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Can Any Cargo Baskets be Directly Mounted to Factory Side Rails of 2012 Nissan Pathfinder

Question:

I have a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder 4dr equipped with OEM roof rails but no crossbars. The rails are only 36inch apart and every gear basket that I am interested in is much wider than that so it seems a waste to tuck crossbars under them where they will serve no purpose.Any ideas or suggested products that would be better suited to my needs ? I plan carrying surfboards ,beach gear, and surf fishing rods up top so I want a fairly deep basket and maybe one that can be fitted for cross bars itself to mount the surfboards on.

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Expert Reply:

There are some large rooftop cargo baskets that can mount to your roof side rails without the need for crossbars. Surco offers their 60 x 50 x 5 inch # SPS5060-1101, which weighs 34 lbs, and the 50 x 45 x 5 inch version # SPS4550-1101, which weighs 32 lbs. I have included a link to our department page for all of our cargo baskets where you can see offerings from ten different brands. Most other roof baskets require crossbars for their installation.

Since you plan to transport a significant amount of cargo on your Pathfinder roof, I suggest you refer to your owners manual to confirm the weight rating. I found an online version but I was unable to verify the roof weight capacity; you should be able to find this in your owners manual or obtain it from your local Nissan dealer. Bear in mind that the cargo basket you select will itself count against that total weight rating, as will any other cargo accessories such as surfboard carriers. The total weight of these items plus your cargo cannot exceed the limit specified by the manufacturer.

Some surfboard carriers can be mounted directly to the square tubing of the Surco baskets. One is the Thule Double-Decker, part # TH809. You will need to compare the length of your boards to the particular basket size you want to be sure the basket is long enough to properly support the boards.

I recommend that you also consider a cargo tie-down system, such as the Erickson # EM34409, which is a pair of cam-buckle 8-foot tie-downs. Many similar items can be seen on the link provided. A popular item for use with a cargo basket is a tire step, such as the HitchMate # HE4040, which makes it much easier to access the items in your basket.

If you do want to consider a roof rack, I have included a link to our product page for all racks for the 2012 Pathfinder with factory side rails. There are options from Yakima, Thule and RhinoRack that include round, square and elliptical/aero-style crossbars, which are quieter at highway speed than the other types. Do note that certain accessory items (such as surfboard carriers) may require an adapter in order to mount to elliptical/aero bars.

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