Aftermarket (only) Roof Racks


New member
Hey all - I live in my van and with my Golden Retriever along for the journey need all the space I can get. I've used Yakima rocket boxes for years now with no problems whatsoever. I used the standard Yakima side mounts on my old 83.5 Westy and logged serious miles carrying kayaks and a fully loaded rocket box all over Baja, the West Coast, and Canada. Wind, snow, tractor trailors, rain, no cracks. However when I awoke to summer heat in Reno, NV a few years back and drove off from my urban campsite with TOP UP and ran into a drive-thru awning (you would think someone would have at least flashed their lights or waved - wouldn't you?) that was the end of that top. So I headed down to Sacramento - my uninsured home in dire condition - to hunt down a replacement and at the very last salvage yard I checked I get the old "should have been here last week before I rested a VW Bug on top of it" story. HOWEVER, upon inspection I saw some small fracture lines and the guy says that if I remove it he'll sell it for $150.00! What choice did I have? A large project, yet I found perfect canvas underneath, and soon had that top restored to better condition than my original. So can these tops bear a load? I think so! I eventually took that Westy off a Colorado cliff and she now lives in a Norwood, CO junk yard with plenty of good parts (ask for Therin). So on my latest '87 Westy, I used Yakima TOP loading mounts, large washers (don't use the cheap neoprene gaskets Yakima supplies in their kit), and longer than supplied stainless bolts. I sealed all bolt holes, and filed down bolt ends (canvas), and this things absolutely bomber. I'm a skier and commonly have five to six pairs of skis and gear in my rocket box - easily over 100 pounds. No leaks, no cracks. A few tips: Load heavy stuff in the rear of your box, get extra long bars so you have grip while standing on the rear seat to load/unload, use tall mounts so your roof vent will open completely (and easy cleaning), make sure you have a window or door open when popping your top, and ABSOLUTELY be sure all doors/windows/openings closed when lowering so you can use the air pressure as assistance. It also helps to be tall and strong! Good luck. Tom.


For what it is worth, my sister has a multivan westy. With long yakima bars, bolted to the pop top she has routinely carried two fiberglass canoes. 70 mph in a cross wind gets a bit dicey, but as long as they are well tied to the front and rear tow hooks we have never had any problem. The dead load of the canoes is quite small, and as long as they are lashed tight there is little live load. I think the brackets may be oversized. I suppose do it at your own risk, but if tye are tied down well the worst that will happen is cracking your fiberglass.


New member
eminard- They will not. What you can do is modify (easily) the 1A tower to clear the poptop. What I did on my '76 Westy is buy replacement Highrise spacers from Yakima, cut them to the height I needed to clear the poptop and stacked each one (with a longer bolt) on the existing Highrise spacer. I do not remember how much extra clearance I needed but this is the most secure way to haul kayaks/canoes/whatever on your Westy. Sure, you have to move them to pop the top but there are NO holes to drill and NO stress on the fiberglass top whatsoever-two very important criteria in my opinion. Email me if you have any other questions. Skink


New member
I never cared for the way the Yakimas look with the spacers (just my opinion). The Thule superhigh feet will work; I've got the 65" bars on mine. Land Rover owners also use them so that may be an avenue for used ones.

Put the front rack just in front of the poptop and you will only have to remove the rear rack to pop the top.


New member
:p So I unfortunately put my Yakima rack system (and this will assure you all who have questioned the safety of these vans) to the ultimate test yet AGAIN when I was T-boned by a drunken cowboy at 60mph on highway 50 east of Fallon, NV. The seatbelt saved my life (ALWAYS wear it!), my beloved Golden Retreiver who was asleep on the rear seat also somehow survived, I was saved from being killed by an oncoming truck post-rolls by another motorist, but now back to the racks. The bars and fully loaded rocket box (about 200 pounds) ripped off on the FIRST roll, and then I went on the slide for life upside down, no windshield or side glass staring at aspalt 8" away, 60mph east on 50 towards on oncoming truck! A witness reported seeing sparks flying from my sliding Westy - they were from the 4 Yakima top-loader mounts! They withstood all the forces from such an amazing accident. SO on my new 87 I'm currently tricking out, I installed the exact system! Go to the classified section of this website to see a picture of my system under Vanagon - Colorado - wheels for sale. Glad to be alive and still driving a Westy!
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New member
Apparently there are no aftermarket racks that allow the popup to be raised without first removing the rear rack. If someone has an option, I would love to hear it. I have a 1989 Westfalia. It looks like the rear rack would have to be at least 15 inches high to clear the roof.

I'll be carrying two canoes and believe Capt. Mike's warning about not mounting anything to the fiberglass top.

Thanks everyone. Love the community information.

Mike Robinson

New member
Hi all

I just bought a multipurpose rack from Gary Lee (see url above)

I can strongly recommend this product, well made, easy to use and Gary was easy to do business with.

It works with Yakima (and Thule I am informed) bike and ski attachments.


'82 diesel


New member
Westy Roof Brackets?

Hello All

I hope to be purchasing a T25 / T3 Westy campervan next week that has some roof brackets that are unfamiliar to me. Can anyone help me identify what sort of roof rack I can fit to them:



I hope to fit a basket-type roof rack to the brackets if I can find one that will fit.

I have been informed that these are genuine westfalia roof brackets, but I cannot find any information on the internet telling me what sort of roof racks will fit to them. I can't even find any pictures of any campers with these roof brackets.

Can someone post me some pics of these brackets in use and some web links of where to purchase the racks to go with them.



Capt. Mike

:( What year; what model? Guideline #3! I can find NO factory roof rack brackets like those in any of the VW parts fiches I have access to, though without year, I could only guess. From the hardware, it appears aftermarket. From the photo, they appear to be pop-rivets or threaded inserts. VW didn't use that style hardware for any roof hardware. I presume there is a set on both sides; if not, it may be a bracket for an awning.

Even if made by Westfalia does NOT mean they are official VW accessories; Westfalia makes stuff for many markets.
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New member
For what it's worth I too pondered the idea of bolting a roof rack to my pop top, by like most here I listened to those (Mike) who knew better. A few years back I re-painted my top (white) with an two part aliphatic urathane and since I have strapped my kayak on top with no scratches, discoloration, or problems... Just my 2 cents!


82 Diesel Westy

West Egg

New member
Sideracks - New Query.


New to the forum, so sorry if this is not the way to do things.:confused:
Nor am I sure if this is the right place for this thread, but since it exists I don't want to create a new one. (Bit frit of being keel hauled by Capt. Mike:eek:)
After many happy years with bay window vans I now have a long wheel base '93 Eurovan (T4) high top california club. (Super van with loads of space for the kids)
Q - I would like to fit side racks onto the high top for surf boards etc.... but am getting nowhere fast. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
Many Thanks.


New member
Aftermarket only Roof Racks

I want to put some roof racks on my CX-9 and I saw that the factory racks are made to hold only 100 lbs. Is there an aftermarket option that wouldnt cost too much more that would hold more weight?


Aftermarket only Roof Racks


You can buy replacement roof rails from Honda for an EX-L. Is there a reason why the replacement parts would not fit the EX? I cant believe the roofs and anchor points would be different between these two. The replacement parts from Honda are around 1500. This is the price for rails only, no crossbars.

My two kayaks weigh around 140 lbs. How much does your ski box weigh? Why are you paranoid about a canoe?

Has anyone else hauled canoes or kayaks or anything close to 140 lbs. on aftermarket rails?

By the way, I wanted to buy used 2000 Chrysler Neon and i'm pleased that I ran vin number check before buying. I used Vinchain car history check free service and with their help I learned that vehicle mentioned earlier is with incomplete repair damage. Hope you'll find my advice helpful and it can save you from buying junk and in my opinion they are better than other free vin history report providers


New member
Aftermarket only Roof Racks

Hi forester nerds emoji851
I'm looking for some roof racks for my 08 SG9.
Could maybe even get away with just the mounting feet cause I have a basket thingie.

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