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Discussion Starter #1
Have noticed that my nearby dealer’s price for chrome roof rails is
about two hundred dollars more than genuine Honda rails bought online.
Would I expect my dealer to match (or get close) to these internet prices?
If not, do you think would they be happy to install the rails that I buy and
bring to the dealer, or would they be likely to charge me additional money
to install? Just trying to know what to expect before I go to the dealer and ask them.
Thanks. Want to support my dealer but do not want to pay significantly more
than I should.
 

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I would say that it doesn't hurt to ask the dealer to price match especially if the cheaper price online is from another dealer. The worst they could say is 'no we can't match'. One thing to keep in mind, although the price is cheaper, make sure you go through most of the checkout process to figure out what your total price will be including shipping as that is generally not included in price till near end of checkout. As for installation charges, I'm pretty sure they will charge you as its time and someone has to do the install. Again, ask them if you brought rails in, how much for just install. If they couldn't price match, you may still end up saving a few bucks. You'll have to do the math for each scenario and then choose what's best option for you. For me, I ended up buying the chrome rails online for a good price, paid shipping, and then installed myself. I did the same with the tow bar. But I love doing that kind of stuff myself and couldn't justify the dealer cost. Best of luck to you.
 

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I eventually went with etrailer.com roof rails. None of the dealers near us had black, only chrome and we wanted black rails. A few of the farther away OEM's had black + significant shipping costs. Received the etrailer's rails in 4 days and took about 2 hrs to install, taking my time, measuring 3 or 4 times, etc. It wasn't hard and you can find video's on etrailer as well as YouTube for 2020 roof rail installs. Difficulty wise, it wasn't hard at all - just measure a few times and it can be easy.
- L
 

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2020 Odyssey Elite | Platinum White Pearl
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This is great info as I'm right in the middle of finding a rail to go with on my Ody... thanks guys. (y)

@Lacrocious are the rails from etrailer.com better than the oem ones? Stronger? How do they compare? Which kit did you go with? I'm looking for the strongest method/option as I'd like to be able to put up a roof top tent... I know the capacity is only at 165lb which stinks how weak it is, but even if I could put the kiddos up there that would suffice...
 

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@Lacrocious are the rails from etrailer.com better than the oem ones? Stronger? How do they compare? Which kit did you go with? I'm looking for the strongest method/option as I'd like to be able to put up a roof top tent... I know the capacity is only at 165lb which stinks how weak it is, but even if I could put the kiddos up there that would suffice...
I don't know if they are better. From a spec standpoint, they appear to match OEM - 165lbs. I purchased these rails. Mounting is based on the OEM mount points - the instructions are the same. There is a black strip down your roof that is clipped on. You gently remove it, then use a tool to cut it into pieces to allow the rail mount points to reach the bolts already mounted in the roof. Then you lay it all out on the roof and bolt it all together.

There is one large downfall of the etrailer rails: They have the word "etrailer" near the rear in white on the black rail. You can see it in the photos - so it isn't a surprise. I saw reviews where one person sanded it out. I don't think I will do that. I may take a black permanent marker and color it in. I expect that will make it a dark gray and I would be OK with that. The OEM Honda version would not have etrailer advertising. Like my wife said, it isn't the best, but the cross bars and kayak mount we have (Malone SeaWings) have Malone plastered across them in red - so why is the etrailer mark that big of a deal. Just take a look at the photos on the website.

As for putting the kiddos up there, I think that would depend on what cross bar and mount you use. Kayak J-Hook racks may hold them, but I doubt they would be comfortable with ski carriers (they would pinch). Needless to say, I doubt the kiddos or others would appreciate your kiddos mounted to your roof rails. 🤪

- L
 

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I don't know if they are better. From a spec standpoint, they appear to match OEM - 165lbs. I purchased these rails. Mounting is based on the OEM mount points - the instructions are the same. There is a black strip down your roof that is clipped on. You gently remove it, then use a tool to cut it into pieces to allow the rail mount points to reach the bolts already mounted in the roof. Then you lay it all out on the roof and bolt it all together.

There is one large downfall of the etrailer rails: They have the word "etrailer" near the rear in white on the black rail. You can see it in the photos - so it isn't a surprise. I saw reviews where one person sanded it out. I don't think I will do that. I may take a black permanent marker and color it in. I expect that will make it a dark gray and I would be OK with that. The OEM Honda version would not have etrailer advertising. Like my wife said, it isn't the best, but the cross bars and kayak mount we have (Malone SeaWings) have Malone plastered across them in red - so why is the etrailer mark that big of a deal. Just take a look at the photos on the website.

As for putting the kiddos up there, I think that would depend on what cross bar and mount you use. Kayak J-Hook racks may hold them, but I doubt they would be comfortable with ski carriers (they would pinch). Needless to say, I doubt the kiddos or others would appreciate your kiddos mounted to your roof rails. 🤪

- L
Thanks for the heads up on the etrailer logo. From looking at the etrailer rails vs the oem, it does seem like they are pretty much the same. I was mainly curious on whether the aftermarket rail (etrailer) by any chance used a stronger steel / frame over the oem? However, it appears that from the dynamic ratings alone they both are the same so I guess I'll go with whatever is cheaper, which would be the etrailer rails.

I'm really curious what the actual static weight limit is on the Ody. Whenever we see weight limit figures it is always based on dynamic (moving) weight for obvious reasons. But again... it would be awesome to know the actual static weight limit so that I know how far I can live on the edge with a tree house up there with the weight limit. I'd like for it to handle two adults and the little one which would be way less than >350lbs...hmmm

What's funny is that with all these roof top tents I see little cross over cars (suburu lol) with huge tents on top of them in the pictures... so if they can handle it, couldn't our vans'? I do notice that a lot of the tents are only half way on there with the other half hanging to the side with what appears to be the latter that is providing support for that portion of the tent?

The link that you've provided is the exact ones that I was looking at... it looks like it is a carbon copy of the oem rails, pretty much 1:1.

I'm still digging into studying everything that goes into mounting these roof top tents... I'm just wanting to make sure that I buy the best / strongest cross bars and mounts.
 

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I would suggest that you call etrailer. They are good at answering questions and may be able to provide you with some of the details you are looking for related to strength and limits. I doubt they will say that their rails will exceed the Honda weight limit, but they may be able to tell you if they use thicker steel. I feel like I am an ad for etrailer - but I purchased a hitch and wiring for our previous van (2008 Sienna) and will do the same for our 2020 Odyssey at some point.

I haven't really looked close at the roof-top tents. I've seen the ads, but I never thought I would want to crawl up a ladder to sleep on top of my car. If anything, I would pitch a tent on the ground. Sorry I can't provide more comments about them.
- L
 

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I would suggest that you call etrailer. They are good at answering questions and may be able to provide you with some of the details you are looking for related to strength and limits. I doubt they will say that their rails will exceed the Honda weight limit, but they may be able to tell you if they use thicker steel. I feel like I am an ad for etrailer - but I purchased a hitch and wiring for our previous van (2008 Sienna) and will do the same for our 2020 Odyssey at some point.

I haven't really looked close at the roof-top tents. I've seen the ads, but I never thought I would want to crawl up a ladder to sleep on top of my car. If anything, I would pitch a tent on the ground. Sorry I can't provide more comments about them.
- L
I've called them earlier and basically it's the same, just cheaper.

Roof top tents are great for when the ground is muddy, too rocky and/or if you just prefer to be higher up off the ground. It has its perks that outweigh the cons if your scenario takes advantage of where it excels.
 
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