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I recently completed the purchase and installation of a type 6 Honda Ridgeline Rack from US Rack and I wanted to contribute notes from my experience. I had several pictures I wanted to upload but apparently the file size is too big...

I wanted to buy a rack with a cantilevered third crossbar to offer support above the cab. I was disappointed to learn that due to the Ridgeline’s unibody construction, none of the ‘standard’ rack providers (the welded steel varieties aimed at contractors, and the ‘Young Urban/Outdoor Professional’ Thule/Yakima racks) offer a solution for the Ridgeline.

Choices were either the VanTech P300 for the G2 Ridgeline, or one of the US rack options. Having a cantilevered third crossbar was important for me for carrying longer lumber, a canoe, flexible pipe etc. I occasionally flip houses and lead cub scout campouts. The absence of a cantilever front support on the VanTech made it a non-starter.

The type 6 from US Rack is, I think, a relatively new offering. My summary ratings are:

Design: 9/10
Build Quality: 8/10
Quality of Documentation: 6/10
Customer Service by US Rack: 8/10

I wanted an all-black rack and one that would not rust apartI was able to order one with https://www.usrack.com/responsive/ridgeline-rack.php#ridgeline-6

It’s not cheap at $1,495 plus tax (for California).

The aluminum crossbars and side rails are extruded aluminum and feel like the boom or mast on a lightweight sailboat. The rack is rated at 500lb total load with 200lb over the middle and rear (leg-supported) crossbars and 100lb over the front cantilevered crossbar.

The clever part of the rack are the rail components that wrap around the weirdly profiled bed edges. These have been stamped and fabricated somewhere in a way that would be difficult for any DIY guy or welder to replicate. This is the real IP of the system.

I was stymied at step 1 of the instructions – putting the cross bar end plates into the cross bars after inserting some carriage bolts into the bars. My plates came ‘pre installed’ which prevented me from inserting the carriage bolts. I was told by customer service to tap out the end plates, but I succeeded only in bending the bar plates. I don’t think a customer should have to hammer apart a bolt-together, ships-in-pieces rack to make it work. I contacted customer service and explained the situation and they sent out a new box with the correct (separated) parts.

I had to clean up with a 4 in hand file some of the connection points of the aluminum where the powder-coating was too thick.

My biggest complaint with the system is the poor instructions and the inconsistencies with the parts list. I received all of the hardware included on the parts list. The problem is that the parts list does not agree with the instructions. For example, one needs a total of 10 @ 1.25” hex bolts per the instructions, but the parts list only includes 4. One needs [email protected] 1.5” hex bolts per the instructions, and the parts list includes zero of these bolts. Again, I contacted customer service and they sent out the correct parts.

So, after a couple of false starts, everything came together. After tightening all of the bolts adequately, the rack feels very secure. I can shake the side-rail back and forth and wiggle the truck suspension with the rack remaining firm. The weakest/loosest point feels like the custom-molded rack rails that attach the rack to the bed. Again, the ‘joys’ of the unibody construction that would preclude any fasteners penetrating the body mean there will always be a little wiggle at this connection point. Still it works well.

All in all, and for it being the ONLY cantilevered rack option available on the market, I am pretty happy so far. I have gained a couple of inches of height for the truck, but of course that would be true with any similar rack structure.

Contact Victor Casillas, sales manager for US Rack at 888 877 2257, [email protected] with questions.
(There’s no kickback for me on this, BTW. This is my opinion alone.)
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. . . That looks like a very useful rack. I do construction and I considered their cantilevered rack for the GenI when I purchased my 14 a few years ago. It's great that there is a serious roof rack option for both generations of the Ridgeline.
In the end I decided on doing something custom . . .Quickly removable front bar (Yakima, kept underneath back seat) that mounts to small landing pads permanently mounted to the front of the cab (using the existing studs for the factory rack), permanently mounted solid aluminum "back rack" mounted at the very front of the bed, and temporary prop piece kept in the garage for the far back that I use when carrying something very heavy or floppy. What I like about my setup is that (when not in use) there is no wind noise / minimal wind resistance and it doesn't scream contractor.
 

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that mounts to small landing pads permanently mounted to the front of the cab (using the existing studs for the factory rack),
I would think that would be how any overcab rack should be setup on the RL. Having a 4ft unsupported cantilever hanging out over the cab is an invitation for a problem. The front weight limit is going to be critical to prevent bending of the cantilevered extensions. But the average user isn't likely to do a good job of managing the weight distribution - look at how folks load these things up anytime you're at a big box stores 😊

A contractor or someone buying the rack for a specific set of things to be carried (like the canoe example) should be able to make sure they won't exceed the weight but anyone who starts throwing lumber up there is going to be at risk of overloading. I don't know why US Rack didn't just add a vertical standoff from the factory roof rack studs to their cantilever. You have the right idea I think for the way to go with your custom solution.
 
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