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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone
I keep pondering the idea of adding crossbars to my factory rails. That pondering expands to cargo box or rack basket. Which leads me to ponder how does one load and unload items from either. (would I have to stow a ladder somehow?) and are either of these truly useful and worth the expense for me specifically.
hmmmm
so I am tossing it out there to CT members to provide their thoughts.
thanks in advance.
 

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Whatcha hauling? Cargo boxes are great to have as you can put all manner of items up there without worrying about weather exposure. With a box that allows access from both sides, I have ours packed up to the gills with camping gear for a family of five. Gone are the days of a compromised rear view and passengers sitting with bags stuffed in every available space.

Downside to the box and bars is the wind noise and extra drag on vehicle that hits the MPG. It also blocks out the panoramic roof, which is a very missed feature with my kids when the box is on. As soon as I am not utilizing my box, I pull it and the bars off and stow it. The return of quiet driving is always a welcome relief. I have round bars that whistle at 30 mph and above so some nicer aerodynamic bars would solve most of that.

When I see someone with a huge spare tire on their lifted vehicle, tied down to their high-in-the-sky cargo basket, I’m always surprised that it is usually some petite (non-gender specific ;-) ) person that would never be able to get that thing down. Also, talk about some seriously annoying wind noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whatcha hauling? Cargo boxes are great to have as you can put all manner of items up there without worrying about weather exposure. With a box that allows access from both sides, I have ours packed up to the gills with camping gear for a family of five. Gone are the days of a compromised rear view and passengers sitting with bags stuffed in every available space.

Downside to the box and bars is the wind noise and extra drag on vehicle that hits the MPG. It also blocks out the panoramic roof, which is a very missed feature with my kids when the box is on. As soon as I am not utilizing my box, I pull it and the bars off and stow it. The return of quiet driving is always a welcome relief. I have round bars that whistle at 30 mph and above so some nicer aerodynamic bars would solve most of that.

When I see someone with a huge spare tire on their lifted vehicle, tied down to their high-in-the-sky cargo basket, I’m always surprised that it is usually some petite (non-gender specific ;-) ) person that would never be able to get that thing down. Also, talk about some seriously annoying wind noise.
thanks Denker

sounds great for tall people and camping. sounds like it would be quite the balancing act for me to stand on door sill and actually get stuff up to roof. Maybe a step ladder? Will have to do some stretches and see how my balancing act on the door sill will work. I lived “off grid” for a few decades, so now a days my dog and I stay in motels. I dont know how safe stuff would be left on roof overnight.
it would be nice to have the extra space for stuff tho Just getting it from point A to point B and C. 2-5000 miles between each point.
 

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thanks Denker

sounds great for tall people and camping. sounds like it would be quite the balancing act for me to stand on door sill and actually get stuff up to roof. Maybe a step ladder? Will have to do some stretches and see how my balancing act on the door sill will work. I lived “off grid” for a few decades, so now a days my dog and I stay in motels. I dont know how safe stuff would be left on roof overnight.
it would be nice to have the extra space for stuff tho Just getting it from point A to point B and C. 2-5000 miles between each point.
This step is a bit of genius for getting to your cargo box, or anything roof-related.
AmazonSmile: Universal Fit Car Door Step - Upgraded Car Step Now with Added Stabilizing Bar - Extra Long for Double Foot Support - Compatible with Chevy, Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Dodge & Jeep: Automotive
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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I stand on sills and get on the tires when loading and unloading stuff. I went with a box and you'd surprised how many stuff I can fit in there still with lots of space left: 2 bass guitar with their thick bags, amp, medium size suitcase and couple of smaller items. I try to put a lot of less heavier stuff in the box and the heavier suitcases in the trunk. Held down by 4
I know there are fancier, better looking roof boxes with better aerodynamics, less noisier etc but from the look of it, you can't fit much in there, let alone a medium suitcase.
Go with box. To me, the basket is not versatile, and pretty much useless.
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It comes down to what you want to haul, and if you want to use your pano roof while hauling. I have the factory cross bars and they don't make any noise or seem to affect the MPG when just the bars are on. Items carried on the factory bars don't interfere with the pano roof, so that's a plus. I carried a 15 cu. ft roof bag from upstate NY to Minnesota, ACC set to 75. Loaded down with 5 adults and stuffed to the gills, I got 26+ MPG (TDI). So a slight hit, but considering the load, pretty darn good. There was some slight wind noise from the bag, but it wasn't objectionable- everyone was able to hear everyone when talking. I used the factory bars in front and behind the bag, a mat between the bag and pano roof. Keep your straps twisted and tie off any extra length and you'll barely notice it up there.
I've carried other items on the rack such as ladders and tools, but not a box yet. I'm fairly tall so I don't worry about reaching. If I need a boost I just open a door and step on a sill, but I see how a step stool or ladder would be handy for those vertically challenged. A bag works if you're driving straight through, but I plan to get a box for future trips when i plan to overnight in a hotel or leave the loaded vehicle unattended. I wouldn't think think the boxes would defeat a determined thief, but it's better than zipties through zippers or a knife slash through vinyl.
One additional item you should consider is a hitch shelf/rack- not only are they handy when camping, but also hauling dirty items you might not want in the interior- bags of cement, cinder blocks, sand, etc. It usually blocks the hatch though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
there.
I've carried other items on the rack such as ladders and tools, but not a box yet. I'm fairly tall so I don't worry about reaching. If I need a boost I just open a door and step on a sill, but I see how
thanks for your input RocketTech. I dont think the bag style would work for me with motels etc, but the storage of bag style would be great. While a bag on roof might keep away an honest thief, I dont think there is such a thing as an honest thief in usa. I have the 07 with sun/moon/stars/planets/UFOs roof - not panoramic one.
hitch style sounds great, but I dont have the tow package on my Touareg.

good point - depends on what I would be carrying AND put lighter stuff on roof. guess I hadnt given thought to that part of the “pondering” yet.

I appreciate all the input from everyone. Seems I will need to ponder a bit more. Probably wont get to travels til pandemic eases up.

Micheld7 - you really fit all that stuff in the roof box? WOW! Looks like the way yours is situated you can still use your sun/moon/stars/planets/UFOs roof easily. How heavy is the box? How difficult is it to put on/remove from your roof? Any issues with water getting into it?
 

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Lol, don't feel bad. I've been known to describe six foot persons as 'short'. Anyone below my eyeline is short to me lol.
And yes, I'm looking at getting a box for travels this summer for just that reason.
Oh forgot to mention I am not vertically challenged. In fact when I stand up my feet reach all the way to the ground very easily.
 

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Good comments in here. Roof carriers are awesome because they're huge and can carry a LOT. The downside is they are noisy and suck down mpg. If can, get a hitch carrier and a weatherproof cover that mounts to it. They don't hit mpg or make any noise. I understand the roof carriers have additional flexibility and practicality over the hitch unit.
 
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When choosing a roof rack system, have in mind how where you intend to use it. For light duty, paved road trips Thule and Yakima roof racks might do well. For off-road and more challenging trips consider either Front Runner from South Africa or Rhino Rack from Australia.
Be careful of how much weight and where you put it (front to back). We only keep one of our two full size spare tires and our Maxtrax recovery boards on the roof. Also mount our ARB awning which has an 8x8x8 room that we store like a tent inside when not in use.
Note our second full size spare tire is mounted to a Wilco Hitchgate that attaches to the 2" receiver out back.
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Micheld7 - you really fit all that stuff in the roof box? WOW! Looks like the way yours is situated you can still use your sun/moon/stars/planets/UFOs roof easily. How heavy is the box? How difficult is it to put on/remove from your roof? Any issues with water getting into it?
Yes I can fit a lot of stuff in there. And yes, I can open the sun roof easily in either direction.
The box is pretty light, not heavy at all. I put the box on the roof and secure it in place and then start loading stuff in, instead of doing it the other way around. I'm sure thats how everyone go about it.
I've never had water get in and I've been through some really, really bad rain storm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
2013tdi - didnt know you were driving around with Bernie Sanders LOL. That picture sure gets around! My driving is mostly paved. My trip destinations happen to include Alaska. In fact I have a son-in-law on North Slope working So I really liked your photo a whole lot!

micheld7 - glad to know they protect from water.
 

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2013tdi - didnt know you were driving around with Bernie Sanders LOL. That picture sure gets around! My driving is mostly paved. My trip destinations happen to include Alaska. In fact I have a son-in-law on North Slope working So I really liked your photo a whole lot!
micheld7 - glad to know they protect from water.
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Having driven the roads in Alaska, especially in winter, I would still opt for the Front Runner or Rhino Rack. Issue we had with the Yakima roof rack is that the cross bars slide left & right as does the basket. Took it back to the Yakima shop who checked the install and said everything was correct.
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Only issue we have had with getting diesel is going north of Coldfoot as ULSD is not available. Wanted to visit a friend working in Prudhoe Bay but do not have the fuel range to get there and back to Coldfoot. Temps the day after the photo were -40F, 60mph winds, blizzard, and -90F windchill. No issues with the car on this trip or when we did this in 2016.
'Otis' is at 4:08 in this 2016 video -
 

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you can get an after market hitch for carrying a hitch box without getting the full tow package. I did that for a bike rack on my Jetta sportwagen (predecessor to the current Treg). I prefer putting things out back to on top when possible.
 
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