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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2022 XSE hybrid
So I decided to remove my factory installed roof rack cross bars today. Anyone know if it's okay that the mounting holes in the roof rails are exposed?(photo). Seems it'll be prone to water getting in unless there's something sort of drainage? (The rail caps don't appear to be water tight).Wondering if there should've been a plug or something. I also thought to just put back the rack screws but they're too long. For now I just put in shorter bolts to at least cover the hole but even not sure if that's the right thing to do. Any thoughts?
 

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2021 RAV4 XLE Premium Hybrid
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Several observations:
1. My RAV4 came without the cross bars. Mine looks exactly like your pictures, i.e. there is no bolt or seal on the threaded hole, thus it can be assumed none is needed. (I don't know how Toyota keeps water from going inside, but I don't have a problem after many car washes)
2. The factory cross bars are never attached at the factory, rather they are installed at the port, the distributor or the dealer. When installing the cross bars, the installer should put the covers in the glove box with the instructions sheet.
3. Many people have complained about leaks from the roof rack. (I don't have that problem so far).

My conclusion would be to follow the instruction sheet that should have been included with the covers in the glove box, which is just to put the covers back on when you remove the cross bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I'm also in agreement with your conclusion. Regarding your responses:
1. Very helpful as this was what I wanted to know. Seems they come without anything in the threaded hole then. I was concerned since I heard issues of leaks as well.
2. After research yes, these were installed at port.
3. I'll just keep an eye out for leaks for now.

Yup. I did snap the covers on and all set. Thanks again!
 

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2021 Rav 4 XLE gas engine
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Anyone know if it's okay that the mounting holes in the roof rails are exposed?(photo).
Mine looks exactly like your pictures, i.e. there is no bolt or seal on the threaded hole, thus it can be assumed none is needed.
I believe the threaded hole in question is a "blind hole" that simply ends in solid metal at the bottom. You can test this by running a narrow screwdriver, wire, pencil etc down the hole and seeing if it is indeed blocked. It should not go through the roof metal and will not leak.
 

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I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just tapped for the bolts to go into but it doesn’t go directly into the cabin. To answer your original question, those are most definitely the holes where the bolts would go for the cross bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well my curiosity got the best of me so I went and tried some of your feedback. FWIW here's what I found.

After closer look it seems the threaded section is just on what appears to be a bracket that floats above the roof. Doesn't bottom out. I put a piece of twist tie in the hole and you can see the other end on the side.
This tells me that the entire rail is mounted on the groove/channel in the roof. Therefore any water will just run down this channel. So, the threaded hole being exposed will neither hold water or leak into the cab.
But, the rails themselves are mounted onto the roof. My guess is it's the nut next to the threaded hole. And if so, maybe the connection below this nut is where the water leaks into the cab for those other folks?

Thank you all for your feedback as it led me to a good conclusion. Hope this also helped you guys as well.
 

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