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#11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 12:18 AM
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Our RAV4 with the above mentioned cargo carrier just hauled me, my wife, son, 85lb labrador retriever, all of our luggage and camping gear on a round trip from Wisconsin to (eventual destination) Telluride CO. The cargo carrier was brim full, as was the rest of the car. Everything performed fabulously. Beyond a little additional wind noise and a few MPG less, we didn't even notice it was on top of the car. I'm not sure how much weight I had in the cargo carrier, but it was so full I had to really pull hard to get the top locked, and we had no problems and the rack was solid as a rock. The most amazing thing about the RAV4 was (after we left our son, dog, and their stuff at the relatives near Aspen and made the rest of the trip to Telluride) we got 29-30 MPG in heavy mountain driving (V6 AWD). The RAV4 is a great car for cruising through the 12,000 foot mountain passes with the greatest of ease.


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#12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 01:42 AM
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BTW, I just calculated the mileage for the last several gas receipts. Not surprisingly, most were in the low 20s (22-23...we hit some nasty weather and stop and go traffic on the interstates), but one which was a mix of driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway and interstate driving for the return trip was 29mpg. That's the best I've ever seen by far. I kind of wonder if it's due to the Blue Ridge...where roughly half your travel is down hill coasting. The whole trip, we had 3 adults and 2 kids in the RAV and the Thule on top.
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#13 (permalink) Old 09-16-2007, 06:35 AM
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Quick stupid question. To those of you with these boxes, how easy are they to mount and dismount? I'm interested in probably a THULE Atlantis 1600 for exactly the same thing (strollers, bulky stuff) that won't fit all that well in the trunk area. The problem is that the RAV + carrier won't fit in my garage, and I want to keep parking in my garage. If it's easy enough to mount and dismount, I could mount it up the night before a trip and park outside, and then just take it off when we're back. Is this feasible? Also, what kind of mileage reduction do you see on the highway with one of these carriers? I'm assuming at least 1-2 mpg.

Our Highlander is rated at 22 mpg HWY, and the RAV4 28 mpg HWY (EPA07 and previous standard), so even if there's a couple MPG drop it'd still make sense to take the RAV4 on the trips we do now rather than the Highlander. It has 72k miles and might get traded in but not for another 1-2 years at least, so the idea is to keep the mileage as low as possible on it and start using my car for trips.

We already manage to pack the Highlander completely full, and the RAV is just a tad smaller. If we pack efficiently we could still get it all in, but this is with only 1 baby and we're planning for more, so just thinking ahead. 8)

Steve
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#14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 07:38 PM
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The cargo box weighs around 40lbs, so unless you're musclebound or really don't care about scuffing up the load bars or your roof, you'll want help. I've done it myself, but it was a major effort. With two people, it's much easier.

The Atlantis series is designed to be reasonably easy to mount/dismount. Be careful though. The way the claws are held in place is somewhat fragile. I managed to pop one off while hefting our 1600 around alone. Nothing I couldn't put back together, but I believe after a few times, the breakage would be permanent (requiring a call to Thule for some replacement plastic).

Ours also won't fit in the garage on the RAV by several inches.

I didn't notice a MPG difference, but my MPG fluctuates all on its own.
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#15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 08:10 PM
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Gotcha. In that case maybe I'll look into one of the non-box things, like this Ranger 90.



Those are actually designed to be mounted and dismounted frequently, according to the website. No need for anything like this yet, but definitely in one and a half to two years when we have baby #2.

random edit: oh SWEET. I just checked and the little folding changing table attachment that came with our Graco Pack-n-Play will fit right in that under floor storage compartment in the RAV. There was really no place to put that at all in our Highlander and it just ended up getting shoved into whereever it could get shoved. Now we've got the perfect place for it in the RAV4. 8)

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#16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 09:09 PM
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I'd still go with the Atlantis box over the soft box/bag sort of thing. One other thing to consider...they don't advertise the Atlantis as being water proof. There's no o-ring seal, and there are actually openings in the bottom. But we drove through some rain on the return portion of our road trip that was seriously as bad as you'll ever see short of driving through a hurricane. A tiny bit of water got in, but not enough to worry about...and actually I'm not sure if it got in on the road or dripped in when we got home and I opened the box (the outside was still wet as it rained all the way home).
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#17 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 10:39 PM
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Well a bag I can attach and detach as needed is still better than a box I wouldn't buy because I can't fit my car in the garage with it and it's too much of a PITA to keep taking on and off. THULE says the Ranger 90 is water proof, and I have large plastic bags I can put stuff in too.

Steve
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#18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 11:13 AM
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I'm becoming the king of dredging up old topics (and for that I apologize), but I'm thinking about getting a cargo box to use infrequently on trips from VA to ME and wanted to see what you guys thought about the Thule Force XL. The Thule fit guide doesn't show it as being compatible with my 2012 Sport, but based on how it hooks to a car I can't figure out why it wouldn't work. Here's a link to the listing on REI: Thule Force XL Roof Box at REI.com

And here's a link to a video on how it installs:
" title="Thule 625 Force XL (Extra Large) Roof Rack Mounted Cargo Box - YouTube" target="_blank">Thule 625 Force XL (Extra Large) Roof Rack Mounted Cargo Box - YouTube

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

UPDATE: E-mailed Thule and yes, the Force will work.

Last edited by novarav4; 02-18-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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