Be forewarned! This may be a short article. As mentioned many times on this blog, aftermarket accessories for the Ford Edge are limited at best. That includes roof racks. Our model is equipped with the Vista roof, Ford’s version of a panoramic sunroof. It’s a nice feature, but it means we lack the factory roof rails for a base to mount an aftermarket Ford Edge Roof Rack.
I should mention that based on my research, the factory roof rails are actually compatible with the Vista roof option, despite the official position. The issue doesn’t appear to be with the rails themselves. Our Edge has the appropriate mounting points and the rails can be ordered from the Ford parts department. They will set us back about $300.
Issues with the Factory Roof Rack
The incompatibility results from the factory crossbars. When the crossbars are installed, they sit too close to the roof and prevent the sunroof from opening. So, Ford is assuming you’ll only use the factory crossbars with the factory rails. Because of their assumption, they make the whole thing is incompatible with the Vista roof.
If we go with a set of factory rails, it does expand the options for our Ford Edge roof rack. A quick search on rackattack.com shows both Thule and Yakima make a mounting kit for our vehicle that utilizes the factory rails. At the time of this writing, they are about $625 and $719, respectively. But both of these options would require the factory rails at an additional cost of $300. We could source a used pair, possibly saving a few more dollars.
However, if we start with the bare roof option, Thule is out. Yakima still makes the compatible clip kit for our ageing Ford Edge. The full kit comes in at $829, just $110 more expensive than the setup for the factory rails. That seems like a better deal. And you can save another $100 by foregoing the included locks.
Customizing Our Ford Edge Roof Rack System
With our sights on the Yakima system, we set out to adjust the kit to meet our specific needs. We want to be able to mount a cargo basket for camping gear, and two small kayaks for the kids on our Ford Edge roof rack.
The basket was an easy choice with the LoadMaster. At 39 inches wide, it will hold the gear we need, especially after adding the 18-inch extension. It also has options for a wind deflector and mounting brackets for a set of off-road lights. A nice bonus we’ll be sure to consider given the limitations on front-end accessories for the Ford Edge.
By swapping out the standard 50-inch bars for the much wider 70-inch bars, we gain an extra 10 inches on either side of the basket for the kayaks. We’ll mount one on each side of the basket. They’re small, six-foot sit-on-top models for the kids. We won’t need to worry about any kayak-specific mounting hardware.
Predicting the Future
The plan will be to migrate our Ford Edge roof rack to a new vehicle, which we expect to be in two to three years. It should be a fairly straight forwards transition, requiring nothing more than a new set of clips compatible with the new vehicle.
This future consideration is something we’ve taken into account on all the accessories we’re planning on outfitting to the Edge. Where possible, we choose items that can be easily moved to another vehicle. No point in paying more than once for the same thing.
We’ll see you on the trail!