CORRUGATIONS!!! - Any Thule Roof-Box Stories to Share?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 12:11
ThreadID: 10131 Views:3793 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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I'm Planning to do the Gibb River Road in a few months time with 2 adults and 2 kids in a Disco.
One of the things we are considering is how best to take some of the 'extras' that we need, and this inevitably means that we won't ft it all in the car.

The pivot to how we proceed is whether to stick with a Thule top box (and load it only lightly with bedding/small tent/clothes etc) or to upgrade with new roof-rack with canvas bag.
The ARB retailer locally seemed to think that the life of either a Thule OR any aluminium roof-rack would still be heavily dependant on what was stored in it (seems to be borne out by other threads saying that racks have to bend as the vehicle bends or they crack). He was unable to be drawn conversationally on whether I was stark-staring mad to try but he didn't think so - rather repeating the loading item above.

So I'd appreciate some real experience to draw on - Has anyone on the forum used a Thule box on Gibb-river-road type corrugations and what happened?

Thanks folks,

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Reply By: Peter Guy - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 12:20

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 12:20
Hi Barney
beware March/April can still bring late cyclones and the Gibb Road is closed when wet.
The corrogations are worse on the Kalumbaru turn off to Kununurra section.
We have seen some biggies!
I have not used a Thule box but instead Rola Roof racks with a bolt on wire bread box accessory with has worked well.
What ever you do on badly corrogated sections particularly with your gear in a trailer due to the harsher suspension, is to ensure that every piece of gear is individually wrapped in rags/bubble wrap/cardboard - because your gear will rub/vibrate against everything and things get bent/destroyed in no time at all.
Good luck Peter.
AnswerID: 44843

Reply By: ianmc - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 13:06

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 13:06
Oh for the old gutter mount racks but for some they are gone forever!
As for packing one of the best is a few cheap high density foam sleeping mats cut to size, they are tough & resilient & can be bought for $5-10 each
AnswerID: 44845

Reply By: Chris (W.A.) - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 16:51

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 16:51
Hi Barney,

We did the Gibb River Road in July/August last year. We found it relatively simple. The corrugations on the gibb river road itself are nothing compared to the Mitchell Plateau track and some of the Kalumburu track. The corrugations as mentioned, are worse towards the eastern end of the Gibb.
I found the worst part of the Gibb road was the road to Bells Gorge.
We used an Opposite Lock alloy rack and still holding firm. Heaviest weight we carried on it was about 70kgs.
After doing it I'm under the impression that once upon a time it was more challenging but when you see a normal sedan towing a caravan from the opposite direction it makes you wonder.
Obviously it differs over the seasons with deeper crossings earlier in the year.

It's a good trip but lacks the amount of 4x4ing that we had assumed would be on it. I think now it's more a thing for 'some' city people to get home and say they conquered the Gibb to their friends over a glass of wine.

I think you'll find like most ARB sales reps they have never done the treks themselves or it's been a long time since they have been on them.

I would personally think that you'd be alright with the Thule under light load. Just cruise at a sensible pace on the corrugations and you should be right.

chris Nice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
AnswerID: 44856

Reply By: Bitsumishin - Mike A (WA) - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 17:14

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 17:14
Barney, we did the Gibb River Road with a Thule Roof Box about 18 months ago and the road was very bad back then. The Thule didn't miss a beat it was dust free and as you will no doubt already know, makes almost no difference to fuel economy. The only think I found was each night I would go round and tighten the mounting screws on my Thule roofrack as some of them would work loose over the corrugations. I had 7 punctures on that trip but no problem with the roofbox.Here's Mud in your Tyre
AnswerID: 44861

Reply By: Phil P - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 17:25

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 17:25
Hi Barney,

I have the basic Thule Box (No internal steel frame), and have used it on many thousands of klm of bad corrogated tracks. No problems whatsover ! Dust Free & Water Tight.

As my Thule is rear opening with a single lock, I use a lightweight strap around it, just in case it pops open. I generally store 4 self inflating mattresses, 4 sleeping bags, Shower Tent, Gas Stove (not the bottle), blankets & clothes.

Phil P
AnswerID: 44863

Reply By: Member - Bear - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 19:11

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 19:11
We travelled for 6 months last year (wife 3 kids and myself) in a Prado with Camper Trailer etc. All our clothing was kept in a Black Thule Roof Coffin.

We did all of Cape York, all Gulf and the Gibb from start to finih - we never had a problem, not even a crack and I can honestly say that I beleive that I was at least 75% (if not a 100%) over the recommended 75kilos load rating.

I found the coffin to be dust proof, water proof and a bleep load easyier than having all the crap that 4 females carry on a 6 mth trip stuffed all over the cabin.

I have heaps of photos of the rig doing it all!!

Let me know if you want more info.

AnswerID: 44869

Follow Up By: 10 Para- Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 21:54

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 21:54
Hi Bear, would love to see the photo's of the rig etc
RegardsGoing soon can't wait
FollowupID: 307041

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