How Roof Racks Attach

11 Jan 2004
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United Kingdom
Does anyone have a car without roof rails or gutters (terribly old idea these days) and a roof rack?

I'd like to know exactly how this type of rack attaches to the car. I've looked on YT and can't see anything that shows step by step fitting.

We have a Honda FRV without roof rails and the options are to buy the rails then fit bars (£694.09) or fit these "gutterless" roof bars (c £200). I am told the gutterless roof bars do not use the same fixing points the rails do.

I feel the roof rails will be more secure, but perhaps I am misguided...
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They just grip both sides above the doors. Various designs.

Honda may be different, but I have a Pug where there are tapped holes concealed in the top of the "doorframe"

Imagine those fixing brackets in the photo are formed to fit the space between door and frame, and have holes where bolts go through and into the "doorframe"

There is clearance between the door and frame, the rubber anti-draught strip gives room for the steel bracket.

The bolts hold it firmly and take the weight, and mean the brackets and rails can't slip or move.
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my previous car had Thule bars. No screw, but a rubber foot pressing on the roof, and a jaw that hooked into the doorframe, and as you tightened it, these two parts tried to pull together (and also pull the pad towards the side of the car) until they were biting together and gripping the car. With those you have to check for tightness, as they could move and the car roof is not the same width all the way along. The feet have to be slid along the bars to the correct width so they can grip. I have also had Thule van bars, which are somewhat similar.
I have been investigating Thule.

I had some with my trusty Skoda, but they attached to roof rails.

I have been looking at Thule Wingbar as it is quieter than the square section. Also, as it is Alu not steel, it should be a bit lighter: parts 754, 963 and 1381 form the roof bars.

Then we need to attach the kayak. As we are going long distances, a secure fit is essential. I have found K Guard 840 for the canoe and 855 for the paddle. Then quick-draw 838 to lash fore and aft.

The other brands recommended by Auto Express are Atera and Cruz, but I can't find what I need in those ranges.
So here I am again, getting closer to a decision.

Anyone who knows me knows that this is a long, drawn-out process.

I have a choice of fitting roof rails to the FR-V and then a rack system to that, or buying a rack system for direct fitting to the car. I want the most secure system possible, even if it means paying more for roof rails.

What would you guys do?
Oh, the FR-V does not have fixing points inside the doors like the Pug.
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