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Can anyone explain the roof rail system to me? The Pilot comes with roof rails, right? What are the crossbar accessories for? When we go on family vacation, we use either a hard body or a soft, nylon "bag type" luggage carrier. Do I need to get the cross bars to use luggage carriers?

How much are the crossbars (installed) and can I get them "aftermarket" or do they have to be genuine Honda?
 

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GR8PILOT said:
Can anyone explain the roof rail system to me? The Pilot comes with roof rails, right? What are the crossbar accessories for? When we go on family vacation, we use either a hard body or a soft, nylon "bag type" luggage carrier. Do I need to get the cross bars to use luggage carriers?

How much are the crossbars (installed) and can I get them "aftermarket" or do they have to be genuine Honda?
The EX comes with the roof rails which run along the roof the of truck. The cross rails are an option. If you plan on putting anything on the roof, go for the cross rails. If you have the LX, then you need to get cross rails AND the rails that run along the roof.

You can get geniune Honda crossrails at many online retailers...here's one that is popular on this forum:

www.hondacuraworld.com

Here are the cross rails for $140, which you can install yourself with the proper tool (make sure you do not install them backwards or you'll get a terrible howling sound):

http://store.clubrsx.com/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HAW&Product_Code=08L04-S9V-100A&Category_Code=HPIAHA
 

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GR8PILOT said:
When we go on family vacation, we use either a hard body or a soft, nylon "bag type" luggage carrier. Do I need to get the cross bars to use luggage carriers?
Yes, you do need to buy cross bars.
Option 1: Buy the HONDA branded cross bars.
Option 2: Buy aftermarket cross bars by Thule or Yakima (approx. $150 to $200). Both companies make cross bars that are somewhat low profile and fit on the side rails on your Pilot. The choice between Thule or Yakima largely depends on what your hard body carrier or 'bag type carrier fits onto. Both rack systems are top quality.

One more thought.
If your 'bag type' luggage carrier does not have a rigid bottom, such that it could span the cross bars, then you will need to get a platform or a basket, available from Thule, Yakima and others. Since the Pilot does not have any of the rib-ing (sp?) on the roof surface between the rails, I would not place anything directly on the roof. Plus, I think that the Thule/Yakima baskets look cool.

Cheers,
Rob
 

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I was taking a gander at the accessories being offered by Honda at their web site 2003 Honda Pilot and saw a slight discrepancy. Are there two different rails offered? Take a look at what I mean:
 

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GR8PILOT,

Left Pict is a LX model. It comes with the crossbars. Rated at 100lbs.

Right pict. is an EX. Crossbars need to be purchased separately. Rated at 150lbs.
 

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It all depends on what you want to carry

If you're looking at kayaks or things that are big, go with a Yakima or Thule rack system. There are more options, etc.

I went the Yakima rack because we bought the Pilot specifically for us to go skiing more often. The Honda rack will hold 4 sets of skis only. If you have a snowboard + skis, you're limited. Then the Yakima hardware makes more sense. My Yakima ski rack will hold up to 6 pairs of skis or combinations of snowboards and skis. Enough space for whatever the family wants to do.

Also, remember that Honda doesn't always keep accessories in stock for the long term. 5 or 6 years down the line, some of the rack accessories may not be available. That won't happen with Yakima or Thule equipment.
 

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Re: It all depends on what you want to carry


I went the Yakima rack because we bought the Pilot specifically for us to go skiing more often. The Honda rack will hold 4 sets of skis only. If you have a snowboard + skis, you're limited... ...Also, remember that Honda doesn't always keep accessories in stock for the long term.
I too have been debating whether to go with the Honda or Yakima crossbars. I plan to get the LiftTicket 6 (or the Big PowderHound), so I suspect I'd be happier with the Yakima crossbars.

Just to make sure I'm looking into purchasing the right Yakima components, for a Pilot EX-L with factory rails...I'll need the Lowrider with a pair of 58" crossbars, right?

Does anyone know the advantages/disadvantages of the Big PowerHound over the LiftTicket 6? They seem so similar.
 

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I have a LX so I don't have the factory roof rack. It never made much sense to me why anyone would buy a rack and then toss 125 lbs (max. rated capacity for the roof rack) on the top of the roof without some sort of additional support. I can see the dents on the roof from 2 or 3 heavy duffel bags or (god forbid) a cooler full of one's favorite beverages.

We went with what Yakima recommended for us in their website which was Q-towers, a big Powderhound, and 58" bars. Eventually, I get the fairing and the basket (or the big carrier).

The cheapest place I've seen for Yakima hardware online has been Agee Bike (www.ageebike.com) in Colorado. Basically you get 10% under list plus free shipping and no sales tax.

My problem now is that I got something to hold skis on, where do I put the boots! God, 4 sets do take up a lot of room.
 

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dcchew said:
We went with what Yakima recommended for us in their website which was Q-towers, a big Powderhound, and 58" bars. Eventually, I get the fairing and the basket (or the big carrier).

The cheapest place I've seen for Yakima hardware online has been Agee Bike (www.ageebike.com) in Colorado. Basically you get 10% under list plus free shipping and no sales tax.

Thanks dcchew for the bar length and Ageebike reference. I don't quite understand the dented roof that you talked about though. Do you think people will load coolers and soft sided rooftop carriers up there?

Curious, how do the 58" bars fit on the Pilot? i.e. how much (if any) do they hang over the sides? I'm trying to figure out if we should go for the med. or long Thule Rapid Railing (754 or 756). I think the 756 is up to 58" wide. Why Thule and not Yakima? Only because all of our accessories are Thule. Both are very good setups.

Also, another pitch for Ageebike.com. I've researched these bars and other accessories. With the free shipping (for orders over $100?), they can't be beat.......except the two times a year that REI puts all their Thule and Yakima equipment at 20% off. Waiting for that sale (in March, I hope) before I buy the new towers and bars for the Pilot.
 

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Take two stupid teenagers and tell them to load 3 50 lbs duffel bags on top of the Pilot. What they'll do is throw them up in the air and watch them land on the Pilot. Do it enough and you'll have a dent. :confused: The roof of the Pilot like any other car is nothing other than thin sheetmetal. You drop a heavy load on it and you have instant dent. On top of that (pardon the pun), there are no rubber or plastic strips on the roof.

I don't think you can go wrong with either Thule or Yakima rack systems.

The overall width of the Pilot is suppose to be 77.3". The 58" Yakima bars seem to fit fine for me. If you want longer bars, order longer ones and cut them down to a size that suits you.

As for the REI sale, be sure to read the ad. The last Yakima sale REI had their "winter equipment" for 20% off. The basic towers, bars, clips, etc. were not included. Only the ski rack like the Powderhound were on sale. I was disappointed and only walked away with the Powderhound. :3: Then I did my homework and found Agee Bike. Since I live in California, I saved on 8.25% sales tax, got 10% of of list with Agee, and paid no shipping. The stuff arrived in 5 working days. Hard to beat that.
 

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dcchew said:
Take two stupid teenagers and tell them to load 3 50 lbs duffel bags on top of the Pilot. What they'll do is throw them up in the air and watch them land on the Pilot. Do it enough and you'll have a dent. :confused: The roof of the Pilot like any other car is nothing other than thin sheetmetal. You drop a heavy load on it and you have instant dent. On top of that (pardon the pun), there are no rubber or plastic strips on the roof.
While I've put a lot of stuff on the roofs of our vehicles, I don't think that I'd every put something directly on the roof (i.e. soft sided rooftop carriers, duffelbags), even if the vehicle had those rubber/plastic strips. I have a piece of 1/2" plywood that I mount to the cross bars for such an occasion OR if I needed to do that alot, then I'd probably get one of those Thule/Yakima basket things.


The overall width of the Pilot is suppose to be 77.3". The 58" Yakima bars seem to fit fine for me. If you want longer bars, order longer ones and cut them down to a size that suits you.

As for the REI sale, be sure to read the ad. The last Yakima sale REI had their "winter equipment" for 20% off. The basic towers, bars, clips, etc. were not included. Only the ski rack like the Powderhound were on sale.
Thanks for the response to the bar length and the heads-up for the REI sale. I thought that their twice-annual sale was on all Yakima and Thule bars, towers and accesories. I'll certainly read the fine print of the flyer when it comes out.
 
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