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  1. #1
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    Default Trailer vs. Roofbox

    I was wondering if anyone has compared the fuel consumption penalty between towing a luggage trailer vs. having a roofbox (Thule or similar) on the roof rack?
    I have done a bit of long distance with a Venter 6 foot trailer (actually too big for my needs) and I was surprised at how big a difference it makes (looks like 1.5l/100 Km at 125km/h). This got me thinking on how a roofbox would compare.

    Has anyone done the comparison?


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    In terms of volume and weight capabilities, you cant really compare the two.
    See the discussions elswware on the weight limitation of roof racks



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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Huge difference in volume.
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Thanks, I was asking regarding fuel consumption specifically and I did say a trailer was actually much too big for my needs.

    I probably wouldn't use a roof box as I have access to a trailer and the capital expense of a roof box would probably take many years to save in fuel (if it is actually more economical to use).

    I was actually just wondering if anyone has tried both and what the fuel consumption penalty is for a roof box.


    '12 Audi Q5 3.0 TDi quattro stock standard

    '07 VW Touareg (T2) 3.0 V6 TDi (BKS), Air Suspension, Centre and Rear diff locks, DeCAT, 265-65R17 muds - Sold

    '01 Jeep WJ Limited 4.7 V8 with some bits - Sold
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    According to google, 20 to 35% increase in fuel consumption for a roofbox.
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Did some google searching as well as searching the forum and it seems results vary wildly depending on vehicle and speed travelled. I guess that result is to be expected, so only real way to get an answer would be to rent a roof box and test on my own vehicle.


    '12 Audi Q5 3.0 TDi quattro stock standard

    '07 VW Touareg (T2) 3.0 V6 TDi (BKS), Air Suspension, Centre and Rear diff locks, DeCAT, 265-65R17 muds - Sold

    '01 Jeep WJ Limited 4.7 V8 with some bits - Sold
    '83 Range Rover Classic 3dr 3.5 V8 Rust bucket - Sold

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    I have the Thule xxxl roofbox.

    On the Treg it makes about 0,5 liter/100km difference at 110.
    Errol Cornelius



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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Quote Originally Posted by Commander View Post
    Did some google searching as well as searching the forum and it seems results vary wildly depending on vehicle and speed travelled. I guess that result is to be expected, so only real way to get an answer would be to rent a roof box and test on my own vehicle.

    I have a mid-sized Thule - you’re more than welcome to borrow for testing etc... DM if interested - it’s in Midrand. Not sure the model but it’s about 45% the width of a typical roof, and a bit longer than a typical roof. Holds 4-6 duffle bags. We used it on a Q-5, but I never really paid attention to fuel penalty. It wasn’t much.
    Last edited by heyyahhey; 2021/02/28 at 01:05 PM.

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Quote Originally Posted by heyyahhey View Post
    I have a mid-sized Thule - youíre more than welcome to borrow for testing etc... DM if interested - itís in Midrand. Not sure the model but itís about 45% the width of a typical roof, and a bit longer than a typical roof. Holds 4-6 duffle bags. We used it on a Q-5, but I never really paid attention to fuel penalty. It wasnít much.
    Thanks very much that would be very helpful to test in real world conditions, I will drop you a PM!


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    '01 Jeep WJ Limited 4.7 V8 with some bits - Sold
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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Quote Originally Posted by zx14 View Post
    I have the Thule xxxl roofbox.

    On the Treg it makes about 0,5 liter/100km difference at 110.
    Thanks, this is very helpful Errol!


    '12 Audi Q5 3.0 TDi quattro stock standard

    '07 VW Touareg (T2) 3.0 V6 TDi (BKS), Air Suspension, Centre and Rear diff locks, DeCAT, 265-65R17 muds - Sold

    '01 Jeep WJ Limited 4.7 V8 with some bits - Sold
    '83 Range Rover Classic 3dr 3.5 V8 Rust bucket - Sold

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Quote Originally Posted by Commander View Post
    Did some google searching as well as searching the forum and it seems results vary wildly depending on vehicle and speed travelled. I guess that result is to be expected, so only real way to get an answer would be to rent a roof box and test on my own vehicle.

    And Ill supply you a trailer for the test, both to be empty.

    Will be a worthwhile test.
    Last edited by Robbief; 2021/02/28 at 08:01 PM.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbief View Post
    And Ill supply you a trailer for the test, both to be empty.

    Will be a worthwhile test.
    Thanks, I am keen to do that also, I have used my dad's 6ft Venter on hunting trips (empty and then somewhat loaded on the way back) and have noticed that there is quite a big difference between 125km/h and 115km/h on the open road.


    '12 Audi Q5 3.0 TDi quattro stock standard

    '07 VW Touareg (T2) 3.0 V6 TDi (BKS), Air Suspension, Centre and Rear diff locks, DeCAT, 265-65R17 muds - Sold

    '01 Jeep WJ Limited 4.7 V8 with some bits - Sold
    '83 Range Rover Classic 3dr 3.5 V8 Rust bucket - Sold

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Trailer vs. Roofbox

    I have a Thule roof box, can take say 5 60lt duffle bags. Took it to mana pools. Not as big as a trailer, but from a fuel efficiency point of view I recon it added maybe 0.2 Lts /100kms. Cruising speed aprox 110 km/hr

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