Showing posts with label automobile accessories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label automobile accessories. Show all posts

Friday, July 7, 2023

Thule Motion Rooftop Cargo Carrier Reviewed

cargo carrier
We recently set out on a cross-country drive to visit a family member.  Since our destination was over 1000 miles away, we opted to drive only one vehicle to carry 5 adults and our dog, Merlin.

You may wonder why we took our pup with us.  He is approximately 15 years old and has arthritis.  He can no longer get up without assistance.  Leaving him in a kennel is not an option.  So, he made the trip with us.  

Merlin is a Labrador Retriever and requires as much room, or more, in the car as any adult.  We put one seat down with his bed on it so he would be comfortable on the long drive.  He was fabulous on the trip!  However, with 5 adults and a full-size doggie, we had no place for luggage.  Unfortunately, the people wanted to be able to change their clothes a few times on the trip, even though Merlin thinks that is silly.

A month before the trip, my husband spent a lot of time researching cargo carriers that would fit on top of our SUV.  He wanted one that would mount securely and would not fly off the top of the car.  He also wanted one that would minimize the drag on the car.  Plus, he wanted a reputable brand that would lock closed.  Last, but by no means least, he wanted one large enough to carry our luggage and supplies.  

Those are not unreasonable expectations for a cargo carrier on the top of the vehicle, but those combined concerns did limit options.

Before he even started looking at carriers, he looked up the manufacturer's specification for the total weight that our SUV could carry on it's roof.  We did not purchase the largest cargo carrier available.  The combined weight of the roof rail crossbars, the expected weight of the luggage, and the weight of the carrier itself,  had to be considered before the cargo carrier size was selected.

Now that we are home and our packed cargo carrier traveled over 2000 miles on the roof of our SUV, I can highly recommend the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier - Large.  Not only does it have a streamline attractive appearance, it has a lightweight construction that is extremely durable.  It didn't shake, rattle, bounce, fly open, or fly off of our SUV.  Plus, our luggage was safely locked inside so we didn't have to worry about thieves when we stopped along the way or overnight.


Features of the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier (Large Size)

     Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Titan, Large, L (16 cu ft)
    Click Image to Purchase
  • Exterior:  77" x 36" x 17"
  • Interior offers 16 cubic feet packing space (69" x 31.5" x 15")
  • Dual Side Opening - Opens from Either Side of the Vehicle
  • When Open, Lid Has Supporting Side Lid-Lifters
  • Secure Closure Indicator on Lid
  • Offers a Quick Mount System that "Clicks" When Secure on the Recommended Cross Bars
  • Plastic Construction
  • Weight of Carrier: 42 lbs 
  • Carries 165 lbs of Content
  • Additional Sizes Available


Things We Considered Before We Purchased Our Cargo Carrier

First, we checked the Vehicle Manufacturer's Data for the maximum weight limit allowed for our vehicle roof rack when the vehicle is in Motion (not the weight allowed when the vehicle is parked).

We ensured the Combined Weight of the following did not exceed the vehicle manufacturer's maximum roof mounted weight specifications:

  1.  Weight of the Crossbars  
  2.  Weight of the Cargo Carrier  
  3.  Weight of the Carrier's Contents


Considerations When Selecting the Right Cargo Carrier 

I am sure there are more things to consider, but these are the things we found most important to us before we purchased, mounted and loaded our cargo carrier.

     Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo CarrierCheck Price

  1. Roof Rail Crossbars* 
  2. The Cargo Carrier Manufacturer's Maximum Carrier Content Weight Limit (combined weight of luggage or items to carry)
  3. The Cargo Carrier Manufacturer's Specified Maximum Vehicle Speed Allowed with Cargo Carrier Installed
  4. Mounting Considerations (front, back, center of roof) for the carrier.  We had to consider the lift gate on our SUV

 *Thule specifies crossbars that are safe to use with their cargo carriers on their website.  Our selected GMC crossbars were not listed, so we emailed our cargo carrier's manufacturer to ensure the roof rail crossbars we selected were safe to use with our vehicle and our cargo carrier before we bought them.

We mounted our carrier in accordance with our vehicle manufacturer and the cargo carrier manufacturer's instructions.  Both have specific limitations and guidance on how and where to mount the rooftop carrier.

Even after we considered all of these things in advance, we still weighed each item as we were packing the carrier to make sure we were within the specified weight limits of the roof rails, the carrier and the luggage combined.

On our trip, we saw several "interesting" ways that people carried their luggage or supplies on their roof.  Looking at those terrifying and potentially dangerous "techniques", made me grateful that my husband considered safety first before putting anything on the roof of our car.  


The Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

We did need a lightweight step-stool for loading and unloading our luggage from the roof of our SUV

 Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Titan, Large, L (16 cu ft)Check Price ACSTEP Folding Step Stool 2 Step Ladder Heavy Duty Metal Stepping Stools for Adults with Anti-SlipCheck Price



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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Friday, February 10, 2023

Automobile Windshield Snow Cover for Ice and Snow Reviewed

Windshield Snow Cover
A few years ago, we were picking up a family member at the airport when I saw an SUV decked out with this windshield cover.  I thought it was genius!  Ice and snow were imminent in our area that day.  I am certain the driver of that vehicle didn't wish to return to a windshield that needed to have ice and/or snow scraped off before they would leave.

I went home that very night and did a search for a windshield cover that would fit our SUV.  Since we park it on our driveway, it is constantly exposed to whatever weather hits.  Unfortunately, in our area, we are more likely to get ice or at best, a wintry mix.  It is a very cold job to scrap a windshield.  

We have plastic scrapers in all of our vehicles in case we are caught out when the weather moves in.  However, this windshield snow cover is easy to carry in the car and cover the windshield on a work day if ice or snow are predicted. 

Driving on ice is dangerous enough.  We don't need to exhaust ourselves scrapping the windshield before we get behind the wheel to drive home. 

I do recommend keeping a large plastic trash bag in the car for temporary containment of the wet windshield cover for the drive home, after it has been used.  That will protect the vehicle carpeting.  The cover does come with a storage bag, but I would only put a dry cover in the storage bag.


Windshield Snow Cover

 Windshield Snow Cover, FOVAL Car Windshield Cover for Ice and Snow Frost with Side Mirror Protector, Safe Luminous Strip, 4-LayerCheck PriceI found there are many choices for windshield covers.  I opted for an inexpensive one with great reviews.  With our icy winters, I expected to need to replace it after a few years of use.  Thus far, replacing it has not been necessary.

The Foval cover is waterproof, snow-proof, frost-proof and won't scratch your windshield or paint.  The cover does extend over the windshield wipers and covers the exterior door mirrors.  Having the protective bottom layer is just as important as being waterproof.

It only takes few minutes to put the cover over the windshield and "tie" it down.  We attach the bottom straps to the wheels (as shown in the manufacturer image on the right), but we literally tie the back straps to our luggage carrier on top of the SUV instead of attaching them to the back wheels.  That is what works best for our SUV which sits up higher than the vehicle in the photo on the right.

As you can see in the images below, our SUV has folding side mirrors.  Instead of inserting the mirrors into the mirror pockets, we fold our mirrors in and simply cover them with the cover.  If we used the windshield cover on one of our cars, it would be necessary to cover the mirrors with the cover mirror pockets so it is wonderful to have them as part of the cover. 

This definitely beats trying to tape cardboard over the windshield!


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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Friday, May 22, 2020

Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers for Jeep Wranglers Reviewed

bartact jeep seat covers
We recently purchased an old Jeep Wrangler and my husband has spent a great deal of time restoring it.  I only had one request when he purchased the old jeep.  I asked him to buy new seat covers for it even though the original seat covers were still in good shape.

The jeep was very dirty inside and out when he got it. Apparently, the previous owner drove on muddy trails with the top off and the windows down, often.  The seat covers were filthy.  

My husband took the seats completely out of the jeep and spent three days vacuuming, cleaning, disinfecting, and cleaning them again.  He let me pick out the new seat covers which would slip over the original covers.  I spent about as many days looking at different options, but always returned to the Bartact seat covers.  They were more expensive, but there were excellent reasons for the price.  I felt the extra cost was well worth the added benefits.

jeep seat covers - old compared to new

Features of the Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers

Because I compared them to several other brands, I will tell you the features that stood out to me and influenced my final choice decision. 

back of bartact jeep seat covers with storage bag attached
  • Two Storage Packets (placement adjustable & attached to seat backs) 
  • Zippered rear pocket and zippered front pocket.  If you want to ride on jeep trails, having permanent zippered storage pockets is essential.
  • Easy Installation - It took us approximately 15 minutes to install both front seat covers. 
  • High grade waterproof-backed polyester fabric which is cool to the touch
  • Pre-cut slits for the seat belts and seat adjustment latch levers
  • Foam backing for added comfort
  • Mil-Spec - means made to US military standards 
  • Front Seat Covers are Sold in Pairs of 2
  • Made in USA

I listed the pouches and the zipper pockets first because I consider them essential.  In the jeep, there is very little storage.  Only a glove compartment is in our jeep.  There is no center console.  

My husband enjoys the jeep "feel" when exploring off-road jeep trails in our National Parks.  Me, I like to take pictures.  Therefore, I carry my camera supplies, like various size lenses and a spare battery.  The pouches on the seat backs are a better option for my camera than a separate camera bag bouncing around in the floor.

I also carry my "go bag" with us on our day trips.  Public restrooms are a necessity when we are out and about for 8 - 12 hours and I am a firm believer in carrying my own supplies.  (You can read about how I assemble my own public restroom survival kit here.)

Because the top and the windows on our jeep are removable, having waterproof backed seat covers is also essential.  You never know when a little black rain cloud will float overhead.

Installing Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers on Jeep Wrangler Seats

Installing the Bartact seat covers is super easy!  

You simply pull them over the existing seat covers, lining up the holes with the seat belts and the seat tilt levers.  Pull the velcroed panels between the cushions and press the large Velco pieces together.  

In minutes, you have beautiful new seat covers beckoning you to go for a ride.  

Watch this guy put on his seat covers.  

Limited Availability on Amazon - For a larger variety of colors, I recommend

 Bartact Front Seat Covers Compatible with 03-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, Tactical Series - Black/RedCheck Price Bartact Rear Bench Seat Covers Compatible with 03-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, Tactical Series - Black/RedCheck Price


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