As the title says, I have a late model first Gen Armada and don't have the cross beams on my roof rails. What do you'll suggest?
First off thanks for putting in the time to reply.I used to carry a 2 person kayak up there, but gave up. The Armada is so tall it's difficult to get stuff up there. But I did do it for a while so here's my two sense.
You could try to source some factory cross bars that go with your factory roof rails. Almost as expensive as aftermarket ones and a whole lot less useful, so I would just skip that option.
I was using Thule cross bars. Most aftermarket brands will have adapters to connect to your roof rails.
Pros: 1) The rack is more permanently installed and could secure all kind of stuff (bikes, kayaks, shuttle boxes, etc.) 2) The roof rails are supporting the weight, not the skin of your roof 3) the kayak rode on its side, using kayak mounts, that allowed me to still open the tailgate.
Cons: 1) aftermarket crossbars and accessories are expensive...like $300 and up just for the bars and adapters to attach to your roof rails. 2) initial set up may be a little more involved 3) reduced clearance if you (or your spouse!) ever encounters a parking garage.
If you don't want to spend too much money, you can go the cheapo route and use foam blocks directly on the roof. I saw a kit on REI that includes straps for about $72.
Pros: 1) cheap 2) easier initial set up 3) Doesn't affect your clearance when not using them because they completely remove after each use.
Cons: 1) the roof surface is holding all the weight rather than the roof rails 2) you probably can't open rear hatch with canoe/ kayak up there.
If I wasn't going to do it very often or in a pinch, I'd probably just do foam blocks and straps. But If I were going to be using it with any regularity or may ever want to carry anything else up there, I'd recommend getting some aftermarket cross bars.