Toyota RAV4 Roof Rack and Cross Bars

5 Best Toyota RAV4 Roof Rack and Cross Bars: Ultimate Guide

Embarking on an adventure with your Toyota RAV4 is made easier with the perfect Toyota RAV4 roof rack and cross bars. As you prepare to hit the open road you can carry your gear in style and with confidence.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of roof racks and crossbars that are not only functional but also elevate your RAV4 experience.

Get ready to discover the best roof racks, cross bars, features, and accessories that will help you maximize your vehicle’s rooftop storage capabilities. 

How much weight can a RAV4 rooftop hold? See the Toyota RAV4 roof rack weight limit before you overload it.

Our Top Picks

Best Roof Rack Cross Bars

Best Roof Rack Cross Bars

Autekcomma Roof Rack Cross Bars

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Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket

Best Roof Rack basket

Tyger Heavy Duty Roof Mounted Cargo Basket Rack

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Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier Box

Best Roof Rack box

Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium

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Best Bike Roof Rack

Best bike Roof Rack

YAKIMA, FrontLoader Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount for Rooftop Racks

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Best Kayak, Canoe, and Surfboard Rack

Best kayak, surf board, and ski Roof Rack

IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack

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Understanding RAV4 Roof Rack and Cross Bar Basics

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of selecting the ideal RAV4 roof rack and cross bars, let’s lay the foundation by understanding some essential terminology and types of roof racks available for your Toyota RAV4.

RAV4 Roof Rack Terminology

  • Roof Rails: These are the long, parallel bars that run along the edges of your RAV4’s roof. They provide a secure base for mounting a cross bar and roof rack.
  • Cross Bars: Perpendicular to roof rails, cross bars are the horizontal bars that connect the roof rails and create a sturdy platform for mounting various accessories and cargo carriers.
  • Roof Racks: A combination of roof rails and cross bars, roof racks provide a versatile system for attaching various cargo carriers and accessories to your RAV4’s roof.
  • Roof Top: This refers to the upper surface of your vehicle, where the roof rack system is installed.

What are Cross Bars?

Cross bars are the horizontal bars that span the width of your RAV4’s roof, connecting the roof rails on either side. They serve as the foundation for mounting various accessories and cargo carriers, such as bike racks, ski racks, and cargo boxes.

How to Install Toyota RAV4 (2019-2023) Roof Rack Cross Bars

Types of RAV4 Roof Racks

There are two primary types of roof racks available for your RAV4: factory-installed and aftermarket.

Factory-installed: Some Toyota RAV4 models come with pre-installed roof rails, making it easier for you to add cross bars and create a complete roof rack system. These roof rails are designed to match the look and functionality of your RAV4. (see details on Toyota’s website)

Aftermarket: If your RAV4 doesn’t come with pre-installed roof rails, fear not! Aftermarket roof racks are available to fit your vehicle’s specifications. These roof racks often offer more flexibility and customization options, allowing you to tailor your rooftop storage solution to your unique needs.

Now that you have a solid grasp of RAV4 roof rack basics, you’re ready to dive into the process of selecting the best roof rack for your needs. So, let’s continue our journey and explore the top roof racks and features to consider.

Are you interested in lifting your RAV4? See everything you need to know about Toyota RAV4 lift kits and which is the best kit for you.

Choosing the Best RAV4 Roof Rack

With many options, selecting the ideal roof rack for your RAV4 can feel overwhelming. However, we have made it easy by laying out the best roof racks, cross bars, and carries below. Additionally, we’ll outline the key features you should look for in a roof rack.

Are you interested in mods and accessory ideas for your RAV4? See the 45 best Toyota RAV4 mods & aftermarket accessories.

Best Roof Rack Cross Bars for Toyota RAV4

The Autekcomma Roof Rack Cross Bars are specifically designed for Toyota RAV4 models from 2019-2023 (excluding Adventure/TRD Off-Road models). 


  • Upgraded Design
  • Built to Last
  • Easy Installation
  • Aerodynamic and Quiet
  • Multipurpose and Versatile


  • Compatibility Limitations
  • Wind Noise Potential


Upgraded Design: Autekcomma cross bars outperform the original OEM ones with a robust metal lock mechanism, ensuring enhanced durability and top-notch anti-theft security.

Built to Last: Crafted from die-casting mold aluminum clamps and 2mm thick aluminum bars, these cross bars are corrosion-resistant and designed for a lifetime of use.

Easy Installation: No drilling or modifications required! Install the cross bars onto your existing roof rails in just 10-15 minutes using the provided instructions.

Aerodynamic and Quiet: The dynamic design minimizes wind resistance and noise, ensuring a smooth and peaceful driving experience.

Multipurpose and Versatile: Compatible with various accessories, such as cargo carriers, bike mounts, snowboards, roof boxes, roof bags, and kayak or canoe racks.


Compatibility Limitations: These cross bars are designed for Toyota RAV4 models from 2019-2023, but they are not compatible with Adventure or TRD Off-Road models. Be sure to check your vehicle’s compatibility before purchasing.

Wind Noise Potential: Although the aerodynamic design aims to minimize wind resistance and noise, some users may still experience noticeable wind noise at high speeds or under certain conditions.

Ready to enhance your RAV4’s rooftop storage capabilities? Click here to purchase the Autekcomma Roof Rack Cross Bars on Amazon and enjoy an upgraded, secure, and versatile solution for all your adventures!

Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier Basket


  • Sleek Design
  • Impressive Capacity
  • Durable and Rust-Resistant
  • Numerous Tie-Down Points
  • Simple Assembly and Installation
  • 3-Year Warranty


  • Not Car Wash Compatible
  • Potential Wind Noise


Sleek Design: The Tyger Heavy Duty Roof Mounted Cargo Basket features a stylish design that adds a touch of flair to your RAV4, making it stand out on the road.

Impressive Capacity: With the ability to support up to 150 lbs of cargo, this basket mounts to your existing roof rail cross bars, providing extra storage space for your adventures.

Durable and Rust-Resistant: Constructed with a 1-inch heavy-duty steel frame and coated with black E-Coating, this cargo basket is built to withstand the elements and resist rust.

Numerous Tie-Down Points: The cargo basket offers multiple tie-down locations, making it easy to secure your gear with cargo nets or other fastening systems.

Simple Assembly and Installation: The two-piece assembly process is a breeze, and all mounting hardware is included. Just make sure your RAV4 has roof rails and cross bars installed.


Not Car Wash Compatible: The Tyger Heavy Duty Roof Mounted Cargo Basket Rack must be removed before going through an automatic car wash, which may be inconvenient for some users.

Potential Wind Noise: The open design of the cargo basket may increase wind noise while driving, especially at higher speeds, which could be bothersome for some passengers.

Ready to maximize your RAV4’s rooftop storage potential? Click here to purchase the Tyger Heavy Duty Roof Mounted Cargo Basket Rack on Amazon and transform your RAV4 into an adventure-ready machine!

Best Rooftop Cargo Carrier Box


  • Spacious Storage
  • Durable and Protective
  • Quick and Easy Installation
  • Convenient Access
  • Optimal Security
  • Versatile Storage
  • Compact yet Roomy


  • Limited Fit for Larger Items
  • Increased Wind Resistance


Spacious Storage: The Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box adds a generous 14 cubic feet of extra packing space to your RAV4, perfect for road trips and adventures.

Durable and Protective: This rugged cargo box keeps your belongings safe and secure, ensuring they remain protected from the elements and road debris.

Quick and Easy Installation: The FastGrip quick-mount system allows you to assemble and install the cargo box within minutes, getting you on the road faster.

Convenient Access: Designed with a passenger-side opening, the Thule Pulse makes loading and unloading a breeze.

Optimal Security: Featuring a central locking system and a Thule Comfort Key that can only be removed when all points are securely locked, your gear will be safe throughout your journey.

Versatile Storage: This cargo box accommodates 3-5 snowboards (up to 155 cm in length) or various other gear, perfect for winter sports enthusiasts.

Compact yet Roomy: With external dimensions of 67 x 35 x 16 inches and internal dimensions of 61 x 33 x 14 inches, the Thule Pulse provides ample space without compromising aerodynamics.


Limited Fit for Larger Items: With a maximum internal length of 61 inches, the Thule Pulse may not accommodate extra-long items like some skis, snowboards, or other oversized gear.

Increased Wind Resistance: Adding a cargo box to your RAV4 may increase wind resistance, which can result in reduced fuel efficiency and increased wind noise during your trips.

Ready to enhance your RAV4’s storage capacity and make your adventures even more enjoyable? Click here to purchase the Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box on Amazon and experience the difference it can make on your next journey!

Best Bike Roof Rack


  • Easy Wheel-On Design: The YAKIMA FrontLoader allows you to load your bike without removing the front wheel, making the process quicker and more convenient.
  • Universal Compatibility: This upright bike mount is designed to fit most rooftop racks, making it a versatile addition to your RAV4’s roof storage system.
  • Secure and Stable: The FrontLoader firmly grips the bike’s wheels, ensuring a safe and stable transport for your bicycle on the go.
  • Minimal Contact: The bike mount holds your bike by its wheels, protecting the frame from potential damage and maintaining the integrity of your bicycle.


  • Price: The YAKIMA FrontLoader may be more expensive than some other bike mounts on the market, making it a potential concern for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Additional Accessories Required: If your bike has thru-axles or some non-standard wheel sizes, you may need to purchase additional adapters to ensure compatibility with the FrontLoader.

Click here to see the YAKIMA, FrontLoader Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount on Amazon

Best Kayak, Canoe, and Surfboard Rack


  • Versatile Usage: The IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack is designed to transport a variety of water sports equipment, including kayaks, surfboards, and skis, making it a multi-functional addition to your RAV4’s roof storage system.
  • Universal Compatibility: This carrier rack is compatible with most roof racks, ensuring a seamless fit with your RAV4’s existing rooftop setup.
  • Secure and Sturdy: Equipped with strong straps and a durable frame, the IKURAM R carrier rack keeps your gear securely in place during transport.
  • Easy Installation: The carrier rack is designed for simple installation, making it user-friendly and convenient for loading and unloading your water sports equipment.


  • Size Limitations: Depending on your equipment’s dimensions, the IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack may not accommodate particularly large or wide items, which could limit its usefulness for some users.
  • Potential for Noise: As with many rooftop accessories, the carrier rack may generate some wind noise at higher speeds, which could be bothersome to passengers during long trips.

Click here to see the IKURAM R Kayak/Surf/Ski Roof Carrier Rack on Amazon

Key Features to Consider

When selecting the best RAV4 roof rack, keep these crucial features in mind.

Load capacity: Consider the weight of the gear you plan to carry and ensure the roof rack you choose can handle that load. Each brand and model has a specified weight limit, so choose accordingly.

Compatibility: Ensure that the roof rack you select is compatible with your RAV4’s model and year. Some brands offer fit guides to help you find the perfect match.

Ease of installation: Some roof racks are easier to install than others. Look for options with straightforward instructions and minimal tools required, especially if you plan to install it yourself.

Material and durability: Roof racks made from high-quality materials like aluminum or steel tend to be more durable and weather-resistant. These materials also contribute to the roof rack’s overall strength and weight capacity.

Aerodynamics: Roof racks with aerodynamic designs minimize wind resistance, reducing noise and improving fuel efficiency during your travels.

Curious about your RAV4’s fuel efficiency? We’ve got you covered!

Now you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision and choose the best RAV4 roof rack for your needs. In the next section, we’ll explore the world of cross bars, another vital component of your RAV4 rooftop storage system.

Roof Rails and Their Purpose

As we explore the components of a complete RAV4 roof rack system, it’s essential to understand the vital role that roof rails play in ensuring stability, versatility, and convenience. In this section, we’ll delve into the purpose of roof rails and discuss the benefits they offer.

What are Roof Rails?

Roof rails are long, parallel bars that run along the length of your RAV4’s roof, typically mounted on either side. They serve as the base structure for attaching cross bars, which in turn support various cargo carriers and accessories.

Do All New RAV4s Come with Roof Rails?

Most but not all new Toyota RAV4s come with roof rails. The availability of roof rails depends on the specific year, trim level, and package options you choose when purchasing your RAV4. 

Some trims may include roof rails as a standard feature, while others might offer them as part of an optional package.

2023 RAV4 roof rack cross bars

Benefits of Roof Rails

Here are some of the key advantages of having roof rails installed on your RAV4:

  1. Versatility: Roof rails offer the flexibility to carry a wide range of gear and accessories, from bikes and kayaks to luggage and camping equipment. By providing a stable foundation, roof rails enable you to customize your RAV4’s rooftop storage to suit your specific needs.
  2. Increased Cargo Space: By utilizing the roof of your RAV4, roof rails help maximize your vehicle’s cargo capacity, allowing you to carry more gear without sacrificing interior space.
  3. Enhanced Vehicle Aesthetics: Roof rails can add a sleek and stylish look to your RAV4, complementing its design and elevating its appearance.
  4. Improved Resale Value: Vehicles equipped with roof rails are often more desirable on the resale market, as they demonstrate an added level of functionality and versatility for potential buyers.

Now that you have a solid understanding of roof rails and their purpose, you’re well-prepared to choose the perfect RAV4 roof rack system.

Accessorizing Your Toyota RAV4 Roof Rack

Equipping your RAV4 cross bars and roof rack is just the beginning of your rooftop storage journey. With a variety of accessories available, you can fully customize your RAV4’s roof rack system to cater to your specific needs and adventures.

Cargo Carriers

Cargo carriers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from hard-shell roof boxes to soft, weather-resistant roof bags. These carriers provide additional storage space, allowing you to pack more gear without cluttering your RAV4’s interior.

Are you interested in Overlanding in your RAV4? See our beginner’s guide on how to take your RAV4 Overlanding.

Bike Racks

Bike racks offer a secure and convenient way to transport bicycles without taking up valuable cargo space inside your RAV4. 

Bike racks come in the following styles:

  • Fork-mounted
  • Wheel-mounted
  • Frame-mounted 

These different styles accommodate different types of bikes and user preferences.

Kayak and Canoe Racks

If you’re an avid paddler, investing in a kayak or canoe rack can make transporting your watercraft significantly easier. These specialized racks securely cradle your kayak or canoe, ensuring safe transportation to and from your favorite paddling spots.

Ski and Snowboard Racks

Winter sports enthusiasts will appreciate the convenience of ski and snowboard racks. These racks hold your gear securely on the roof of your RAV4, preventing any potential damage to your vehicle’s interior and leaving more room for passengers and additional gear.

RAV4 ski and snowboard roof rack

By adding accessories to your RAV4 roof rack, you can transform your vehicle into a versatile, adventure-ready machine.

Maintenance and Care

Taking care of your RAV4’s roof rack, cross bars, and accessories is essential for ensuring their longevity and optimal performance.

Regular Cleaning

Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on your roof rack and accessories over time. Clean them regularly with a soft brush and gentle soap to prevent corrosion and maintain their appearance.


Occasionally lubricate the moving parts, locks, and hinges of your roof rack system to ensure smooth operation and prevent rust.


Inspect your roof rack, cross bars, and accessories for signs of wear or damage before and after each trip. Address any issues promptly to avoid potential safety hazards.

Proper Storage

When you’re not using your roof rack accessories keep them in a cool, dry place to protect them from moisture and temperature fluctuations.

By incorporating these maintenance and care practices, you can preserve the functionality and aesthetics of your RAV4’s roof storage system, ensuring it remains a reliable companion for all your adventures.

Are you interested in wireless Apple CarPlay or Andriod Auto? See our article Toyota RAV4 Apple Carplay: How to Add Wireless CarPlay or if you have an Andriod phone then see our RAV4 Andriod Auto wireless guide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much weight can a RAV4 roof rack support?

The RAV4 roof rack weight limit ratings by year are:
2019-2023: 176.4 lb. (80 kg.)
2013-2018: 101.9 lb. (46.2 kg.)
2006-2012: 102.7 lb. (46.2 kg.)
2001-2005: 75 lb. (34 kg.)
The easiest place to find the Toyota RAV4 roof rack weight limit is in the owner’s manual, under the “Cargo and Luggage” section.

Can I install a roof rack myself, or should I have it professionally installed?

Many roof racks and cross bars are designed for easy installation, and detailed instructions are typically provided. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process consult a professional for proper installation.

Will adding a roof rack or cargo carrier affect my RAV4’s fuel efficiency?

Roof racks, cargo carriers, and other rooftop accessories can impact your vehicle’s aerodynamics, which may result in reduced fuel efficiency. Consider removing unnecessary accessories when not in use to minimize their effect on your RAV4’s fuel consumption.

How can I reduce wind noise when using a roof rack or cargo carrier?

To reduce wind noise, ensure that your roof rack or cargo carrier is securely fastened and properly aligned. Additionally, consider using a wind fairing or other aerodynamic accessories designed to minimize wind resistance and noise.

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