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Yakima Cargo box installation detail (with pics)

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorers - Tuning & Mods' started by jeeden, January 14, 2012.

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  1. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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    Earlier this summer there were a couple of threads about cargo boxes, which ones to buy, how they install, how to store, etc. I contributed to the threads, but mentioned I would try to provide more information when I next used mine. We didn't wind up going to OBX this summer, but we are about to go skiing (finally! stupid weather) and this was my first opportunity to install our cargo box that we previously ran on our 2007 explorer, on our 2011 explorer.

    I'm not going to go crazy with the text hear, if you see something you have an interest in, ask and I'm happy to answer questions.

    The box:
    [​IMG]
    The box we use is the Yakima Lo-Pro (low profile) 15. We purchased it from REI about 3 years ago (good prices and free shipping to local store). It includes universal claw clamps (that can handle factory, square, or round bars), a cargo net, solar LED light, locking handles on both sides, can open from both sides. When clamped, there is at least 1.5 inches of clearance between the clamps and the roof. Under heavy box load, this may drop to 1 inch.
    A similar box (they are always changing model numbers) at the Yakima site: http://www.yakima.com/shop/cargo/skybox-series/skybox-lopro-new!

    The Explorer:
    2011 Ford Explorer Limited Edition with factory siderails and crossbars. Dual Sunroof.

    The Stuff:
    Just for an example on size, in the past it has comfortably held the following:
    - 5 pairs of skis up to 174s, 2 snowboards and all sets of ski boots
    - Pack n play, 3 boogie boards, couple of dry bags, 5 bag chairs
    - 3 pullman suitcases (14 inch carry on size)
    - I'm sure I have had it close to the max crossrail weight of 150lbs before.

    It is not close to the largest box offered by Yakima or Thule, but it is nearly the same footprint, just not as tall. I prefer the lo pro for the gas mileage, parking in the garage, etc.

    Storage:
    I store the box by hanging it from the top of my garage. A portion of my garage has 10ft ceilings so I pull the explorer in, pop the claws on the box, wrap two straps around the box, connect them to pulleys with beaners and hoist away. I got fancy and routed the rope through eye hooks and beaners to guide it to the wall. I have used standard pulleys and rope here, but for kayaks and canoes in the garage I have since used the "rad" pulley system and have been very happy. It is simplier and cheaper than buying rope and pulleys. Here is a link to the 100lb system (they have 25/50lb systems too): http://www.amazon.com/RAD-Cycle-Storage-Capacity-Mountain/dp/B003TFOPJA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1326568435&sr=8-3

    I have used pipe insulation and tie wraps around springs, door tracks, and the garage door opener arm to avoid any damage to the box when putting it on or off the explorer. I cut down the opener arm a little to make sure it clears the box when opening the door (there was excess for other door types). I am able to back the explorer out of the standard garage door opening with about 1 inch to spare on normal tire pressure and empty loading in the explorer. With heavier loading, the gap is larger.

    Time for some photos. I have been very happy with the system on my 2007 explorer and expect the same for the 2011. I highly recommend the factory bars for noise and looks.

    Any questions, please fire away...

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: January 14, 2012
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  3. jkintn

    jkintn Active Member

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    Photos aren't showing up. Curious to see the setup.
     
  4. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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    Sorry, had problems with Flickr and had to go to Photobucket. Photos should be showing up now...
     
  5. jkintn

    jkintn Active Member

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    Looks great! Assume that is a standard 7' tall garage door? Unfortunately my garage ceiling is even lower than that. How cumbersome is it to install/remove without a pulley system?
     
  6. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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    Yea, standard 7' door opening.

    It isn't too bad to remove without a pulley. I am a pretty tall/big guy though, your biggest problem would be trying to slide it up onto the truck without scratching anything. You could probably put a towel on the truck to prevent it.

    Total weight isn't the issue, it is bulk. It is very bulky and if the wind gets it you can have a problem. However, since the issue is just bulk, two people can place it on the roof very easily.

    An alternative method I thought about for storage before I did the pulley was to store it vertically on my garage wall hung by the claws. I was going to mount two wood plates to the wall with pipes, one above the other. Think of having two bathroom towel bars mounted on the wall, one about 3ft above the other. You could probably hang it on the wall sideways with similar mounts, just would need to lock the claws onto the mounts so it didn't slide, which could be more cumbersome.
     
  7. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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  8. Spengracin

    Spengracin Active Member

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    I like it, also nice blue on the ex, hadn't seen this color in person yet.
     
  9. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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    Moved to the modified 2011+ forum.

    The cargo case looks sharp! Like the rig you have for it in the garage too:chug:
     
  10. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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    Looks like I made a little error in my recommendation of the pulley. I bought the 2 pack listed above to use for my box (want to replace the rope and pulleys I am using with the store bought system so it has the brake, etc on the rope). Anyway, the one I referenced above is 100lb test, but it isn't the same system I have used for a canoe and kayak in the garage along with my box. I am confident that the ones above would hold the box, but for a heavier duty pulley, I recommend this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Garage-Capacity-Lifetime-Warranty-RAD/dp/B001EUL2DO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329597099&sr=8-1

    No biggie for me, I'm going to use the 2 pack for some bicycles, but I wanted to set the record straight :)

    Thanks for the compliments on the rig!
     
  11. TxRanger351w

    TxRanger351w Active Member

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    What is the wind noise like when it's on?

    We're driving from Southeast Texas to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and back in 2 1/2 weeks. We were looking at one of these to add a little more cargo space for diapers and what-not on the way. However, I can't imagine nearly 60 hours of driving if the wind noise is unbearable.
     
  12. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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    Depends on your tolerance. I don't think it is too bad, Maybe the equivalent noise of driving on wet roads. We have dual moon roofs and close the shades and it drops the noise to almost nothing. Ours mounts a little forward because of the antenna. I might get a shark fin antenna down the road so I can mount it back further and it will be more streamlined. Mine is a low profile..the larger ones might be more noisy but they are all pretty aerodynamic.
     
  13. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    Howdy neighbor! We are planning a trip from Houston to Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and back. Be sure to post pics and give us a write-up of your trip! :)
     
  14. TxRanger351w

    TxRanger351w Active Member

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    Sounds like you're making a big counterclockwise loop to our clockwise. My brother-in-law is starting grad school in Tuscon, we have family friends in Phoenix, always wanted to see the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, 4-Corners, etc... so, we just opted for the leisurely return. Although I think we may be biting off more than we can chew with a 14 month old in the car. :)

    Edit:

    Sorry, we're pulling out of Beaumont. This website is pretty handy in planning a trip: www.myscenicdrives.com

    We're using it as a guideline to hit certain stops, but haven't booked hotels because we're not sure where we'll be and when we'll get there.
     
  15. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    Traveling with a 14 month old isn't so bad. Our first trip with little-man went very smoothly. The last trip to Atlanta was a learning experience with him as he is now 3. Basically it boils down to having a setup where he can take naps comfortably and taking potty breaks ever 2-3 hours. Other than that, he is an awesome traveler.

    We used a similar site to check out things to do along the way. We are driving so far, we won't be able to make too many side trips, but we planned it so that each day was its own destination. All of our hotel reservations are already made and all we need is good weather for when we go! :)

    Back to the thread topic (lest our thread hijack get out of control, lol), let us know how the cargo box works out for you if you decide to get one.
     
  16. CDN_Explorer

    CDN_Explorer Active Member

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    That Skybox looks really good on the Ex. How much room is left between the spoiler and the box when your trunk is fully open? Do you actually have any room left to move it back further if you had a sharkfin? Thanks
     
  17. jeeden

    jeeden Active Member

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    I think I can move it back as far as the antenna of course, but they leave quite a bit of clearance between the two. I'm pretty confident I can move it back 6 inches more if I want....I just need to get the time/money/motivation to put a sharefin antenna on :)
     
  18. TxRanger351w

    TxRanger351w Active Member

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    We ultimately decided against the roof box. I used a hitch mounted cargo carrier instead. I'm going to post about the trip (briefly) in the positive experiences thread.
     
  19. boulderwiz

    boulderwiz New Member

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    Security of factory cross bars

    I know this forum is a bit old, but wondering about security of factory cross rails with large box. Often see cars motoring down the highway with roof boxes on factory rails oscillating up and down. Can't remember if I've seen it with Explorers. I've always had Thule bars, but like the look of the lower profile (a few inches) I could get with factory rails. You've had your box on for some time, do you notice this oscillation or is it pretty solid.
     
  20. langla4

    langla4 Member

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  21. boulderwiz

    boulderwiz New Member

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    I've always used Thule bars and had no problems, but was curious if anyone could comment on use with the factory cross bars. I know on an old Cherokee they didn't seem sturdy enough. Trying to figure out if the factory cross bars are rigid enough to avoid the box oscillating before I commit to buy. Thaks
     

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