Automotive

Cargo Box or Roof Rails?

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  • May 28th, 2021 2:21 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Nov 7, 2004
169 posts
11 upvotes
Vancouver

Cargo Box or Roof Rails?

We recently had a baby and I can't believe how much stuff we have to lug around. Rather than sell our GLA I thought we could just use a roof rack. I bought some generic cross bars on eBay for $100 but the cargo boxes are much more expensive than I thought they would be. Even used ones on Craigslist and FB are like $300 for a decent Thule or Yakima. I was wondering if I should go for rails and a cargo bag instead? Rails are around $100 on Amazon and I see Thule bags on FB for around $50. Does anyone have experience of both box and rails? Wondering what the recommendation would be. With the kid I'll rarely use the rack for my skis or bike, it's mainly just luggage when we head up to our cabin etc.
21 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2008
1568 posts
1342 upvotes
Etobicoke
Don't get a roof bag, it will scuff your paint, looks hideous flapping in the wind . Buy a decent roof cargo box and cross bars. Buy new, and if you don't need them anymore 5/10 years down the road, sell used for about 70% of the new price
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
49906 posts
13923 upvotes
ONTARIO
Roof boxes keep their value incredibly well.

Search my rfd post history in automotive “best night ever! Found a thule roof box”

I found one on the street. Someone threw it away... lock mechanism broken and all mounting hardware missing pieces.

So i fashioned super ghetto pad locks and got some home depot u-brackets and wing nuts to secure it to the roof...
This wasnt a late model either. Probably late 90’s early 2000’s era thule box.
When i was bored with it 3 years later i sold it for $200 on kijiji. Someone bought it for asking price within hours of me posting it.

Funny thing is.. the low ballers. And my reply “it was sold for asking price within 6 hours of posting the ad...”


But yah get a box. Those bags are garbage. You can find the cheap sports rack one on kijiji for $150ish.
It used to go on sale at ct for $199.99
I lucked out and got mine for $40.

Its awesome... adds 20cubic feet of cargo room. A life saver for any road trip.

Thats like the one i got.
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-fishing-camping ... ios_social
Last edited by UrbanPoet on Jul 23rd, 2020 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
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Nov 21, 2002
11482 posts
3877 upvotes
Winnipeg
too big of a pain loading to roof been there won't do it again. if bending over into the crib at night doesn't herniate a disc then loading on your roof will. no matter how careful the sheer amount of times always leads to a scuff or scratch of the paint.

hitch carrier. its what i use when loading for the lake super easy and i use bins strapped down, with cooler or gas its way way more versatile. when not using its like nothing to take off. look at princess auto.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
19432 posts
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GTA
We drove cross country in my wife's 2008 MINI Clubman with our first kid. That includes snowboards and all of the baby gear. Really consider how much junk you're bringing that you don't really need.
I did buy a roof bag but it's never come out of the box. I would have only loaded soft material like clothes in a roof bag. You don't want hard stuff banging around in the wind.
In a box, you can load harder stuff, but you still want it light as you have you haul it up there.
Now we have 2 kids and a Q5 but have never use a roof box or bag.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
1882 posts
457 upvotes
The GLA is small.
I suggest get after-market cross bars and a Thule cargo box (large should be good for your purpose).
A new combo of this will run you way over $1k. However, keep eyes open on craigslist and similar forums to find it used. Like most people have said, the Thule maintains its value.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2008
1568 posts
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Etobicoke
I was going to buy a used Thule, but found that a new one was only slightly more money. I bought a Thule Force XL.
Sr. Member
Feb 8, 2010
582 posts
475 upvotes
I had the same problem with mazda3. Instead of buying cargo solution, I bought the most portable baby stroller(expensive one) to save trunk space. It worked well for years, then I get a larger car.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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GTA
doberman_baby wrote: The GLA is small.
I suggest get after-market cross bars and a Thule cargo box (large should be good for your purpose).
A new combo of this will run you way over $1k. However, keep eyes open on craigslist and similar forums to find it used. Like most people have said, the Thule maintains its value.
Just looked up the specs. The GLA is still way bigger than our MINI was. It was packed when we travelled but it was doable. If you like to take everything with you just get a minivan and get over it. Otherwise if you're ballin in a Merc, just pony up for the Thule box.

Spec............................................2008 MINI Clubman................................2018 Mercedes GLA 250
Maximum Luggage Volume.....32.8 cu.ft..................................................41.8 cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume..............9.2 cu.ft....................................................17.2 cu.ft.
Cargo Volume Seats Folded.....32.8 cu.ft..................................................41.8 cu.ft.
Max Interior Cargo Volume......32.8 cu.ft..................................................41.8 cu.ft.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Nov 7, 2004
169 posts
11 upvotes
Vancouver
Lol my wife insisted we buy the uppa baby vista, it's like the Hummer of stroller compared to the size of our car. I put an offer of $100 for a sportrack box (they wanted $125 but it's in decent condition) and $200 for a hitch trailer (they wanted $300) today. Let's see who accepts. I think the trailer would be better, but both wouldn't be a bad option. Given that everyone is.doing local trips right now the demand for these things probably hasn't been any greater.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29038 posts
14586 upvotes
I hate you RFD.
Now I'm going to go blow a grand on roof rails and a cargo box.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
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Feb 11, 2007
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bigknickers wrote: Lol my wife insisted we buy the uppa baby vista, it's like the Hummer of stroller compared to the size of our car. I put an offer of $100 for a sportrack box (they wanted $125 but it's in decent condition) and $200 for a hitch trailer (they wanted $300) today. Let's see who accepts. I think the trailer would be better, but both wouldn't be a bad option. Given that everyone is.doing local trips right now the demand for these things probably hasn't been any greater.
We have the uppa baby vista. It actually folds pretty well and doesn't take up too much.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Nov 7, 2004
169 posts
11 upvotes
Vancouver
Got the cargo box for $100, it had a repaired crack on one corner so I might have to keep an eye on it. Apparently the trailer went in 25 mins so I'll keep an eye on it for another one.
Deal Addict
Jul 15, 2006
1024 posts
135 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Sorry for reviving an old thread. I'm in the market for roof storage box and crossbars.

I see a lot of large/xl/xxl roof storage boxes on kijiji, which are too big for the vehicle (Kia Niro) and what we need. I'm looking for a medium Thule box. There are a couple I have narrowed down. Looked up Kijiji for crossbars/system as well, but didn't find what I was looking for.

I have come across RoofAttack. Wondering if there are any other businesses and stores that are worth exploring. We have a couple of trips this summer, so hoping to get something by the end of June.
Deal Addict
Jul 15, 2006
1024 posts
135 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Blubbs wrote: We just got a Thule Motion XT XL, what a beast.

This is a Buy It For Life item, just get a Thule and be done with it.

Image

Plug for my BIFL thread: buy-life-bifl-discussion-recommendation ... d-2466885/
Huge for sure! I'm looking for a medium sized box. Where did you purchase the box from as well as the crossbars (if you happen to purchase them)?
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2013
4935 posts
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Canada
Shop-a-holic wrote: Huge for sure! I'm looking for a medium sized box. Where did you purchase the box from as well as the crossbars (if you happen to purchase them)?
Crossbars came with our used Q7, purchased this from local rack shop, Thules are sold out for most of summer at most places but I was able get this grey one, I guess it has slightly less demand than black.
Deal Addict
Jul 15, 2006
1024 posts
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Mississauga, ON
sandwiches1 wrote: I bought this one from princess auto and it does the job fine. If you’re using it quite often then you could argue a pricier one could be worth it but for the odd trip once or twice a year it’s fine.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/69-in-r ... 0008924243
Is this the one that requires drilling or the clamps like Thule cargo boxes?
Newbie
Feb 13, 2019
43 posts
43 upvotes
Shop-a-holic wrote: Is this the one that requires drilling or the clamps like Thule cargo boxes?
No drilling, just clamps that screw in by hand.

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