Rooftop Cargo Box/Bag on Prius? Rent one?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Slugdoc, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Slugdoc

    Slugdoc New Member

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    Hi all,

    We are going to take our first real family road trip. NYC to Nova Scotia.
    Wife feels we need to take the 2002 Camry because our family of 5 won't fit all our stuff into the Prius. (Medical reasons we carry a lot of extra stuff and food...)

    I do NOT want to take that Camry on a >1000 mile round trip, when we have a 6 month old 2011 Prius.

    So, thinking about one of those Thule-type rooftop carriers.

    A) Any experience with how big a deal that is re: installation? Impact on mileage?
    B) We don't want to have to store it year-round. Anyone know if those type things (with the hardware) can be rented?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Obxmush

    Obxmush Member

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    Don't know about rental. As far as mileage, my rack with 2 kayaks on it I lose about 20ish mpg at highway speed.
     
  3. Big Steve

    Big Steve ramblin wreck

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    Wouldn't work on my solar panel, sun roof,

    So in 67 days and 1 hour I will cruise from NY (actually Bayonne) to Canada and New England. :LOL: Nova Scotia is one of the stops!

    I will take my Prius from Richmond to Bayonne.
     
  4. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    For just about all of the cargo boxes you need a roof rack so factor that into the equation. You might be able to find one of the bags that will attach directly to the roof, but many of them also require a rack. We have a Sears box that we use on my wife's car and it is a real pain to get on and off and as you mentioned storage is also a pain. As to your question about installation - it is not terribly difficult, more unwieldy. Luckily we need it rarely and can live with it taking up space in the garage that is never used for cars.

    If I were doing it, and price were not much of an option I would get something trailer hitch mounted. Once you have the hitch you can get a box, but they are pretty expensive ($500 ish +) or simply a metal platform that you could strap bags, boxes etc onto. This could be done for $200 or so - $125 or so for the hitch and $75 or so for the platform. I have a hitch on my 09 and installed it myself in well under an hour. I bought mine from etrailer.com and was very happy with them. If it were me, I'd pair it with a giant, rugged, latching Rubber-maid type container.

    As for your question on rentals - not as far as I know but if you find a place chime back in.
     
  5. smassey22180

    smassey22180 Junior Member

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    If possible, ship some of your stuff via UPS.
     
  6. Slugdoc

    Slugdoc New Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Trailer - nope.

    Roof rack -> I imagine there is someway to install a temporary roof rack on a prius, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

    UPS - actually not a bad idea.
     
  7. Obxmush

    Obxmush Member

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    As far as price. Yakima roof racks is going to be a little cheaper than Thule. And they have the q-clip design. It clips on and off in seconds. It's the setup I use. Have used the same rack for 3 different cars now. Just needed to order different q-clip adapters
     
  8. Slugdoc

    Slugdoc New Member

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    Thanks, sounds like a possibility, too.
    Trip coming up soon, we'll have to see how fast I can get this done.
    Now, hard Cargo Box ($$$, storage issues when not in use) vs. Soft Bag ($, folds up).
     
  9. Slugdoc

    Slugdoc New Member

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    Decision time --
    Yakima FarOut Cargo bag. $219.
    It is installable on a naked Prius roof with straps that go through the inside of the car.
    OR get the Yakima roof rack ~$330 (in addition to the bag) to install it on the rack.

    Has anyone strapped a cargo bag to a naked roof rack? How was it at highway speeds?
     
  10. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    You will need a set of racks and a box, and I feel it allows Prius to carry almost as much as a mini-van.
    I have a Thule Cascade XT1600 box and Saris roof racks, but this is useless advice as these are not available anymore. But equivalents would possibly be Thule Ascent or Atlantis roof box and Thule Aeroblade roof rack.
    You will observe approx. 5-10 MPG hit as low as 35 MPG w/ box on, so I do not consider it too much eco-better than taking my "new" minivan which gets 25 MPG on a long trip. But when I had a clunker old minivan, I relied quite heavily on the Prius for vacations. You are probably talking min. $250 for racks and $350 for box but I thought it really augments usefulness of Prius.

    I guess you need something like the Thule Rapid Traverse foot to attach to vehcile for the Aerobaldes. Closest thing I can see to the older Saris system that was popular among earlier Gen-2 Prius owners .

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Slugdoc

    Slugdoc New Member

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    UPDATE -
    I did it!
    Drove to Maine today (from NYC) with 2 adults, 3 kids, the hatch full of food and books (the "hidden" compartment holds a ton!) and....

    4 duffles on the roof in a Yakima Farout Pro, using only the naked roof straps - no hardware.
    Satisfied.
    Price $179 at Campmor.
    5 minutes assemble.
    Vibration noise above 65 mph.
    Average speed 70 mph, got 46 mpg. (I would usually expect 54-56 on highway, but i can't just blame the roofbag - car was very loaded down)
    Downside - as every review (of every cargo bag) says, it will seep water through the zippers in the rain, and my last 2 hours of driving was in a steady downpour.

    Well, there you go. Thanks all for the advice.
     
  12. hlunde

    hlunde Member

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    If you're planning to travel with a number of passengers and a considerable amount of luggage, then I would check the door jambs of both of your vehicles and see how the weight capacities compare. I too prefer to take long trips in my 2010 Prius but have opted out when my planned load clearly exceeds the specified 825lbs. for the Prius.
     
  13. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    I think it would have to exceed it by quite a bit. That is a very conservative estimate made with lawyers looking over shoulders. I honestly think you could probably go up to 1100lbs. and probably be fine.
     
  14. hlunde

    hlunde Member

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    On the other hand, there are priuschat.com members who are in the throes of installing shims to correct rear wheel misalignment that clear indicates a permanently deformed rear axle beam. Just search "alignment shims". I won't be conducting an 1100lb. experiment with my Prius.
     
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