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Yakima (Whispbar + Skybox 16 Carbonite) roof system

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by sublimaze1, May 15, 2016.

  1. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    Okay, so I have owned BadA** now for about 71K miles. Previously isloated to the great country of Texas, it has only been for jaunts within, but now (instead of the SUV) we are taking the golfcart to Seaside FL in July. It is time to get a storage system.

    I have decided (empirically) on the Whispbar system (WBS17/WBK704) and am looking at the Yakima Skybox 16 Carbonite. I have my personal reasons; certainly they will differ greatly with many others on this forum.

    Reasons:

    1) I understand that the Whispbar system is relatively quiet and minimally impacts range particularly at low (non interstate) speeds ... [I can leave it on while going back and forth to work without worrying]
    2) I have a 64"X15"X15" canopy system that needs to be carried with. Without putting down the back right seat down, it will not fit. I am potentially taking another body (In addition to the four of us) which would make that option null.
    3) The Skybox 16 is 75"X36"X22" and will accommodate that as well as many other items for transit.

    [Note: We can take the MDX - It has all the storage, and a receiver for the basket, and a roof for everything ... but it is a eco-challenge now, and I wish to check this box on my "to-do" list]

    Please weigh in (I don't mind opinions, but I would prefer facts) regarding my choices as I am considering pulling the trigger on this in 10 days or so. Any suggestions or alternatives, real-life experiences (particularly with this combination, the tail gate, rain leaking, range reduction, etc.), and other data would be greatly appreciated.

    I am also two years left on the 21 year old and 4 years left on the 18 year old for moving them back and forth from college apartments ... so it is going to get some use.

    Regards
    WJ
     
  2. robby

    robby Member

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    We have a similar setup -- Whispbar and Skybox 21. Absolutely love it. The Skybox holds an incredible amount of gear (skis, tents, beach umbrellas, you name it) and the Whispbar's impact on energy consumption has been minimal relative to systems I've used on other cars. We are also looking into getting a roof top tent for use on road trips, which the Whispbar can support. The only critique I have of the Whispbar is that at freeway speeds it is not as quiet as you would expect. The glass roof doesn't help, either -- the wind rushing by is rather loud when you're cruising at 75. I think they could have better engineered the inside of the mounts to make them more aerodynamic. But it's the best option we have, and it does work well.

    I'm not sure what your canopy system looks like, but if it resembles a mattress (as our rooftop tent would) or a big canvas bag, I highly recommend rigging some sort of deflector in front of it to minimize the range hit.

    Good luck.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  3. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    Make sure to get the Skybox big enough to put -three- dead bodies in.
     
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  4. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    Thank you ... Very Helpful Comment(s). Any data on the range reduction with the skybox versus without?

    I have had several canopy systems but this one is the Caravan system with internal bracing. It is about 65# ... but my choice of skybox is to allow me to put the canopy INSIDE the system, rather than mount on the bars. For longer, multi hotel journeys, it would also allow me to keep the canopy on the vehicle, rather than drag it in and out of the hotel.
     
  5. JPUConn

    JPUConn Member

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    Picked up Whispbars and a Yakima skybox 16 carbonite for an upcoming family trip (and hopefully many more if the kids behave). I did have to set the tailgate to stop a little short but still have ample access to the trunk to load large items. The pano roof opens fully with fractional clearance but that's all you need.

    Only have miles home from the store for range reference but I'm not worried as I'm using the pod for destination trips (beach) within 150 miles with ample supercharges en route.

    this is a very user friendly setup and can get the bars on in 5 min and cargo box is even easier after initial setup to dial in the connection points

    I ordered a kayak storage pulley system off amazon to store the cargo pod out of the way when not in use.

    I was torn between the 16 and 21 but for my situation the 16 is big enough while the 21 was overkill for my need. @robby thanks for the info on your setup as well.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Should be plenty of room for my 3 little ones and all their "stuff"
    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  6. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    Good luck! Heading back from Beaches tomorrow. Used same setup (skybox16 but with HD whispbars and also with a 10x10 canopy. It chews the heck out of your consumption, particularly if you are hauling lots of cargo (frunk/trunk) with any substantial weight.

    On the way back we will be lighter so I surmise I will have better numbers. I will know in 48 hours.

    WJ
     
  7. robby

    robby Member

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    Nice setup, sounds like the right fit for most situations. If you don't need that extra 5 ft^3, the 16 is a much easier to manage option. Do you mind linking to the kayak lift system you ordered? I built my own for the skybox but have some other roof mount gear I'd like to store on our garage ceiling.
     
  8. JPUConn

    JPUConn Member

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    RAD Sportz Kayak Hoist Lift Garage Storage Canoe Hoists (Lifetime Warranty), 125-Pound Capacity Amazon.com : RAD Sportz Kayak Hoist Lift Garage Storage Canoe Hoists (Lifetime Warranty), 125-Pound Capacity : Boat Storage : Sports & Outdoors

    Arrives tomorrow so hopefully I'll install it by mid week to provide feedback. I do have a bike hanging on the ceiling with a very similar pulley setup that I'm happy with

    image.jpeg
     
  9. JPUConn

    JPUConn Member

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    Installed the pulley system this evening - not 100% sure I'll leave it in this spot and my car is sleeping outside tonight due to my wife's fear of the cargo pod falling on the car :)

    When fully raised it sits a good distance from the ceiling - my garage is 11'

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  10. robby

    robby Member

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    Looks great. One thing I did re: your wife's concern, is attach a separate light chain and carabiner to the ceiling fixture. When you raise the box, clip the beaner to it so that it is on a backup if the pulley system fails. Assuming you drove into studs that is a pretty safe system.
     
  11. Tucker48

    Tucker48 Member

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    JPUConn -- Haha I love that your life looks like ours :) Three DIonos and kids toys everywhere... and yet you've got a TESLA!!!!!

    We're making parenting cool :)
     
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  12. JPUConn

    JPUConn Member

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    Just wrapped up a week away with a loaded up tesla, 3 small kids, picnic table, slide, beach chairs, umbrellas, cots, pac n plays, suitcases, coolers, loose groceries/toys, etc.

    The 16 worked flawlessly and while it bounces a little at highway speed I noticed every other vehicle with a roof box that passed us on the highway had the same slight bounce.

    We hit some heavy rain/wind on the drive home with no issues or signs of water in the box (plenty of dry sand for me to vacuum out).

    I may have had the Whispbars tightened down too much or due to the weight of the beach stuff in the box because this time I wasn't able to open the pano without it hitting the clamps to the skybox.

    Could I have used the space the 21 would have offered? Yes! But I also forgot a few times during the trip that I had a completely empty Frunk while loading the skybox and rear trunk to the gills.

    image.jpeg


    The destination was ~90 miles each way highway with some slower sideroads along the way. Also I precooled the car a lot on this trip when not plugged in. The overall range loss was not noticeable though I was traveling 10 mph or so slower than I typically would without the box and had charging options from the 12v/120 at our rental house, charge point L2 at Newport (20 min away), or Superchaeger in East Greenwich RI (20 min away).

    image.jpeg


    Home and washed thuroughly inside and out to get off the mess of sunscreen and evidence of being left outside all week by the beach.
    image.jpeg
     
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  13. Tucker48

    Tucker48 Member

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    This is super helpful! I may just take the plunge on that box. I can't believe how roomy the storage is in the S. I almost doubt that the X has any more space.

    That car looks so happy under those suds :)
     
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  14. RobW2428

    RobW2428 Member

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    Terrific stuff from you guys. Very, very helpful. I remember originally reading this thread in the Spring when getting a Tesla was still a dream. Now I've got a Model S coming in a week or so and I found this thread again when searching "Whispbar." Pumped to see you guys are enjoying your set-ups.

    Any advice in getting the best price on the same system (Whispbar plus Yakima 16)? It's Black Friday today, in case that helps at all :rolleyes:
     
  15. RobW2428

    RobW2428 Member

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    Also, which of the Whispbar bars should I be ordering if I order off of Amazon?

    Ordering through Whispbar seems to make it more expensive than through Tesla because it requires buying addition "fit kit."

    So is $549 through Tesla really the best deal?
     
  16. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    I won't say that I am the "say-all end-all" regarding this, but I have put in the time and the money and have reached factual conclusions. My flame retardant suit is donned, as these are going to seem truly opinionated, but have science behind me

    (1) If you are looking for quiet and fit, get the $549 Tesla deal and be done. It will fit perfect, has the fit kit (which is a bear to find on its own) and the bars are the best. It has a drawback of weight limitation (as compared to #2) but is as OEM as they come.

    (2) If you are like me and are going to put a bike or two and a carbonite on it, you might want the whispbar HD system. It is rugged as heck and almost as quiet. They extend beyond the mount (feet) but that is a plus and minus ... (a) there is an extra "extension" for a bike tray but (b) it does not look as nice.

    (3) DRAG DRAG DRAG. If you are going cross country, please disclose this in the contract you sign with your family. It won't ease the pain of the eardrums you will have from potential complaining or "told you so" comments, but you are going to spend more time at the SC and if you drive in the summer, in the south, the AC will take a hit as energy from the battery will be diverted to cooling the pack rather than the cabin. Trust me on this. Please.

    I bought multiple bar lengths on ebay, several feet systems to get the best fit, and different single bars as well as the HD pair (all used, except for the feet). If I had to do it again, I would have done the $549 and saved the hassle.

    That is my $0.02 but I stand by it.

    Regards
    WJ
    (no longer allowed to take family trips with roof rack)
     
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  17. RobW2428

    RobW2428 Member

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    Hey WJ,

    I lot to read there. Thanks. At first I thought you were saying the box is load (when I read the "eardrums" comment quickly on my phone). I even told my wife that you were saying it was really loud. But now I realize there are two problems: range hit & AC hit. So....

    1) How much range hit are you talking about? What battery do you have and what percentage would you guess you're losing?

    2) So are you saying you can crank the cabin temp all the way down and AC fan all the way up, but the cabin stays to hot? Have you tinted your windows by any chance?

    3) Is it the rack making the car work so much harder to get through the air that makes the battery heat up more than without the rack? Is that what's happening? I'm just trying to figure that part out. I haven't owned a Tesla yet, so that may seem like a stupid question.

    Thanks for your help,
    Rob
     
  18. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    No guess here. I generally rate 333 Wh/mi at home, in Texas, driving between neighborhood and 75mph with no roof rack. With the roof rack (naked) on two test runs, I was at about 340. With the carbonite and a bike and a 10x10 canopy loaded (this was a trip to the beach last summer) I was consuming over 390 Wh/mi below 60 and 443 Wh/mi over 70 mph on average. Math confirmed. I am running an 85 pack on a 2012 car with (at the time) 80K miles on the odometer. Using 19" standard low resistance tires


    Windows are tinted. And here is the scenario, issue by issue (I think I posted this in my personal thread). About 100 miles out (just past Tyler Texas coming from McKinney) boys were warm. Wife agreed, it was warm. I generally keep my AC on low .. I like the cold. We were hauling the above items, plus the car was heavy with personals and food. The liquids were a big part of the weight and, in retrospect, I would have chosen to purchase them on arrival (more details not included, but were considered). I would say we were at a total weight of about 6000 lbs ... probably too heavy. Turned the fan up. Got warmer. Then got hot. Turned AC off, rolled windows down. 9 minutes later, tried AC and it blew COLD. Windows up, AC lasted about 10-15 minutes, Lather, Rinse Repeat. It was not until about 10-15 miles south of Alexandria, VA, that the warning came on, stating that utilities were being redirected to the pack for cooling, and that (I can't remember the wording) cabin cooling would be diminished. Wife then suggested to keep the fan at 3 or 4 and we up the temp to a comfortable 67. That solved the problem, and we did not have the issue much any further. We hit a rain storm, which cooled the outside temp 15 degrees (down to 88) and the next day was cooler, so I don't know if we lucked out or if it would had happened again should we hit 105 again.

    Yes and Yes. In order of maladies:

    1) Wind resistance
    2) Wind resistance
    3) Weight
    4) Rain

    Wind resistance is your biggest issue. If I have a 6mph tail wind coming from Houston, on I-45, I can drive 77 mph and consume about 333-335 Wh/mi. My car's sweet point is 71mph. Below that I am carving through the wind. Above that I am pushing it. And the increase is not negligible - say, around 365 or so, depending upon speed.

    Weight has never been an issue, but is when you reach the point where the car's responsiveness is diminished. I would apply this to any vehicle.

    Rain: it takes a decent amount of energy to push water, and this is no different with a Tesla. You don't notice it much in an ICE because you just burn more gas. Rarely do you have to add a gas stop to a trip for rain. But you will if you are pushing to a further supercharger, trying to skip one, etc.

    Hope my harangue helps.

    WJ
     
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  19. RobW2428

    RobW2428 Member

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    Yeah WJ, that all makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain the details. I'm going to hope that it's the one bike and all of your liquids in conjunction with a super high outside temp that made the difference :).

    I won't be carrying any bikes on the back, but I do plan on getting an EcoHitch on the rear to carry bikes sometimes. Can't remember what I've read about whether rear bike racks are more or less aerodynamic.

    Thanks again for the help. I feel bad your family won't let you use the car for more family trips. I hope to avoid that possibility with my family. For the past 12 years or so I've been driving conversion vans on trips. Super-tripped out with huge comfy seats, high ceiling, separate AC in back, space to suck up any amount of crap we wanted to take, etc. I know my wife and I will enjoy trips in the Model S, once we start adding in my tall (5'11" daughter and 6'3" and growing son) kids who are used to the creature comforts it'll be a little trickier. Particularly my son who isn't happy at all to see the van gone. Oh well. I could have waited another 4 years until he was out of high school, but life is too short.
     
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  20. timeslip

    timeslip New Member

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    Any opinions on the whisperbar / yakima vs the thule setup?
     

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