Just picked up a Thule Transporter 665C Combi Hitch cargo box today and mounted it on my 2011 Outback. Hadn't seen much discussion about it on the forum, so I thought I'd give my impressions.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, this is a cargo box that attaches to the hitch instead of to the roof rack.
I got mine because I'm taking a road trip around the US and Canada this summer
, and as part of that experience I want to play ice hockey in every state and province. Just for fun. The trouble is that hockey gear tends to smell, particularly during the summer, so I didn't want my gear to be in the car itself.
Since I play goalie, the equipment bag is especially large and heavy (about 60 lbs wet), so I didn't want to mess around with getting it into a roof-top carrier. I was also concerned that a roof-mount box or rack would hurt my gas mileage, which would really add up over the 27,000 mile journey. The hitch-mount Thule Transporter seemed like the perfect solution. REI had them on sale last week, so I pulled the trigger.
Overall, it feels solid. It slid into my DrawTite 2" class-III hitch and tightened down with a supplied bolt, which keeps it from shaking around. The box, mounted on a substantial metal frame, is made from some sort of strong plastic, just like what's used on Thule's roof-mount cargo boxes.
I was concerned that the Outback's hatch might not clear the box, but with the box folded down, there are no problems opening the hatch.
The Transporter came with a license plate holder, which I'll probably end up installing, since it is pretty much impossible to see my license plate from behind with the box mounted.
The main drawback is that my rear-view camera is no longer useful.
As you can see, it just barely holds my hockey goalie gear bag. That's good enough for me! Also, the lights are powered, like a trailer.
Kind of looks like a gas grill, doesn't it?
Empty, it's something like 75 lbs, so one person can mount or unmount it.
- Utility: Thumbs up :29:
- Quality: Thumbs up :29:
- Outback compatibility: Thumbs up :29:
Any questions, ask away!