Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone attempted to mount a roof rack on their Prius? We just purchased a used '02 and have an '05 on order, so we obviously love the whole idea. That said, I am curious about the possibility of mounting a storage pod (specifically, a Yakima Space Cadet, which is fairly aerodynamic) on the roof for travel.

I'm curious whether anyone has any idea what such a lamebrained idea would do to my mileage. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
I would think that anything on the roof would trash your fuel economy, even if it's supposedly "aerodynamic." But I have no actual numbers for you...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I haven't mounted a rack yet. But I have the fit kit on order from Thule. Yakima doesn't have a kit yet, and according to the email I received from them, they currently have no plans to make one. A bummer, since I have Yakima accessories from my old car rack. But the dealer I'm buying the Thule from said that "some" Yakima parts mount just fine on the Thule rack, so the Space Cadet may work.

I'm sure it'll affect the MPG, but the alternative for me is to rent a truck, and that'll REALLY affrect the MPG. Besides, I'll only mount it when I need it. When the rack parts come in, I'll let you know how well it fits, etc. Maybe post some pix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
I drive a 2002 Prius, and both Yakima and Thule have fit kits to mount on it. I've also seen a Thule fit kit advertised for the 2004; if Yakima doesn't have one out yet, I'm sure they will soon.

Some Yakima accessories fit on a Thule rack. I have used a Yakima RocketBox (roof top cargo box) on my Thule rack. (I was borrowing it from a friend to decide if I wanted to buy a Thule cargo box for my rack.)

I now own a Thule rack with a Thule Cascade 1100 cargo box (for camping gear and extended-duration trips) and load stops (for carrying lumber, plywood, etc.). I've been very happy with the Thule system: it carries a lot of stuff, and it's very easy to mount/demount and use.

There is a significant mileage impact of course, so I wouldn't recommend driving around with any kind of rack unless you really need it for that trip. I lost around 10 mpg with the Thule roof rack and cargo box attached, but I don't have the optional aerodynamic fairing. Of course, the amount of headwind on any particular trip makes a 5-10 mpg difference without a rack, so I would expect mileage could drop 15 mpg when carrying a cargo box into a headwind.

I also have a rear bumper-mounted Rhode Gear bike rack. It works well but also affects mileage. I don't have a rack accessory for carrying bikes on the roof rack, but I believe roof-mounted bikes would affect mileage more than bumper-mounted bikes.

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Roof Rack?

Thanks for the replies. The racks and kits of which you speak.....are they bolt-on or clamp-on. In other words, how easy are they to add and remove?

Thanks again!

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Re: Roof Rack?

Jim Nelson said:
Thanks for the replies. The racks and kits of which you speak.....are they bolt-on or clamp-on. In other words, how easy are they to add and remove?
My racks are all clamp-on (no holes to drill in the vehicle), and can be mounted/demounted in about 5 minutes. I think they're very convenient and easy to use.

The Thule roof rack was tricky the first time I did it, but once I figured it out, it was simple. You just line up the clamps with these little depressions in the molding of the door frame, turn the crank 3-4 times around, and lock it down. Do this for each of the four feet, and the rack is secure. The cargo box takes another 5 minutes to mount onto the rack, but it is similarly easy. Just slide a bracket under the rack's bar, tighten two wing nuts from inside the cargo box, and repeat for the other three brackets.

The Rhode Gear rear-mounted bike rack uses a pad-and-strap system. You set one set of foam pads on the trunk deck (forward of the spoiler) and the other set on the license plate. Then one pair of straps hooks onto the forward lip of the trunk lid, another pair hooks to the sides of the trunk lid, and the third pair hooks to the bottom of the trunk lid. Tighten all the straps, and it's secure. It's convenient that it is wholly strapped to the trunk lid, because it means you can still open the trunk with the rack mounted. Of course, you can't open it far, because the bikes make it heavy!

If you buy one of these racks and have trouble using it, send me a private message, and I'll email you some step-by-step pictures of me mounting mine.

By the way, I considered a roof rack to be an essential part of the Prius purchase, because it is our only vehicle for a family of four, and you just can't get enough lumber or camping gear in that trunk. I joke that I bought a second trunk, because the '02 Prius trunk has something like 12.5 ft^3, and I bought an 11 ft^3 cargo box! :)

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top