I have a yakima Rocketbox Pro 14 for about 3 years and have zero complaints using it with OEM roof rack. It opens from both sides of the vehicle, light enough for me put put on without help, no issues with dust/water in all types of weather, and pretty stable at 80-85 mph on hwy. It is long enough to put cross country skis or sports umbrellas and the overall vehicle height is about 6'11" on my MDX Adv so I'm able to drive into my 7 foot garage door opening.
The only disadvantages are:
- too tall for my 4'11" wife to do anything but look at it when on the MDX
- doesn't like cross winds because it acts like a sail
- you feel the box when passing 18-wheelers
- always having to be aware of height restrictions, have call ahead to check for parking garage height restrictions
- slight hit on mpgs, mpgs suck anyways on the X
I also have an OEM trailer hitch/harness and I purchased the Stowaway2 Max with swing away feature a few months ago. A little more expensive; but, no mpg/height/wind/access restrictions for the wife like with the roof box. I ended up using both when I drove to FL from NM last month. The only disadvantage with the hitch carrier is I can't take longer items like large sports umbrellas or skis unless I take the roof box also.
I'm a idiot...just read your entire post.THANKS!!! Do you know what the total height of the car is now w/ the box on it? I can't seem to find anywhere on the ole information superhighway that will give me that calculation. Seems like a miss on the box manufactures part.