With people looking to economize and environmental ethics kicking in, many are moving to smaller, more fuel efficient cars. But when you want to take a trip or enjoy the outdoors, where do you put all the gear in a compact car? Here are tips from years of road trips and outdoor adventures.
Having owned and driven a compact car, I have never been a big fan of roof mounted carriers, like roof boxes and racks, why cheap vehicle recovery reading?
1. Aerodynamics: There is significant drag when using a roof top carrier (average loss is 6 M.P.G.). Data: Consumer Reports and Edmunds. When you mount gear on the roof it robs horsepower, mileage and creates extra drag.
2. Roof Clearance: If you are not paying attention you can crush the gear and your roof box or rack.
3. Loading: After a good camping trip, long hike or other, do you really want to lift a bunch of heavy gear over head and above onto a rack or box?
4. Storage: Where do you store all the rails and large roof box when done? Those big boxes take up a lot of garage or closet space.
5. They will set you back: the complete box and rail system can cost $650-$850 or more.
A new alternative to carry gear on compact cars and SUVs are rear mounted cargo carriers. They mount behind the vehicle, are easy to put on and take off, save fuel, load on the ground and fold up to the size of a briefcase.
They install out of the wind stream and virtually eliminate aerodynamic drag, saving fuel.
Rear mounting eliminates the roof clearance issues.
No lifting or climbing up to the roof to load or unload the gear.
They fold to the size of a brief case and can store inside your trunk.
They are a fraction of the cost of a complete roof box system.
If you have a compact vehicle and need more space, a rear mount cargo carrier is an excellent solution.