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Old 04-20-2016, 02:38 PM   #15
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I travel to dog shows in my interstate and have seen quite a few people mount a rack on their rear hitch to transport xpen panels
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:59 PM   #16
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Interblog, I'll be waiting to see your final design as I too would like a swingaway aluminum box for my 2006. I purchased the digital thermostat on your recommendation so i may follow suit if Backcountry Box and you come up with a solution. Heading to southern Utah and may cut across Death Valley if the weather is right.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:07 AM   #17
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Interblog, I'll be waiting to see your final design as I too would like a swingaway aluminum box for my 2006. I purchased the digital thermostat on your recommendation so i may follow suit if Backcountry Box and you come up with a solution. Heading to southern Utah and may cut across Death Valley if the weather is right.
I might get to spec'ing this today. Nothing gets bought in our home without being mocked up out of cardboard first, and that takes time. This falls into the category of measure thrice, order once. We know what it takes to contain the Yeti cooler, but we have to give careful consideration to what else reasonably might go in there with it in the future. I'm thinking inflatable kayak.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:50 AM   #18
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I'm thinking inflatable kayak.
I used to have an inflatable Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 kayakó until it developed a leak at a seam due to constant folding and unfolding at that point. No amount of patching would fix it. I just replaced it with an Oru Bay+ folding kayakó which I haven't gotten a chance to use yet.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:29 PM   #19
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Interesting update on the Sea Eagle. My Sea Eagle is also shot - and I was unconvinced by discussions in previous threads as to which one might be the best investment as a replacement, for exactly that reason. It wasn't clear that the newer ones wouldn't also develop the same stress-related failure.

ANYWAY, I scoped our hitch box, at least in terms of dimensions (the mounting mechanism is currently a subject of debate). Next step is to get it made by someone. This is the blog post that we will be sending to vendors to help them formulate proposals. I identified Backcountry Box as a potential fabber, but my husband also found other possible vendors.

HITCH BOX FOR THE AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE, PART 1: SCOPING
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:36 PM   #20
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My Hitch Box is a little large
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:59 AM   #21
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I used to have an inflatable Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 kayakó until it developed a leak at a seam due to constant folding and unfolding at that point. No amount of patching would fix it. I just replaced it with an Oru Bay+ folding kayakó which I haven't gotten a chance to use yet....
At the risk of thread drift, I took a more detailed look at this Oru model and I'm interested in learning what prompted you to conclude that it would NOT suffer a similar failure fate as the Sea Eagle. Presumably you concluded that, because you coughed up a nice chunk of change to buy it.

I'm thinking back to my graduate-level materials science course... any time there are bends and folds in these types of polymer formulations, differential degradation is a foregone conclusion, at least to some degree. WHAT degree and on what time scale are the questions that are challenging for consumers to answer.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:36 AM   #22
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At the risk of thread drift, I took a more detailed look at this Oru model and I'm interested in learning what prompted you to conclude that it would NOT suffer a similar failure fate as the Sea Eagle. Presumably you concluded that, because you coughed up a nice chunk of change to buy it.

I'm thinking back to my graduate-level materials science course... any time there are bends and folds in these types of polymer formulations, differential degradation is a foregone conclusion, at least to some degree. WHAT degree and on what time scale are the questions that are challenging for consumers to answer.
The Oru only has to keep water out, it doesn't have to keep pressurized air in like an inflatable. That means any do-it-yourself patch job only has to be watertight, not airtight. That's a plus. Even duck tape will do for a quick-and-dirty temporary patch job, if you dry the surfaces first. Though it would help to carry a Scotchbrite pad to scuff the plastic before applying the tape; Coroplast is pretty slick, as I discovered when applying adhesive letters to put my name on it.

Also, the Sea Eagle inflatable kayak isn't really designed to fold/roll up, so you get stress points that weren't designed as stress points. The Oru folding kayak is designed to fold up, on pre-molded seams.

Storing one in direct sunlight is not a good idea, though, and in fact they even recommend that you not carry it on a rooftop rack, but rather fold it back up into a box and carry it inside the vehicle (or inside your cargo box, in your case).

I got the Oru carry bag to cover it as well, because the backpack straps make it easier to lug around than a single shoulder strap. The bag should also help prevent UV degradation between uses.

But what it comes down to is, my Sea Eagle only lasted three years, and then it was ruined. If the Oru only lasts a year or two longer than that, it's money well spent. Besides which, an Oru is a "real" kayak and can do real kayak tricks like Eskimo rollsó if I ever learn how. A Sea Eagle is really just an inflatable canoe, except that unlike a canoe you sit feet-forward and use a double-ended paddle.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:00 AM   #23
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The Oru only has to keep water out, it doesn't have to keep pressurized air in like an inflatable. That means any do-it-yourself patch job only has to be watertight, not airtight. ....
<slaps forehead> You're right - that's a game-changer. The Oru wouldn't work for us as we need a 2.5-seater, though (two people and dog).

My Sea Eagle lasted about a decade but I found out the hard way about its failure. As in, sinking in a Galveston Island back-bay canal. Abandon ship! Fortunately only one of the three chambers gave out that day so I was able to get it back to the dock for repairs, for what little they were worth.

And then there was the story on a thread somewhere of the guy who realized that folds and creases would be bad, so he lightly inflated his kayak and suspended it from the ceiling of his garage, rather than tote-storing it as the manufacturer designed. At which point mice got into it and chewed it. Sometimes ya can't win for losin'.

I think the moral of our story, with the available options, is to spend as little cash as possible on an inflatable kayak. If it's only going to last X years with X being a fairly small number, the investment should be minimized accordingly.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:00 PM   #24
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I've just ordered the GearSpace34 with the bicycle mounting attachment that goes inside the container for two bikes, and the 4-pin to 7-pin electrical converter. Although the Stowaway2 is nice, the GearSpace34 is much larger and can handle 300lbs. of gear. I'll update on what I think of it once I receive it. I'll be using it for a trip in the next three weeks.


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Old 05-01-2016, 02:55 PM   #25
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I believe I am in the process of reversing myself on my hitch box plans. Simple arithmetic and the Pareto principle are both reasons why. Those, and a happy development of free market competition.

My intention for a custom hitch box was almost entirely predicated on the fact that, despite its A+ performance, the Yeti cooler gets an F on security. There is just no way to secure it without putting it in an enclosure. Been there, read all the threads. There is no workable solution for that design.

Up until six weeks ago, our region of Texas did not have a Cabela's. But we do now, and they make a cooler that gets at least an A on performance (Field and Stream actually ranks it higher than the Yeti) *and* it gets an A on security potential. Couple that with the fact that it doesn't have the cachet of Yeti and is a lower price point, and all of a sudden you have something that will perform while being much easier to secure and which is not as desirable a theft target to start with.

Thus, if I get a Cabela's cooler, not only it is able to be physically secured via up to four chaining points, it's less likely that someone will try to get through those chains. In this scenario I have to cough up $250 - $300 for an additional cooler that strictly speaking I don't need, but what I DON'T have to cough up is something in the range of probably $750 - $2,500 for a custom hitch box. The need goes away, and I can make do with a much simpler hitch platform plus maybe one of those tote-style all-weather covers.

Look at this thing - it has two lid locking points plus big solid wing handles on each side through which chains can be run. If thieves cut the handles to steal the cooler, they've ruined both the functionality and the resale value of the cooler, so that's not likely to happen. If this type of product had been available here two years ago, there's no way I would have bought the Yeti.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:08 PM   #26
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Interblog thanks for the information on the cooler. We have no fridge yet and cool food storage is always an issue here in Arizona.

Will take a look at the Field and Stream next time we are at Cabelas or Sportsman Warehouse.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:20 PM   #27
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More ruminations on the Stowaway option and hitch-carrying in general...

After reading Mike Wendland's buyer's remorse post on the Stowaway hitch carrier, I was inspired to phone the company that makes the Stowaway because of what I saw in this photograph.

The Stowaway must swing toward the passenger side of the vehicle. This is true whether one uses just the swing-away hitch with some other manufacturer's device mounted on it, or the whole enchilada including Stowaway's own cargo carrier. The back door only partially opens because of the limited swing-away travel distance.

Well, shoot. It's that passenger side back door that is the primary opening door. That's the one with the door handle on it. Why partially block the one door that must be used no matter what? Why not instead block the other door, which can remain closed in many foreseeable circumstances?

From what I was told on the phone, product liability forced them into this design, even though they knew it would be an issue. As it was explained to me, if a driver pulls to the side of the road and must open the rear, (s)he cannot swing the hitch carrier in the direction of the active lane of travel because it's perceived as potentially more dangerous than swinging it toward the ditch. For that reason, they designed the hitch carrier to allow the active rear door to be opened far enough so that the passive door can then be released and opened. But the active door will always remain partially blocked.

It seems to me that a keeper could be added to limit the swing travel such that the hitch arm could not rotate farther than the parallel driver's side of the vehicle. But that was not made a part of this product's design.

This is just something I never noticed previously, and one more consideration for anyone contemplating which product or combination of products is right for them.
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:43 PM   #28
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I don't know if this helps, but apparently the GearSpace34 slides directly behind enough to open the doors and by disconnecting the door brake, you can fold the doors to the side for access. (Photo attached). 
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