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Yakima Roof Rack Installation - 2021 Toyota Highlander

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How to Install the Yakima Roof Rack on a 2021 Toyota Highlander


What's up everybody It's AJ with etrailer.com. Today we're gonna be checking out the Yakima JetStream roof rack system on our 2021 Toyota Highlander. Now this is gonna be with flush rails here so they're really easy to put on and take off. Let's check it out. First I want to explain what a flush rail is. This is what we're working with today, like I said and this is gonna be the rails that are on your roof, where there's not a gap in between them and the roof.

That would be a raised rail that would be coming up off the roof with that gap in there where you can clamp things on. This is more fixed pointed mounting point. So the mounting point is underneath here. You pop off a cover and it tells you exactly where to put it, which is kind of nice because you don't have to measure anything. You don't have to put any guesswork into how much you space out your roof rack.

You know exactly where to put it and where it's gonna install. The bars themselves are gonna be made out of a black powder-coated aluminum. They're also aero bars. So you can see a little bit wider at the front and they taper back at the end. That's gonna be for wind resistance.

You have a T-track up here on the top so that you can slide off this cap and set your T-track accessory down on there and just slide along a track. I really like this way better because it just pushes this rubber part down and you slide on top of it. You don't have to peel back the weather strip, cut it to length because if you get a bunch of different accessories, you're not gonna have much weather stripping to put back in. This one just goes on top of it and it's out of the way. Now the bars can handle 165 pounds but also see what your roof can handle and if that's lower, I would go with that.

Now let's get some measurements. I'm gonna measure from the center of one roof bar to the one up here. And that's just for if you have a cargo carrier or roof basket. Now, since it is fixed point, you can't slide this and move it to help you out. So you want to make sure it works with those accessories. So I'm gonna go center to center here and it looks like it's right there at 31 inches. And then another thing to be checking out is the roof to the bottom of the roof bar. Just in case you have any of those clamps or come down or anything. You want to make sure you have space for it. These are pretty high up, so I don't think you're gonna have that issue. We're gonna go from the roof to the bottom. It looks like you got four inches. So you should have plenty for those clamps to fit in there and even if something has hand nobs, room to use those. So then another thing would be from the roof, same spot, but to the top of the roof bar, just to see what you're adding to your roof. So if I get there and see that, it looks like that's about five inches right there. Now we're gonna look at the towers. They open up really easily. You can just push on both sides, open those up. You can see the inside and how easy it is to remove. You see with that, I can just pull that out and that's it. Didn't need a tool to do that or anything. And when it goes back into place and just to show you, when you close this, these tabs come out on the side and that's what locks it into our base here. So put it right back down in there, close that up. And now it's mounted. It's that easy. I really like that part of it. You also have a lock core right here that can be replaced. Actually doesn't have a lock of core in it. You can replace this core and put a lock core in there. Sorry about that. And another thing it comes with is a cap. So when you do remove this, if you don't want it on your roof all the time, you can set this down on there in place of the tower. Just like that. That way it covers it up, it's not exposed and it looks nice and neat. I talked about how easy it is to set these in place and get them locked in. The pads and the base are really easy to get installed, too. Check out how we did it. Before we add our towers, we have to pop off these covers on our flush rails. So what I got to do here, is I got a plastic trim panel tool. I'm gonna push it down in that area there, there's a space where you can push that down in there and kind of pry it out. And I'm using the plastic tool just because I don't want to damage anything. So you can kind of get the edge down in there. So a little bit, and then pop it out of its space. Just like that. When I look at the pad here, before we set this into place, just want to point out that each one's gonna have a letter and an arrow on it. You wanna make sure the arrows are pointing to the outside. In each one, we're gonna have like an offset portion. And this one happens to go towards the back. So we're gonna set this into place. Gonna line up this hole with this one here in the roof. So like I said, it's gonna be a little offset. You might want to set that right down in the middle. That's how it says, it goes just a little off there, but still covers up the whole thing. So then we'll get the base and I'll set that in place. Make sure it lines up on this raised portion here. It fits down over that right there. And then we'll add our bolt and our washer. Let me hold it up for you, right there, and get this started by hand. And once that started and use the included tool to go ahead and keep running it down. Might be a little tough once it hits that spot on the bolt. That's where you can use this handle to get a little more leverage on it, to help you run it into place. Now we're gonna remove our end cap here on our bar. So I'm gonna pry out on this plastic piece with my thumb and kind of work it back and forth here at the top. So pry out, back and forth. It can get a little hard to start it, but once it gets going, it's gonna come right back off. There we go, pops off like that. And then we're ready to add a tower into place. You're gonna make sure you got the plastic piece in there, here, and then our metal piece 'cause that's gonna slide into the T-track itself. So make sure you leave it loose enough so it can still pop out and slide in that channel, just like that. And we're gonna leave it loose so we can tighten it down where it's supposed to be later on. And go ahead and put the cap back on once we got the tower on. Something else to point out is you can see our tabs right here at the bottom. That's what's gonna lock it into the base. And before you set it up there on the roof, you want to make sure you open this up and you see, they go back inside. That way it can fit down into that base like it want to and then when we go put into place, go like that and it's locked in. Now ready to set this up on the roof. So I'm gonna open the door and climb up there and set it into place and set it down lightly on the roof first, then climb up there where I can see. And try and line up to that base the best I can, let it slide into place and then get this side too. That one's slid in. So I go the other side and fix that one. And we'll slide back over here to line it up, set it down on the base and then we're gonna check that side to side on the bar. Part of getting the bar side to side correct is setting up the tower. So I'm just gonna lift up on it a little bit. That way it's flat and it'll slide a little bit easier 'cause we just need to move it over just a little bit. I think right about there is what we need. I can hop down and check it out. Once we're satisfied with the side to side, I went down and checked out, looked like it was even on both sides. Come back to our tower, open it up, use the included tool and then tighten it down. I can go back and forth and do that on the other side too. The other side, you want to turn that til you hear the tool click. There we go. Now, you know it's done so I can close it back up and it's secure to the roof. Overall I really like this roof rack. I like how easy it is to put on there and take back off. It's just as easy as coming up to the tower, moving that part out. Then you can remove the whole thing. That way if you don't want to leave it on all the time, you don't have to. You can easily just take the bars off there and then put the caps on there instead. That works nice and neat on your vehicle when it's not in use. Well, I think that does it. Thanks for hanging out and I hope this helped..


Info for these parts were:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Clayton O
Test Fit:
Clayton O

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