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2013 Factory Cross Bar Load

8489 Views 22 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Unpossible
Driving cross country in my '13 SAP this summer for two months before we move to San Francisco. I was looking to pick up a cargo box (e.g. Thule Sonic XL Silver) but at 46 lbs, that only leaves just over 100 lbs for storage (Factory cross bars can take 150lbs) which can easily be eaten up by 2 - 3 duffels of clothing / gear. Aftermarket cross bars don't seem to offer much more than the factory cross bars, so doesn't seem worth the money for a few extra pounds of capability.

I'm trying to gauge more seasoned Outback owners to get a sense for whether this limit shouldn't be pushed at all, if gear weighing in at 150lbs is ok, or whether it's a conservative limit and it's safe going a little over.

What are your thoughts?
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It is a lot of weight, and we were pretty nervous, but it felt pretty stable. Those limits don't usually say much. Yakima and Thule bars are only rated at 165lbs a pair...
I'm in a similar situation trying to figure out the best setup for a 2011 OB for a ski box and two bike racks. I was recommended the Thule 450 R feet (I have a bunch of old Thule stuff I would like to use) by my local shop.

However, in terms of weight capacity, since the Thule feet would be attaching to the Subaru factory cross-bars in the undeployed position (essentially making them rails instead), wouldn't the weight limit still be the factory rails/cross bar 150 pounds?
Last I checked the aftermarket stuff two bar set up is 150lbs also. So no loss there. Its the cross bar strength ie stiffness they start to sag in the middle once you get into the 150lbs range. Once the cross bars start to sag it tweaks the feet and the feet start to become weak due to the bar sag in the center.

I run 54 inch bars with our narrow box and two bike set up and I run 66 inch bars with the box and canoe or the 54inch wide, 135lb, 12ft sailboat if I car top it. All with the rail grab feet clamped to the factory rails in stowed position. Have been doing that since 2010 when we got the OB. Zero issues. Kinda glad I didn't shell out the $400 for the landingpad feet given, when I'm not using the long bars I can still swing the stock bars across and toss the box on when we need the box. Vs say go and reinstall the landingpads and bars or have to reinstall the factory bars etc.
Thanks for the info. I have two old fork-mount thule bike racks and an ancient Karrite box that won't work on anything but rectangular bars with u-bolts that are all fine otherwise. The spread might not be ideal, but better than dropping $400+ on a new box and $250 for two new bike racks.
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