smart Yakima crossbars and basket case install

Hi Everyone - This is a copy of my post on 451s.com. Thought it would be helpful to post on both sites:

I just finished a 1400 mile, 2 week roadtrip, from Boston to Michigan to Ohio and then back to Boston.

With 2 dogs and a second passenger, I needed more storage, something relatively affordable and off the shelf that I could put together in a few hours. I found a few Yakima references on the smart car forums (this one and smartcarofamerica.com) and decided on this combo, suggested by Yakima's fit my car configurator:

- 1 set Q Towers
- 2 sets Q116 clips
- 1 pair 48" Crossbars
- 1 38" Fairing (to minimize wind noise)
- 1 4-pack SKS locks
- 1 Basket Case
- 1 Stretch Net (fit for Basket Case)

Yakima photos are on the 451s.com site. Altogether, I got an awesome holiday deal from REI and Moosejaw, totaling ~$400 for the set. Though I just checked yakima.com, and it looks like they just upped their prices for 2009 - current retail price comes to $548.

I also purchased cheap waterproof stuff sacks to encase individual pieces of luggage and one tent footprint as an allover tarp. This added about $40-50 to the cost.

If you are considering this option for extra storage, here are some footnotes from my install and on-the-road experience:

(a) I set the Q116 clips on the Tridion cell itself, not between the two sets of rubber door seals
(b) the front crossbar "M" width (yakima's M1 measurement) should be 36.5" not 36", all other M measurements were fine.
(c) you can install this on your own, though with two people, it goes much faster
(d) allows for ~70 lbs in luggage. Max weight limit is 100 lbs, including ~30 lbs for the rack & basket case themselves
(e) with the fairing, the basket case (26"x38") only fits with short sides facing side of car
(f) driving with just the rack & basket case appeared to affect fuel efficiency by 2-3 mpg
(g) driving with a full rack (3 bags - photo shows 2) & basket case significantly dropped fuel efficiency by 6-8 mpg*
(h) the entire unit comes off in one piece by unlocking/releasing Q clips or you can just remove the basket case itself, leaving the crossbars
(i) if you plan to leave the basket case on indefinitely, I suggest getting additional SKS locks via the 6- or 8-pack set so all locks are keyed to a single key. You can also order individual locks from yakima direct for about $10 each.

*Going ~70 mph along the NY turnpike, I get 33-35 mph normally. With with the full load & rack, I got 25-27 mpg over three fill-ups. In general, I noticed the smart lagging on hills (dropping ~10 mph) such that I had to drop to 4th gear to keep up speed.

Hope that helps. If I had to do anything over, I'd install the fairing with the logo facing backward - the "YAKIMA" is way too big for my taste.
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Tags: basket, case, crossbars, rack, roof, yakima

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Comment by stzul on January 4, 2009 at 12:09am
Hi Loretta - I was having problems uploading photos to this site - so for now, click on the red link included in the blog, "Yakima photos are on the 451s.com site" which goes to: http://www.451s.com/photo/albums/yakima-basket-case-install.
Comment by Loretta Credo on January 3, 2009 at 11:34pm
How about posting a photo!

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