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Parting ways with my beloved 2004 Nissan Xterra, with it's fantastic full-roof-length roof rack. I could put a whole canoe up there with good stable support. Now I have a 2010 Odyssey with the factory crossbars. No way to put a canoe up there without buying some fancy bracket, I'd imagine. I also dislike how the rack is centered over the rear of the vehicle. Just to balance something like a kayak, half of it would be hanging off the rear, nevermind I can't even open the tailgate. Has anyone seen a decent looking tower/crossbar that I could install above the sunroof so I can have a more stable platform for big-big objects by shifting them forward?
 

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Thule has a rack attachment that "slides" the kayak front-back. I think it is supposed to help balance it, and extend it over the hatch. I know, it is kind of the opposite of what you want to do, but perhaps you can reverse the installment of the attachment? I think it's called Thule Slipstream. But I'm not sure they would work on the OEM crossbars, and you might need to purchase a set of Thule racks & footings, which then doubles the cost.

I got the OEM crossbars because it was similar to my previous cars' bars, in that they were low-profile & flat w/ rounded edges. I assumed b/c I had a good experience with the old set - low profile, no wind noise, more low-roof clearance, etc. - it would be the same with Honda's version. I find the Odyssey crossbars to be really noisy, so I had to get a fairing for it. Still works with my double-bike rack, so all's good. Never tried a kayak, though.
 

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Honda crossbars are non adjustable. They stay in one place only and it's the stupidest design ever made. And, one of the cross bars is longer than the other. I bought a set for mine and the only thing it's good for is looks.
 

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I added a third Yakima tower and crossbar to my 2008 Ody EX-L, in addition to the two Yakima towers/crossbars attached to the factory siderails in the back. I took a Yakima Q tower and some clips I had laying around (don't recall which #, but it doesn't matter really). I modified the clips to fit the contour of the front door top lip (for lack of a better thing to call it, like the body frame the door fits into). To protect the van's paint I added some electrical tape to the clip. I have used this setup to haul two 16-foot canoes for hundreds of miles at highway speeds with no problems. Really, the front crossbar is there just to provide support for the front of the boats. I tie the boats down to all three crossbars, plus have bow/stern lines. There is no way they are going to move.

Note that I would only recommend the front bar for uses where it is essentially a passive part of the rack setup, as in the case mentioned above. Although it feels like a very firm attachment, and most likely would be fine, I don't think I'd want to put a bike mount or something on it. I really wish Yakima would design a clip to fit the front doors of the Odyssey. Obviously, it possible, as I did it in a few minutes with an existing clip, a set of Vise Grips, and a set of pliers.

I also added web tie-down points inside the hood on both sides, which I flip out when I'm hauling a boat. In the rear I have a webbing loop with an old carabiner on it that I simply clip onto the tie-down point underneath the rear of the van.
 

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And close-ups of the front tie-down points and the modified Q-clip. The tie-down points are simply 1" climbing webbing that I installed metal grommets on, then attached to bolts on the fenders inside the hood. When not in use, I flip them inside the hood and they are invisible from outside. Note that you can buy similar webbing tie-down loops on the Internet (I think there's a canoe place in NY state that sells them), but I had the parts at home and so made them myself.

clip_closeup.jpg front_ties.jpg
 

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