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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

This forum is great, I appreciate all of the feedback and discussions. I think I have searched just about every thread regarding Rooftop cargo but am still struggling with what solution to go with. We have a 2019 Touring without a hitch. Most everyone I know has recommended going with a hitch mount cargo box however it seems that having an OEM hitch installed will run me at least $1,000. I am asking a few local dealers for quotes just to sanity check. I'd go with an aftermarket hitch but (thanks to this forum!) am running a full sized spare so doesn't seem aftermarket is an option. So that leaves me with the roof (or to bring less stuff) as my option. This is for family vacations so packing extra luggage, beach stuff, etc. No off road, camping, etc. for this Honda Pilot!!

I am torn between the basket + bag vs. hard carrier. I've researched both fairly extensively and here is my list of pros/cons for each.

Basket Pros:
  • Don't have to drive around with a box when I get to my location
  • I feel like I can secure the cargo better with as many straps as I want
  • Flexibility with the size of what I put in it
  • Less expensive
Basket Cons:
  • Probably not waterproof
  • More difficult to load
  • Probably has wind noise issues
If I were to go with a basket I'd like go with the Curt basket + cago bag that fits it. Not sure I would go with Thule/Yakima given the price.

Hard Box Pros:
  • Waterproof (so it seems)
  • Less Wind noise issues
Hard Box Cons:
  • Maybe my biggest concern - I have read a few reviews of the box opening up and crap flying out on the highway. Probably not a realistic concern but one I have.
  • More expensive
If I were to go with a box I am leaning towards the Honda mid-size box (seems like the most reasonable price). I may just sell it after my trip as to not have to store it. Doesn't seem like that would be an issue.

Sorry for the novel - I would appreciate any feedback you all have.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got my thule off craigslist. Like new condition. Half the price. People impulse buy them, use them once, then sell them 2 yrs later
Thanks! I am scouring Craiglist regularly. Amazing how the boxes seem to hold their value! A guy is selling one locally for $250 that he bought in 2003!!

I'm crazy to worry about the darn thing opening up while driving down the highway... right?!?!
 

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I used a different thule to travel through multiple states with a different suv and never had a problem. My guess is they were overstuffed or not distributed correctly causing them to bow not letting the latch to lock correctly
 

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I had an xl before it was easy to put too much stuff/weight in it. I have a medium or large now which I have zero concerns. Used the other one in a rain and snow and stuff never got wet
 

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No issues with my Yakima Skybox Carbonite 21 on my 2019 (and former 2016). The only issue I have is garage storage honestly, until I mount it to the garage ceiling over the Civic. For safety concerns and not wanting to scratch the Pilot by accident, it does take 2 people to install (unless you lift weights and/or use an additional ladder for support).
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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Check Craigslist etc for use Thule boxes. They typically go for half price. Avoid damaged unit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks - seems like hard box is the way to go. I am still debating hitch - local dealer quote to install it is around $1,300. I wouldn't use it for anything other than a Cargo carrier so doesn't seem like it makes sense still.
 

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Thanks - seems like hard box is the way to go. I am still debating hitch - local dealer quote to install it is around $1,300. I wouldn't use it for anything other than a Cargo carrier so doesn't seem like it makes sense still.
I added a Curt hitch and a folding cargo carrier, also from Curt. The hitch is dropped a few inches compared to the oem one. Hitch was under $150 and my son in law and I installed it in less than two hours. Also got a 24 x 24 x 60" cargo bag that closes with velcro and has reinforced anchor points for straps. The carrier has a dual bend that lifts it up about 4" and then levels off.
We carry equipment for our grandson, who is a goalie. After 3 trips (longest 1200 miles round trip) no problems with bag or moisture getting inside. We did drive through some bad downpours on I-95 in GA on our way north.
Like being able to pivot the cargo carrier up so we don`t have to worry when backing up.
All in all, a great investment for us. Kids sit in third seat, and the four adults can use rows 1 and 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I added a Curt hitch and a folding cargo carrier, also from Curt. The hitch is dropped a few inches compared to the oem one. Hitch was under $150 and my son in law and I installed it in less than two hours. Also got a 24 x 24 x 60" cargo bag that closes with velcro and has reinforced anchor points for straps. The carrier has a dual bend that lifts it up about 4" and then levels off.
We carry equipment for our grandson, who is a goalie. After 3 trips (longest 1200 miles round trip) no problems with bag or moisture getting inside. We did drive through some bad downpours on I-95 in GA on our way north.
Like being able to pivot the cargo carrier up so we don`t have to worry when backing up.
All in all, a great investment for us. Kids sit in third seat, and the four adults can use rows 1 and 2.
I like the Curt hitch. I don’t think you can fit a fullsize spare with it though. Did you any a harness and wire lights to the cargo carrier or are the lights no blocked by the carrier??

BTW - it’s always good to keep hockey gear out of a passenger cabin to keep the air more pleasant for everyone! When my son played we rode in my pickup - the bed is a great place for gear!!
 

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Thanks - seems like hard box is the way to go. I am still debating hitch - local dealer quote to install it is around $1,300. I wouldn't use it for anything other than a Cargo carrier so doesn't seem like it makes sense still.
How handy are you?, and do you have about 3 hrs of time? If so you can fairly easily mount the OEM Hitch in a MAX of that time. I mounted the OEM hitch and OEM wire harness (optional) in just under 2.5 hrs on my ‘20 Pilot. Total price was $550 including shipping....ordered it from Bernardi.

If you do JUST the hitch, it’s like $290 or so for just the hitch, including shipping.
 

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I like the Curt hitch. I don’t think you can fit a fullsize spare with it though. Did you any a harness and wire lights to the cargo carrier or are the lights no blocked by the carrier??

BTW - it’s always good to keep hockey gear out of a passenger cabin to keep the air more pleasant for everyone! When my son played we rode in my pickup - the bed is a great place for gear!!
Haha, helps to discourage tailgaters too ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How handy are you?, and do you have about 3 hrs of time? If so you can fairly easily mount the OEM Hitch in a MAX of that time. I mounted the OEM hitch and OEM wire harness (optional) in just under 2.5 hrs on my ‘20 Pilot. Total price was $550 including shipping....ordered it from Bernardi.

If you do JUST the hitch, it’s like $290 or so for just the hitch, including shipping.
I’ve debated this. I’m sure I could figure it out. I also need the hands free harness thing. Part of me just likes the peace of mind of someone else doing it.

Have you used a hitch mount carrier? People who do really seem to like them.
 

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Oh yes, I have the Black Ed, which required moving the hands free sensor (super straight foward). Keep I mind if you choose to DIY, print out the instructions from Bernardi or CollegeHills....very good instructions, hard to really screw up if you take your time.

‘yes I use the Thule XT 4 so far so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh yes, I have the Black Ed, which required moving the hands free sensor (super straight foward). Keep I mind if you choose to DIY, print out the instructions from Bernardi or CollegeHills....very good instructions, hard to really screw up if you take your time.

‘yes I use the Thule XT 4 so far so good.
Thanks - I guess this is another realistic option. Not as cheap as just going with a rooftop carrier but for whatever reason I feel like the hitch cargo carrier is less likely to fall of my pilot then the rooftop carrier. I suppose either of them installed properly and loaded properly will work fine.
 

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Thanks - I guess this is another realistic option. Not as cheap as just going with a rooftop carrier but for whatever reason I feel like the hitch cargo carrier is less likely to fall of my pilot then the rooftop carrier. I suppose either of them installed properly and loaded properly will work fine.
Exactly. Frankly I’m 6’4’, while roof loading is fairly straightforward for me personally etc, with the double sun-roofs the hitch box is just a touch easier and frankly one less potential headache, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Exactly. Frankly I’m 6’4’, while roof loading is fairly straightforward for me personally etc, with the double sun-roofs the hitch box is just a touch easier and frankly one less potential headache, IMO.
We only have the single sunroof in the Touring so one less thing to worry about. I’m your height as well so not too worried about getting in and out of it. I’ve just never strapped something to the roof and driven 18 hours!

We’ve made long trips before but as my three kids are getting bigger, we need to have one in the third row to give everyone more space. Hence losing the cargo room we normally have.

I am also debating shipping a suitcase or two. Cheaper than you would expect and then I wouldn’t need to worry about any of this!! Until the suitcase gets lost that is...
 

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We only have the single sunroof in the Touring so one less thing to worry about. I’m your height as well so not too worried about getting in and out of it. I’ve just never strapped something to the roof and driven 18 hours!

We’ve made long trips before but as my three kids are getting bigger, we need to have one in the third row to give everyone more space. Hence losing the cargo room we normally have.

I am also debating shipping a suitcase or two. Cheaper than you would expect and then I wouldn’t need to worry about any of this!! Until the suitcase gets lost that is...
Oh yea, strapping isn’t hard, but if something goes wrong...well it goes really wrong lol. Ah yes, that loss of the 3rd row space is a killer. Thule makes a pretty solid rear hitch cargo box, hard sided too & lockable.
Shipping isn’t a bad option, but that cost is multiplied each trip...
 
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