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Hello,

Does anyone have any experience with a cargo box on the factory cross bars on a '13 RAV4 XLE? I'm thinking of getting the Thule Force L 624. Not too small, but not too big, either ... just to haul a few camping gears (tent, sleeping bags, etc) to maximize the cargo space inside the car. I know this box is more expensive compared to others, but just wanted to get anyone's thoughts/comments about it. If it rains during travel, does water seep in? How durable is it? Other comparable boxes out there that you would recommend besides this one?

Thanks.
Mike318
 

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Thule good stuff!

I have a Thule Combi box that is now 15+ years old - still water tight and solid. I'l be moving it from the factory roof rails on my '04 Sienna to my 320-mile old 2013 RAV4 Ltd and expect no problems.
 

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I haven't heard anything on the rav crossbars, but I Heard that the ones on the highlander were weak. We bought a set of Thule universal ones from of all places kmart...they are awesome! We also have the sport rack hard roof carrier (Made by Thule...google it), I give this 6 out of five stars as well. We have easilly overloaded this thing ( not recomended thought ) and made two round trips, one to orlando the other to the smoky mountains in nc. Each trip we had heavy rain, wind, snow and some Sun, hit 75-80 mph, everything stayed dry, no rattles nothing came loose ever.....and for as large as this carrier is, not too much wind noise either. I'm very, very pleased with this setup, but it's on my hl...not a rav.
 

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All Thule/Yakima cargo boxes are pretty well-designed so there should be no issues with water leakage. I have a Thule box on my IS sedan and plan on getting the crossbars to be able to install it on the RAV. The biggest complaint I've had was installing the thing. I have an older box so it uses the old mounting systems, the modern boxes uses a much better mounting system, so the biggest hassle you'll have is probably getting the box onto your roof haha.
 

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I have a similar box that the op is looking at but it was a medium size one.

Drove cross country with it on my BMW with 0 problems. It's now on my 2013 XLE. Well it does have one problem and that us that the locks were freezing below about 5 degrees but that was easily solvable with a lock deicer and is location dependent I guess.

I admit I had to buy a small step stool to stow in my car though. I'm 5'11" and getting the box on and loaded or even looking in it is tough.
 

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I have an older Thule 1600. With the "U" shaped pieces that you put around the bottom of the bar and up into the box where they lock in place. I hope this will work with the Rav cross-bars


Are the crossbars adjustable in position (do they slide front/rear)?
 

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Hey there. I highly reccoment the Yakima Skybox 1600. It fits the RAV perfectly. Also the mounting system of the Yakima box work easier with the factory crossbars than the Thule system does in my opinion.
 

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Hey there. I highly reccoment the Yakima Skybox 1600. It fits the RAV perfectly. Also the mounting system of the Yakima box work easier with the factory crossbars than the Thule system does in my opinion.
Are you familiar with the Thule system I'm talking about? I found that on my dads Acura MDX crossbars, the Thule needs to be pushed in really really tight and it's really easy to leave it "loose". The bars are VERY thin on the MDX.

Our OEM replica fixed crossbars on our Saturn Vue (that we are looking to replace) are pretty thick and the Thule hugs them very nicely.

I know the Thule is old (circa 2000/2002 maybe) so it's very possible that modernized crossbars are thinner (for wind noise/drag and such) but I did see our exact Thule still for sale in Sears auto recently...

Regardless, thanks for your input. I'll have to do some research on the crossbars for the Rav. Maybe go with an aftermarket.
 

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I've found the factory cross bars can be moved along the rails without unlocking and unclamping them. This should not be possible, but, they are a compression type clamp rather than indexing into detents. I'll need to take them apart and see if there is a tension adjustment to get them to lock down tighter.
 

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I've found the factory cross bars can be moved along the rails without unlocking and unclamping them. This should not be possible, but, they are a compression type clamp rather than indexing into detents. I'll need to take them apart and see if there is a tension adjustment to get them to lock down tighter.
This can happen only if they are installed incorrectly, or if you try to slide them with a hammer. :)

Here's a link to another post that shows how to remove the crossbars. It will also be useful in tightening them. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/123-4-4-general/145242-what-oem-crossbars-good.html
Instead of turning counterclockwise as shown in the fifth picture, try one turn clockwise. If that's not tight enough, then another turn. Mine are tight enough so that they cant be moved with my hands alone, but could likely be persuaded with a hammer.
 
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