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  1. #1
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    Subaru Outback roof rack question...please help

    Looking into getting the new Outback. One thing that concerns me is the roof rack. I've been reading that the integrated roof rack has a weight limit of 150 lbs. I have a thule cargo box that I use during the winter, and am concerned about overweighting the system.

    Anyone have one, and have a cargo box on top of it? Cargo boxes weigh around 40-50 lbs, which means you can only load about 100 lbs worth of gear. Anyone run into any issues with excess weight? Thanks for any insight you can shed on the topic. Much appreciated.
    Magic Mountain Freeride Team...bringing your grom's game to the next level.

    The only ski you'll ever need...http://worthskis.com/skis/the-magic/

    "Errare Humanum Est"

  2. #2
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    I have a Thule box on my Outback and I load it up with ski gear, camping gear, wet rafts. Never had a problem with the rack system. I wasn't aware of the weight limit, but I must say that 150 pounds is a lot of gear. I think you would be hard pressed to pack 150 pounds of gear into it (unless you're a bricklayer). With that said, Subaru surely sets the recommended weight limit at a fraction of the actual limit. I say go for it, Subies are tits.

  3. #3
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    I have a massive box and have stuffed it with (I think?) 14 pairs of skis on an '04 Legacy on the stock rack. Fuck yeah ski racing. You'll be fine. I'm sure the 150# has a significant safety margin built in.

  4. #4
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    I have had nine kayaks on my yakima roof rack, and I think it had a similar limit. Kayaks are 40-50lbs each.

  5. #5
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    IMHO Subaru Fvcked up the racks system on the new outbacks as much as they could. It is workable but is greatly reduced capacity due to the bars being too close together. Do not even get me started about trying to put kayaks up there. WTF were they thinking?!?!?

    The old racks with a thule or yakima system are money. New racks = FAIL
    You are the mission Bob.

  6. #6
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    I have a big box on my last model style Outlook (Atlantis 1800), and I have loaded the shit out of it. I have no idea how much it weighed, but it was packed to capacity with heavy stuff (skis, boots, chains) and the roof didn't cave in.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prodigy View Post
    I have a massive box and have stuffed it with (I think?) 14 pairs of skis on an '04 Legacy on the stock rack. Fuck yeah ski racing. You'll be fine. I'm sure the 150# has a significant safety margin built in.
    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    I have a big box on my last model style Outlook (Atlantis 1800), and I have loaded the shit out of it. I have no idea how much it weighed, but it was packed to capacity with heavy stuff (skis, boots, chains) and the roof didn't cave in.
    New rack is MUCH different than the old rack. Old rack allowed for aftermarket load bars, new rack makes it next to impossible to use anything but the factory system, and they come standard. You can't not get the factory racks. Which is why I'm hesitant.
    Magic Mountain Freeride Team...bringing your grom's game to the next level.

    The only ski you'll ever need...http://worthskis.com/skis/the-magic/

    "Errare Humanum Est"

  8. #8
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    I have heard a lot of gripes about the new system. As mentioned, not good for aftermarket systems and require the bars you can put on to be way to close together. My brother has an 03 he was looking to replace but refused to buy this year for that reason only. He told me in other countries, I don't remember if it was CAN or Euro that they offer the traditional front to back bar system that allows any rack to be put on. I think there are a lot of people hoping Subie makes this right in future years, me included as a potential future buyer.

    It seems that on this years model they chose styling over functionality. Hopefully someone from Subaru is reading this!!
    "You don't want to run into me on the tram dock. I went to jail. I have an inclinometer, and a friend of a friend who's a lawyer. Why do you have to be such a hater? I was just trying to post some stoke." The Suit

    "I demoed the Davenport 2 weeks ago, I really liked them a lot... the blue sidewalls and tip really looked great with my pants. I also tried the '11 MX98, they didn't look as good with my outfit. If you have blue pants or maybe some Lange race boots I recommend you check them out."

  9. #9
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    Can you get Thule bars for the new Outback? Should be more durable and easier to mount more stuff to.

    ugh, Toyota is RUINING Subaru.

    Wow, just went to Thule's website. They list NOTHING as fitting if you want rails.
    No longer stuck.

  10. #10
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    I have a 2010 and this has definitely been a issue for a lot of people, including myself. Basically the cross bars in their current location are too narrow to support most boxes. The longest box I've seen people fit on the stock factory rack was long enough to barely fit 185cm skis. So even before you deal with the weight capacity of the box, make sure that you can even get a box on there. This thread has a good bit of info.
    http://www.gear.com/2010-subaru-outb...of-rack-fails/

    In a nutshell, subaru fucked up. Definitely a huge mistake to ditch to old rack system. Sucks because besides being not being the best looking car, it drives pretty well. Way way better than my older outback did. I didn't know about the rack issue when I got the car, which seems to be the case for a ton of people.

    I don't know with 100% certainty about the weight capacity, but the only number I've been able to find was posted in that thread above and was listed at 150 lbs. Not sure if that is different with the new Yakima Landing pad 12 (more on that below), but I will see if I can find out (edit - 165 lbs).

    For the issues with the rack's bar spread, there are a few work arounds. Some people have been dropping a good bit of cash (I believe in the $900 range) to get it ripped off and replaced with a different rack.



    While looking way better, that is just out of my price range.

    I believe thule came out with some sort of attachment work around, but that it was just so so.

    The best option I've seen is Yakima's new Landing Pad 12 which is specifically designed to replace the crossbars on the factory rack and provide you with something wide enough that it is actually somewhat functional.
    http://www.cracksandracks.com/yakima...-12-p-748.html
    http://yakima.com/product/details/landing-pad-12


    I haven't bought these yet...they were just released at the end of Jan. But so far, this seems to be the only somewhat-affordable, viable option to make the rack functional and capable of putting a ski box on the car long enough to fit 190+cm skis.

    Hope that helps.

    EDIT - Weight capacity for those Landing Pad 12 is 165 lbs.

  11. #11
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    Another work around, if you don't mind drilling holes in your new Outback, is to use Thule's artificial rain gutter brackets and old style gutter mount towers. That is what I did on my sportsmobile van. I did have to drill the fiberglass, but that was no big deal.

    http://www.rack-it.com/multi-purpose...brackets-c345/

    I used the #542 brackets

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  12. #12
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    I just met someone today with a new outback and the same box I have (200 cm). The could not get it on without interfering with the rear lid. The guy used aftermarket Thule crossbars and foam padding to jack the box up higher. Doesn't help the "too close together" issue, but it works.

  13. #13
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    Iggy, thanks a lot for the info! That Yakima mod looks like an easy one, and looks pretty sweet too. The first pic looks like the european version of the rack that comes on the models overseas. I will most likely be leasing the car, so that sort of permanent mod, although much more appealing, is kind of out of the question.

    I really appreciate the info; it really helps a lot. I've been trying to decide between the forester and the outback. And other than the rack issue, I like the outback better in every regard. So this really helps a lot.
    Magic Mountain Freeride Team...bringing your grom's game to the next level.

    The only ski you'll ever need...http://worthskis.com/skis/the-magic/

    "Errare Humanum Est"

  14. #14
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    Bumping this up to ask a few questions, as I may pull the trigger on an Outback soon.

    Two basic questions really:

    (1) If I get the landing pad Iggy suggested and the round Yakima bars, am I able to attach a Thule Ascent box to the round bars?

    (2) Since this thread was first posted, if there a Thule mod that has come out that functions similarly to the landing pad and allows use of square bars and all other things Thule?

    Subaru really stepped on their dicks with this roof system . . .
    "You don't want to run into me on the tram dock. I went to jail. I have an inclinometer, and a friend of a friend who's a lawyer. Why do you have to be such a hater? I was just trying to post some stoke." The Suit

    "I demoed the Davenport 2 weeks ago, I really liked them a lot... the blue sidewalls and tip really looked great with my pants. I also tried the '11 MX98, they didn't look as good with my outfit. If you have blue pants or maybe some Lange race boots I recommend you check them out."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smails View Post
    (1) If I get the landing pad Iggy suggested and the round Yakima bars, am I able to attach a Thule Ascent box to the round bars?
    I have Yakima bars on my 4runner and have a Thule Cascade box on top. I ditched the Thule mounting system and went with U-bolts and metal plates for backing. The roof mounts on the 4runner are too far towards the back of the vehicle, and I needed to slide the roof box forward further than the mounting slots went or I could not raise the rear door. Sounds like the same problem you will be having. 1/4" U bolts work fine and perfectly fit the yakima bars

  16. #16
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    NJFS I have a Thule Atlantis 1800 that fits alright on my jeep. I don't know the exact weight limit of my stock cross rails. I do know that the weight limit for the box is 150 lbs. I haven't had to load it with ski gear yet but I packed it full for a few camping trips. The stock mounts held fine. The box just sits a lil too far back so my trunk doesn't completely open. Both Thule and Yakima make adapters to fit you side rails. They just aren't that cheap.

  17. #17
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    Aren't most (all?) vehicle manufacturers' and rack mfrs' roof load limits 150 pounds? I thought it was more to emphasize keeping the center of gravity lower vs. structural ability to support the weight.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Aren't most (all?) vehicle manufacturers' and rack mfrs' roof load limits 150 pounds? I thought it was more to emphasize keeping the center of gravity lower vs. structural ability to support the weight.
    I would agree. Too much weight up top made our Suby drive like a death trap, speed wobbles and just sketchy.

  19. #19
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    I've not seen any roof rack rated much more than 150 and that probably has to do with center of gravity, not actual structural failure.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jethro View Post
    I have Yakima bars on my 4runner and have a Thule Cascade box on top. I ditched the Thule mounting system and went with U-bolts and metal plates for backing. The roof mounts on the 4runner are too far towards the back of the vehicle, and I needed to slide the roof box forward further than the mounting slots went or I could not raise the rear door. Sounds like the same problem you will be having. 1/4" U bolts work fine and perfectly fit the yakima bars
    This. I do this on my 2008 Outback and it's worked great.

  21. #21
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    anyone used the yakima set up yet? bars looked to be fixed at that width which looks ok? my wife just bought '12 yesterday and i couldn't stop looking at the factory rack and thinking how f'd up it was and mentioning to sales guy that i'd have to drill into it...that got a good look...like hutash mentioned. i did the same with my old pop top bus.

    subaru should really contact the tgr forums before making any changes to their cars.

  22. #22
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    I've got a '11 outback. I've got an aftermarket Yakima rack that I've been super happy with. It's bomber and the extra width allows me to get a bike rack on as well as the cargo box.

    Get a set of the Yakima 12 landing pads, control towers, 58" bars, and you're set.

    I agree the factory rack system blows but this is a good (albeit expensive) solution. It rides a little higher but no big deal. Gas mileage seems no different than the box on the factory bars.

    I used to just put the cargo box on the factory bars. I never had issues (and I loaded that thing down) but this seems more bomber & more flexible.
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  23. #23
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    ya, just read a review on rei and guy mentioned it is couple inches higher and could use a wind fairing for noise. now i'm questioning it as my wife is pretty short and she's going to be throwing a sup up there all summer. might run with factory for a bit and go from there. stupid subaru.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    I removed that piece of shit rack and Im glad I did. It was a little time consuming, but Im really happy with the Thule sliding rails. Heres some pics.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTD1123 View Post
    I removed that piece of shit rack and Im glad I did. It was a little time consuming, but Im really happy with the Thule sliding rails. Heres some pics.
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    Hi CTD1123, where did you buy the cover after you remove the roof rack? Coz I want to remove my too, I just don't need it and don't like it! Thx

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