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Old 07-03-2019, 09:48 AM #46
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Originally Posted by lebowski_c6 View Post
If you only needed one or the other, which do you prefer the roof box or the hitch box?
I think I'd pick the rooftop only, but they're both quite useful... some comments on each:

The rooftop box is 21 ft^3 (the new largest box is 22). It's not very noisy, it's (relatively) easy to put on any vehicle with rails (and my crossbars are removable so I've loaned these out also). The shape is useful to store odd-sized items, so long as they aren't boxy. (And duffel bags fit well inside, but boxy luggage less so). But it's hard to access while driving, and can be very large and cumbersome to store, unless you have a useful storage solution (I hang mine in the garage/carport, and that works well, will try to post pictures later).

The hitch box is 13 ft^3, so it's much smaller, and sometimes catches when closing if you have stuff jammed to the edges (both boxes can be hard to close if contents interfere with the latch system). But it's very easy to access when driving (which is a bonus if you have small children or for any other reason need to grab stuff mid-drive; we've found it useful to store a change of clothes and toiletries while leaving the rest of the luggage up top). It doesn't require any climbing to access. It's a little heavier/cumbersome to install/remove, and I haven't yet found any good storage solution for it. Some people will prefer a flat hitch carrier to this, but it locks, supports your tail lights, and if you don't move your license plate to the provided frame assembly, potentially blocks its view from toll cameras (unless you also have a front plate.) And it's also easy to loan to anyone who has a hitch, although it changes your vehicle shape and makes your backup camera useless. (Also, it does swing down, so you can access the rear hatch, but if it's loaded that's a heavy item to move up and down.)

So, depending on your mission, both can be a great choice, but all things considered I would pick the roof box if I had to use one only.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:53 AM #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toffees View Post

I think I'd pick the rooftop only, but they're both quite useful... some comments on each:

The rooftop box is 21 ft^3 (the new largest box is 22). It's not very noisy, it's (relatively) easy to put on any vehicle with rails (and my crossbars are removable so I've loaned these out also). The shape is useful to store odd-sized items, so long as they aren't boxy. (And duffel bags fit well inside, but boxy luggage less so). But it's hard to access while driving, and can be very large and cumbersome to store, unless you have a useful storage solution (I hang mine in the garage/carport, and that works well, will try to post pictures later).

The hitch box is 13 ft^3, so it's much smaller, and sometimes catches when closing if you have stuff jammed to the edges (both boxes can be hard to close if contents interfere with the latch system). But it's very easy to access when driving (which is a bonus if you have small children or for any other reason need to grab stuff mid-drive; we've found it useful to store a change of clothes and toiletries while leaving the rest of the luggage up top). It doesn't require any climbing to access. It's a little heavier/cumbersome to install/remove, and I haven't yet found any good storage solution for it. Some people will prefer a flat hitch carrier to this, but it locks, supports your tail lights, and if you don't move your license plate to the provided frame assembly, potentially blocks its view from toll cameras (unless you also have a front plate.) And it's also easy to loan to anyone who has a hitch, although it changes your vehicle shape and makes your backup camera useless. (Also, it does swing down, so you can access the rear hatch, but if it's loaded that's a heavy item to move up and down.)

So, depending on your mission, both can be a great choice, but all things considered I would pick the roof box if I had to use one only.
Thanks. I have a trip next month with 2 kids (one in a carseat) and 2 german shepherds, and think I'm going to need one or the other. If I was sure it would work with the factory crossbars I would probably order the Motion XL (18cu ft) right now, but it seems there are mixed reports on whether the factory bars are adequate and the Aero bars push the total to north of $1k, which isn't necessarily a deal breaker but makes me think I should at least consider other options.

I'm moving soon but my new place has storage space up high in the garage, I think the roof box may fit up there more easily than the trailer hitch box. I am single so ability to put the box on and off the car by myself would be a plus (some reviews say the thule hitch box is a 2 person job but I feel like I could do it myself, roof box looks easier to mount solo though).

For those of you with the Motion (or Force XT, I haven't ruled that out either) do any of you use the factory bars w/o any problems? Seems some posts in this thread were on factory bars. For those that upgraded bars, it looks like the LFD ruggedized is $160/pair (plus $40 wind fairing if I need that) vs. Thule Aero at about $500, assuming the links below are the correct products. Is there any reason NOT to save $300 and get the LFD over the Aero? This is for fairly occasional use, 1-2x a year probably for the box.



Thule AeroBlade Edge Roof Rack for Raised, Factory Side Rails - Aluminum Thule Roof Rack TH7503-TH7503



Shop | Apex Overland | Off-Road Part Accessories



Another possibility since I'm already looking at $500 crossbars, is to upgrade the whole roof rack. I don't use my roof rack much but when I do I'm always frustrated by how short it is, can't get much crossbar spread. I drove 6 hours with two paddleboards on top a couple weeks ago, placing a 14' paddleboard on crossbars that have a max spread of like 33" is not exactly confidence inspiring. The rhino would also give me plenty of room to move any of the boxes I'm looking at far enough forward to clear the hatch. Toyota 4 Runner RLT600 BLACK Vortex Roof Rack w/RTS Tracks - Rack Outfitters

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Old 07-03-2019, 12:10 PM #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebowski_c6 View Post
Thanks. I have a trip next month with 2 kids (one in a carseat) and 2 german shepherds, and think I'm going to need one or the other. If I was sure it would work with the factory crossbars I would probably order the Motion XL (18cu ft) right now, but it seems there are mixed reports on whether the factory bars are adequate and the Aero bars push the total to north of $1k, which isn't necessarily a deal breaker but makes me think I should at least consider other options.

I'm moving soon but my new place has storage space up high in the garage, I think the roof box may fit up there more easily than the trailer hitch box. I am single so ability to put the box on and off the car by myself would be a plus (some reviews say the thule hitch box is a 2 person job but I feel like I could do it myself, roof box looks easier to mount solo though).

For those of you with the Motion (or Force XT, I haven't ruled that out either) do any of you use the factory bars w/o any problems? Seems some posts in this thread were on factory bars. For those that upgraded bars, it looks like the LFD ruggedized is $160/pair (plus $40 wind fairing if I need that) vs. Thule Aero at about $500, assuming the links below are the correct products. Is there any reason NOT to save $300 and get the LFD over the Aero? This is for fairly occasional use, 1-2x a year probably for the box.



Thule AeroBlade Edge Roof Rack for Raised, Factory Side Rails - Aluminum Thule Roof Rack TH7503-TH7503



Shop | Apex Overland | Off-Road Part Accessories



Another possibility since I'm already looking at $500 crossbars, is to upgrade the whole roof rack system. I don't use my roof rack much but when I do I'm always frustrated by how short it is, can't get much crossbar spread. I drove 6 hours with two paddleboards on top a couple weeks ago, placing a 14' paddleboard on crossbars that have a max spread of like 33" is not exactly confidence inspiring. The rhino would also give me plenty of room to move any of the boxes I'm looking at far enough forward to clear the hatch. Toyota 4 Runner RLT600 BLACK Vortex Roof Rack w/RTS Tracks - Rack Outfitters
From my research it seems the factory bars flex too much for the boxes. Some people had the box tapping the roof when braking. Some didnt. I have a sunroof so didnt want to test it.

I dont see any reason to get the thule bars. The LFD (victory 4x4 makes some too) are more than sufficient. Theyre also nice, since theyre flat, to move other items. But your limited to the length of the factory rail. Only way to get longer is a full rack. A benifit for me is if i ever get their full rack, i can use the rails i already paid for on it.

Fyi LFD has 15% off for july 4th. Check their facebook.

If you only using it a few times a year no reason to spend a fortune on bars.

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Old 07-03-2019, 12:14 PM #49
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I have the Yakima Skybox 21. We had purchased it to use on our '15 GX460, but when we sold it, i tried to put it on my 4Runner with the stock rack and stock crossbars. The box did not allow me to fully open the rear hatch (interfered with the rear spoiler). I toyed around with getting aftermarket crossbars to move the box forward a bit, but ended up getting a Frontrunner full length rack. That solved the issue as I am now able to property center the box on the top.

I believe that the Skybox 19 is the same length (the 21 has a taller lid) so you will run into issues that that one as well.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:16 PM #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebowski_c6 View Post
For those that upgraded bars, it looks like the LFD ruggedized is $160/pair (plus $40 wind fairing if I need that) vs. Thule Aero at about $500, assuming the links below are the correct products. Is there any reason NOT to save $300 and get the LFD over the Aero? This is for fairly occasional use, 1-2x a year probably for the box.



Thule AeroBlade Edge Roof Rack for Raised, Factory Side Rails - Aluminum Thule Roof Rack TH7503-TH7503



Shop | Apex Overland | Off-Road Part Accessories



Another possibility since I'm already looking at $500 crossbars, is to upgrade the whole roof rack. I don't use my roof rack much but when I do I'm always frustrated by how short it is, can't get much crossbar spread. I drove 6 hours with two paddleboards on top a couple weeks ago, placing a 14' paddleboard on crossbars that have a max spread of like 33" is not exactly confidence inspiring. The rhino would also give me plenty of room to move any of the boxes I'm looking at far enough forward to clear the hatch. Toyota 4 Runner RLT600 BLACK Vortex Roof Rack w/RTS Tracks - Rack Outfitters
I have the same Thule aero's you linked and like them. I keep them on all the time and they're quiet. Since the straps fit "any" rails, you can move them to any other car you or someone else owns with rails, that's a nice feature. But i won't say I haven't been tempted to get modular crossbars like Rago sells.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:18 PM #51
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Thanks. I have a trip next month with 2 kids (one in a carseat) and 2 german shepherds, and think I'm going to need one or the other. If I was sure it would work with the factory crossbars I would probably order the Motion XL (18cu ft) right now, but it seems there are mixed reports on whether the factory bars are adequate and the Aero bars push the total to north of $1k, which isn't necessarily a deal breaker but makes me think I should at least consider other options.
I've never traveled with dogs, but I assume you'll want to let them in/out through the rear hatch, and that is not impossible but much more difficult with a hitch carrier, so you might like a rooftop box for that reason. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:28 PM #52
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For those of you with LFD bars, are they quiet? If not, are they easy enough to take on and off when I do use the box?

The LFD bars are definitely the most economical option, and sounds like they will give me the clearance to fit the Motion XL and have ability to open the rear hatch. This 4runner is coming up on 10 years old (2010 purchased new in Dec '09) w/ 115k miles so it's hard to justify spending a ton on an all new rack. Though I don't plan to replace til a 6th gen comes out, so I could be driving it for a long time yet lol.


On the rear hatch, I think I could manage to get the dogs in and out w/ the hitch box but it would definitely be easier with the roof top box I think.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:41 PM #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebowski_c6 View Post
For those of you with LFD bars, are they quiet? If not, are they easy enough to take on and off when I do use the box?

The LFD bars are definitely the most economical option, and sounds like they will give me the clearance to fit the Motion XL and have ability to open the rear hatch. This 4runner is coming up on 10 years old (2010 purchased new in Dec '09) w/ 115k miles so it's hard to justify spending a ton on an all new rack. Though I don't plan to replace til a 6th gen comes out, so I could be driving it for a long time yet lol.


On the rear hatch, I think I could manage to get the dogs in and out w/ the hitch box but it would definitely be easier with the roof top box I think.
I have the Thule Motion XT Large and the LFD crossbars and it's a great fit. Not sure if the added size of the XL would fit and allow the rear hatch to open w/o contact.

The crossbars are VERY loud without the deflector. Just make sure you keep all the bolts nice and tight and everything should be fine.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:23 PM #54
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I have the Thule Motion XT Large and the LFD crossbars and it's a great fit. Not sure if the added size of the XL would fit and allow the rear hatch to open w/o contact.

The crossbars are VERY loud without the deflector. Just make sure you keep all the bolts nice and tight and everything should be fine.

How about with the deflector?
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:47 PM #55
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I thought about the INNO WEDGE 660. Might even be pretty close to a paint match on super white.


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Old 07-03-2019, 04:32 PM #56
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With the LFD deflector mine are quiter/ or as quiet as stock. I really couldnt tell a difference from stock.

Without....theyre loud past 40. Really loud.

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Old 07-03-2019, 07:27 PM #57
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That's exactly the info I'm looking for, thanks.

One last concern, the LFD website states "Toyota specifies a maximum load of 135 pounds on factory side rails while moving". That leaves about 90lbs to load it with after the weight of the box, does that concern anyone? From the number of people here using boxes on the factory side rails w/ Aero or other crossbars it seems not. I suppose the type of stuff that would go in it is more bulky than heavy for the most part.

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Old 07-03-2019, 08:15 PM #58
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Quote:
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That's exactly the info I'm looking for, thanks.

One last concern, the LFD website states "Toyota specifies a maximum load of 135 pounds on factory side rails while moving". That leaves about 90lbs to load it with after the weight of the box, does that concern anyone? From the number of people here using boxes on the factory side rails w/ Aero or other crossbars it seems not. I suppose the type of stuff that would go in it is more bulky than heavy for the most part.
With a rooftop box I think the main concern is having weight or stress deform the box so that it "fish mouths" (I think that's the term). Obviously I've not loaded it with bricks, but basically if I can fit it and close it I drive with it and have been successful so far.

Here is how they look stored, which should be a consideration as well; both would suffer if improperly stored, the shells don't bear much weight.



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Old 07-03-2019, 09:03 PM #59
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Thule Evolution for me. I did have to limit how much I let the hatch open.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:38 AM #60
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Thats the spec for toyotas side rails per the manual. Its probably a legal thing. And remember thats for dynamic loads. Im 240 and can stand on a single bar just fine. I still try to stay close to that weight though if i can.

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