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Discussion Starter #1
We just got a new puppy and needed a way to be able to take her and all of our gear camping. Three people, one dog and camping gear don't fit well in the Outback without a little extra luggage capacity.

I had been looking at roof baskets and boxes for a while and decided to go with a basket since it takes up a lot less room in the garage than the box would. This basket costs a bit more than the Thule and Yakima baskets but it also has a lot more features. The two integrated bike mounts and integrated cable lock were nice touches, it also comes with the locking covers that help deter basket theft that were add ons to the other baskets as well.

The basket instructions recommend a 15-25 inch spread center line to center line on the roof bars, the bars on my 2013 Outback are closer to 30 inches apart. I contacted Kuat and they assured me that I could still use the basket even though I was one position outside their recommended mounting points - in my case it was on the front of the basket. They told me that their recommendation was more based on how hard it would be to get to the thumb screws that hold the basket to the crossbars on the front rung of the basket due to the bike mounts.

I was able to mount the basket in a position that still allows use of the sunroof, if you look up through the sunroof, you can see the front most portion of the basket but it is not intrusive at all. It does make a little noise, but with the sunroof and shade closed you barely hear it. The two Yakima Forklift bike mounts I tried before switching to a hitch mounted rack made considerably more noise than this basket does.

Two minor complaints that I have which I think I will be able to do away with are:

#1 - The front fairing on th rack can buzz against the basket itself on the freeway, though I can't hear it with the sunroof and shade closed. I plan to put a strip of adhesive foam weather strip on the fairing where it comes in contact with the basket which will solve this problem.

#2 - The integrated cable lock that slides in to the main basket hoop can rattle inside the rack as well. It seems to be the rear stop that prevents the cable from pulling all the way out of the basket that rattles inside the basket tube itself. I am not sure how I am going to solve this, but I think I can access the area if I take the rack apart again, I may be able to stuff some foam inside the tube that will give the cable stop something to rest against instead of the metal tube. For now, if I do not retract the cable all the way in to the basket the noise is almost gone.

I have not used it for cargo yet, but have had it on the roof for a few days now. I'll report back after our upcoming trip.

Crappy iPhone pix:





 

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Thanks for sharing! Great pics and thanks for the top view pics. I just traded my truck in on a 2013 OB Limited and need something to carry the bikes. I wanted a basket type carrier and this is it! I have two bikes, a trail-a-bike and a co-pilot trailer for the kids and I hope this will at least free up some room on the inside.
 

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Well, I ended up returning this basket. After less than a week on the roof of my Outback, two weld poionts on the back of the basked started to rust.

I expect a lot more from a basked that costs close to $500.
 

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Wow, that sucks. Kuat stuff is usually pretty well made. It looked awesome on your car.
 

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Well, I ended up returning this basket. After less than a week on the roof of my Outback, two weld poionts on the back of the basked started to rust.

I expect a lot more from a basked that costs close to $500.
are you getting another one?

or, are you looking at different manufacturers???

joel
 

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Discussion Starter #7
are you getting another one?

or, are you looking at different manufacturers???

joel

I have not decided yet, but we have a camping trip coming up soon so I need to figure out what I am going to do soon.

One other issue I was having was that I could not find a cargo net with hooks large enough to hold on to the basket frame. The Kuat basket uses much larger tube diameters than the the Yakima and Thule baskets.
 

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Man that did look good. I also liked the integrated bike rack. I picked up the Subaru branded Yakima rack and I'm pretty happy.

The biggest PITA is that with my Thule Bike mounts on the fairing buzzes pretty badly, because of the very slight gap created between the basket and the fairing. Drives my passengers nuts at freeway speeds.

 

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I couldn't find another basket that fit the bill like the vagabond x. Put mine on order today I got it shipped for $451. Hope it doesn't rust on me. If so that's what paint is for.
 

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I purchased a Megawarrior basket for off road and returned it before ever putting it on.
The reasons:
A rocket box is better in every way, unless you have a generator or a chainsaw with gas fumes. The mpg loss of a roof basket w/gear is much higher than a rocket box. Use extended bars with the rocket box and you can have 36" plus rocket box, plus two kayaks side by side on edge, and a bike also. I had wanted the roof basket to put a spare tire in, but then realized I could put one in in a rocket box and it is out of the sun. Finally though I was able to fit a full sized spare in my 2013 CVT Outback.

However, I have a smaller 24" wide rocket box which I have used for years made by Thule and it holds an enormous amount of gear. That is the way most people are going
today versus the roof basket which is useless in the rain unless covered (pain the neck to do) and can drop mpg by up to 10 mpg if loaded heavily. Also, the security of the new Yakima boxes is excellent whereas with a roof basket there is little security.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, I borrowed a Yakima Load Warrior basket with the extension from a friend for our trip this weekend. The cabin we went to did not have trash service so you had to haul all your trash out. Since this included our dog's "business" I decided I did not want to carry it inside the vehicle so I borrowed this basket. This thing worked well and is probably the direction I plan to head with my rack purchase, though I don't know if I need the extension.





The biggest PITA is that with my Thule Bike mounts on the fairing buzzes pretty badly, because of the very slight gap created between the basket and the fairing. Drives my passengers nuts at freeway speeds.
The buzz probably has nothing to do with the bike mounts. This thing buzzed like crazy at freeway speeds even when there was nothing in the basket at all. I solved it by using some thin pipe insulation from a hardware store and a few zip ties.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also, for what it's worth I was getting 27-28mpg with the basket on the roof until I got stuck in major traffic. This was following my father-in-law in his Dodge Journey averaging 65-70mph. I have never gotten close to that in any of my regular driving with nothing at all on the roof of my Outback. Granted most of my driving is commuting with a lot of stop and go traffic. On most tanks of gas, I am lucky to get 23mpg.
 

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Also, for what it's worth I was getting 27-28mpg with the basket on the roof until I got stuck in major traffic. This was following my father-in-law in his Dodge Journey averaging 65-70mph. I have never gotten close to that in any of my regular driving with nothing at all on the roof of my Outback. Granted most of my driving is commuting with a lot of stop and go traffic. On most tanks of gas, I am lucky to get 23mpg.
Were you on flat land?? I just did a 4000 mile trip and averaged 19mpg, with any time spent over 75 around 15-16mpg... It was a megawarrior with extension, but the frontal area isn't much different with that huge bin on top.

Wind and speed are a MAJOR factor. If there was any downhill or a decent tailwind, that could account for it, but that's a wild difference. Wondering how it could be so dramatic.

Also, the ideal situation would be to use yakima or thule bars, a narrow box set in the center and 2 bike mounts flanking the box. I switched to an Inno Lowdown Cruiser with an ARB awning on the side and couldn't be happier.

Edit: Those wheels are really nice looking on the wagon!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Were you on flat land?? I just did a 4000 mile trip and averaged 19mpg, with any time spent over 75 around 15-16mpg... It was a megawarrior with extension, but the frontal area isn't much different with that huge bin on top.
Mostly flat, but we did climb about 3,000 feet to the cabin we went to. The mountain driving was very twisty and my wife started to feel a little car sick so we were in the 45mph range most of that time. Had I not been following my FIL, I am sure my mileage would have been much worse since I would have probably set the cruise control at 80 on the freeway. 65MPH seems to be the sweet spot on this car for me though.

Also, the bin was in the car on the way there, we had a lower profile on the trip out. I just wanted something big to block the wind and prevent the trash bags from getting tattered by the wind on the way home.

I wonder if the extra width/length of the MegaWarrior makes a big difference on the mileage?

Like I said I never get this kind of mileage around town, I was surprised by the gauge on the dash and even more surprised when hand calculation at the fill up agreed with the car's calculation.
Wind and speed are a MAJOR factor. If there was any downhill or a decent tailwind, that could account for it, but that's a wild difference. Wondering how it could be so dramatic.
I did come down the same mountain we went up so I think that would be at least close to a wash.
Also, the ideal situation would be to use yakima or thule bars, a narrow box set in the center and 2 bike mounts flanking the box. I switched to an Inno Lowdown Cruiser with an ARB awning on the side and couldn't be happier.
I was thinking about getting a cargo box, but when you have to haul dog poop out of the site, I wanted something open air so the smell did not creep in to anything I cared about. I already have an Inno hitch mounted rack to carry the bikes, we just did not bring them on this trip.

Edit: Those wheels are really nice looking on the wagon!
Thanks, I have had STi BBS's on all three of the Subarus I have owned.
 

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It's a little wider, but still an extreme difference. Are you going to be doing this again soon? I'd really like to know what caused my 10+mpg drop... that much of a difference would most likely be something that really needs to be looked at by a mechanic!

Try something like this for dog/human waste:
About
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's a little wider, but still an extreme difference. Are you going to be doing this again soon? I'd really like to know what caused my 10+mpg drop... that much of a difference would most likely be something that really needs to be looked at by a mechanic!

Try something like this for dog/human waste:
About

I have seen those trasharoos, but after I packed that full of crap, I would still have to put it inside the car or in a roof box. I have not found a bag that can seal out the smell of poop.

I do have a camping trip coming up in a few months but I am not sure if I will try to borrow the basket for that one or buy something for myself. Also, the people we are going with will probably be pulling a trailer that we will be able to put stuff in, so I may not need any extra cargo space at all for that trip.
 

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The buzz probably has nothing to do with the bike mounts. This thing buzzed like crazy at freeway speeds even when there was nothing in the basket at all. I solved it by using some thin pipe insulation from a hardware store and a few zip ties.
A picture of your MacGyver mod would be appreciated. I've lined the entire fairing in weather stripping, but it was no help.
 

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Also, for what it's worth I was getting 27-28mpg with the basket on the roof until I got stuck in major traffic. This was following my father-in-law in his Dodge Journey averaging 65-70mph. I have never gotten close to that in any of my regular driving with nothing at all on the roof of my Outback. Granted most of my driving is commuting with a lot of stop and go traffic. On most tanks of gas, I am lucky to get 23mpg.
Mine is on 100% of the time and I get 22mpg commuting 2 and from work, I have an 8 mile town drive. When I go distance I get about 24-26. That's empty.
 
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