i have a soft cargo bag from target i put on the roof and it holds 200 lbs easy, the only thing i did differently from other people was put a piece of ply wood on the bottom of the soft case, you could use card board to avoid any sharp edges banging on the roof.
We are in the process of planning our summer vacation. This will be the first with our new Acadia. I will need the extra space and we have a soft carrier that fit on top of the minivan we traded in. In researching the cross rails, it seems that they are geared towards the hard carriers. Do we need to spend the $170+ or can we get away with just using the luggage rack alone? I saw one manufacturer of the soft bags sells a pad for $12. This seems like a better way to go if the main concern is scratching. I am just concerned with the roof actually holding the 200 lbs it is rated for.
I wish i had a picture of the bag i got from target, it has a very smooth surface on the bottom of the bag used for cargo, it left no surface scratches, i tightened the bag straps everytime i stopped, it remains pretty level with the plywood in it, if tied correctly and you lay some plywood down, the bag will barely be touching the roof at all, i have alot of stuff in there, well over 200 lbs and it was a 16 hour trip from iowa to baton rougue.
Thanks for the info. I think even if I got some minor surface scratches on the roof, who the heck would even see them? Maybe Shaq??? Our carrier also has some protection on the bottom. I think the dealer is trying to scare us into buying a $180 item we don't really need! For $34,000, you would think if it was something you needed in order to use the luggage rails, GMC would give them to you!
Good point on the weight support. Can anyone else share their opinion or experiences?
For me personally, I don't think we will be putting anything really heavy on the roof. The plan is to put the bulky items, such as beach chairs, boogie boards, and sand toys in the carrier. The luggage and golf clubs will go in the back. We only have two kids, so we should have ample space for those items with the rear seats folded down.
I hate to spend the $180 for something I might use once a year. With the cost of gas, we might not have decided to make the road trip if we had not already committed to this trip over the winter!
One thing I think I will get is the protective mat. See this site for what I am talking about. For $12, it seems like it will reduce the chances of getting a scratch.
I called GMC and the local dealer where I bought the vehicle and they both said that the bags can be placed directly on the roof, but not to exceed the 200 lb limit. We are leaving for a 600 mile trip this weekend, we'll see how it works. Thanks for all the input.