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Roof Rack for 2018 Toyota Highlander LE to Mount Kayak Carrier


Ive notice the question ask re what racks are available for the 2018 Toyota Highlander LE flush rail track. Before I go on, be aware that what looks to be a flush rail with 4 anchor points on the Highlander LE, isnt!!!! I repeat, its not a flush rail. The rail is recessed and it should be considered no different then a naked roof. The anchor points on the LE are proprietary to Toyota and only accept their tower and cross bar. The anchor points are different then the other Toyota Highlander trims. The XLE and Limited trim anchor points have the center hole and as such will accept Thule, Yakima and other towers with a variety of cross bars. Please note that none of the premier companies, to my knowledge, recommend that any of their accessories be mounted/attach to the Toyota factory cross bars. You have 2 roof rack options for the Highlander LE, neither of which I find very good. The 1st choice, the Toyota cross bar system. The 2nd, most naked roof racks that clamp onto your door frame will fit your Highlander LE. Why do I know this? I bought a 2018 LE this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I showed up at my local Yakima/Thule dealer who was going to mount my Thule Hullavators to a Yakima Jet Stream bar and Skyline towers they do fit/mount. My dealer had not encountered this LE issue and could only confirm that he had nothing to mount on my Highlander that would accept the Hullavators, accept for the naked roof rack option. I visited my Toyota dealer afterwards and visually looked at the anchor points of the LE versus the XLE and Limited, I was dumbfounded, how can Toyota think that its a good ideal to use different rack systems on the same model vehicle. I drove 4 miles to get a 7 pin connection wired to the Toyota another one of their failures and another 20 miles to the Auto Rack dealer and oh yes, I live less then 1 mile from my Toyota dealer!!!!!!!! Im told that I am now the owner of a used 2018 Highlander with 25 F&^$@#&* miles on it. Can etrailer find a tower solution to my Highlander LE nightmare?


Expert Reply:

Your frustration is completely understandable, and while we have one solution that I consider unique, we do not carry any roof racks designed to fit in the recessed rails of the 2018 Toyota Highlander LE so you can carry your Thule Hullavator # TH898.

Since you do not want a clamp-on rack the only other option is called a SeaSucker, which is part # 298-SX6000B.

This rack has round bars which are 1-1/4" diameter and uses vacuum cups to attach to your Highlander's roofs. Many people are skeptical of the strength of that attachment, and if so, I highly encourage you to check out the linked demo videos of the SeaSucker in action and how impressive it is.

expert reply by:
Kyle S

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