I have limitations with the height of my Passport (PP) getting in/out of my garage, so I’ve been researching crossbars that are more of a low profile. The stock Honda crossbars and the Thule & Yakima bars that clamp on top of your existing roof rails add too much height for my needs.
Yakima does however offer what’s called the RailBar (for a very expensive $458), a low profile crossbar that sits about the same height as the rails. This was originally manufactured by Whispbar and bought out by Yakima several years ago. You can still find new & used Whispbars for about half of what Yakima wants, but I could never find the larger S47 bar that is required for the PP.
In my research of the Whispbar I found some knockoffs or rebranded bars being sold at greatly reduced prices. The problem was none of them would say they were compatible with the PP because Whispbar doesn’t list anything past 2017. I did find a cross reference between the Yakima and Whispbar part numbers (see below).
The first one I bought thru Wal-Mart from Lt Sports titled: “Universal Roof Rack Top Rail Adjustable Clamp + Aluminum 47" Cross Bars Carries” for $175 (found slightly cheaper on EBay but purchased thru Wal-Mart because I could return easily).
The second one I bought for $68 on EBay from seller “Benzhug” Car Accessories, titled: “Roof Rack Cross Bars Luggage Carrier Set For 2009-2017 Honda Pilot Anti-Thief US”.
This bar is shown on EBay as being slightly curved to match the roof line but it was actually straight (same as the one above).
These two crossbars were exactly the same thing with the same instructions sheet, and the only difference was the key and the packaging.
The only obvious difference between these two and the Yakima bars (since I haven’t seen one in person) is that Yakima uses a slightly longer nut https://www.yakima.com/railbar-clamp-bolt-and-nut, making it easier to get the threads started, where the others use a standard nut. There is no branding or engraved part numbers on the pieces as you will see with Yakima’s.
The bars are expanded close to there limit of 47.25” so that reduces some of the rigidity. When applying force to the bar I get a slight movement coming from the connection where the adjustable bar slides into the clamp head (not from the clamp to the vehicle rails). The locked covers don’t fit exactly perfect but the Yakima’s look like they may be the same. These bars have a T-Slot for easily adding accessories which the Honda crossbars do not.
Since I am only using these for ski racks I am not so concerned with the strength. I would probably feel comfortable loading two road bikes but I certainly won’t be putting 5-6 mountain bikes as I did with my last vehicle. A cargo box would likely be ok as it probably doesn’t produce as much torque to the bars going around corners as multiple bike racks do.
Now I just need to paint them black.
Note: clamp nut is installed backwards in the photos (which is backwards from a normal installation)
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