Roof rack overload!

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 16:16
ThreadID: 133199 Views:3754 Replies:12 FollowUps:11
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Gday all, heading off shortly, trip involves, Plenty Hwy, usual things around Alice Springs, Mt Dare to Birdsville, then Flinders Ranges. Driving a 150 prado, with a pioneer platform on top, with backbone mounting..
I would like to know, who out there, sneaks a few extra kilos, up on the roof rack. I know what all the recommended limits are, and am aware of the reasons. Just don't think I will be able to stay under the suggested limits... Think a lot of people wouldn't even think about it, and fill the rack up.. Honest answers please.. And yes, if you want to "lay the law down" go for it... Am all ears!..
If you know you have a load up top, and take this into consideration, with your driving, along with road or track conditions.. It's all about driving to how it suits, and the feel of it... I'm not asking permission to do it, just any thoughts, right or wrong... Thanks Guys.. Odog
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 16:50

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 16:50
Odog - There is a recommended load limit for all properly designed and engineered roof racks for a reason.
Overloading a roof rack will start panel flexing and cracking - and corrugated road surfaces will exacerbate the potential problem.

Any roof damage becomes a very expensive fix. Remember that all body panels today are high tensile steel, and therefore much thinner than they used to be.
Todays body panels are stiffer because of the high tensile steel - but this also means that they won't tolerate flexing like the older panels used to.

Then there's the stability problem. The load is imposed not only because of panel strength limitations, but also because of the height of a roof rack load, it has a large leverage effect on vehicle stability.

If you have a rollover, I can guarantee that crash investigators will examine whether the roof rack was overloaded - even if the overload played little part in the crash.

If the investigators determine that it was, this information is readily available to insurance companies, who will more than likely use it as a reason not to pay out.

Stick with the roof rack manufacturers specified limits, and you won't set yourself up for potential troubles.
Personally, I prefer to stay under the manufacturers limits - and limiting what you carry on the roof rack - particularly as regards height of items - also improves fuel economy a tad.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 16:59

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 16:59
Odog

To add to Ron’s comprehensive review, the other consideration is that if overloaded and it breaks while you are on tour it will require repairs whilst on the run.

For some that will be a simple process, with the right tools, for others it could be a calamity, particularly if you need to find somewhere else to put that gear stored on the roof rack…

Just thinking aloud here, and enjoy your trip! Baz…
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 17:16

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 17:16
ODog
Even if you think you are "driving to the limits" you may come in strife.
Friend of mine in a Prado with an OL roofrack, properly secured and all that, came to grief when he hit a bulldust filled hole at just 30km/hr. The car decelerated promptly, the roofrack went ahead and landed partly on his bonnet. How is that for 'driving to the conditions'?
And, with weight imbalance, you may have a much higher chance of coming to grief if a tyre burst even at 60km/hr.

All I's saying is if you "think" you are safer by dropping your speeds from 100 to 80 or from 60 to 40, a top heavy overloaded roofrack still has the potential of exacerbating the problems.

All of that said, if you loaded it to the limit the above may still occur, just less of a chance.
CJ
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Reply By: Hoyks - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 17:24

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 17:24
I think it was Jack Absalom that once said "A small trailer is better than a big roof rack."

I put the bulky relatively light stuff on the roof rack, my canoe bedding and roof top tent. As has been said 1000 times, the high C of G does make for significant changes in handling and on high speed dirt things can get out of shape quickly.

Consider re-assessing what you are taking. If hauling fuel on the roof, only fill the drums when you need to and transfer it to the main tank when you can. Some haul 60L of fuel 1/2 way around the country, just so they can save $20 in a remote area. Doesn't really add up in the end.
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Reply By: Member - Terry W4 - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 18:24

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 18:24
Owen
I take it you are not taking the Cub?
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 19:05

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 19:05
No Terry, not this time... Easier on the car not towing in sand, none of us are taking ct.. Maybe different in the Simpson, but that deep dry sand in SW WA, was a bit how ya going! Did it ok, but could see the temp rising... We will be in Longreach Monday week, when are you heading there?
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Follow Up By: Member - Terry W4 - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 09:05

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 09:05
Leaving Canberra 26 September - Dubbo-Lightning Ridge-Roma-Blackall-Longreach - expect to be at Longreach 2-4 October. Then driving through to the coast and coming back via coast by 23 October.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:20

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:20
Nice.. We both have to be back at work, I think the 3/4 October... 6 weeks any where, is better than being at work! ... Ha! Have a great trip.. Coffee when we get back... Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Min (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 13:57

Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 13:57
Hi Owen & Terry,
We are hanging out for a coffee. We are leaving on Friday and should be back around 10 Oct. We are off to WA via GCR, Mt Augustus, Wooleen Station then searching for wildflowers, home via Eyre Hwy.

Go safely,
Maureen & John
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 15:10

Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 15:10
hi John n Min. Sounds like a great trip. We will do a coffee late October or early November, seems everyone is off travelling this time of year.. Hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip... Enjoy.. Owen n Sue
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Reply By: noggins - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 19:54

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 19:54
I've seen the results of a ''slight bit more'' on a Patrol
I think he had beat 100 Ltrs of fuel on the rack doing the Birdsville Track.
By the time he got back onto the black top the patrol doors wouldn't shut and I think it was at least 2'' flatter in profile.


Ron
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Reply By: ian - Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 20:27

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 at 20:27
odog,
like thousands of others I overload my rack all the time in the desert and get the weight off as soon as I can. It can go wrong if you don't have a strong rack and strong suspension. Never gone wrong for me. If it does, you accept it and get on with it.
Lots of people spend most of the time worrying about things that never happen. Just have a go and have a good trip. As you said, you will take the load into account with conditions and speed.
ian
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Reply By: Tim F3 - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 08:13

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 08:13
When i owned a landrover discovery the specs for weight on roof were max 100kg on good roads and 30kg in off road conditions
(This includes the weight of the roof rack ).

Just illustrates that people need to realise how much extra strain can occur when travelling offroad.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:30

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:30
Hi Tim, my thoughts on that weight reduction for off road... Is climbing out of creeks, heading up steep fire trails, that sort of thing, maybe not so much as in dirt road type of stuff.. I know parts of where we are headed, may be similar at certain times. I think that pioneer and toyota, recommend a 60% capacity, when off road. I'm working on reducing the weight up top.. That second spare is a killer... Cheers
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 05:13

Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 05:13
Roof racks are a common failure acc to the Mt Dare people.

One RR maker advises you drop the max by 30% for offroad.
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Reply By: Old 55 - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 11:21

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 11:21
We did the Simpson a few years back with the old 80 series and I had 80 litres of extra fuel on the roof rack plus the tent etc. Filled the fuel at Oodnadatta then got rid of it at the first chance. My rack support ran the entire length of the roof on both sides and over the years never saw any sign of metal stretching or distortion. I would not put the same load on the Prado though as the roof and supports are much lighter. I polished it two days ago and you could feel the flex in the roof just with a polishing cloth.
In the prehistoric times I had a series 2 LWB Landrover and boy with some of our epic trips around the country we ran that roof rack way over limit. All the camping gear, plus the boat went on the roof, the inside was filled with food, fridge, icebox, 2 kids, outboard motor and spares for the Landy. Was never game to weigh it but would have blown GVM to the moon and never had a problem, but they built them different in those days.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 14:14

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 14:14
I can remember, way back in the mid-1980's, when the brother and I were operating in the Southern Goldfields of W.A., he came across a crash on the Coolgardie-Norseman Rd, just S of Widgiemooltha.

This bloke and his wife were driving a SWB FJ40 with a roof rack loaded to the hilt.
He blew a front tyre about 100kmh and the FJ40 flipped a couple of times, ending up way off the highway, and badly injuring his wife.

The brother came across them right after it happened, and he said it was pretty obvious the heavily-loaded roof rack had assisted greatly towards the rollover.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - nick b - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 14:26

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 14:26
Roof rack overload no such thing when it comes to Cape york adventures.....hahah
I'v never seen so much gear on to of vehicles...
Dont think there following any rules .
Cheers Nick b
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 14:42

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 14:42
I’ll throw this out there given it is Friday afternoon and we’re heading to beer o’clock…

Thinking aloud here…

I wonder if we put all the gear out that we intend to take on tour, leave it for half-an-hour and come back a beer later, reviewed and took away stuff that would be nice to have but not essential – then did the same thing again (that would be two beers later) and shifted through the gear again, discarding stuff you missed in the first round, whether there would be a need for a roof-rack!

Good weekend to all, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:45

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:45
Gday Baz, yeah, I know it was way simpler when younger too, be just an old sleeping bag on the ground, next to the fire.. Remember, over the years, quite a few mates, got to close to the fire.. Ha.. Got to try and have a few creature comforts these days.
I know what your saying though, last trip we did, didn't use have the suff we took.. But easier when you can peg it in the CT... Cheers
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 05:17

Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 05:17
+1.

Reckon you'll get a better result if you stick to water though.
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Reply By: backtracks - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 21:32

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 21:32
My comments refer to a Nissan GQ wagon. Full length old school steel rack.Weights include pack weight. Last simo trip around 200 kg, previous 4 trips around 180-220. My first outback trip in 89, I shudder to think it might have been closer to 300 !
Can't comment on relative vehicle roof strengths, but to date the roof is fine, and other than my first trip ,the car has never felt top heavy, maybe because the rest of it is packed full !
Have a good trip .
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 17:38

Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 at 17:38
Thank you all, I'm getting the weight down, might have to starve myself as well, before we leave.. Ha! The weight up top is a concern, but should get it right.. It's a work in progress job.. Thanks again. Safe travels all.. Owen n Sue
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