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Well I took the crosstrek on its first camping trip. This has been the farthest I drove it. I got 37mpg by what the computer was saying. We used the new J racks I got off ebay and they were amazing compared to what we used on my escalade. They held the kayaks in place, and were so easy to get off and on it just made the biggest difference ever. The rear cargo carrier was very nice to have as well, I was able to carry a bunch of firewood and a cooler on the back. I have always had a full size SUV and am still trying to perfect camping in a much smaller vehicle but I think we did a pretty good job. I do need a smaller grill than what we have now, it takes up way too much space.

We went down to Goose Creek state park in NC, went camping for 2 nights. We went hiking for 8 miles over 5 hours taking our time soaking up all the sights. There was a long boardwalk through the brackish swamp that was extremely interesting, we saw 6 snakes on the boardwalk alone. We saw 2 more out in the marsh and estuaries we kayaked up. It is a huge park, having about 2000 acres and a large river with lots of little places to kayak up into.







 

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Nice!!! beautiful pics!!! I have yet to go camping in anything other than my Jeep.... and I hear ya when you say space is limited.
 

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Great pics and info, thanks for sharing.

I've been thinking of getting a kayak as I live near a lake right now, did a lot of kayaking and boating when I was younger. However, I have no experience transporting a boat on the roof of a vehicle (we always had a pickup truck and/or a trailer available): Can you safely drive at speed with those on the top, or do you have to take it very easy and only go short distances? Some of the places I wouldn't mind taking a kayak are a couple hours away via the interstate, and some spots around here are very windy on the road, makes me worried a side wind would cause an accident. Thanks for any info.
 

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I did a 4,000+ mile road trip a few years back with a canoe and a short kayak on the roof of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. We traveled interstates at 70-75mph. It was certainly noticeable that they were up there in medium+ winds, but we never felt unsafe.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments!

The cargo hauler on the back is from harbor freight, its all aluminum. It was $69 and is always on sale if you wait long enough.

I can see your concern with the highway speed and wind. I have these racks below, they are $30 bucks and you cant beat them. The J racks let the kayak sit down and be held by gravity pretty good.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kayak-Carrier-Boat-SUV-Canoe-Surf-Ski-Snowboard-Roof-Mount-Car-Cross-J-Bar-Rack-/350780946754?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item51ac2c7942&vxp=mtr

When I had my escalade, I had some Thule I racks and I absolutely hated them. The only thing to keep the kayaks from falling over are the straps themselves. They also would actually sit on top of the car and had nothing to keep them off of the car, so the roof was scuffed up when I sold it... but they never looked on the roof lol.




I take 2 black 4' bungies and strap them down, and only use these when going short distances within the park, for example. For the road I have 2 snap on ratcheting tie downs from costco, and they completely lock them down.

I drove at 75-80 mph on the way home and really didnt experience any wind issues. I do hear some moaning from the straps. We drove 3 hours there and 3 back, no issues.

But.... I paid extra for the sunroof so I can keep an eye on my kayaks!
 

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Great pics, love seeing the Crosstrek loaded up like that! My friends and I are planning a camping trip in our near future (if I ever get some time off) and I can't wait to test out the XV.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Man that was a good lookin campsite! XV looks quite at home in the pics. What kind of snake do you think that was? Copperhead? Looked poisonous to me going by shape of its head. I have a love/hate relationship to snakes. I love seeing them in the wild like that....but just about the time I'm getting closer, I feel like running away! My fight/flight mechanism gets all short circuited!
 

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Thanks chasem and coreybarnett for the info. I also have the sunroof on mine and can see that being handy for monitoring anything up there. Will definitely be looking into this.
 

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Thanks corey for the link to the kayak rack. Right now I use foam blocks on top of my crossbars, but I've been wanting to get an actual carrier. Im happy to hear someone with good experiences from a much cheaper carrier than thule or yakima.
 

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I had the sunroof on my Volvo and it saved $10k worth of bikes from taking flight on I93. My wife and I both had our hands out holding the front wheels down on our bikes until I could pull over safely. Ya know how you do dumb things sometimes? This was (almost) one of those times.
 
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