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I was going to buy a Yakima load warrior for my cross country trip next month. How do these effect driving/gas mileage on long trips? Is this recommended or is it something you might only put on for a short time (ie camping, expeditions etc) opinions?
 

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Obviously putting something that creates drag will most likely reduce economy and performance. In the old days to find this out we would take our cars to the top of a very long, very fast hill, drive down to a measurable point at exactly 50 mph and put it in neutral, coasting to the next measurable point. The control speed is set after a number of trials. You then add your device and do the same test. It's not terribly precise and depends a bit on weather/wind. I've done this experiment on my Subaru on a three mile downhill section as I was concerned about the crossbar drag. I saw little useful repeatably measurable changes in the speed at end of the test although I think it was a bit quieter without the bars.

Oddly enough I found that my old Dodge Power Wagon coasted faster, and presumably more efficiently, with my aluminum fishing boat right side up and stern first on my camper half shell. This was counter intuitive to say the least as I always carried the boat upside down and bow forward because it looked more aerodynamic. Figure the near upright front window on the truck pushed a lot of air nearly vertically up, the air then tumbled down creating a lot of drag, so having the boat right side up somehow evened the air flow out, although I'm still not sure. It didn't work because I used to live in Seattle and the near constant rain would fill the damn boat so I can't be sure it would have panned out as improved mpg or mph. I was using my Dodge's speedometer to do this, but nowadays I think you might have other more accurate options.

In any case you can do a simple coast down experiment on a long hill with your vehicle and then add the new device to see if you have a rough sense of change given minimal changes in variables.
 

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If you need the storage space, an aerodynamic roof box will work a lot better for mileage than a basket. If you don't need the storage space, and don't intend to actually use the basket, I would leave it at home.
 

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Putting just the load warrior up there will cost you around 2-3 mpg. Adding some duffles or other such items will hit you up an additional 2 - 3 mpg.
 
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I was going to buy a Yakima load warrior for my cross country trip next month. How do these effect driving/gas mileage on long trips? Is this recommended or is it something you might only put on for a short time (ie camping, expeditions etc) opinions?
You might spend $20-$30 more on gas for the drop fuel economy. Don't worry about the silly little things and just get the cargo basket and enjoy your life. It's more important to have the things you need or want for your trip than to worry about a small loss in fuel economy for an awesome road trip.
 

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You might spend $20-$30 more on gas for the drop fuel economy. Don't worry about the silly little things and just get the cargo basket and enjoy your life. It's more important to have the things you need or want for your trip than to worry about a small loss in fuel economy for an awesome road trip.
Radiohead is right - a drop of 3mpg coast to coast is about $30 more in gas. Not worth worrying about in the scheme of things...

Towing a heavy trailer is a different issue.
 
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Yes to the above. I do run all over the West coast using the Yakima. I lose about 2-4 with the rack with nothing on it. With my Frontrunner bag (which I love) holding basic recovery "stuff" and a backpack tent plus a full-size spare tire on the rack - another couple of MPG. But I'm also carrying in the car my additional gear (may be out a couple of weeks) and now a folding ebike. So at max with an additional 200# in the car and on the rack I am looking at about a 4-6 mpg hit. Headwinds, speed, etc will all play into it.
 

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I am surprised someone hasn’t mentioned how much cooler you will look with the basket vs. those funky carriers. Just make sure you have cool duffels since we will all be able to them! :giggle:
 
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