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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We were torn about roof racks and what to do and ended up getting a Haulmaster basket from Harbor Freight. With coupons and a sale we picked it up for less than $75. From what we read the biggest negative was possible rusting. We ended up spraying about 4 coats of spray can truck bed liner. We remove the basket when we don't need to use it. Of course, that huge Haulmaster sticker had to go. LOL. We added a couple of Quick Fist mounts for our shovel using stainless conduit hangers (work great) and have now added a couple of Plano Sportsman Trunks (56 Qt.) that we sealed using auto/marine weather stripping from Home depot that fit in the channel of the lid. 2 ft. bungees hold them in place just right but we had to play around with how to hook them so we could access the latches while mounted. We did add one strap across the top of both totes for added insurance. We used a "waterproof" bag in the front of the basket for odd shaped stuff, but have since purchased the medium size Plano trunk (68 qt.) to fit in the front section. (pics to follow) We've driven through some hard rain and everything stayed dry. The totes make it easy to access and organize equipment while leaving the totes mounted to the basket. We have a "helper" step that hooks into the door catch to help step up to the top. The totes are great for wet and dirty stuff and things we don't use daily when on a trip. We also purchased a 15 cubic ft. cargo bag that fits the basket great. We've used that for when we have excess luggage and traveling with 3 or more in the Forester and not camping. The bag worked great and did not leak in a driving rain. We prefer the totes for camping as they can be better organized and are easier to access. thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
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2020 Forester Sport CVT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
We were torn about roof racks and what to do and ended up getting a Haulmaster basket from Harbor Freight. With coupons and a sale we picked it up for less than $75. From what we read the biggest negative was possible rusting. We ended up spraying about 4 coats of spray can truck bed liner. We don't leave it on all the time, and only mount the basket when I need to use it. OF course, that huge Haulmaster sticker had to go. LOL. We added a couple of Quick Fist mounts for my shovel using stainless conduit hangers (work great) and have now added a couple of Plano Sportsman Trunks (56 Qt.) that we sealed using auto/marine weather stripping from Home depot that fit in the channel of the lid. 2 ft. bungees hold them in place just right but we had to play around with how to hook them so we could access the latches while mounted. We did add one strap across the top of both totes for added insurance. We used a "waterproof" bag in the front of the basket for odd shaped stuff, but have since purchased the medium size Plano trunk (68 qt.) to fit in the front section. (pics to follow) We've driven through some hard rain and everything stayed dry. The totes make it easy to access and organize equipment while leaving the totes mounted to the basket. We have a "helper" step that hooks into the door catch to help step up to the top. The totes are great for wet and dirty stuff and things we don't use daily when on a trip. We also purchased a 15 cubic ft. cargo bag that fits the basket great. We've used that for when we have excess luggage and traveling with 3 or more in the Forester and not camping. The bag worked great and did not leak in a driving rain. We prefer the totes for camping as they can be better organized and are easier to access. thoughts and suggestions are welcome. View attachment 558145 View attachment 558146
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@CatmanglerX -- "We added a couple of Quick Fist mounts for our shovel using stainless conduit hangers (work great) and have now added a couple of Plano Sportsman Trunks (56 Qt.) that we sealed using auto/marine weather stripping from Home depot . . ."

I have the same roof rack. Very pracrical.
Like Kevin said, some here put an expensive rack on just for looks.
I'm more into usability. So, thanks for the money-saving ideas!
 
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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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We added a couple of Quick Fist mounts for our shovel using stainless conduit hangers (work great)
Do you have some details of the parts and close up of the install of these? I've been trying to find something similar for some gear...

I have a set of Plano cases (2 sets, 2 per set) and use that for some gear storage and have used them traveling but they can be a bit big n heavy to slap up on the roof into the cargo basket.

BTW - my cargo basket is from "Reese" (the Explorer) and is probably the same as the Harbor Freight unit. I like the idea of spraying it with the truck bed liner stuff. I've not had any issues with it - but then I live in sunny SoCal and so limited chances of rusting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you have some details of the parts and close up of the install of these? I've been trying to find something similar for some gear...

I have a set of Plano cases (2 sets, 2 per set) and use that for some gear storage and have used them traveling but they can be a bit big n heavy to slap up on the roof into the cargo basket.

BTW - my cargo basket is from "Reese" (the Explorer) and is probably the same as the Harbor Freight unit. I like the idea of spraying it with the truck bed liner stuff. I've not had any issues with it - but then I live in sunny SoCal and so limited chances of rusting.
We used 1 inch outdoor conduit hangers and some stainless steel #10 screws, nuts and washers with a piece of rubber pipe on the inside of the conduit hanger to give it more grip against the rail of the roof basket. Quick Fist clamps can be found at several outdoor supply places or Amazon. We hope this helps and is what you were looking for. let us know if you have other questions or need more info.
Enjoy SoCal!
Cat
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Looking at your pictures it appears that you have exposed screws on the rack itself. Wrap those (and any joints) in self-sealing silicone tape. Trust me on this.
 

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With Harbor Freight, as long as what you want does not have a motor, or an engine it is usually a good purchase.
I do like what you did to rustproof the rack. I suspect that the bed spray will last much longer than just painting.
 

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Great idea!
FTR I also sprayed expanding foam in the tubes before assembling to keep them from collecting water. Some people have filled them with various oils. I just took the extension out of my basket and the inside was bone dry with absolutely no rust. Of course I hade to sledge the damn thing apart. :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looking at your pictures it appears that you have exposed screws on the rack itself. Wrap those (and any joints) in self-sealing silicone tape. Trust me on this.
Took your advice and got some self-fusing silicone tape. How did I not know about this stuff! Great idea and I already have so many potential uses for this stuff. Thanks for the advice!
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Nothing says Subaru like bumper stickers and dogs... And this thread has both!

Nice work on the shovel mount and box seals. Those boxes seem pretty popular to use, have noticed them on quite a few cars and truck with roof or bed racks.

The HF racks do seem to work out good for the price. Good call on the spraying it with the bed liner. Rust seems to be the only big complaint on these in the review section. I didn't repaint mine, but it does get several coats of spray wax from time to time, make sure it's dry after washing the car, and it is garaged, and no signs of rust yet after 2 years. However, if it saw the use that others give theirs, it could be a different story in the rust department.
 
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