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Discussion Starter #1
Great day everyone!

We are looking forward for a great road trip this coming April and would like to know your 2 cents worth of opinion on what’s the best thing to do...

Considerations:
1. Full seating capacity of 6
2. 5 to 6 carry on luggages and other small to medium size bags
3. An Atlas that is 2.0 with Tech

Would you bring your Atlas to a Uhaul and have them install either their Roof top cargo carrier or hitch cargo carrier? If not, what can you recommend?

Thanks and see you on the road! Stay safe as always! :)
 

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Do you have bench seats or captains chairs in the second row? If you have a bench you can out 3 across, one in the back and fold the other back seat. That gives you a lot of interior cargo room.

Do you have a hitch already?

It's a tough call ...
The two issues I see are weather and drag. Anything on the roof causes drag and reduces fuel economy (and also causes noise). So for that, the hitch carrier is better.
Anything outside the vehicle is prone to get wet so you want something waterproof. There are a lot more options for enclosed roof carriers than hitch carriers. Most hitch carriers I have seen are sold as a platform, and then you get some kind of plastic "bag" that you put your stuff into and then strap it shut.
Hitch carriers are easier to get to but block the rear hatch. Roof carriers are hard to access but don't block the hatch.
I don't know if there's a "better" option. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons.
 

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Any kind of Hitch option just for that amount of items would be absurd, unless it would be useful some other time in the future. Hitch, wiring, trailer etc. Get some cross bars online for it and rent the hardside carbox. Thule is best. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Do you have bench seats or captains chairs in the second row? If you have a bench you can out 3 across, one in the back and fold the other back seat. That gives you a lot of interior cargo room.

Do you have a hitch already?

It's a tough call ...
The two issues I see are weather and drag. Anything on the roof causes drag and reduces fuel economy (and also causes noise). So for that, the hitch carrier is better.
Anything outside the vehicle is prone to get wet so you want something waterproof. There are a lot more options for enclosed roof carriers than hitch carriers. Most hitch carriers I have seen are sold as a platform, and then you get some kind of plastic "bag" that you put your stuff into and then strap it shut.
Hitch carriers are easier to get to but block the rear hatch. Roof carriers are hard to access but don't block the hatch.
I don't know if there's a "better" option. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons.
Tim K,

We have the Captain’s Chair installed. Folding the other seats won’t be feasible as there will be 6 of us on the trip. We don’t have the hitch and carrier yet. We have no plans even in the farthest future to use the vehicle to tow trailers. It is more on small luggages for family trips/road trips.

Appreciate your inputs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any kind of Hitch option just for that amount of items would be absurd, unless it would be useful some other time in the future. Hitch, wiring, trailer etc. Get some cross bars online for it and rent the hardside carbox. Thule is best. Good luck!
Dgian,

Do i have to install the wiring despite having only the hitch carrier? We don’t know anything about hitches, trailers, hitch carriers and the like. More so with the highway rules on hitch carrier. Nevertheless, greatly appreciate your inputs.
 

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Anytime you are pulling a trailer, you must have wiring for the brake lights/turn signals on the trailer. A hitch install could be between $250-400 depending on style and who installs it. Wiring could be another 1-2. Either way, unless you plan to use a trailer often or just want the hitch option in the future, just use the roof rack system. Get some quality cross bars and box system. Cheap options could lead to wind noise. Again, Thule is the best option. Check out their site. BTW, if you have the SE with 2.0L engine, its only recommended to pull up to 2k lbs.
 

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I think if you never plan to use a hitch for anything else, it probably doesn't make sense to buy a hitch, pay to install the hitch, buy a hitch carrier, and buy a weatherproof hitch carrier box/bag.
If you think you may want to carry bikes at some point back there, then it may make sense to go that route so you have a hitch.

Do you plan to take road trips regularly or is this a one time thing?

Installed a hitch will probably run you $300-400.
The carrier/platform will be between $100-150.
A hard case will be $500-2000
A soft case / bag will be about $50
So, cheapest you are looking at is around $500

Roof rack crossrails you can install yourself. A good set will cost you $300-400.
A roof box will run you $300-800 depending on size and brand.
Cheapest you are looking at is around $600.
 

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I think if you never plan to use a hitch for anything else, it probably doesn't make sense to buy a hitch, pay to install the hitch, buy a hitch carrier, and buy a weatherproof hitch carrier box/bag.
If you think you may want to carry bikes at some point back there, then it may make sense to go that route so you have a hitch.

Do you plan to take road trips regularly or is this a one time thing?

Installed a hitch will probably run you $300-400.
The carrier/platform will be between $100-150.
A hard case will be $500-2000
A soft case / bag will be about $50
So, cheapest you are looking at is around $500

Roof rack crossrails you can install yourself. A good set will cost you $300-400.
A roof box will run you $300-800 depending on size and brand.
Cheapest you are looking at is around $600.

Greatly appreciate all your inputs, learned a lot. Up next sourcing out for the funds to use :)
 

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Great day everyone!

We are looking forward for a great road trip this coming April and would like to know your 2 cents worth of opinion on what’s the best thing to do...

Considerations:
1. Full seating capacity of 6
2. 5 to 6 carry on luggages and other small to medium size bags
3. An Atlas that is 2.0 with Tech

Would you bring your Atlas to a Uhaul and have them install either their Roof top cargo carrier or hitch cargo carrier? If not, what can you recommend?

Thanks and see you on the road! Stay safe as always! :)
Not to discredit what everyone else has posted but here ya go. I have a 2011 TownnCountry minivan. 2019 Atlas. Do yourself a favor. Just lease a Pacifica or Dodge Caravan for the trip and call it a day. You will save on fuel mileage. You will save miles on your VW. You won't need a hitch carrier or a roof rack and even if you did, your mpg won't suffer as much as the be. With 6 people and lug, your mpg will be in the teens in the be and all will be cramped. For two or 4, the VW will be a good choice. But hands down for long trips and lots of people, take a minivan. ?

P.s, I also own one 09 Jeep Liberty. Down one Jeep after getting the VW. It's tricked out for offroading so it does not win favors for trips ?
 

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Not to discredit what everyone else has posted but here ya go. I have a 2011 TownnCountry minivan. 2019 Atlas. Do yourself a favor. Just lease a Pacifica or Dodge Caravan for the trip and call it a day. You will save on fuel mileage. You will save miles on your VW. You won't need a hitch carrier or a roof rack and even if you did, your mpg won't suffer as much as the be. With 6 people and lug, your mpg will be in the teens in the be and all will be cramped. For two or 4, the VW will be a good choice. But hands down for long trips and lots of people, take a minivan. ?

P.s, I also own one 09 Jeep Liberty. Down one Jeep after getting the VW. It's tricked out for offroading so it does not win favors for trips ?

Geez thanks for a different approach and perspective of just renting a minivan. ‘That’s thinking out of the box. However after some considerations on whether renting a minivan or not is a good thing... here’s what i concluded...
1. Renting a minivan will entail costs and yes, the VW will not entail additional mileage. But what if, instead of using that money of renting a minivan, might as well use it in acquiring either a hitch or roof rack, which we can again use it over and over for another road trip? Investing on your investment.
2. Increase in Mileage will definitely be there on a daily basis since acquiring a vehicle. Mileage shouldn’t be an issue coz your’re the one using the vehicle. Enjoying the fruits of your labor.
3. MPG efficiency depends greatly on the driver’s habits. Tried and experienced that better mileage efficiency is possible, been there, done that.

See you at the road. Appreciate your 2 cents worth of advice. Stay safe.
 

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Your welcome.
Geez thanks for a different approach and perspective of just renting a minivan. ‘That’s thinking out of the box. However after some considerations on whether renting a minivan or not is a good thing... here’s what i concluded...
1. Renting a minivan will entail costs and yes, the VW will not entail additional mileage. But what if, instead of using that money of renting a minivan, might as well use it in acquiring either a hitch or roof rack, which we can again use it over and over for another road trip? Investing on your investment.
2. Increase in Mileage will definitely be there on a daily basis since acquiring a vehicle. Mileage shouldn’t be an issue coz your’re the one using the vehicle. Enjoying the fruits of your labor.
3. MPG efficiency depends greatly on the driver’s habits. Tried and experienced that better mileage efficiency is possible, been there, done that.

See you at the road. Appreciate your 2 cents worth of advice. Stay safe.

Your welcome. I wasn't trying to put down the VW since I own one, that wouldn't be cool. But we got the Atlas to replace our minivan since it's a 2011 and it's about to roll over 100k, we felt it was time to overlap a replacement. Since we got the Atlas, I have driven it from Detroit to Sturgeon Bay WI, taking the "up and over" route. Boston MA, South Central and South Eastern TN and the last trip was from Detroit to Gulfport MS. That trip, I racked up 2800 miles total (the trips to TN and MS were us looking for a place to retire to so we did a lot of driving around in the country). All the trips were just me and the wife. The car wasn't full of stuff but still loaded for a week on the road including about 100lbs of emergency gear, etc). Over all, everything was great. Rain, wind, cold, flying objects that suddenly appeared from under big semi's heading right toward the car (and I can say without any doubt, the Atlas handles evasive maneuvers well o_O) So, we feel we picked the right SIZE car and brand. I had looked at the KIA Telluride, Yukon, Pilot, Durango and even a Grand Cherokee. The FINAL nod went to the VW because of the end results of the crash tests. I knew going in the MPG was going to suck and frankly, it does but I remind myself, it's not the Passat TDi where I got 60hwy, 40city. Case in point, I can drive my minivan to work all week. I get 18mpg. I drive the Atlas, it's 14. Hwy, I can get upper 20's. Best I ever got was 32 in the UP of Michigan when we first got the car but it's normally 26-28. The Atlas, best has been 27,again, in the UP but that's going like 60mph most of the time. But on my trips, it's been 23-25. Minivan has a 21 gal tank. Atlas, 18. So, you will be stopping for fuel every 350 miles or so (I never let it get below 1/4.

Just remember, if you get a softtop carrier, they rest on the roof of the car. If you got a SEL Pri (the sun roof), your carrier is going to be sitting on your run roof so you may not be able to not only open it, who knows if it's "safe" or if it could cause issues with leaks down the road. At least a hard top rests on the cross members (rails) and allows some air flow, and doesn't stop the roof from opening up if needed. I would go with a rear platform if it was me. I had one I used for years on my jeep but once my sons made eagle scouts and we no longer went camping, didn't need it so I got rid of the thing. But at the end of the day, if I had a Atlas sitting next to a same year minivan (any make), and I had a long trip to take, I'd take the minivan. I've had one since 1993. There is NO VECHILE out there that can replace it. Many have tried and failed. Though we got the Atlas to replace our minivan, our kids are all grown up and on their own so we don't need a loaf of bread to haul us around any more. I say loaf of bread because our 2011 T&C is gold and it just looks like a loaf of bread. Cheers. (y)
 

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Oh, and forgot to point out something about those roof carriers. The Atlas is not a short vehicle. SO, anything to load into it, you have to take out of it, so, with that said, you might want to get a small fold-able steep stool to make it a little easier to reach your stuff and might as well get some 55gal trash bags and put stuff inside those bags, with the openings facing the rear of your car in case you encounter rain. :giggle:
 

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I have used hitch carriers and roof boxes extensively over the last 20 years or so. Occasionally both at the same time. If I had to pick one or the other, I'd go with the roof top box hands-down; especially if I didn't already have a hitch receiver. I wouldn't ever consider using a soft roof-top carrier.
 

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I have used hitch carriers and roof boxes extensively over the last 20 years or so. Occasionally both at the same time. If I had to pick one or the other, I'd go with the roof top box hands-down; especially if I didn't already have a hitch receiver. I wouldn't ever consider using a soft roof-top carrier.
why do you prefer roof vs hitch? hitch would be less drag/noise = better gas mileage/quietness. i thought about security and roof maybe relatively safer there since its less accessible and locked thus less likely for contents to get stolen. hitch once you unload it maybe hazard driving around with it but there are folding hitch carriers like the one at harbor freight.
 

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why do you prefer roof vs hitch? hitch would be less drag/noise = better gas mileage/quietness. i thought about security and roof maybe relatively safer there since its less accessible and locked thus less likely for contents to get stolen. hitch once you unload it maybe hazard driving around with it but there are folding hitch carriers like the one at harbor freight.
Roof boxes are just a lot easier to use. They're easier to load/unload, they lock, you don't have to worry about how to strap everything down, parking is a lot easier, especially parallel parking, you can carry longer stuff like skis and fishing poles, your stuff stays dry, they don't block the hatch, they don't block your tail/brake lights, etc. Roof boxes are a lot more expensive a little harder to install and add a little hight if that's a concern. Other than that, they are better in almost every way. I've been using the same Thule Adventurer 650 for over 20 years on dozens of trips so I've gotten a lot of use out of it. The only time I use the hitch carrier is when I am just going to need it for a short time/distance and I don't want the hassle of putting the box on the car or I need more cargo space than I have in the box. If you do use a hitch carrier, get some storage bins that fit nicely on the rack and are easy to tie down with ratchet straps. That makes them a lot easier to deal with.
 

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Roof boxes are just a lot easier to use. They're easier to load/unload, they lock, you don't have to worry about how to strap everything down, parking is a lot easier, especially parallel parking, you can carry longer stuff like skis and fishing poles, your stuff stays dry, they don't block the hatch, they don't block your tail/brake lights, etc. Roof boxes are a lot more expensive a little harder to install and add a little hight if that's a concern. Other than that, they are better in almost every way. I've been using the same Thule Adventurer 650 for over 20 years on dozens of trips so I've gotten a lot of use out of it. The only time I use the hitch carrier is when I am just going to need it for a short time/distance and I don't want the hassle of putting the box on the car or I need more cargo space than I have in the box. If you do use a hitch carrier, get some storage bins that fit nicely on the rack and are easy to tie down with ratchet straps. That makes them a lot easier to deal with.
hmm...i think hitch would be easier to load/unload compared to roof. another issue that comes to mind is that roof is mostly limited to around 150lb while hitch can load 500-750lb depending on carrier. cargo bags for the hitch will hold as much or more but loading them too high may block the license plate which is probably illegal like the pic below. i can see not being able to open the hatch can be a pain but not a deal breaker since it can still be accessed from the inside. i guess both side has its pro and cons and depends on what is being hauled.

1254
 

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hmm...i think hitch would be easier to load/unload compared to roof. another issue that comes to mind is that roof is mostly limited to around 150lb while hitch can load 500-750lb depending on carrier. cargo bags for the hitch will hold as much or more but loading them too high may block the license plate which is probably illegal like the pic below. i can see not being able to open the hatch can be a pain but not a deal breaker since it can still be accessed from the inside. i guess both side has its pro and cons and depends on what is being hauled.
You could certainly never carry a gas grill in a roof box! :). I don't think I would strap 500 pounds to the back of my Atlas, and I've loaded the box with a lot more than 150 pounds so I think the weight is a non-factor. There's also aesthetics if you care about that. My wife doesn't like it when I tie stuff down with neon orange ratchet straps on her Atlas so she prefers the looks of the box. My hitch carrier has lights and a license plate bracket so theoretically I could move the plate to the rack (which I've never actually done IRL). By easier to load I meant you can just throw a bunch of loose duffel bags and whatever up in the box with out worrying too much about it. I guess the same is true if you have plastic bins on the rack. Like you say, pros and cons either way. I'm glad I have both, but if I only had one it would be a roof box.
 
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