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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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27 Posts
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!
 

· Registered
2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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27 Posts
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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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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27 Posts
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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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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27 Posts
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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