roof rack load simpson desert

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 09:35
ThreadID: 130090 Views:4807 Replies:13 FollowUps:10
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Heading to the Simpson desert. Have fitted Tradesman oval alloy roof rack, max load capacity 150 kg. 200 series has a capacity on roof of 200kg.

Rack weighs 30kg.

Loaded with clothing bags x 3, bedding for 3, stretcher bed x 1, max traxs, shovel, chair x 1, shoes, toilet tent, poles, etc. Total weight of load 134 kg.

So Rack 30kg + load 134kg= total of 164 kg.

Cant seem to find anything that I could leave off.

Is this too heavy for a Simpson desert crossing. Top heavy

Any feed back would be appreciated.


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Reply By: Tim F3 - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:12

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:12
I had a landrover discovery,from memory landrover advised maximum roof loading of 100 kg for normal on roading and only 30 kg max loading for off road..

Perhaps your 200 series may also have a greatly reduced specified loading for off road..Others may provide accurate figures,have a safe and enjoyably trip.
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:20

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:20
Cole, just take your time and drive the dunes slowly and at a steady pace and you should be ok. When we crossed last year some vehicles had as much up top as they had below and were travelling ok. A bigger risk would be on the highway where you are travelling at highway speeds and the possibility of a sudden sharp turn.

Your car is designed to take the load so as long as you distribute it evenly then I see no problems.


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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:32

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:32
Some of the loads I've seen on roof racks, Cole, I wouldn't worry too much!

Have seen loads, over a metre high, all covered by a $10 blue tarp, that is rapidly flapping itself into oblivion. :-)

Just a query, if there's only 3 of you, why so much on the roof? Surely you'd have room for clothes bags inside?

And who gets the one chair? On a roster basis, or first in, best seated..........

Enjoy the desert,

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:35

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:35
Cole has 1 chair, 1 stretcher bed and 1 toilet. You just use them on a rotational basis but always keep in mind which one you are on or it could get messy.

Cole as Bob said, you should see the loads some carry with jerry cans and spare wheels etc on their racks
The truth be known you would find others being much heavier if they weighed their contents. I don't think you have a real cause for concern
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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:28

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:28
As said above. You should be okay if you are sensible and not mucking around.

We just came back and with a 3400 Kg vehicle total and about 95 Kgs plus the ARB steel rack on top we didn't have any issues.


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:31

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 12:31
We have a 2005 GXL 100 series 4.2TD cruiser.


Vids: A few short Madigan videos.
FollowupID: 857528

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:26

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:26
G'day Phil,

Looks like I'm heading across the Madigan Line in a couple of weeks, I will be travelling "light" keeping in mind my bus weighs in at over 3 tonnes "normal" road weight.

I'll be leaving the roof top tent & most of the heavier items at home & swagging it under the awning, but will have a full load of fuel (330lts) a full compliment of tools, tyre repair gear, 2 spare tyres, spares & tucker/beverages to last the trip.

The only things that I'll have on the roof rack will be a long handled shovel, high lift jack (necessary evil), 4 max tracks & the awning on the front rack, & the 2nd spare tyre on the rear rack over the tool box's.

I'll try to run it over the weigh bridge before I leave, it will be interesting to see how much it weighs in at.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 12:55

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 12:55
Pity we didn't get to meet. Ah well.

Our car weighed around the 3500 kg fully loaded. Luckily the GVM is now 3700Kg.

West to east would be the easiest with gentler slopes and not as bad holes as on the eastern side. We rarely had to add any momentum. In fact one could say it was a walk in the park apart from the damned undulations and alternating holes. Some as deep as 400 to 500 mm. Take your rock and roll outfit mate because you will be doing heaps.

Being top-heavy wasn't an issue as we only had a couple of times when we got over 10 degrees and that's nowhere near rolling our 4WDs. There is heaps of mass down low with all the mechanics to hold her upright. But only if you are going gently. You will be fine mate.

Listen to me - the student telling the professor what to do. ooops. I will bring an apple next trip towards WA. Forgiven???

We stopped quite abruptly in the middle of one video. And if you watch the angle out the front you will get an idea of the R&R. Video #2 I think.

OT and bit. We may have had the wrong Bilsteins in it from the start. Waiting for their answer.


FollowupID: 857629

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 16:16

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 16:16
No worries Phil, I'll listen to anyone, trust me I'm a barman... Lol,

I've been up to camp 5 & down the Colson track a bunch of times as well as doing contract work for a mining exploration company taking JetA1 & diesel out past camp 5 & down the Simpson No 1 mining track, that was fun, Mt Dare - fuel dump, 2 tonne of fuel, 750km return trip in a day & I managed to knock over a few camels as well, busy day...

Looking forward to seeing the rest of the Madigan Line.
FollowupID: 857636

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 17:14

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 17:14
You won't need to travel as fast as those trips.

We particularly likes to peace and solitude. As said else where - Did not see another person or vehicle for five days.

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Follow Up By: Teraa - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 12:45

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 12:45
We have had some pretty regular rain this year so dunes are nice and hard at the moment
FollowupID: 857684

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 14:23

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 14:23
You should speak to the roofrack manufacturer about its off-road rating. A substantial discount is normal, and Dave at Mt Dare says racks are a common repair at his end.

Apart from that the lighter you are the easier the drive is esp. if the claypans are boggy.
AnswerID: 589637

Reply By: chisel - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 15:39

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 15:39
I can't really see anything that heavy in your list and I'm surprised it adds up to 134kg.

I think they typically de-rate racks by a third (50kg in this case) for off-road but you'll probably be ok especially if the load is kept fairly low and evenly spread across the rack.

AnswerID: 589638

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 16:02

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 16:02
In my opinion its top heavy Cole , however as per other replies its in the grey area and basically up to the driver to drive to the conditions even sticking to the speed limit (40) would be a good start.

I have always been concerned about that issue as its the No1 cause of serious injury in 4wds.

The 200 series is not the worst but it is also not very good.
They have a roll over angle of 44 degree and I get nervous in cars with less than 1:1 i.e. 45 degrees.

Now the 44 is before your roof load , and there are definitely sections there in which a rut on one side can put the car on quite an angle.

I don't know your setup so can't really advice on changes , but in the many times we have done that drive we have never needed Max tracks , but those decisions need to be made on your own circumstances.
E.g. if traveling with someone and the desert hasn't been soaked recently then
don't take them (Mud is more of a problem that soft sand).

Its good to work over time at limiting the weight everywhere e.g. we would never take a roof rack and hence save the 30kg up front.

Some take lots of water , but we know from long experience that 2lt/day/person plus the 6lt clean water in the washers as back up is more than enough provided you have long distance comms or travel with another car.

Its amazing where the weight goes - I weighed friends camp chair the other day and it was 6kg whereas we would buy junk $6 chairs from Kmart and throw them away after trip. 3 of them weighed only slightly more than ours friends 1 chair.

And so it goes, simple things like gas bottles weight so much more that alternatives, but it does take some time to get it all right.

P.S. I would spend some time getting your tyre pressures right , and normally would not recommend this but I would run them a little higher that required , while its not as good , the 200 series is quite a capable car and pressures of say 4psi above recommended (often 18psi) will reduce the tyre flex and the tendency to roll on impulse.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 589639

Reply By: Iza B - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 16:52

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 16:52
I would be alert and not necessarily alarmed. Many approaches to the dunes are scalloped and those scallops are not even to each side of the wheel tracks. The net effect is that the vehicle can get up quite an oscillation rocking side to side, even at modest approach speeds. Approaches requiring maximum commitment can give bump stops a real workout. In those situations, roof rack attachment points get a serious test. Suck it and see but be ready to repack if cracks appear anywhere.

AnswerID: 589641

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 22:25

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 22:25
It was a real Elvis trip. Rocking and Rolling over every dune. Not what we called fun.

If you feel that you wont make it, then let the car to a stop and slowly reverse down. You will see the "scallops" (good choice Iza) level out a little. Then have another go.

We ran 16 and 18 psi for the Madigan with a heavy 100 series at about 3500 Kg.

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Reply By: Ozrover - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 16:56

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 16:56
Cole, roof racks are an issue on the corrugated roads out there, if it's not bolted down securely then it will come loose. Also keep in mind that an alloy rack is a much harder repair in the bush compared to steel racks, I try to keep the weight off the roof rack as much as possible, but they are a necessary evil...
AnswerID: 589642

Reply By: Member - Young Nomads - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 20:41

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 20:41
At least you aren't carrying 5x20L steel Jerry cans on the rack!, full of fuel(I know that weight gets less the futher you travel)....we had a roof top tent (70kg) barbie plate, shovel, axe and lightweight tent annex...Also a side awning on the roof rack, even with our roof rack(aluminium) being designed to fit as close to the roof as possible and with solid ally roof rack, block mounts.. we were weighty enough. Having good suspension will be worth considering ..
As mentioned above slowly. the frequent rolling and rocking motion of the track will test the suspension. least you can re -arrange the things you have on your rack.
We no longer use our rooftop tent as we now enjoy the desert nomad lifestyle with our TVan...getting older too...apparently
AnswerID: 589649

Reply By: Cole - Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 21:26

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 at 21:26
Thank you all for your replies

Managed to reduce the weight by 15.5Kg.

Roof rack load 117Kg.

Roof rack 30kg

Total of 147kg roof rack & load

Before I weighed all the gear I assumed it would come in under 100kg. I was shocked at the actual load weight. Shocked .

Had a great laugh at the the rotating system. Chair ,toilet & bunk.

3 adults on board. 2 chairs on top of rear storage system. One on roof. So no need for the excellent idea of the rotating system, should help with keeping the weight down though.
One of our crew is older,hence the one stretcher bed. My partner & I use a queen air bed. Mystery solved.

To get an idea of the weights here is the list of items on rack.

1 msa roof top bag 2.1 x 1.2 m 16 kg
1 max traxs 9 kg
3 clothe bags 27 kg
2 doonas 10 kg
1 blanket 3 kg
1 strecther 8 kg
1 self inflating mattress 3.5 kg
4 poles 4kg
shoes 3.5 kg
1 toilet tent 4 kg
1 toilet seat 1.5 kg
1 chair 2.5 kg
2 picnic blankets 1 kg
2 tarps 4 kg
1 shovel 4.5 kg
1 hand saw & axe 2.5 kg
1 table 5 kg
8 sand pegs 2 kg
bungie straps .5 kg
fire wood 6 kg, burn this at first stop

TOTAL 117.5 kg
+ rack 30 kg

AnswerID: 589653

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 07:20

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 07:20
I applaud your taking weight seriously. Many folk just load their vehicle to the gills just assuming it will cope.

I did the French line eastwards in May when the Ranger said the track was as good as he'd ever seen it. It still had HD corrugations on the west faces of sand ridges and some moguls on the east sides. The best approach was to get a run up and kind of skim over the corro. Half way through the trip a new shock from a reputable maker started to clap out.

Here's some advice from the guy who's seen it all:
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 09:17

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 09:17
I am surprised at some of the weights myself like the doonas @10kg and the rooftop bag, is that 16kg empty?

You could reduce the 3.5kg for shoes by wearing thongs...........much safer in the bush as they scare the snakes away hahaha

enjoy your trip :)
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Reply By: Cole - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:43

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:43
Heading off in an hour or so.

The weight adds up. Will have to relook at what's in the vehicle before the next trip.

Yes that's 16 kg bag empty.

Thanks all


AnswerID: 589662

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:56

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:56
Regardless of the reason you need to know ..... weight is deceptive and can get out of hand realy fast.

So many of the touring 4wds are well overloaded when packed to travel not good.

Good to see you have got to weighing stuff.

But regardless of the reason ....... don't rely on perception,...weigh everything.

I went to the quack this week ..... and got the usual 3 degree about weight ...... he would not belive that as I am dressed for work, in my boots with what I carry on my belt and in my pockets ..... my clothing weighs 4Kg.

Some stuff is very much heavier than other similar stuff ..... weigh everything.

AnswerID: 589664

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