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Hi,

I've been reading some old threads about the CRV's factory roof rack situation but haven't gotten any great answers so figured I'd ask:

I have a 2018 EX and paid for factory installed rails (didn't get the crossbars yet).
One of the reasons I bought the CRV was to carry 1-2 kayaks (15-17'), 1 canoe (17'), skis (7') and a medium roof box - not at the same time obviously :)
My previous cobalt had the clip on Yakima Q-tower system which worked OK but I didn't want to deal with this type of system in my new car, thus the factory rail option.

When I got my CRV, the dealer said "Of course the factory rails can carry those things", so I paid for the add-on for the EX and that was that.
Now that it's time to buy the crossbars I'm starting to realize things aren't so simple. I wish I had researched this more beforehand.

The mount points for the crossbars are fixed, and the spread seems quite short. I would probably get the Yakima or Thule crossbars for a bit more length and strength but even these only mount where the holes on the rails are (about 26.75" spread I believe?). There is no way to move or spread the bars like in many other cars with factory rails.

1. Is the spread between crossbars long enough to hold a canoe with stability? Seems quite short to me.
2. Is the spread long enough to hold an touring kayak with stability?
3. It seems like most roof boxes (and kayaks I guess??) won't fit or, if they fit, would have the tailgate hit them when open.
4. No good tie-down points on the CRV??? Really?

I'm assuming the skis would fit without hitting the tailgate. Bikes aren't an issue as I'd put those on the hitch, which I also got installed.

Are there any there any solutions that don't involve removing the rails and using a door clamp system? I also saw someone with a post that drilled extra holes in the rails to increase the spread - something I don't want to do. I'm not interested in using foam blocks either.

I sure hope this isn't going to be a large write-off mistake, as lack of proper roof rack system was a deal breaker when I was looking at cars :|

Thanks!
 

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There is some good information here:
https://www.crvownersclub.com/forums...rs-review.html

I had both a 12' and a 14.5' Royalex canoes when I bought my 2017 CRV EX-L. One of the reasons I didn't buy a Touring was the factory roof rails limited the width and usable base for my smallish canoes. Front tie down can be a problem. I was going to use gunnel foam blocks and straps through open windows but we decided that the CRV was too high to mess with. So we sold the canoes after 40 years of canoeing.
I would not attempt a canoe using the factory crossbars.
 

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Here's a website that may be helpful with some alternative ideas.....just a thought.

I bought a HF 4X8 foldable trailer a few weeks ago and doing a lot of reading on possible configurations. I've modified it slightly as a 4X4 so I can stand it up and store it in the garage. I can easily add the back back half later for a 4X8.

https://tventuring.com/trailerforum/index.php

HPIM3678.jpg
 

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I have a 2015, so it may not be comparable, but the Yakima configure tool suggested using the factory crossbars with added Yakima parts that fit on the crossbars for canoes. I have the parts and haven’t actually used them, but it looks like the width is adequate for a single canoe. Don’t know about 2 kayaks. Iirc, the factory roof rack on my CRV is good for 165 pounds, which should be more than adequate.

The front tie-down issue seems pretty easy to resvole with nylon straps sold for just this purpose that attach on any sturdy underhood OEM bolt.

Funny how “Recreastional Vehicles” make the “Recreation” bit difficult...
 

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Kayaks.jpg
I have a 2014 CRV and frequently carry 3 or 4 British touring kayaks that weigh 50-60 lbs each, which exceeds the Yakama rack weight limit. The problem was easily fixed by using a T-bar on my hitch. In the past 5 years I've driven from Florida to Maine, Lake Superior and Georgian Bay without a problem. The only negative is not having access to the rear hatch. Bought my T-bar at Harbor Freight for $75 and seen them for less than $50 on Craigslist.
Tbar.jpg

As for tie downs, you can purchase hood loops to secure your bow or make your own. Fasten to the bolts under the hood.
tiedown.jpg
https://www.cabelas.com/product/YAKGEAR-HOOD-LOOPS-W-GROMMET/2716135.uts?productVariantId=5544542&WT.tsrc=PPC&WT.mc_id=GoogleProductAds&WT.z_mc_id1=05002682&rid=20&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1246549&ds_rl=1246552&ds_rl=1252242&gclid=CjwKCAjw1dzkBRBWEiwAROVDLI-a9gYwqLXEgKhaR3bMoAmzGmUasYmm6H6xONXI_e7zO49cjpoOjhoCpgEQAvD_BwE
 

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I've been carrying two 19' sea kayaks for the last year on the OEM rails using Thule carriers and securing the bows with hood straps. I've driven 70 mph in high cross winds and never had an issue.
Don't be put off by the seemingly narrow spread between the rails- the set-up is solid as a rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@gnosisdog - that's really reassuring. Is it a 2017-2019 CRV?. If you can manage with 2x 19' I def won't have a problem with a shorter kayak.
Do you have any photos of what it looks like by chance? Which hood straps did you get and what did you do in the back? What happens with the tailgate when you open it? Are the kayaks high enough that it doesn't hit?

@digillilang - amazing setup :) I wonder if the spread for the bars is different on the 2014 vs the 2018, but with the hitch T-bar I guess it doesn't make any difference with the support. My issue with the T-bar would be having to remove it every time I want to open the tailgate.

The trailer crv383 was something I never considered either. I think that would work, except I don't have a garage (live in a condo) and I think storing 2 kayaks in my parents garage is already pushing it :)

My biggest concern wasn't the width of the crossbars as the thule/yakima crossbars are longer than the OEM bars and wouldn't have a problem with a canoe or 2 kayaks width wise. It was the front-to-back spread between the bars that worried me as it this wasn't adjustable and seemed like the canoe or kayak would just see-saw back and forth since they're basically resting on a short 27.76" section only. Many other car setups are more spaced out or have an adjustable spread and might be theoretically more 'stable'. I've read a better spread is 30-40" even. But if gnosisdog has done it on a 5th gen I feel better.

Now how about those cargo carrier boxes? I still assume anything except a short one would be an issue...
 

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dg - that is great ingenuity proving once again that if there is will there is a way! Great pictures I can't believe how far back that kayak goes in the second picture. People must laugh their behinds off seeing you go down the road with that!
 

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@gnosisdog - that's really reassuring. Is it a 2017-2019 CRV?. If you can manage with 2x 19' I def won't have a problem with a shorter kayak.
Do you have any photos of what it looks like by chance? Which hood straps did you get and what did you do in the back? What happens with the tailgate when you open it? Are the kayaks high enough that it doesn't hit?

@digillilang - amazing setup :) I wonder if the spread for the bars is different on the 2014 vs the 2018, but with the hitch T-bar I guess it doesn't make any difference with the support. My issue with the T-bar would be having to remove it every time I want to open the tailgate.

The trailer crv383 was something I never considered either. I think that would work, except I don't have a garage (live in a condo) and I think storing 2 kayaks in my parents garage is already pushing it :)

My biggest concern wasn't the width of the crossbars as the thule/yakima crossbars are longer than the OEM bars and wouldn't have a problem with a canoe or 2 kayaks width wise. It was the front-to-back spread between the bars that worried me as it this wasn't adjustable and seemed like the canoe or kayak would just see-saw back and forth since they're basically resting on a short 27.76" section only. Many other car setups are more spaced out or have an adjustable spread and might be theoretically more 'stable'. I've read a better spread is 30-40" even. But if gnosisdog has done it on a 5th gen I feel better.
I have an '18 Touring. I was concerned about the short spacing as well but after my local kayak store assured me it was fine I went for it and have never regretted it. They sold me the bow straps and I can't remember the brand. I'd take photos but the boats are in storage for the winter for another month or so. But I use these: https://www.rei.com/product/117160/thule-dockglide-kayak-rack?CAWELAID=120217890003673074&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=21009508720&CATCI=aud-553371945779:pla-648298437306&cm_mmc=PLA_Google|404_1050549984|1171600001|none|009f1078-95aa-48a5-be86-ce33c7f17817|aud-553371945779:pla-648298437306&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA|404_1050549984|1171600001|none|009f1078-95aa-48a5-be86-ce33c7f17817&kclid=009f1078-95aa-48a5-be86-ce33c7f17817&gclid=CjwKCAjw1dzkBRBWEiwAROVDLBhA-CBa8dmxtjUIX-iDr4QA8URNlX8KroFG-FJQjrMxRjv61e_umRoCgXgQAvD_BwE
Getting the wider thule yakima cross bars would be a good idea as my kayaks are narrow and its still a tight fit. You can open the tailgate about 80% of the way before it makes contact with the rudder. On a canoe it would be I guess 90%. A bit of a PITA but no big deal.
My advice is to do everything through a reputable kayak/canoe store as there are always some subtleties depending on the exact boats you have.
 
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