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Do you leave your OEM crossbars on year round?

  • Yes, all year round

    Votes: 27 54.0%
  • No

    Votes: 9 18.0%
  • No, I have aftermarket crossbars

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • No, I don't have any crossbars

    Votes: 13 26.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a pair of OEM crossbars to go along w/ the new hybrid and wanted to see how many folks leave them on year round. I imagine that if I purchased this car w/ the roof rack already on, I probably would have left them on and never noticed, but since i purchased them separately, i have a nice box to keep them in. I'm curious how much the OEM crossbars affect MPG on the highway.

Thanks!
 

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Perhaps the crossbars have a very slight effect upon fuel mileage, but at today's gasoline prices the effect upon one's wallet would be almost imperceptible. I know that the question has to do with hybrid RAVs but with my 4.3 the roof rack including crossbars is always on the vehicle. Removing the crossbars is more bother than it's worth.
 

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I've had crossbars on the last 4 of the last 5 vehicles, I've use the crossbars exactly once to haul a ladder, don't need them, wouldn't buy them if I have a choice, I remove them as soon as I can, they can easily be reinstalled if I need them or want to include them when I sell/trade the vehicle off.
 

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I take the crossbars off from all my SUVs. The only time during a year I use them when I go to local farm to buy a Christmas Tree. I don't care much about MPG, but I do care about an extra noise they produce and comfortability of removing snow from the roof.
 

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Took my crossbars off 1 month after purchasing my 2014. They have been collecting dust in the garage ever since.
 

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I have a 2013 with original crossbars and have never taken them off. I think the rav looks great with them. I have seen people with all the roof bars and side bars off their rav's in this generation. I think it makes them look well not saying. Those who do that will yell hey its save me gas. I think they should have just gone out on bought a station wagon.

I agree! Its a PIA to take snow off roof when it snows totaly true! But like the manly look. LOL LOL of bars and makes it look good too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just want to provide a small update. I traditionally got 37.5 for my normal route to work. I'm now getting about 36. So the hit to MPG is not too bad. I drive on all highways for work, but there's some rush hour traffic. Average speed is between the 30-40.
 

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Not a 4.4 but both of our RAV's have had them on since the factory put them there. I see zero reasons to remove them.
 

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I just want to provide a small update. I traditionally got 37.5 for my normal route to work. I'm now getting about 36. So the hit to MPG is not too bad. I drive on all highways for work, but there's some rush hour traffic. Average speed is between the 30-40.
Another gen 4.3 report to consider: If your only consideration is effect on MPG, I doubt you'll see much difference from the crossbars, and it would require a lot documented tanks used to get a meaningful sample. Use a program like Fuelly.com to tally it and don't rely soley on the onboard computer.

I took off my crossbars about 10k-miles ago as I never used them. And it is much easier to clear snow and generally clean the top. FWIW My mileage actually dropped a tiny bit after crossbar removal. It changed from 25.0 mpg to 24.7 over that time, to which I might attribute margin of error or possibly needing spark plug change as the engine approaches 100k-miles. (My 2.5L 4-cyl essentially the same used in gen 4.4 and very similar to the hybrid.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great point, MPG would probably be my main consideration, but taking the roof rack and putting it back on is a hassle, in addition to having a place to store it.
 

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It took all of 5-6 minutes total to remove the cross bars on my Hybrid, removing the support rails is not so easy and the hardware required to cover the mounting holes costs over $100 IIRC.
 

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It took all of 5-6 minutes total to remove the cross bars on my Hybrid, removing the support rails is not so easy and the hardware required to cover the mounting holes costs over $100 IIRC.
How do you remove the cross rails? I want to remove mine on my new hybrid. Never mind I found the info :)
 

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This was the first thing I did after getting my RAV4 home. I find no reason to leave the cross rails on. All they do is hurt MPG and if I did need them it takes but a few minutes to install them. Personally I'll most likely never use them but if I do they are simple to install. I would also be worried that someone could steal them if they wanted to and had the tool.
 

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You don't need the tool to remove the crossbars, a flat blade screwdriver works just fine. :thumbs_up:
 
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