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What size cargo box do you have on your Passat?

I've got an '03 Wagon and bought a Thule roof rack and now I'd like to get a cargo box. I'm curious to see what the different size boxes people generally buy for them (especially on wagons).

If you have (or can take) a photo of your B5 with cargo box
mounted I'd be eternally grateful.

Thank you!!!
 

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No photos yet, but we have a Yakima Rocketbox we bought about six or seven years ago. The stuff I've put in there still amazes me! The nice thing about the rocket box is that the bottom drops below the crossbars giving you more clearance for taller stuff inside in teh middle and rear sections. As for location, I've pushed the crossbars back so that the rocket box just touches the Variant's antenna - this way, its just barely hangs over the front windshield.
 

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Thought I'd bump this thread...

I go car camping fairly often in my Variant. With my not-so-minimalist camping gear, an ice chest, groceries, two people, and a dog, it's often packed pretty tight. I've been thinking about getting a cargo box for my Yakima rack. The smaller gear (tent, sleeping bags, pads, chairs, etc) would all fit in a cargo box nicely and free up quite a bit of room.

Petra's comment below was nice as the Rocketbox is one of the ones I'd consider and it's nice to know it fits acceptably.

Anybody else use a rooftop cargo box on their Passat?

Thanks,
Matt
 

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I have Thule rack and the Thule Cape North box. Very nice. Low profile, wide with a glossy finish. I'll post pictures when I get back home this weekend.
 

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rocket boxes are cool, but not sure if you have seen these before.

roof top tents have been used in the africa bush for many years. They are used primarily on 4X4's off road but attach to any roof rack.

They are large roof top tents, that fold up. when installed, they just look like a big thule box. when unfolded, they just litterally pop up and it has everything you need. bedding, pillows and a ladder to get up in it.

no more pucthing teh tent, or floating away in the rain. stay up off the ground, and be dry

hannibal is the brand name, do e search and enjoy!

Josh
 

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2003 Variant rooftop cargo box

I mounted a Thule "Cascade 1500" that provides me with 15 CF of space. I researched all of the Thule and Yakima boxes and though others had sleaker appearance I preferred the shorter length so I could see out of my sunroof. All others extended from the radio antennae past the front of the sunroof and some over the windshield. The 1500 is almost as wide as the factory rails but extends just short of the sunroofs rear edge if the back end is next to the antennae. I'll try and take a picture tomorrow and post it if I can figure out how picture posting is done.
.
 

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Here is a link to a picture of my Thule Cascade 1500 mounted roof rack: http://www.dubpix.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/VWwithThuleCascade1500.jpg. If the picture doesn't come up, try going to dubpix.com and searching the albums listed. Hope this helps in making a decision. It has one key lock that locks internally at three points and has a better opening/holding mechanism than the Yakima air struts. Cost is $275.
 

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I'm clueless about roof rack options. I'm considering a box for general luggage/gear storage for family outings (no skis or kayaks, etc.). That Cascade 1500 looks just the size I'm looking for. Here's the proper link:


What is the difference between Thule's Cascade line and Evolution line? Anyone else have a different size box show a pic?

Also, what's the purpose of the 415 foot clamps and the crossing load bars, in and of themselves? Can you attach a suitcase or something to those without a box?
Does one need to buy these in addition to the box?
 

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B5.5 Variant (wagon) w/ Thule Evolution 1200 Box on Yakima round bars. :thumbup:

The clamps are ingenious... this box has never moved on me, even after 500 miles of west texas highway at speeds well over the limit with 100+ lbs of gear in the box. Nice!
 

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I'm not a B5 owner yet (seriously considering a B5.5 Variant though) but I just bought a Cargo Box for my Durango. After much research and contemplation over size, shape and price, I stumbled over a Thule made 20 cubic foot rear opening box offered at Sears - $159.99!!!!!.

It doesn't have the recessed load bar design like the Yakima mentioned above (great idea) but hell, I can fit a ton of crap in that baby leaving the two dogs in the caged cargo area and the baby in her seat with nothing around her to be of a danger.

Over the Holiday weekend I had in it 2 golf bags w/clubs, a folded down bicycle tow-behind child carrier, folded down stroller, 2 sets of roller blades some baby toys and an oversized duffle bag full of a weekends worth of cloths for two adults and the baby.

I mounted it on the factory cross bars, then with the rear liftgate door up I slid that racks and mounted box back just before it touched the liftgate. Since the box lifts open from the rear this allows me to stand on the rear bumber with the lift gate door closed and access the box with ease. Gas milage didn't suffer nearly as much as I had anticipated and wind noise was nothing noticable.

Only noticable difference was the head turning of those that were passed by this bahemith mass and the grin I had from ear to ear knowing my little pumpkin was a snug and tidy in her Bretax "Cow-moo-flage" Round-about car seat behind us. 8) :wink:
 

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jeda_zelda said:
Bretax "Cow-moo-flage" Round-about car seat behind us. 8) :wink:
Ha! :D

Seriously, Britax is great! I fit two rear-facing roundabouts on my wagon. The front seats still reach "one-notch" forward of all the way back -- good enough for me.

The best part of a roof box is that it leaves the cargo area open as a ready-made changing table. :)

My only regret with my thule evolution is that I should have gotten a bigger one!
 

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I am running a Thule Cascade 1100 on VW load bars on my 2003 variant. With the back of the box 1/4 inch from the attenae the front is just visible at the top of the windsheild. The sunroof can still tilt up without touching the box.

Box +'s
-tons of storage for long/camping trips
-great system for skis
-fits strollers etc.
-load bars are handy bring home 2*4s, drywall etc from Home Depot.

Box -'s
-i see an increase of 1L/100km on the highway with the box
-increased wind noise
-too noisy to use sunroof
-have to be careful entering garage too quick, may clip box on opening
door

I usually only run the box in winter during skiing season or during the odd family road trip. When not in use I put the load bars in the box and hang it on the wall using a couple of adjustable tie-downs. If my other vehicle wasn't a truck I would keep the load bars on the car year round to hauling longer items.






-
 

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I had the thule playpen (the big basket) and it killed my gas milage. About a 3 mpg drop. I now have a rocket box and couldn't recomend it more. I can fit twice the cargo in there, including skies, looks a lot better and I don't notice much of a mpg drop. Rocket box is the way to go. My $0.02
 

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So far, I haven't need to buy one of these, although I've thought about a few times, for some longer trips (but, somehow, everything just fits into our variant). Everytime I see one, I think, "Nice Photon Torpedo."

 

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mtrostel said:
Thought I'd bump this thread...

I go car camping fairly often in my Variant. With my not-so-minimalist camping gear, an ice chest, groceries, two people, and a dog, it's often packed pretty tight. I've been thinking about getting a cargo box for my Yakima rack. The smaller gear (tent, sleeping bags, pads, chairs, etc) would all fit in a cargo box nicely and free up quite a bit of room.
This reminds me that I was going to start a thread about Variant camping...maybe I still will.

Anyway, after recently buying our Variant, the second thing (mod?) I purchased for it (aftre the NB sunglasses holder,) was an entire Yakima system. No cargo box, as I didn't like the idea (aesthetically/gas mileage-wise) of a huge cargo box on top. Also, the ones that are sleeker (Rocketbox?) don't seem worthwhile in terms of holding that much cargo.

What we ended up with works very well for us. I have a Yakima Basketcase which sits in the middle, mounted below the cross bars (there is about 1/2 inch clearance from the rooftop to the bottom of the Basketcase.) The basket is flanked by 2 sets of Yakima Copperhead bike racks, and I also got a new style fairing that I had to modify to fit. (Cut it down about 3-4" to fit between the roof rails. Also, relocated the two outside brackets. Looks/works great.)

The beauty of this system is that I can have the bike racks and the basket mounted "permanently," but with a really low-profile/unobtrusive look. Also, I can swap out the bike racks and mount the Yakima Powderhound ski racks when necessary. I suppose I could try to have all three on there, but then it would start to look like some kind of ridiculous the "Yakima mobile showroom". Plus, then people would probably think I should be in better shape than I am...

When we went camping in Big Sur recently, I used an Axis car top heavy-duty nylon bag. (I bought this at Target a few years ago. It's basically paid for itself in the intervening years.) The thing is held in place with six quick release nylon straps, and I was able to put the following in the bag. Four sleeping bags, one four-person tent, one duffel bag, one two-person chair, two tarps, and a small bag of kid's toys. I bought a cheap luggage lock for the zipper, but obviously if somebody REALLY wanted to, they could either cut the bag and steal everything or remove the entire bag with all the contents. (Probably not this option, because it too heavy and bulky with all that stuff in it.)

Oh yeah, even with all this junk, still got an average of around 28 mpg for the entire trip. (Usually get a little over thirty on highway trips.)

Anyway, if anyone wants photos, let me know. Sorry for the long post.
 

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jeda_zelda said:
... just bought a Cargo Box for my Durango. After much research and contemplation over size, shape and price, I stumbled over a Thule made 20 cubic foot rear opening box offered at Sears - $159.99!!!!!.

It doesn't have the recessed load bar design like the Yakima mentioned above (great idea) but hell, I can fit a ton of crap in that baby leaving the two dogs in the caged cargo area and the baby in her seat with nothing around her to be of a danger.
...
I mounted it on the factory cross bars, then with the rear liftgate door up I slid that racks and mounted box back just before it touched the liftgate.
The rear access would be difficult with the antennae I would think. So it seems for the Thule boxes, I first need to buy crossbars to set the box on?
 

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Yes you need crossbars for any type of box system. You generally have two choices. You can buy 4 "feet" that clamp onto your existing roof rails, then add cross bars that attach to the feet. I bought the VW cross bars that incorporate the feet and cross bar in a one piece. I can remove these cross bars in less than a minute once you set the initial adjustment. I think Thule and Yakima also offer one piece designs as well.
 
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