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    Thread: What's the deal with roof racks?

    1. Member
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      08-13-2019 10:54 AM #1
      I get it, if you use them. However, I see a ton of people buying roof racks just for the look. Why? Personally, I am all for function over form. Unfortunately, I don't see the point of adding a roof rack if you don't/won't ever use it--or you'll use it two or three times per year. Why not just take it off?

      ETA: specifically, I'm talking about cars that don't have factory rails. I'm talking about the Thule (or other brand) ones that you buy completely separate and mount them to the roof. Not just adding cross bars to factory rails.
      Last edited by idriveastick; 08-13-2019 at 03:15 PM.

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      08-13-2019 10:58 AM #2
      My Outback has factory rails and I put two bike racks on it in the spring. My wife and I usually bring the bikes somewhere once or twice a month. It's time consuming to put them on and take them off so I'll only do it at the beginning and end of the season. I imagine the same holds true for other people as well.

      We also have a roof box and that isn't the fastest thing to mess with either but that only gets put on when we travel.

    4. Member what's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 10:58 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by idriveastick View Post
      I get it, if you use them. However, I see a ton of people buying roof racks just for the look. Why? Personally, I am all for function over form. Unfortunately, I don't see the point of adding a roof rack if you don't/won't ever use it--or you'll use it two or three times per year. Why not just take it off?
      I'm lazy and the plain jane sportwagen S looks better with the crossbars. Oh and they were thrown in my deal.

      Next question.
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    5. Member r_fostoria's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:01 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by what View Post
      I'm lazy and the plain jane sportwagen S looks better with the crossbars. Oh and they were thrown in my deal.

      Next question.
      I think I can sum this up even more concisely.

      Quote Originally Posted by idriveastick View Post
      However, I see a ton of people buying roof racks just for the look. Why?
      Quote Originally Posted by idriveastick View Post
      just for the look.

    6. 08-13-2019 11:03 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by bnkrpt311 View Post
      It's time consuming to put them on and take them off so I'll only do it at the beginning and end of the season
      Quote Originally Posted by what View Post
      I'm lazy
      /thread.

    7. Member heffe80's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:07 AM #6
      I've used the roof rack on my Tiguan to bring home a Christmas tree once in the 2 years i've owned it. That's it. Consider me one of THOSE people.

    8. Member G60ING's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:11 AM #7
      I ran a roof rack on my corrado one time to H20i and back with my 3 year old's wagon so he would have it at the show to get dragged around in. I hated all the noise and loss of MPG.

    9. Member Harold's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:13 AM #8
      Guess I need to buy a roof rack to show everyone how "active" and outdoorsy I am .

      I had a QSW and took the cross bars off so it wasn't as noisy. Kept them in the back, just in case.
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    10. Member G60ING's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:16 AM #9
      The wife's pilot has a rack and she likes having the cross bars towards the back so she can spot hers from the other million refrigerator white pilots.

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      08-13-2019 11:18 AM #10
      5 of my 9 cars have a roof rack. Fight me.
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    12. Moderator DanG's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:23 AM #11
      I've got the rails on my explorer but no cross bars. I'd much rather use my hitch mounted bike rack than try to get bikes onto my roof.
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    13. Member titleist1976's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:24 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by G60ING View Post
      The wife's pilot has a rack and she likes having the cross bars towards the back so she can spot hers from the other million refrigerator white pilots.
      That's my Pilot. I put some cross bars on our white Pilot so I can spot it from a mile away. I had a bike rack up there as well, but I'm short and I was afraid of scraping a pedal all the way down the side of the door. Did it one time and decided that's just a really bad way to do it and bought a hitch rack.

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      08-13-2019 11:31 AM #13
      cause sometimes i need to carry more than 2 shoeboxes worth of stuff....


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      08-13-2019 11:33 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by bnkrpt311 View Post
      My Outback has factory rails and I put two bike racks on it in the spring. My wife and I usually bring the bikes somewhere once or twice a month. It's time consuming to put them on and take them off so I'll only do it at the beginning and end of the season. I imagine the same holds true for other people as well.

      We also have a roof box and that isn't the fastest thing to mess with either but that only gets put on when we travel.
      Same. When we camped solely with the Outback, we put the sleeping bags and tents on top between the rails, covered with a cargo net. Coolers, misc. camping equipment and clothes went into the hatch cargo area. Worked awesome.
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      08-13-2019 11:33 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by idriveastick View Post
      However, I see a ton of people buying roof racks just for the look.
      How do you know this?

    17. Member turbo_nine's Avatar
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      the kidney people wouldn't take it
      08-13-2019 11:34 AM #16
      "I'm outdoorsy"

      edit

      "and I love wind noise"
      Last edited by turbo_nine; 08-13-2019 at 11:42 AM.
      call it potatography

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      08-13-2019 11:35 AM #17
      I have a bike rack/roofbox for both of my cars. If I’m not using it it’s usually off, not even crossbars. I need all of the extra mpgs I can scrape together.
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    19. Member worth_fixing's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:36 AM #18
      to drive around with an empty roof rack is the equivalent of buying an SUV because offroad / pickup because you haul.

      it's all about that perceived lifestyle and what you want others to think about you.
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      08-13-2019 11:36 AM #19
      I had a Thule bike rack on my old '99 Protegé (sedan) with the 1.6-liter -- it killed the highway MPG by 3-5 MPG and really impacted high speed acceleration.
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    21. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:39 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      to drive around with an empty roof rack is the equivalent of buying an SUV because offroad / pickup because you haul.

      it's all about that perceived lifestyle and what you want others to think about you.
      But what if you actually do those things?
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

    22. Member worth_fixing's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:42 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      But what if you actually do those things?
      if you do, you do and it makes sense.

      most don't.

      if you use your roof rack daily, it makes sense to keep it on your car. most use it a couple of times in the summer and leave it on fo sho. (and some don't even use it). I don't know anyone who commutes to the top of a mountain daily, yet so many drive around lifted trucks.

      same thing, really.
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      Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy.

    23. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:47 AM #22
      We definitely use ours for extended vacation time at the beach...

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    24. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:49 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      if you do, you do and it makes sense.

      most don't.

      if you use your roof rack daily, it makes sense to keep it on your car. most use it a couple of times in the summer and leave it on fo sho. (and some don't even use it). I don't know anyone who commutes to the top of a mountain daily, yet so many drive around lifted trucks.

      same thing, really.
      But if you drive to the top of a mountain a few times a summer or something, you might have a lifted truck. You can't just take your lift off and put it back on to go offroading. I mean I guess you could, but...
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

    25. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      08-13-2019 11:52 AM #24
      Roof racks are like trailer hitches in that people use them, just not on every drive. That said there are no negative impacts to having a hitch on your car full time but I've noticed roof racks will eat up about 3mpg due to increased drag, not to mention the wind noise.
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      08-13-2019 11:54 AM #25
      No different than glamping--er "overlanding"

      Ah yes, because 35s and onboard air is necessary for a state campground.
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