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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.



Open:



Closed:



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.

The verdict:

- Utility: Thumbs up :29:
- Quality: Thumbs up :29:
- Outback compatibility: Thumbs up :29:

Recommended.

Any questions, ask away!
 

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"Tank" - 2011 OB 3.6R w/ Nav & Moonroof in Graphite Grey
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Looks great! Does it fit on the smaller Subaru hitch as well?
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #3
Indeed, it has a nifty adapter that can be removed to let it mate with 1.25" receiver hitches.
 

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I'm looking at one of these for my 2007 LLBean wagon. My main concern is that we'll usually have a dog in the cargo area so I'll need to let him in and out several times during road trips. I assume you can't open the hatch without tilting the box out of the way. Is it possible to tilt the box while it is packed?
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm looking at one of these for my 2007 LLBean wagon. My main concern is that we'll usually have a dog in the cargo area so I'll need to let him in and out several times during road trips. I assume you can't open the hatch without tilting the box out of the way. Is it possible to tilt the box while it is packed?
No problems tilting it out of the way while it's fully loaded. When I used it, I generally had at least 60 pounds of stuff in it, and I had zero problems tilting it out of the way.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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No problems tilting it out of the way while it's fully loaded. When I used it, I generally had at least 60 pounds of stuff in it, and I had zero problems tilting it out of the way.
Did you get on ice and play in Okanagan? ... assuming you still play hockey!
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #7
Did you get on ice and play in Okanagan? ... assuming you still play hockey!
Although I drove through many parts of BC, including the Alaska Highway and down the Cassiar Highway, my hockey for BC was played in Vancouver.

Here's a full list of where I played, and here's a map of where I drove:



And yes, I still play hockey, including a game just last night. :)
 

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Indeed. It's a native 1.25", and the 2" converter was included. Very stable in my 2" hitch.
thank you for the reply!

i have a factory subaru hitch... that is why i asked :)

without the 2" adapter does the box move closer to the bumper?

joel
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Teuobk: That's cool. I have been all over Canada with my son at various Summer Ice Hockey Camps. I liked the Okanagan best. He now plays at Toyota Sports Center (El Segundo, CA) Adult Ice Hockey League. He studied (and played hockey) at CU Boulder a couple of years ago.
Go Kings Go!
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #15
Teuobk: That's cool. I have been all over Canada with my son at various Summer Ice Hockey Camps. I liked the Okanagan best. He now plays at Toyota Sports Center (El Segundo, CA) Adult Ice Hockey League. He studied (and played hockey) at CU Boulder a couple of years ago.
Go Kings Go!
Awesome. If he's still playing as an adult and having fun, that's a huge win. Far too many kids get burned out and hang up the skates early.

Hooray hockey!
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Awesome. If he's still playing as an adult and having fun, that's a huge win. Far too many kids get burned out and hang up the skates early.

Hooray hockey!
Twice a week - once "in-line skates" hockey and once ice... getting rusty though...LOL... same as me....
 

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You may want to order another matching plate for your box legally you cannot block the vehicle license plate from view with a fixed object like the box. I had to relocate my plate when I put the spare tire carrier on my SUV the carrier and spare blocked the view to the license plate. Some states may even require a lighted plate but most law enforcement are fine with no lights as long as your plate is visible.
 

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Great pics! Am in the market for a cargo carrier before the holidays hit. I've got a 2011 outback and 2 babies that require more stuff than I can now load. Was looking at the roof carriers but yours looks easier to load and I'm assuming you don't get the mpg hit with that setup? Also was curious how difficult it was to get the wiring for the lights, are they brake lights or just markers? Thanks again!
 

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Great pics! Am in the market for a cargo carrier before the holidays hit. I've got a 2011 outback and 2 babies that require more stuff than I can now load. Was looking at the roof carriers but yours looks easier to load and I'm assuming you don't get the mpg hit with that setup? Also was curious how difficult it was to get the wiring for the lights, are they brake lights or just markers? Thanks again!
Prior threads on these hitch bins - be very cautious of your all up weight! That is the weight of the bin and the gear in it! Dirty laundry and smelly sports gear not a big deal. Packing the family and kids gear for the trip to Grandmas yes your better off with the roof box.

Couple of things the nice roof boxes are 2-3mpg hit at high highway speeds I know because we have run a roof box on 4 different vehicles since 2004 and we use it specifically for the holiday trips with the kids and the camping trips during the summers.

The roof gear is also out of the way hitch box not so much.
 

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Seems like a great solution. I'm curious about the lock- does it look like it would break cleanly, or would a potential thief have to break a lot of plastic? If somebody's going to break in, I'd prefer that they don't have to destroy the whole thing to do it.
 
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