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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looking into a roof cargo box (daughter going away to college half way across country).

Are the factory cross bars with 100 lb limit adequate ?

Any advice on max size box to get, Thule has a 15 sq ft model that in 69" long (about the distance from wind deflactor to tail gate)?

thanks
 

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Irish it's funny that you posted the thread, as I just purchased a box, after some research, last week.

Neither I, nor anyone else in my family is a skier. That obviated the need for one of the longer-type boxes that you see on most roof-tops. This being the case, I looked to see what my other options might be, and happened upon the Thule Excursion.

The Excursion was a perfect fit for me, as it has a generous cargo capacity yet it doesn't take over the entire car. 13 sqft is pretty dammed good from where I'm standing. I'm not sure if you are aware but Thule offers a feature on their website where you can plug in your car info and they give you the suitable boxes for the right fit. The Excursion was one such box, and I'm not sure of any others.

The roof rails do hold 100 pounds and the box I picked up was 30 pounds, leaving you a rather generous 70 pounds to fill the box. I don't see this as being a problem, as the box can hold the bulkier items you might pack for a kid going off to college- things like pillows, bed in a bag or even duffel bags filled with clothes.

FYI I also just picked up the crossbars- not sure if you have done the same. I priced them everywhere and the best price was the local dealer, as it obviated the need to pay $80+ for shipping.

Also, Thule boxes, as a rule, never really go on sale. I priced the boxes online versus in-store, and the shipping on the online items was well over a hundred bucks. After alot of scouting, I found that SportsAuthority gave the best deal, since they typically give you a coupon of some sort in your local paper. Also, not sure if you have a Dick's Sporting Goods near you, but they also seemed to be pretty reasonable in the way of sales etc.

Hope this helps- good luck!

KOZ
 

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Irishman - if you aren't looking for a box for skis or anything too long, try to stick to a box that is more square. I have the Thule ski box and while if fits on the cross bars fine, its long enough to interfere with the opening of the rear hatch. In other words, the hatch won't open with the box in the way!

As for the 100 pounds, I've not had a problem loading up mine, but like KOZ mentioned, I usually pack the really light bulky stuff necessary on family trips to the beach (towels, bedding, pillows, etc.) or skis (at most five pairs with poles).

In addition to the "big" names (Thule, Yakima), also look at the more economical brands like Sears or Barrecrafter. They make decent stuff as well. A lot of this can be found with a google search or on websites like etrailer.com.

Good luck!
 

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I know I keep saying it, but what about one of these and you can carry 300 pounds and no drag.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the info folks. I picked up the Thule Cascade 1500 (15sq ft).

Fits nicely on factory cross bars, allows tailgate to open. Will give trip report after next week, Connecticut to South Bend, Indiana and back.
 

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Hey guys just thought I would update this thread with some useful information.

Everyone, including myself, knows that Thule is one of the bigger names in boxes. This being the case, I went to Sports Authority a few weeks ago and picked up the Thule Excursion box, and with the coupon it came in at a hair below $300.

Imagine my surprise when I am surfing adds a few weeks later, and happen upon a Sears 20-SV Extreme Box priced at $169.

Now the interesting facts are that the Thule is 13 cubic feet while the Sears model is 20 cubic feet. I've confirmed that the Sears box will fit our standard crossbars and will not interfere with any features on the top of the car, whether it be antenas, sunroof wind deflectors or even the ability to fully open the rear hatch. You're getting 7 more cubic feet for $130 less.

Both boxes open from the rear and have nearly identical hinges. Believe it or not, the Sears box actually seemed to have a tighter seal than the Thule Box when locked. And in case you're wondering, the Sears box actually follows the lines of the car better than the Thule Box, in my opinion.

The kicker of all kickers, and something that was volunteered to me by the sales manager at Sears- the Sears box, it's made by Thule, but branded as a Sears box.

In case anyone is still in the market, I'd strongly urge you to visit your local Sears store and check out the box.
 

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Hey zebelkhan

I will be installing a hitch shortly and want to take advantage of the rear storage solution you have. Question...when loaded are there any concerns with the exhaust blowing directly into the cargo?? I see that the bottom of the shelf is right inl ine with the exhaust tips.

Thanks.
 

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Re: Hey zebelkhan

njmo said:
I will be installing a hitch shortly and want to take advantage of the rear storage solution you have. Question...when loaded are there any concerns with the exhaust blowing directly into the cargo?? I see that the bottom of the shelf is right inl ine with the exhaust tips.

Thanks.
I have not had any problems and have no concerns because my cargo is always covered with a tarp or something. There is also enough of a gap to let hot exhaust be cleared at HWY speeds. In long city driving though I am not too sure about....
 
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