Gear Guy

Which roof rack will work with my car?

I own a 1994 Isuzu Trooper SE that has a moon roof and a factory luggage rack. I looking for a roof rack system to carry bikes. I've looked through Thule and Yakima online, and wondered if I could use the existing luggage tracks and buy towers to go with them and then the bars. I really want something for the roof, not a tire or hitch mount. WD Ray Columbia, South Carolina

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Depends on what you mean by “factory luggage rack.” I think what you have are the plastic bars screwed to the roof, which won’t help you any. You’ll need to buy either Thule or Yakima towers and go from there. For Yakima, the Q Towers are recommended ($210/four); for Thule, it’s the Aero Foot Rack ($240/four). These are towers for cars without rain gutters, such as your model and year of Trooper.

On the other hand, if you have a rack with bars that are mounted from side to side and stand clear of the roof, then you have a number of other options. One I recommend highly is Yakima’s Loadwarrior ($275), a metal basket that comes with hardware that clips it right to the existing rack. To that, you then can add a wide range of Yakima add-ons —- bike racks, ski racks, kayak holders, the world. Plus you have a handy place for tossing bags of manure when it’s time for yard work.

The moonroof isn’t really effected in either case. It’ll still open, and the moon still will shine through. The only problem is that all that rooftop hardware creates a fair amount of wind noise, so when you have the moonroof open you won’t be able to hear your Dave Matthews CD very well.

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