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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently posted about going camping for the weekend. I had my Yakima Skybox 18 on the roof and 4 bikes on the hitch carrier. I realize this is going to get expensive but with as much fun as the kids had having their bikes with us its worth it. I'd like to be able to bring mine and my wife's bike as well. The littlest one will have her own soon enough too for a total of 7! I'll still need the cargo box of course.

Unless I hear some better ideas I'm leaning toward upgrading the 4 bike hitch carrier to a 5 bike hitch carrier. Suggestions?
I have OEM aero crossbars now. They're a bit limited with how they only allow mounting things between the side rails. I'm going to need more space to add 2 bike carriers to the roof with the cargo box!

2 roof rack options I've found so far are:
  • Yakima TimberLine system with JetStream crossbars. The JetStream are slightly more expensive than CoreBars, but also a little more versatile and weigh less. They come in 60" or 70" length. I feel like 70" is pretty wide but I'd love to see a pic for reference.
  • Thule WingBar Evo system which is only available 60" crossbars

I'm going with black crossbars and you cant change my mind! But I'm open to other ideas too. Talking my wife into buying a Suburban isn't going to happen anytime soon...
I also understand the Ascent's weight limits on the hitch, roof, and cargo overall; I can keep it close but within limits.

Does anyone have any pictures of their Ascent with either the Yakima Timberline or Thule Wingbar Evo system and with 60"+ crossbars. Extra credit if you have multiple accessories mounted on them! Also, is it possible to mount a bike carrier such as a Yakima FrontLoader (I have 1 already) directly on top of the mounting towers or would it need to be completely inside or outside the rails?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Buy yourself a utility trailer
Great idea. I've been considering either an open or enclosed utility trailer. An open trailer would be more useful around the house, but an enclosed trailer would be ideal for traveling.
A trailer would also eliminate much of the problem of cargo weight and roof rack weight. I'm curious how much space I could fit 7 bikes into!
BUT...where in the world do you get a utility trailer that has brakes? Assuming I want to be safe and all....
 

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BUT...where in the world do you get a utility trailer that has brakes?
If U-haul retires their box trailers, they have surge brakes. I guess that etrailer.com can set you up with conversion kit for electric brakes. Just need to know the bolt pattern on the trailer's hubs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If U-haul retires their box trailers, they have surge brakes. I guess that etrailer.com can set you up with conversion kit for electric brakes. Just need to know the bolt pattern on the trailer's hubs.
A retired uhaul utility trailer would be an awesome find!
 

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If I use a bike tray that takes advantage of the T-slot on the cross bars I can push that tray to the end and the second tray should fit nicely with a bikes. That is how my Crosstrek is set up to carry three bikes, a fourth I had mount a tray backwards. You can do the same on the Ascent, just run one tray backwards. All is from Yakima except for the box which is from Thule which is approximately named Ascent (circa 2007). The crossbar length is what Yakima recommends for the Ascent.
 

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Great idea. I've been considering either an open or enclosed utility trailer. An open trailer would be more useful around the house, but an enclosed trailer would be ideal for traveling.
A trailer would also eliminate much of the problem of cargo weight and roof rack weight. I'm curious how much space I could fit 7 bikes into!
BUT...where in the world do you get a utility trailer that has brakes? Assuming I want to be safe and all....
For the kind of weight you're talking about brakes are not typically required. We have a 2000 lbs GVW trailer with no brakes and I've never felt like I needed them. I would guess that for what you're looking at you would be in a similar situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For the kind of weight you're talking about brakes are not typically required.
鈥渞equired鈥
鈥攖he manual

馃槆 馃槇

fwiw it looks fairly easy to add brakes to a trailer. I鈥檒l probably give it a shot if I go the trailer route
 
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鈥渞equired鈥
鈥攖he manual

馃槆 馃槇

fwiw it looks fairly easy to add brakes to a trailer. I鈥檒l probably give it a shot if I go the trailer route
Well I'll be, I took a look at the manual and you are 100% correct

Trailer brakes are required when the towing load exceeds1,000lbs(453 kg). Be sure your trailer has safety chains and that each chain will hold the trailer鈥檚 maximum gross weight. Towing trailers without safety chains could create a traffic safety hazard if the trailer separates from the hitch due to coupling damage or hitch ball damage.
It would be hard to get a utility trailer under with 7 bikes under 1,000 lbs.
 

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I think an open or closed cargo trailer is the way to go for you. Added bonus with the closed: you can add functionality to it for a camper or just a hardened sleeping space. 7x7x12-14 tandem trailer would work out very nicely. That's what we are looking at. Easier to (un)load and lots of useable room for you once the bikes are outside.

You could even use it for mulch hauling in a pinch if you tarp it appropriately before loading. Make sure the tarps are flush with the floor/corners and go most of the way up the walls. Granted not nearly as easy to use as an open trailer for that, but it's much harder to use an open as a closed. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Added bonus with the closed: you can add functionality to it for a camper or just a hardened sleeping space.

You could even use it for mulch hauling in a pinch if you tarp it appropriately before loading.
Way down the road I'd love that diy camper idea. I have thought about doing something like that for myself and making the kids sleep outside in a tent!

Mulch and similar stuff is why I'm leaning toward an open utility trailer. We've had a few chip drops at home and had to move that stuff by hand...I'm not in favor of doing it twice to load AND unload. Looking at prices as well, I'm leaning even more toward an open trailer. Assuming anyone has them in stock a decent 6x10 is about $2k, then I'll add brakes and accessories at my own leasure.

I'm starting to think the best option is going to be do both the wider roof rack AND a trailer. Linens like sleeping bags or sheets and pillows wont do well in an open trailer so they'd still go on the roof and it would be nice to not have all the room on the roof taken by the cargo box.
 

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You can always add a roof tent to an open trailer if the rack is sturdy enough. We thought about that if we didn't have the 'scopes needing shelter.
 

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A retired UHaul trailer isn't a horrible idea, but the smallest ones do not have brakes while still being well above 1000 lbs loaded. So technically, for the Ascent, brakes would have to be added. I will state that I towed one of those from Florida to PA a couple years ago and didn't notice it at all "back there' and only had about 2-3 mpg impact, too.
 
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Expensive option and only a 250 (350 with shock upgrade) pound load limit (7 bikes do fit) and no brakes needed. but works with kayaks and boxes:

Cheaper with some work involved to carry bikes/roof box
At 200 pounds total, have plenty of headroom for seven bikes and carriers while still staying under 1000 pounds...doesn't come with brakes anyway.

From what you posted OP, an open trailer gives you plenty of options for bike hauling as well as random appliance/landscape needs, with the exception of easily going beyond 1000 pounds and even the max capacity of the trailer itself with landscape material.

Big advantage is that fuel economy and sway issues are minimized with the open trailer versus closed trailer, along with it being able to be stored more easily and likely no need for brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@beanboy thanks for the suggestions. I was just talking with one of my guys at work about folding trailers - it's like you were listening in! I'll keep that one in the back of my mind as an option.
The etrailer option looks cool, but its way too expensive for its purpose...and those tires don't look sturdy!
 

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The problem is FINDING one of those
True dat. Keep your eyes on the Facebook Marketplace sales lists for your area as well as Craig's List...you never know what might come up for a small utility trailer.
 
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