Rooftop Toolbox

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:47
ThreadID: 104643 Views:3396 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Hi all,

I am considering mounting a toolbox on my roof rack to carry a few spare part essentials, oil, belts, radiator coolant that type of thing, but I am a little concerned as to what this may do to the fuel consumption, it is not an overly large box, 680mm w x 355mm h and 350mm d.

I would appreciate some comments from others who have a toolbox mounted, and what affect, if any, on fuel consumption.


Barry H
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 08:43

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 08:43
We only fit our roof rack when we are heading off on a long trip. We carry a second spare, tool box, Max tracks and a ladder. Just having the roof rack increases our fuel consumption, then adding the wheel and tool box increases the fuel consumption again. We have the second spare at the front of the roof rack, then the tool box behind it and I cannot say how much the tool box adds as we always have both fitted. But having the tool box is worth it as we carry spares, chain saw, petrol oil etc. I suppose the ideal thing would be not to have the roof rack fitted, but with our set up the roof rack is the best option. I have wondered if fitting a wind deflector would help? Kevin
AnswerID: 519436

Reply By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 09:56

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 09:56
Barry, anything interfering with the airflow over your roof will provide a penalty in fuel consumption terms. Just ask yourself how much you are prepared to accept. I see so often, multiples of swags, on roofs that must provide huge penalties.

Having liquids in any quantity, like tools up high too will potentially affect your vehicle handling. More so with gerry cans though than a 4 litre engine oil or coolant.

All that being said I tow something even heavier. Speed then provides the next relationship fuel penalty.
AnswerID: 519438

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 18:15

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 18:15
Hi Barry, Can't give you the specifics but like Kris & Kev, we also have a similar setup and only put the rack on when doing a trip and then its not just a toolbox but swags etc as well. We can't fit without the toolbox so its a must-have. However we don't put very heavy things in it, but items that are bulky and light and needed to reach easily. We find that tools, spares and items that are needed in (hopefully) rare circumstances don't need to be in easy to reach places so will pack into small corners and internal pockets of side panels in the car etc. If you've got a breakdown you've got all the time in the world to dig out the tools. But things like camp chairs we did easily and they don't fit inside the car in our current setup so up there they go. The box keeps them dry. Regardless of extra fuel consumption (yes most definitely there would be), we find it practical and useful. Hope this is of some help.

Michelle Martin
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I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

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AnswerID: 519462

Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 11:53

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 11:53
Hi Barry, saw your post, even a rack adds to over-roof airflow drag, adding those extras will also do it. just have to live with some loss of fuel efficiency. adding more thoughts.. wind deflectors help. purists say , also remember effect of roof load on raising centre of gravity for your 4by and there is a vehicle related limit.. refer to manufacturer recommendation for roof load bearing. ( I think a Patrol TD was 250Kilo)
like your rig picture-looks like a nice set up.
AnswerID: 519639

Reply By: Member - Barry H (WA) - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 19:43

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 19:43
Hi Mike

Yes I have resigned myself to the fact that there is going to be a trade off in fuel consumption, I guess I was being a big sook about it.

Yeah fairly happy with the rig, it works well for me, I have just retired so I am doing a few more mods (toolbox etc..) before I start putting it to some serious use.


Barry H
AnswerID: 519698

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