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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to go on a trip to Disneyland with the family. There are six of us and we're hauling strollers and camping gear (for a stop on the way home), so I thought a cargo box might be a good idea.

Consequently, I want to install the OEM roof rack/crossbars.

Do any of you have them installed? What do you think of them?

I'm thinking of having an open dealer install them over labor day, but I'm a bit nervous because it will cost $150 for labor, and it doesn't sound like the mechanic has done the install before. Should I be worried?
 

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Just had the roof rails installed last week. I like the flexibility of being able to put my own crossbars on the vehicle (Thule or Yakama). I have a Thule rooftop box and it just works so seamless with the Thule bars. I also have the ability to move the bars how I see fit.

With just the rails I also don't have the added penalty in mileage and wind noise that come from having crossbars constantly on the vehicle. Considering I rarely have a box or anything else on the roof, it just makes more sense for me, but maybe not in your situation.
 

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I have the both the OEM racks and OEM crossbars. Coming from a Yakima set-up on my Evo, I immediately noticed the difference and hear hardly any wind noise or whistling at all - and that's with the moonroof open. My guesses are because 1) The Ody OEM crossbars are flatter and more oval than the Yakimas, which are round, and 2) The lack of any bulky mounting/locking corner pieces, not to mention any front faring. However, I have yet to attach the roof box to judge its sound, but I'm certain will be as expected on any car.
 

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Has anyone purchased these online and installed the rails and crossbars themselves? I've found both for a combined $285 online, and am wondering if it's all that difficult to install? Also, would installing these yourself effect the warranty or Hondacare extended warranty? Thanks.
 

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I bought them from bernardiparts.com and installed them a few months ago (I only have the rails not the cross bars) - it took about an hour or so for two people and was not hard at all - you do have to cut a plastic piece but the instructions were good.

I cannot answer in terms of warranty but if you follow the instructions, I do not envision you can do anything to affect the car in general. I think worst case you may mess up the finish/paint if your hand slips while tightening the bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, all! As a follow up question, does anyone know of how much of an MPG hit you take with the factory crossbars? Right now I'm leaning toward OEM side rails and either a removable Yakima or Thule crossbar setup for the MPG advantage.
 

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I'm thinking of going the OEM rails and Yakima route as well, as I currently have the Yakima system, but probably not until next year. I don't have an immediate need to install at the moment.

FYI, here's a video from collegehillshonda showing install:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I actually saw the video D_M posted and it's what made me decide to have it professionally installed!

I go about as far as changing the air filter in my cars; anything that has me making permanent cuts with an air saw and trimming the molding has me running for a professional. I'm too worried I'd cause more damage than I'd save in money.

Incidentally, I had it installed by a local dealer today and it looks great! Labor was only $110, though I think I paid full retail for the side rails themselves. It was something like $340 total.
 

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The only thing I dislike about my OEM crossbars is that they aren't moveable. I had to drill new holes in the bottom of my Thule box, and even then I had to modify some of the mounting hardware so that the box will be clear of the Odyssey liftgate. Thule doesn't condone these modifications ... but did confirm that there is no structural impact.
 

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Even if you don't use it much, the crossbars and roofrack really complete the look of the vehicle. Without it it looks kind of plain.
 

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Even if you don't use it much, the crossbars and roofrack really complete the look of the vehicle. Without it it looks kind of plain.
I was actually thinking it looked a bit better without the roof rails. Every SUV and Minivan has the roof rails but ours do not, which I think makes it look unique/different.

With that being said it looks good with the rails installed as well.
 

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My dad and I installed the OEM rack on our Oddy 2 weeks ago.......it took about 1.5 hours to install, not too bad, the hardest part was trimming the gutter moulding with a dremel tool;) Rack is GREAT:)
 

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FYI: if anyone is still thinking of doing it, Bernardi price is $150 right now (plus whatever shipping option you choose). My dealer (DCH Paramus Honda) actually came close enough so that my total came out to $170. Have not installed it yet, though; but would be using Thule or Yakima cross-bars (with fairing) in order to be able to adjust them front-back.
 

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I installed mine on the second day I got my van. In addition to the racks and cross bars I also did the OEM Honda door moldings which made the van look complete.
 

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Roof racks: dumbest thing ever

Personally, I think roof racks are in category "dumbest thing ever", for the following reasons:

1) roof racks clobber your fuel consumption. An extra 27% for one lousy mountain bike on the roof, for example: Mini-experiment: the wrath of roof racks - MetroMPG.com

2) Increases your risk of rollover (proportional to how much weight is up there)

3) Difficult to load and unload since it's up on the roof.

4) roof-mounted cargo boxes don't have alot of room in the them, and are not rated for much weight (100lbs MAX for one thule, IIRC).

5) Driving through a low-clearance underground parking lot? don't forget....


The alternative I use is a hitch-mounted cargo basket. Works great. None of the above drawbacks, and you can carry way more crap. The only drawback is 1) you can't open the trunk if your crap is piled too high (although somebody does make a swing-out hitch-mounted cargo box), and 2) your ass sticks out an extra two feet or so.

Unless you ski, I don't understand why anyone would use a roof rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A few counterpoints...

1. Roof rails cost something like $300 less to install than a hitch.
2. Roof rails are more versatile and can, for example, fit a kayak or a cargo box and bikes at the same time.
3. Actually, rooftop cargo boxes can hold way more than hitch mounts: 21 cubic feet vs. 16 in the case of Thule systems (plus you have room for more than just the box).
4. You have a broader assortment of options for roof racks vs. hitches.
5. Easier access to the trunk, which is invaluable if it houses a heavy stroller.

That said, I actually looked into the hitch option when we installed our roof rails. I definitely liked the superior aerodynamics, but ended up opting for roof rails because of cost. We don't use a cargo box but for infrequent road trips, so it made more sense.
 
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