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Discussion Starter #1
We just picked up our second Weimaraner and will now be faced with limited use of our 2012 Outback's cargo area on trips. This has driven me to start looking for a roof mounted cargo box.
I intend to purchase one of the name branded units since they have a reputation of quality and functionality, but find myself wondering what our roof rails and cross bars will work with (if anything). It seems the Cargo box from Subaru doesn't mention needing new rails, but if I go to Thule they don't seem to have a box that fits with the factory set up.
Will they factory cross bars on a 2012 work with a hard box from one of the major manufacturers? Do I need to buy new crossbars (if so, any recommendations)? Will aftermarket bars still tuck into the rails (I'm guessing no)? What's the point of the rails and bars on a new Outback if you have to replace them anyway?
Thanks for any help you can throw my way.
 

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All the standard brand boxes have clips that fit the stock bars just fine. The only issue are the longer boxes even when pushed as far forward as possible might rub or bind with the hatch when you open the hatch.
 

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Yeah, you'll be fine. The roof boxes aren't like the other racks (bikes, kayaks, etc.). They are usually universal mounts. It'll work just fine. As for the other racks, you can get OEM accessories that fit the factory crossbars, but in my experience, the aftermarket ones are a little nicer (having said that I bought some OEM bike racks that work okay).
 

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I like factory rails and bars for roof boxes if no more width is needed. That spares you noise, expense and in some cases getting knocked in the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for the responses. Good to know I just need to find a new rack with clips for the bars.

Anyone have a brand/style/model they would absolutely avoid? or maybe one they would buy again in a heartbeat?
 

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OEM Cross Bars

I have a 2013 Outback and I am looking for an extra pair of OEM roof rack cross bars. I have a small Subaru box mounted on the pair that came with the car but I removed the box with cross bars so that I don't have to drive around with the box on the roof - therefore, I would like to get an extra pair to put it on my roof in case I carry some other stuff. I called Subaru and they don't sell just "cross bars" - you have to buy the whole assembly (including 2 sides) for appx $ 400.00
Anybody out there, who has an extra pair or knows, where to get just cross bars?
Or perhaps an aftermarket that would attach to the existing sides...all aftermarket cross bars attach to the existing cross bars in retracted position....and not to the sides in my application.
 

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... you have to buy the whole assembly (including 2 sides) for appx $ 400.00...
Do you mean that you have to buy the rails that are fastened to the roof just to get the crossbars? Or are you just talking about the ends that fasten to those rails (and $400 does indeed seem a lot)? HPH
 

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Cross bars

YES - that is what I mean ... you cannot just buy cross bars! You have to buy the whole assembly that is on the roof; i.e. side bars and cross bars...
 

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I have a 2013 Outback and I am looking for an extra pair of OEM roof rack cross bars. I have a small Subaru box mounted on the pair that came with the car but I removed the box with cross bars so that I don't have to drive around with the box on the roof - therefore, I would like to get an extra pair to put it on my roof in case I carry some other stuff. I called Subaru and they don't sell just "cross bars" - you have to buy the whole assembly (including 2 sides) for appx $ 400.00
Anybody out there, who has an extra pair or knows, where to get just cross bars?
Or perhaps an aftermarket that would attach to the existing sides...all aftermarket cross bars attach to the existing cross bars in retracted position....and not to the sides in my application.
Most people remove the box and leave the cross bars. Takes me like 5 minutes to put my old 2003 Thule box on or off. I'm 100% sure it would take me far longer to remove the actual cross bars with the box attached.

There is a saying "Your DOING IT WRONG" Put the freaking cross bars back on the rack and leave them there. Make sure you don't cross thread the bolt when you reinstall them or you'll be even more upset with your self.
 

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Box

I agree - however, the "new" small OEM Subaru box does not have the quick connect hardware (like Yakima has). So, in order just to remove the box you have to unscrew the hand nuts inside the box and the bottom metal brackets fall down on the roof of your car. And it's a pain to put it all together. It is much easier and quicker just to take the box with cross bars attached and remove it from the car. And that is why I am looking for an extra pair of cross bars! I don't think you know what you are talking about. It took the dealer over an hour just to put that OEM Subaru box on those cross bars!
I had a Yakima 16S on my 2010 Forester XT and indeed, with those quick connect brackets it's a breeze. But that is not the case here!
 

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You bought the wrong box. LOL

And yes your still doing it wrong. Almost as bad as when your first girl friend said "Your doing it wrong!" LOL

I bet you can track down different brackets for the box for less effort and cost than buying a new factory rack just to have some cross bars.
 

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Box

Well, I bought the "right" box; I have paid less than $ 200 for it while the same size Yakima goes for more than twice. What's "wrong" with this picture? I've had Yakimas and Thule boxes on my 2005 and 2010 Foresters and other cars in my lifetime but I refuse to pay for this stuff more than it's worth! Obviously, you haven't seen the OEM Subaru box and the way it attaches to the cross bars. In order to "track down" and install different brackets you compromise the structural design not to mention additional drilling into the box to fit "different" brackets.... the extra cross bars will probably run less than 80 bucks!
 

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$180 for the nice silver finished Thule box back on 2003 its been on 4 different cars since and will probably out live the current cars.

How many boxes have you destroyed? Geeze
 

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Box

I haven't destroyed any ... always sold the old ones (on craig's list) received few replacements from Yakima under their lifetime warranty, used them and sold again! You may want to check the Thule and Yakima prices now - the OEM Subaru box (by the way, also made for Subaru by Yakima) is the best solution for 2013 Outback - minus the quick connect that Yakima puts on theirs for double the money... geez....you think I just put out some BS on these pages? I did quite a research on these boxes and this was the best and the cheapest solution, my friend! Chill out... what else would you like to know today about the 2013 Outback roof rack applications? I am off to install the rear gate handle bar so that one can grab someting and close the rear deck withour touching the tail gate! Same as I have done on my 2010 Forester XT - the best thing ever installed on any of my previous Subarus so far!
 

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I haven't destroyed any ... always sold the old ones (on craig's list) received few replacements from Yakima under their lifetime warranty, used them and sold again! You may want to check the Thule and Yakima prices now - the OEM Subaru box (by the way, also made for Subaru by Yakima) is the best solution for 2013 Outback - minus the quick connect that Yakima puts on theirs for double the money... geez....you think I just put out some BS on these pages? I did quite a research on these boxes and this was the best and the cheapest solution, my friend! Chill out... what else would you like to know today about the 2013 Outback roof rack applications? I am off to install the rear gate handle bar so that one can grab someting and close the rear deck withour touching the tail gate! Same as I have done on my 2010 Forester XT - the best thing ever installed on any of my previous Subarus so far!
Just busting your ballz JOgosub. LOL -

this is similar to what you have right
Thule U-Bolt 80 mm Roof Box Mounting System

I just sent Thule a note asking if the clamps can be bought. I have one on my box where I broke the guide for the Ubolt- clamp works fine but if I can get one not a bad idea to have a back up.

I'll let you know - crazy easy to use. The top section is a compression clamp device you slip the Ubolts up from under the box and simply press down on the compression lever and bingo your good to go. They work great I've never had any issues with them. They could be used on other boxes simply with a little creative drilling to fit the clamp guides so they pass through the box where the Ubolt needs to go to grab the bars.
 

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Box

Nope! That is not what I have... it's a weird Yakima "cheap" design - there is no "U" bolt - the 2013 Outback has "aero bars" and the "U" bolt that would normally fit would not fit the contoured areo bars; it's a metal plate that follows the factory contoured aero cross bars....It's more than meets the eye, my friend. The removal of box with cross bar attached (as I mentioned realier to your amusement) is really the best, quickest and cheapest solution! Back to my original post: anybody out there who wants to get rid of the OEM 2013 Outback cross bars? Or, if you have a source for those, I would appreciate it!
 

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Ah - the Thule Ubolts are plenty wide for the OB cross bars. I'll let you know if you can get the box clamps from Thule.

I sent them an email asking about replacements.

Also the only Thule product I own is the box all the other stuff is Yakima LOL. AT the time The Thule boxes were supreme to any other box sold. I have a feeling its still that way.
 

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Thule vs Yakima

I agree - I've had Thule boxes way before I had Yakimas. Being from Europe, Thule is everywhere there... as well as Mont Blanc racks - a company that some disgrunted former Thule employees started in Sweden a few years back. But Yakima is catching up and they crank out pretty good stuff these days.
 
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