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You can actually go longer than 8' with the hatch closed. 9' for sure and if one is creative, 10'. :) There is risk to your center stack should you have to stop quickly, so the material should still be tied down somehow so it cannot move in that situation. It could be a very expensive repair if a few pieces (or even one) of lumber go crashing through the HVAC and head unit. ;)

Material longer than can be handled with the hatch closed is best transported outside the vehicle; a small utility trailer, for example, for safety reasons. I have owned a small utility trailer specifically for that since I started driving midsize SUVs in early 2006.
 
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2022 Ascent Onyx, Ice Silver
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You can actually go longer than 8' with the hatch closed. 9' for sure and if one is creative, 10'. :) There is risk to your center stack should you have to stop quickly, so the material should still be tied down somehow so it cannot move in that situation. It could be a very expensive repair if a few pieces (or even one) of lumber go crashing through the HVAC and head unit. ;)

Material longer than can be handled with the hatch closed is best transported outside the vehicle; a small utility trailer, for example, for safety reasons. I have owned a small utility trailer specifically for that since I started driving midsize SUVs in early 2006.
Cross bars on the roof rack will also work if the load is properly cinched down with ratchet straps.
 

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I found that tilting the passenger seat all the back, cover with a blanket and load the lumber over the passenger seat works best for anything under 10'. My Iceboat sail and boom which is 9' fit there. You don't have to worry about damaging the front consul.
 

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Cross bars on the roof rack will also work if the load is properly cinched down with ratchet straps.
For a few sticks for sure, but one has to be really careful with this because of both weight and wind forces. I did that once many years ago and nearly destroyed Professor Dr. SWMBO's first Forester. Even lashed down very well, the experience didn't go well. And then, there is the lifting. That was the actual first and last time I used a roof rack. :) :D
 
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Few years ago I was loading 10x2 into our minivan at Home Depot parking lot, a guy next to us was doing the same but with a pickup truck and setting up ratchet straps while I just opened the hatch, shoved them in there and closed the hatch, he looked at me and was really impressed :)
 
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