Day 0: Getting ready for South Dakota

June 28, 2011 | By Patrick | Filed in: PAS, Vacation.

You know how when you’re packing your vehicle for a road trip you know how to fit things in? In the Escape, I knew the car top carrier fit exactly  on the vehicle a certain way, I knew what bags fit in it and how, and I knew what else fit in the back. It was tight, but the four of us could travel fairly well for a just a weekend or for a whole week.

About that…

I got the car top carrier down and slid it on top of the Santa Fe. Hmmm. It doesn’t seem quite right. Let’s adjust the roof rails to slide it back a little. Holy cow, now the hatch back will only open about 2 feet. How about forward? No, that doesn’t work either. Shucks, this isn’t going to work. There’s no way all our bags and a large cooler and other food are going to fit in the back on the inside. Get in the car to see what stores are selling for car top carriers. I found a soft-sided one at Target that I thought would do the trick. Actually, I also found a pretty good soft-sided one at Dick’s that was quite a bit cheaper, so I took the one from Target back without opening it.

I brought it home and flopped it up to the top of the vehicle. Hmmm, again. The cross rails aren’t quite far enough apart. Oh, wait, we can remove the stop screw and slide the forward cross rail more forward. Perfect. Crap, the screw has one of those star screw heads for which yours truly doesn’t own a screwdriver. Back to the store to get something that will remove the screw. OK, the stop screw is removed and the cross rail slides freely throughout the length of the guide rail. Good to go. Except now there isn’t a “catch” hole so the forward cross rail moves too freely. Having the forward cross rail secure and immovable is going to be rather important. Should I get out the drill and create new “catch” holes in the guide rails? Sure, why not. Although certainly not planned as part of the car top carrier installation, it was rather simple to complete. Secure it will be.

Let’s get on the road…

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