Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Box Review

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Review of the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Box


Hey guys. Today we're gonna be checking out the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Box. This box right here is gonna free up space inside of our vehicle for more gear or passengers and pets. This is a great option compared to using your hitch for a cargo carrier or hauling around a trailer. This way you don't have to worry about that hassle, your gear is up and out of the way on your roof.If you're unfamiliar with a rooftop cargo box, it's very similar to a roof-mounted basket, except this offers us security and protection from the elements. That way we can leave it unattended.This box is fairly large, it's one of the largest ones we carry here at etrailer.

With that being said, it's gonna make some noise on our roof, it's important to understand that. However, it is aerodynamic, so it's gonna help cut down on some of that noise and it's gonna cut down on some of that wind resistance.Now, I mentioned that the box is large. Its dimensions are 18 inches tall by 37 1/2 inches wide by about 91 1/2 inches long. It offers us 22 cubic feet of space, that's gonna be more than enough room for our gear.Now, because it's so long, it's gonna take up most of our vehicle's length. We wanna be careful where we position it on our roof so we can still access our rear hatch.

With my current setup, you can see I don't have any issues with this. Plus, the Thule Motion does have a little bit of a tapered tail end of the box, so it gives us a little bit more room than we normally would. But again, just be mindful of this when positioning it on your roof, you wanna push it as far up as possible to make room for that rear hatch.Now the box is a universal fit, so it's gonna work with your round, square, arrow, elliptical, and most factory roof rack systems. You can see here how the clamp goes around both sides of the bar, giving us a nice, snug fit. Now, you do need to be sure that your crossbar doesn't exceed an inch and 11/16 in height and 3 1/2 inches wide.To open the box, it's pretty simply.

You'll need the keys to unlock it, and then you can operate the sliding latch. Simply squeeze, and then push the lid open.You'll notice that the lid stays open; that's because of the struts on either side. This is gonna make it way easier to load and unload your gear, that way you don't have to fumble around when trying to keep the lid open while doing so.Speaking to it being easy, it also opens from the other side. This can be especially great for getting out of the way of traffic, or for installing or uninstalling your box. The clamps can be easily reached from either side.Here on the inside, it's pretty much just like any other premium cargo box out there.

The whole thing is made out of an ABS plastic, so it's gonna be strong and durable. That's the inside and the outside. On the outside we're gonna be protected against scratches or any rock chips.Four clamps keep the box attached to our roof rack system. The clamps are called power click quick release clamps. What's unique about these is that they do exactly what they're called, they're extremely easy to use. Here's one of the clamps, and yes they are removable. That way it's gonna be easy to slide our box into place on our roof rack system without having to worry about the clamp binding or making contact with the roof rack system. They easily pop out, and they are adjustable front to back, to work with a variety of crossbar spreads. Once we've got the box in place, they simply slip down through the channel and click in place.Here's a shot right here of the clamp coming down through the channel. You wanna be sure that it's on both sides, straddling the bar, and then we want to click it in place on both sides. From there, we can just tighten up our knob, and you can see as we do so it's going to squeeze that clamp around the crossbar. We're gonna keep tightening that clamp until we hear the click. That's how we know it's properly torqued down.Once you've got all your clamps tightened down, you're free to load up some gear. I've got a few things laid out here on the ground, I'm gonna go ahead and load up, and this will give you an idea of how much it'll hold.After you get all of your stuff all loaded up, if you'd like, you can run the included straps. You can see I've got one run here, they're cam-buckle straps, and they attach to the anchors on the inside of the box. These are just gonna help secure your gear and prevent it from shifting down the road. They are optional, I've only got one strap run over my skis and boards, but not so much over my bags, I don't think they're gonna go anywhere.I'd like to point out a couple more unique features when we have our gear loaded up. The pull-string here is gonna allow you to pull your lid closed, rather than having to hop up top and push it down. This way you can do it from the ground. Again, once you've got everything all loaded up, give it a pull, and that way you can do it all with ease.The other thing I wanna show you is a security feature. For one, you cannot remove the key unless it's properly latched. You can also see the red indicator here within the sliding latch here, telling me that it is still unopened or it's not latched correctly. So even if you bring it down slightly and you hear a click, you still see the red indicator, it still means it's not closed all the way. Once you've got it closed, it disappears, and we can lock it and turn the key.With it unlocked, we also cannot remove the key, this is gonna prevent us from losing it and prevent us from opening the other side at the same time, which can damage the box. So again, make sure your indicator is fully disappeared, lock it up, and then open the other side if you'd like.Before we finish up, I'll give you a quick install. Now, the box weighs about 55 pounds. That's not much, but it is a bit awkward since it's large. So if you think you can muscle it up yourself, go ahead and give it a try. Otherwise, since you're using a box, chances are you've got a second set of hands. What we wanna do is we wanna lift it up and set it in place on our crossbars.In order for this to work out correctly and safely, you need to be sure you have a crossbar spread between 23 5/8 and 36 7/8. But from there, once you have it in place, you can decide if you want your box center, or pushed to one side or the other. You may have more accessories you wanna try and fit up there, so it all depends on your vehicle and your roof rack setup. I'm gonna go ahead and center up my box.You'll also wanna be sure you leave enough room for that rear hatch. I'm just gonna scoot forward a little bit, that looks pretty good.From there, you can open up your box, line up your channels, and put in your clamps. It's that easy. Again, you just wanna be sure the clamp goes around the bar. We can tighten it up, listen for the click, and get on our way.Once you've got all your clamps tightened down, you're good to load up some gear. But that's pretty much it, you're good to go. That's gonna complete our look at the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Box. I hope this video was helpful.


Questions and Comments about this Video

Robbin S.

I’d appreciate hearing the best positioning to achieve less drag andor noise. I have a 2019 Odyssey and have plenty of room to move about but, what position takes advantage of the vehicle dynamics as well as it’s own aerodynamics? Probably a silly question

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Rachael H.

This is not a silly question, and I understand your point of view. We don't have a test fit video currently on-line for this roof box for your 2019 Odyssey. Unfortunately we do not have specific guidelines where to place the box in relation to the vehicle placement or optimization of aerodynamics. Thule design their boxes to be more aerodynamic than some of the other brands on the market. We do note on the product page that the cross bar spread must no less than 23-5/ inches and no greater than 36-7/8 inches apart. Additionally, for the rear hatch clearance you will need to make sure that the front crossbar to the hinge of the rear hatch is at least 55 inches. These numbers are specific to the cargo box, and you may see that on your vehicle you can make some modifications for some improvements, but overall you are adding a large item to the roof of your van, so it won't be as aerodynamic as without the cargo box.

Info for these parts were:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Colin H
Installed by:
Colin H

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