics is the key to lowering your vehicle's fuel consumption and to eliminate the wind noise a roof rack will sometimes create. A Fairing attaches to the front bar of your rack and deflects wind above and around your rack and is an excellent accessory purchase. Note that Lock cylinders and Fairings are sold separately.


WHISPBAR BASE ROOF RACK VIDEO

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STILL CONFUSED...?!

If at this point you are still confused, or just cannot decide which solution is best suited for you try one of the Automated Roof Rack Fit Guides listed below where you simply enter your vehicle make, model, and year and let us do the rest.

Find A Rack That Fits Your Vehicle - View Base Rack Video

Rack Finder Fit Guide Thule Rack Finder Fit Guide Yakima Rack Finder Fit Guide

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