If you have cracks in your Thule or Yakima rooftop cargo carrier, then a roll of Gorilla Waterproof Patch and Seal Tape might give your carrier an extended life of keeping your gear dry.
A couple of years ago I bought a rooftop cargo carrier (Thule Sonic XXL roof box) from a seller on Craigslist. The individual had never used the carrier as it was dropped at some point before it made it to the top of his vehicle. The force of the drop cracked the back portion of the lid. The guy was inventive in his “repair” using colorful zip ties and silicon to fill the cracks. The zip ties were the stitches and the silicon bonded the cracks to repel water. He had drilled holes in the carrier to attach the zip ties and hold the cracks together. It wasn’t pretty but the guy was selling the never used carrier for very little and brand new would have cost between $700-$800.
The repair job did not bother me as I was planning on covering the entire box with stickers over time.
Two years passed and a few thousand travel miles (I keep the carrier on top of my Chevy Trailblazer) with various items of gear/luggage inside and the “repair” began to fail. A few weeks ago I noticed the silicon peeling off and some of the zip ties had broken apart. I would have to redo this repair if I wanted to prevent any more further cracks and keep out water. I wasn’t sure what to use but I was in a local hard store and found a roll of black Flex Tape. This looked like it would do the job but I wanted to do some more research.
A few days passed and I had decided to go this route so I stopped at a local store and thought they would have this product. They did not. However, they had instead Gorilla Waterproof Patch and Seal Tape. This looked like it would work the same as the other product and the great thing was that the roll of tape was 10 feet instead of the other product’s 5 feet. The black tape will also match the color of the Thule carrier.
What follows are photos of the transformation of the failed repair to hopefully a repair that will last many years and keep my Thule roof box ready for the next adventure.
The past owner had “stitched” the cracks with various zip ties. In order to use the zip ties he had to drill holes in the carrier.
Over time, the zip ties started to crack and the silicon was coming apart allowing water to drip inside.
I pulled out the zip ties and cleaned the surface of any silicon residue. I was left with cracks and holes to cover.
If you plan to take apart your roof box (separate the top/bottom lid) make sure you use the right tools. My Thule box has two lift hinges. The back hinge is a ball and socket that can be “popped” out but the front hinge requires a hex wrench to loosen the screw (see photo above). I did not pay attention and tried to “pop” out the piece but end up cracking the joint. I used a few drops of Original Gorilla Glue to fix the crack and then wrapped a small piece of the same Gorilla tape to hold together.
I put the Gorilla tape on both the inside and outside of the roof box. Not sure if both applications were necessary but I wanted to make sure the cracks were sealed.
The black tape looks a lot better than the old zip tie repair. I plan to cover the tape with various stickers so you won’t even notice the tape.
It has been a couple of weeks since I repaired the Thule carrier with two rolls of Gorilla Waterproof Patch and Seal Tape and I have not seen any water inside or further cracking. I will keep monitoring this repair with the Gorilla tape over time and see how the tape holds to various weather conditions here in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.