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Discussion Starter #1
anyone had any experience with the aux cargo carriers that fit into your square tube receiver for trailer hitch? any recommendations or caveats?

i've been working on a lightweight roof rack made from adapted wire closet shelf, cut and fitted. not nearly as stout as the big cargo baskets but a lot lighter, cheaper (i scavenged the racks so my total investment so far is 3 cans of Rust-Oleum semi-gloss black, but even if you needed to buy em, total investment wd be abt $35), and less aero drag. and i figure that the heavy stuff prolly don't belong on top of your car anyway. if it works on upcoming Mexico trip, i'll post some info and fotos. :cool: if it REALLY works, i'll weld it together (currently tied together with zip ties) and maybe add light mounting brackets on front. don't laugh, it looks far better than it sounds and matches the OBS rack well.

THIS is when i wish i'd gotten the big OB. every other time, i'm glad not to be hauling around the extra length and lbs! but i get envious when i look at cavernous cargo area.....
 

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I think it would be an excellent choice for extra space. I have considered getting the receiver/hitch bolted to my car just for that reason, extra space for travelling. You can get lightweight aluminum ones out there but they can get pricey so making your own can help that aspect out. Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brian--

i've actually already bought one, a cheapie from Harbor Fright for $40, but i'm having to weld up a main support beam to adapt it to my 1 1/4" receiver as it's designed for 2". if i don't like it, however, i'll prolly give it to a friend and get another.

i may consider the aluminum ones, as the steel is better than 50# before you add luggage! the actual fabrication is a high school welding project (know any high schoolers taking welding shop?) but doing it in aluminum wd be much pricier matls and i've never done much aluminum welding. if youwere making yourself, i suspect you could build it a little lighter. the OBS receiver is only rated for abt 290# of tongue weight anyway, so not much need for a 500 lb cap on rack....

if i do build one myself, i might consider adding 2 more side stays bolted to hitch bracket near outboard edges, to reduce sway...suspect i might want more rigidity than the Yukon owner is willing to live with. and also adding a shield under where the exh pipe exits so your luggage doesn't get melted or smell like exhaust.
 

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i recently purchased a hitch carrier...have not used it yet...FWIW i did notice that you can buy the 2" to 1 1/4" adapter for ~$30 ....yaaaahhhhooooooo
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah, i considered one of those but eliminated it due to 1) added weight, 2) added slop, in sense of one more joint to flex and allow rack to flap around, and 3) added length to what is already an excessively long torque arm (when i fab'd support beam for the 1 1/4 receiver, i made it shorter than factory one so it would sit closer to rear of car, for strength, less rear extension by abt 6", and less effect on car attitude and handling.)

if one were to make one oneself, it would alos be a good idea to build it so it rides a lot higher than the comml ones, as the one i have is going to KILL offroad clearance due to rear overhang even tho i've raised it by an inch over stock.

i guess i'm a little anal....remember the old Queen song entitled "I want it all"? that seems to be my theme on car mods a lot of the time.....:D
 

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Have any of you considered running any kind of strut or brace from the rear of the roof rack to the hitch-mounted cargo box?


Maybe hitching it up would relieve some tongue weight and slop, while doubling as redundant safety connections in the event of tongue failure?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
good idea. i carefeully sized roof rack so i could open tailgate, tho, and hate to lose that. also, the rear rack is heavy enough that if the tongue failed and it hit the ground, it would easily tear the roof rails off the car. ugly picture. if i make up a custom one later, it willl definitely be in aluminum just due to weight.

however, i like idea. if i used nylon tiedowns or suchlike and connected one at each outbaord edge of roof rails, i might have enough flex that i could open gate, or at worst, loosen tiedowns.

BTW, like the new avatar....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
got it on the car tonight and man is it LOW. even tho i raised it an inch from stock, it creates a rear overhang that will kill any off road capability for any but most level terrain. it did seemfairly rigid and didn't affect handling of car much with light stuff (foam pad, tarps, etc) back there. i can see i'm gonna have to re-engineer to raise it about 8". this isn't a problem on the back of a Tahoe... i'll post fotos of the rig when i get em developed.

off to the halls of Montezuma, sorta. :)
 

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So, You're trying to build something like this?

That one is only $115 bucks.
http://www.reese-hitches.com/railed_cargo_carrier.htm

If you're looking for Aluminum

http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=E&Product_Code=7501&Category_Code=CC114
But it's $150....


If you're looking for something with more ground clearance in back, then you're probably SOL. I haven't found a hitch mount carrier that mounts the carrier significantly higher than the hitch point. If you are into welding, it shouldn't be that hard to weld up a "riser" extension that goes from 2" down to 1.25". Just make an "L" bracket out of square tubing to get the "rise" you desire. I wouldn't reccomend more than about 6", or you'll probably have problems opening the rear hatch with the darn thing installed. Just make sure you install a brace on the diagonal run from the top part down to the "hitch" level.

I have seen hitch "baskets" that attach to the hitch and put the cargo area right about the middle of the rear window, but they are usually really small (about 1' by 2') and I have no clue how you would open the tailgate with one attached...

The other option is to ditch the relatively small "Suby" roof rack for one that is longer/larger, or get the "extensions" available for either the Yakama or Thule roof cargo racks? They come in 18" lengths, and might be just the ticket. Only downside is, you probably won't be able to open your sunroof.

Good luck with your project, and post up photos when you're done!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
short version after using the thing through most of Big Bend Nat Pk: worked great, no adverse effect on hnadling (even stabilized car in straight line somewhat due to greater polar moment of inertia, but the increasewasn't objectionable in the twisties) on anything from sports-car roads taken at sport-touring speeds to river bottom to rocky mountain tracks. weight distrib actually seemed better than without it!

only scraped once near Terlingua but i still want to build riser for it; since it's custom, height will be determined by tailgate/lights clearance. Random, sounds like your engineering is headed the same way mine is on this.

i used it for bulkylightweight stuff only, not sure how it would do with more weight. made traveling in the little OBS a lot more pleasant than it wd have been ifwe'd tried to stuff it all inside. so these things are very viable option for use with yr OB or esp OBS. and it really confused all the folks in the leviathan sport utes....

the wire-closet-shelf roof rack basket also worked perfectly, added a tiny bt of wind noise but only when loaded, and looked surprisingly good. much lighter and cheaper than a Thulekima, but limits you to the stuff you shd be putting on the roof anyway: flat, lightweight objects

finally, if yo haven't maDE FRIENDS with all the little under-floor compartments yet, do so. i replaced the wing bolt holding the spare down with a reglr bolt and dedicated cheepie wrench and there's now a TON of space in main compartment, mini compressor,fuel filter, drive belts, etc all store down there now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
saw the closet racks for roof rackage at Homey recently for $6 ea for 4 footers. so rack costs abt $25 counting $7 of rust Oleum and a package of UV-resistant 8" zip ties to hold it all together.

Random, that IS a nice unit but it;s abt 3x the $ i have in the Harbor Fright version. difference equals cost of my gas for the trip. much nicer item tho, the HF one looks pretty crude. q of whether the looks or the $ is more impt. i still want to weld up riser and add side straps to prevent side to side rocking.
 

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I'm still waiting on pics!:D
 

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I just searched and this seems as appropriate a thread as any to throw this on... as long as we're looking to get more storage space:

How about putting the spare tire on the roof? I lead a fairly non-roof-rack kind of lifestyle, is there a carrier to keep the spare up on the roof rails, lying mostly flat on the roof (which I imagine would be aerodynamic :) ) - that would open up the subfloor storage inside.

I'm guessing if you really need a couple extra cubic feet and don't care how the exterior looks.... I contemplated this briefly to open up the subfloor as a SUBWOOFER location. Then I contemplated answering, "why is your spare tire on your roof?" and getting a puzzled look for the 50th time when I explained I needed the spare tire cavity for my sound system. (People already think I'm nuts and I didn't need to validate it)

I'm getting my convetional subwoofer, in a box, sitting on the floor, installed today :cool:

-Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #15
just tell people you're doing it to look LandRoverish...actually, given the # of folk who'd put it up there just for poseur factor, you might not even get any Qs after all....

i think you'll have to make up own rack tho as i doubt anyone makes. ideally you'd want spare to be carried as clost to roof as possible without scratching but i doubt addtl 2" of height would make much difference in CG and handling. dropped rack wouldn't be hard to weld up from 3/4" thin wall (16 ga) square tube and you could have welding done cheaply if you cut n fit parts and clamped in place. or you could just use some 1x2 oak rails, varnished with sevl coats of poly to weatherproof and then spray canned black (rust oleum semi gloss matches stock rack parts reas well)

Random, i'll post ASA i can shrink em (currently abt 1.5 mB each). sorry for delay. :)
 

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Subaru sells a Heavy Duty Roof Cargo Basket that attaches to the stock crossbars that would work perfectly for this. It's $264 though.

New for 2004! Weather-resistant, steel construction, measuring 44" x 39" x 6.5" Mounts to cross bars and accommodates up to 100 pounds of cargo. Includes mounting hardware, black cargo net with hooks, and a custom fairing to help deelt wind and noise. Will accommodate fork mounted bike rack, ski and kayak attatchments, with round cross bar clamps.

http://www.subaruparts.com/catalog/?section=508

Oh sorry, reread the post - not exactly close to the roof or aerodynamic. Oh well, just a suggestion.
 

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Well, I wouldn't want to put the "spare" up on the roof. If I were to go with a roof mount, I'd want a full size spare up there. A spacesaver donut mounted to the roof would look rather silly. (just my $0.02)

I'm not 100% sure, but I'd be willing to bet that the suby accessory roof rack is either a Thule or Yakama unit


Or were you refering to this one?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
so the aux rack is rated at 100 lbs. that's nice, i think i recall a sticker on my rails limiting it to 50.

Random has a super good point there. can't pull off the "it's not really there for functional reasons, it's just for posin like all the other sport utes so don't bother asking me about it" defense with a SS spare.......

one caveat: using different diameter tires on a Subie, esp manual trans, can be very bad thing for the AWD couplings as the different speed between ends of the car makes the AWD think you have wheel slippage. basically, the fluid inside the viscous coupling degrades from excessive heat. if you get an ebay or junqueyard tire/wheel, be sure outside diameter of tires matches your existing ones.
 

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The rails are 100lbs 'evenly distributed'. And when using the spare on a 4EAT car you are supposed to pull the AWD fuse to avoid what you are suggesting. Not sure what the protocol is for a 5MT though.

Yeah, sportin' the spare on the top would look rather silly. A used OEM rim and tire should not be hard to come by if one were inclined to go that route. Then you run into the spare possibly being a different size than the rest of your tires due to wear. If it was wnl or just short term it would be fine.
 
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