Frequently Asked Rack Questions

Frequently Asked Rack Questions

As an installer RAA guarantees all installations (standard or custom) for as long as you own your vehicle!
As a retailer, all product warranties are provided exclusively by the product manufacturers. The majority of our products are offered with a limited lifetime warranty. If you have any questions about warranties on specific products don't hesitate to reach out to us!

Your vehicle rack options are completely dependant on what type of vehicle you have. The best means of weighing out your rack options is to utilize one of our online fit guides. These fit guides will take all of the information about your vehicle (year, make, model, etc.) and provide you with all of the options you have available.

Drilling is not required. It is, however, an option on some vehicles, if you prefer a permanent mount. We have multi-sport systems which clamp to the roof without the need for drilling, welding, or permanently installing anything to your car. They are, for the most part, easy to install and remove.

Absolutely! Since the mid-eighties, vehicle manufacturers have been putting the rain gutters inside the door frame to give their vehicles a cleaner, sleeker look. The rain gutters are still there, it's just that they are internal. Today's racks mount by resting on the roof on a rubber pad and clamp on to the internal rain gutter with a clip that is specifically designed for each vehicle. They are very secure, yet easy to attach and detach, and won't scratch your paint.

There are many options available for factory racks. The best of which is to add an aftermarket rack that will clamp directly on to your raised factory rails, turning that factory rack in to a multi-sport ready system typically with a higher weight capacity. In some cases, you can purchase adaptor clips to carry bikes, skis/snowboards, or kayak cradles.

 

Base rack systems are now designed to be as diverse as possible. Having said that, it is likely that a rack system will not directly transfer from one vehicle to another. In most cases, you will be able to transfer over your crossbars, towers, and accessories and only need to purchase a new fit kit or q clip. In the case of a vehicle with a factory rack, you will need to have a rack already designed to mount to the factory system. The best way to compare the difference from vehicle to vehicle is to use our online rack fit guides.

 

Trailer hitches and receiver-style hitches are more and more often proving to be a very popular option. Today's hitches require no welding, and most require no drilling. RAA sells  hitches for just about every make and model out there.  A hitch can give you the option of using a hitch-mounted bike rack or ski/snowboard carrier, keeping everything away from your vehicle's painted surfaces, and allows your roof rack (if you have one) to be used for luggage or other long or bulky items.

 

Nope. Unless you have incredible luck, or you buy the same vehicle, you will most likely have to buy a new hitch. Hitches are customized to fit particular vehicles so they are in most cases, better left with the vehicle.

 

Absolutely! RAA has a large selection of replacement parts already available online. Anything that we don't have in stock we can definitely bring in. Have a look at the detailed page for your particular rack item and see if there is a spare parts link.

 

No! When you wash your car you should remove the rack because:

  1. The rack might snag on some of the machinery of the car wash and damage your car, or worse, the car wash
  2. Wand washing your car could blow dirt underneath the pads of your rack system, which will end up damaging the vehicle's finish
  3. You want to take the rack off so that you can clean away any water stains or dirt that managed to sneak under your pads. Also so you can check your contact points for wear
 

One of the most terrifying moments for any rack owner comes when they are brutally reminded about the gear they have on top of their vehicle by driving through a passage that is too low. We recommend taking a measurement of your vehicle height when your gear is fully loaded, and tie a string around your finger so you won't forget! (Hey, it happens to the best of us...)

The best option for a convertible is usually a hitch mount bike rack. This option will also let you carry skis or snowboards with the proper rack adapter.