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I have a 2016 MDX without the factory roof rack. I'm in need of an extra cargo solution, either a car top carrier or some form of box for a receiver. Does anyone have any advice for solving the no roof rack issue that doesn't involve drilling into the roof?

Thanks!
 

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If you just need to haul a bit more cargo for trips on occasion, I have been known to pull the 3rd-row seats, then put them back after the event. If you own a socket wrench and know how to turn it, you can do this. PITA but it opens up a lot of room. And not as much wind noise or mpg hit as a roof top box. Just be aware that you have to take apart the whole rear cubby to do this.

Hitch-mount cargo box is a more readily reversible solution, but instead of storing seats some of the time, you have to store the box most of the time. It does allow you to schlep more people, for better or worse...
 

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I use a hitch rack for family road trips. Typically for stuff like sleds, beach toys, folding chairs, kid's bike, stroller, cooler, etc. If I have to carry anything that I want to keep out of the elements I'll put a trunk or big Rubbermaid container on it.
 

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Personally I don't like the OEM rails/crossbars as they are too expensive and not very functional. There is a long thread on the struggle to find boxes that fit because the crossbars are so low and keeping above the radio antenna is a problem. You might take a look at my solution, which is both attractive and (relatively) inexpensive: http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/126626-roof-racks-better-option-imho.html . It is easily high enough to mount a box above the antenna. Also, although I didn't mention it in the thread, instead of having crossbars extending beyond the towers it is also possible to buy towers/crossbars where the ends of the crossbars end in a fair curve into the towers - great for a box if you don't need the wider crossbars.

Greg
 

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If you just need to haul a bit more cargo for trips on occasion, I have been known to pull the 3rd-row seats, then put them back after the event. If you own a socket wrench and know how to turn it, you can do this. PITA but it opens up a lot of room. And not as much wind noise or mpg hit as a roof top box. Just be aware that you have to take apart the whole rear cubby to do this.

Interesting, I've never heard of anyone doing that. Do you have a link to a how-to?



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I would install an OEM or aftermarket hitch with a cargo tray+all weather bag. You can get even get cargo trays that flip up out of the way if you don't need it once you get to your destination. Depending on what you need to carry, you might have to add a flat 4-way harness+cargo tray lights if the bag covers the tail lights and license plate.

The downside to a cargo tray is it can block the back-up camera, makes back-up sensor useless, security concern of items at night at a hotel, and the tray+bag can block back up lights at night.

The upsides are the bag and cargo tray are easy to store at home, no hit on mpgs compared to roof box/bag, no paint damage like a roof bag can do, cheaper than roof rack+carrier, easy for "shorter" people to access hitch bag than roof bag, and can use the hitch for towing or bike rack.
 

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Interesting, I've never heard of anyone doing that. Do you have a link to a how-to?
No how-to, but if you get a subscription to Honda/Acura Service Express there are detailed instructions for everything imaginable. One-day is just $10. I think you have to pull the 3rd-row seats to get at the subwoofer behind the right cargo area trim panel, so that's a good place to look. Amateur car audio installations in my foolish youth taught me how to disassemble ( and hopefully reassemble ) vehicle interiors.

Just to be clear, the seats are not designed to be "user removable" like some minivans, but they are no harder to take out than any other car seat. 4 decent sized hardened steel bolts hold each seat to the floor of the vehicle. There are plastic snap-on covers over the bolts. Because the 3rd row seat is split, there are two seat assemblies. The hard part for these seats is that there is a fabric cover that covers the gap to the rear cubby, and you need to detach that and remove the front portion of the cubby. Preferably, this needs to be done in a non-destructive manner. Also, the seat anchor bolts penetrate the floor of the vehicle, so it is good to replace them so the holes are sealed when the seats are out.

I don't do this for every trip, but it does open a surprising amount of space. One downside is you lose the flat load floor and there is a drop down into the cargo space with the seats out.
 

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Cool, thanks, I'll check that out! I'm pretty handy so I'm sure I can figure it out with that info as a starting point.

Just to be clear, the seats are not designed to be "user removable" like some minivans...
Yeah...why don't they? I mean sure there would be a few extra mechanical bits back there, but I can totally see how much cargo space those seats take up. Having the option of easily removing them by flipping a couple levers would be pretty great, especially considering the deck height + roofline of the MDX means it's not the best in rear cargo space. Surprised we don't see more three-row SUVs with a removable third row as an option.
 

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[edit] "fabric cover that covers the gap to the rear cubby" This part is wrong; I was thinking of another vehicle in the fleet. You might still want to pull the storage cubby or you will have a hard time loading into the "pit" left behind when the 3rd row seat is out.
 
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