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Model 3 Roof Rack Installation

Woot! Received and installed my Tesla Model 3 roof rack!! One of the key items necessary to make this car viable for my family was availability of a roof rack, so I was stoked to see it officially announced at about the same time I ordered the car.

Check out the video for all of the nitty-gritty details!

Install of Tesla Model 3 roof rack on my car

Here’s a couple of images as well:

For those who would rather read text than watch a video, I plan to add a bit of a description later.

For now I’m off to the ski hill!


Ok a couple more items on the roof rack – if you didn’t watch the video, here’s my TLDW list:

  • Install in general is pretty easy, they did a nice job of coding where each piece belongs
  • I’m not too keen on the ‘stick-on’ pieces of plastic – with the rack removed, they are going to stay behind and look a bit hokey
  • However! I think the plastic strips are probably unnecessary, given the rubber feet seem pretty good and aren’t likely to slide around, so provided you clean the dirt off each time you mount, I don’t think it would affect your point (YMMV!)
  • The “J-bolts” are too short I think; should be another 1/8″ longer… and probably the better way to avoid this issue at all is to have a regular hex nut (but customized with the notch for the locking feature) instead of the Allen-nut, which causes conflict between being able to have a sufficiently long bolt and a way to tighten it. Put the “tightening” function on the outside of the nut and you remove this issue! You could then have a bolt 3/8″ longer or more, and make it super easy to put the rack on and off
  • Because of the aforementioned short J-bolt, the rack was finicky to install, and I’m likely to just leave it on until Tesla offers better hardware for mounting
  • The spacing on the bars is a bit on the short side; only 28″ (71cm) from leading edge to leading edge; I had to drill new holes in my roof pod to allow for installation
  • The rack looks aesthetically pleasing, and I like the look of the rack + pod on the car myself.
Showing how much stuff we crammed in the roof box, and how easy it made it to fit our stuff in the car for the day

I’m impressed by the amount of room in the trunk too – I think we could pretty easily do a weekend away trip with 4 sets of DH skis and 4 sets of nordic skis.

I’m planning to do a detailed look at consumption this week – hopefully with a controlled test on New Year’s day when the weather stabilizes. I’ve also been logging my daily commute with TeslaFi, so will check how it compares this week with rack + pod vs bare roof from the previous few weeks. Be sure to follow this blog to be emailed updates automatically. Update: consumption test posted!

If this content has swayed you to buy a Tesla, please consider using my store referral link to order:, or give the code “andrew71174” to your Sales Advisor during your purchase.  Generally you will get some kind of benefit.


I’ve had an inquiry regarding roof box overhang in a comment, so thought I’d post it here for all to see:

Ok, got a chance to measure it tonight – the front of the box is 26.5″ from the leading edge of the front bar, which itself is right at the seem for the front windshield (ie the very front of the glass roof, the rack feet rest near the portion where the ‘A’ pillar meets the roof etc – structural integrity I believe. Further, the rear of the pod is 30.5″ back from the trailing edge of the rear bar. Total length of my pod is 89″.

He also asked about the view from the inside:

From the driver’s side you can’t see the pod sticking out the front really;  you do notice it when you look up through the roof.  The passenger can’t  see it out the front either, unless they have the seat really low and are  short.  But, it is quite prominent when the passenger looks up!  They get a great view out overtop of the passenger of passing trees and mountains,  but nothing directly overhead.

kootenay andrew
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10 thoughts on “Roof Rack!”

  1. Looks like it was better thought out than I had inferred. Someone told me the system was really a Seasucker variant, but clearly that’s not the case! I’d say it should hold on as well as pretty much any other proprietary mount. I like also that the box is sitting with the nose slightly down, rather than up. Should be better for wind resistance and may even out the lift effect a bit.

    Have you managed to fill your trunk with snow yet?? That’s the only issue I have with the smooth back glass! 😉

    1. Thankfully I read about that one on the forums rather than first-hand. The only significant snow fall we had I just wiped off the trunk with my mitt, grabbed the snow brush and swept off the rest of the car before opening any doors etc. Worked a treat.

  2. Pingback: Watch Unboxing & Install Of Tesla Model 3 Roof Rack

  3. Pingback: Model 3 Roof Rack Consumption Test – Kootenay EV Family

  4. Thanks for the info! I’m trying to figure out if my Yakima ski box will interfere with the trunk opening. Any chance you have the measurement from the rear rack to the hatch/trunk when it’s open? Not much point to installing the ski box if you can’t access the trunk all winter 🙂
    Looking forward to taking delivery of the model 3 soon…just trying to get organized in the meantime. Thanks for your insights and help.

    1. It didn’t interfere with my Yakima box, nor does it with my new Thule Motion Alpine, which I think is even a bit longer. I just measured it to have 13″ of space between the back of the box and the trunk. I’ve added a photo to the main post. I have the box mounted as far back as possible. I’m not sure if you can limit how high the trunk opens, sorry!

  5. Also meant to ask if the hatch can be “limited” and not be raised all the way if the ski box does interfere. I’d rather have the hatch restricted than smash into the ski box every time…

  6. A picture’s worth a thousand words! Thanks again—it looks like it should be no problem. Now I can just measure my ski box and figure out which roof racks to go with. I’ll wave at you in July when I’ll be in your neck of the woods…Kaslo and Rossland.

    1. Which racks?! There is only one set you can get from Tesla, and only one set of mounting points. Or were you thinking of getting the generic clamp style from Yakima?

  7. Pingback: Tesla Model 3 Consumption with Roof Rack and Bike Rack – Kootenay EV Family

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