We will be travelling from Texas to Indiana again this summer, which requires us to spend at least one night on the road. We have a Dodge Durango, which typically is plenty of room for our family and cargo. However, we have acquired a new passenger. We would really like to take our adopted great dane with us. This would mean freeing up some space in the cargo area of the interior. We have been looking at many options and I would like to get opinions or suggestions on the best option to solve the issue, but also address my worry of security.
1. Hard top carriers - It appears this is the most secure solution. Mounts on the top and usually has a lock, so we would be able to leave it on the car overnight. If I understand correctly, these can be mounted with U-bolts or straps. Obviously the U-bolts would be more secure. The down side I am seeing is the effect on gas efficiency. Already in a big truck that gets about 23 MPH on the highway. Will we be looking at a significant drop in fuel efficiency?
2. Soft top carriers - Less expensive, but less secure in my opinion. You could lock the zipper, but what is to keep someone from taking a knife to it and taking what they want out of it. So then we are left with unloading it and reloading it the next day.
3. Trailer hitch cargo rack - Like this idea, but there is still the issue of security and the cost of all the apparatus. We do not presently have a trailer hitch, so we would have that expense, plus another $250-300 for the rack, and a locking box for security. Could set us back $600-700.
4. Soft side "saddle bag" style carrier - Again, these are soft sided so we would have to load and unload at night, but that would be easier with the location.
So those are my mildly educated thoughts on the subject. Does anyone have anything to add that could help us make this decision?