Frequently Asked Rack Questions

Answered are some of the more common questions asked of our rack technicians. If you can not find what you are looking for here we recommend you either: send a customer support request, ask a rack technician, or use one of our automated online fit guides for help.

What are my rack options for my vehicle?

Your vehicle rack options are completely dependant on what type of vehicle you have. The best means of weighing out your rack options is to utilize one of our automated online fit guides. These fit guides will take all of the information about your vehicle (year, make, model, etc.) and provide you with all of the options you have available.

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Do I have to drill holes in my roof?

Drilling is not required. It is, however, an option on some vehicles, if you prefer a permanent mount. We have multi-sport systems which clamp to the roof without the need for drilling, welding, or permanently installing anything to your car. They are, for the most part, easy to install and remove.

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My vehicle doesn't have rain gutters; can I still put a roof rack on it?

Absolutely! Since the mid-eighties, vehicle manufacturers have been putting the rain gutters inside the door frame to give their vehicles a cleaner, sleeker look. The rain gutters are still there, it's just that they are internal. Today's racks mount by resting on the roof on a rubber pad and clamp on to the internal rain gutter with a clip that is specifically designed for each vehicle. They are very secure, yet easy to attach and detach, and won't scratch your paint.

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How can I carry my gear on my factory rack?

There are many options available for factory racks. The best of which is to add an aftermarket rack that will clamp directly on to your raised factory rails, turning that factory rack in to a multi-sport ready system typically with a higher weight capacity. In some cases, you can purchase adaptor clips to carry bikes, skis/snowboards, or kayak cradles.

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What if I change vehicles?

Base rack systems are now designed to be as diverse as possible. Having said that, it is likely that a rack system will not directly transfer from one vehicle to another. In most cases, you will be able to transfer over your crossbars, towers, and accessories and only need to purchase a new fit kit or q clip. In the case of a vehicle with a factory rack, you will need to have a rack already designed to mount to the factory system. The best way to compare the difference from vehicle to vehicle is to use our automated online rack fit guides.

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Can I put a hitch on my car?

Trailer hitches and receiver-style hitches are more and more often proving to be a very popular option. Today's hitches require no welding, and most require no drilling. Rack Attack sells and installs hitches for just about every make and model out there, from Porsches to Econonline Vans. We have hitches available from Curt, Hidden Hitch, Draw Tite, Reese, Da'Lan, and Valley. A hitch can give you the option of using a hitch mounted bike rack or ski/snowboard carrier, keeping everything away from your vehicles painted surfaces, and allows your roof rack (if you have one) to be used for luggage or other long or bulky items.

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Can I take the hitch I have now and put it on another vehicle?

Nope. Unless you have incredible luck, or you buy the same vehicle, you will most likely have to buy a new hitch. Hitches are customized to fit particular vehicles so they are in most cases, better left with the vehicle.

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Can I get replacement parts for my rack?

Absolutely! Rack Attack has a large selection of replacement parts already available online. Anything that we don't have in stock we can definitely bring in. Have a look at the detailed page for your particular rack item and see if there is a spare parts link.

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Can I go through a car wash with my rack on my car?

No! When you wash your car you should remove the rack because:

  1. The rack might snag on some of the machinery of the car wash and damage your car, or worse, the car wash
  2. Wand washing your car could blow dirt underneath the pads of your rack system, which will end up damaging the vehicle's finish
  3. You want to take the rack off so that you can clean away any water stains or dirt that managed to sneak under your pads. Also so you can check your contact points for wear

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Now that I have a rack, how does underground parking affect me?

One of the most terrifying moments for any rack owner comes when they are brutally reminded about the gear they have on top of their vehicle by driving through a passage that is too low. We recommend taking a measurement of your vehicle height when your gear is fully loaded, and tie a string around your finger so you won't forget! (Hey, it happens to the best of us...)

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What options have you got to carry bikes on my convertible?

The best option for a convertible is usually a hitch mount bike rack. This option will also let you carry skis or snowboards with the proper rack adapter.

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