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Recommended Rooftop & Hitch Mount Cargo Carriers for 2016 Toyota Sienna with Raised Roof Rails

Question:

Our family recently purchased a 2016 Toyota Sienna LE. The roof rails came installed. For our trip later this summer, I am interested in cross rails and a roof rack carrier. What do you recommend?

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Expert Reply:

We can help you get your 2016 Toyota Sienna ready for summer trip cargo needs.

The two primary cargo carrying options are either an enclosed ABS-plastic roof cargo box or open metal basket that mounts to a roof rack, OR hitch-mounted cargo carriers. Depending on your cargo needs you might want to use both, but we can help you decide which best fits your cargo items and your budget.

In general, you can put much more weight on a hitch carrier than a roof carrier. Vehicle roofs usually top out at about 125-lbs weight capacity, while a 2-inch hitch like # 75237 can handle up to 675-lbs of total tongue weight (downward force). Also, it is typically easier to load hitch carriers since they are much closer to ground level. A hitch and hitch carrier will cost less than a roof rack and cargo box. You can refer to the linked article for help considering which type best suits your needs. If protection from rain is critical, then the roof cargo box is the best option.

Keep in mind that the weight of the (empty) carrier itself also counts against the roof or hitch capacity. For example, on a roof rated for 125-lbs using a cargo box like the Thule Force Medium # TH6356B which weighs 35-lbs means your net available cargo weight capacity is 90-lbs (125 - 35 = 90). In comparison, with the Draw-Tite hitch installed you could use a 500-lb-rated hitch carrier like Curt # C18151 and actually be able to load up to 500-lbs on the carrier.

If a roof rack and rooftop carrier is your preference consider Thule's WingBar Evo system made of parts # TH711420 and # TH710401. This rack provides 165-lb capacity and the Thule Force Medium box will fit nicely. For roof carriers a step like # CAM43676 can help the process of loading and unloading by giving you almost a foot of extra reach.

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