Tailgates, Cargo Barriers and Canopies

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 12:13
ThreadID: 23847 Views:3176 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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I doubt that I’m the first one to come across this but I expect it might be of interest to others. When we got home last night I couldn’t unlock the tailgate to start the big unpack process. At first I thought the lock was damaged but after a few minutes I worked it out. The GXL LC100 has a button inside the liftup tailgate door to lock/unlock the door (so that if there are passengers in the dickie seats they can operate the lock). When unlocked the button pops out. I had some gear which moved a little during a trip yesterday and lodged itself against the lock. Hence neither the key nor the central locking were able to unlock the door. With a cargo barrier this became more of a problem, but luckily I was able to get my arm around the cargo barrier enough to push the luggage away from the lock. This could be more tricky with a bigger or heavier load in the back and perhaps serious if trying to access a first aid kit, HF radio or anything you needed to get to in a hurry, especially in a remote location. I’ve seen a similar problem with the latches on a canopy tailgate on a dual cab ute when the load had moved against the latch mechanism, so the problem isn’t necessarily just for 100 series Landcruisers with cargo barriers. It’s something to be aware of, and which can be avoided with the right preparation. In my case, I might put some sort of protective bracket over the lock to prevent this happening
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Reply By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 13:05

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 13:05
Dead right- in another situation, say you back into a hole and the tailgate is hard up against a wall, or tree or something- Always have a 2nd method of getting in.
AnswerID: 115702

Follow Up By: Member - Bernard - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 14:12

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 14:12
BenSpoon -- Your point is a good one.

I have a cargo barrier behind second row of seats, so ... if I ever end up with the tailgate/door backed into a hole or up against a rock, tree or whatever, I have a real potential problem.

Because the barrier is positioned past the rear doors, unless I break a side window there's no way to get into the back to get hold of necessary recovery gear!!

And that's provided I'm not carrying it in a drawer unit which would make the problem even worse. It would be a case of ... Can't open tailgate/door, so can't open drawer unit.

Has anyone any bright words of wisdom to help find a solution to this problem??

FollowupID: 371314

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 14:27

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 14:27
I bypassed the cargo barrier all together- I have draws for loose stuff, and bigger stuff ontop in boxes or ratchet strapped to the top of the drawers.

For the drawers, depending on what you have, you may suffice with just a screwdriver. I have outback drawers and I can unscrew the ply panels that sit ontop of the drawers to get inside them. A phillips tip#3 in the glovebox solves that. I have only come across the situation once, but all during that hour I needed to get my snatch strap from the drawers, I was comforted by the fact I didnt have a cargo barrier.

I understand barriers are bolted from behind the barrier- is it possible to get a hand far back enough to open a side window, undo the top bolts for the barrier and go from there?
FollowupID: 371317

Follow Up By: Utemad - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:34

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:34
A 100 series in our club had become stuck in a gully once with its rear doors hard up against the wall. Couldn't open his back door to get his recovery gear and it was in his drawers anyway. He also has a cargo barrier. Luckily there were plenty of other vehicles with equipment on hand.

My brother has a 45 series troopy and I have lost count of the times we have had to climb over the back seats to remove gear that has become wedged under the rear barn door lock.

FollowupID: 371328

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:48

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:48
I know what you mean about the 45 series.... I had false floors and a mattress on top in mine- all up the perfect height for jamming the back door lever locked. I found the windows were just far away enough so that you could almost reach the obstruction through the window, but had no chance of moving it.

FollowupID: 371329

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:01

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:01
My storage box allows me access to my recovery gear and first aid/tools by folding the rear passenger seats forward and lifting the flap. That way I don't need to access the rear of the vehicle at all. In fact you don't even have to leave the car, so in the case where you were trapped in the vehicle after an accident, you'd have access to tools and first aid. It also stops you having to reach all the way forward while the tail gates down to try an access stuff in the back, and it doubles as a half height cargo barrier type thing, but you can crawl over the top of it if the back door were to jammed.
FollowupID: 371331

Reply By: traveller2 - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:10

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:10
And the other scenario that actually happened to friends of mine, their 80 series turned completely upside down very slowly into an erosion gully in a remote area when the ground gave way. They were travelling by themselves at the time.
They had a full length roofrack which peeled the gutters off and forced the legs down (or up in this situation) over the upper doors preventing them opening the side doors. The windscreen and bonnet were hard up against the ground, the only exit was through the rear doors which were behind the cargo barrier and now had all the cargo against them. Took them about 4 hours to undo the cargo barrier from the front and force it aside enough (it was jammed against the roof and floor due to the turret partially collapsing) to get into the luggage compartment, move enough of the gear aside to get to the rear doors and then force them open past soil on the outside. Another 2 days to get the vehicle back on its wheels with the use of a tirfor and another 2 days to limp out to civilisation.
The first thing they did once they were out of the vehicle was to remove the batteries and place them the right way up, add water and connect them to a solar panel to keep them charged to get the vehicle started when the time came. Then set up camp, have a good nights sleep before starting the recovery. A marathon effort for two over 60's.
The main error to place them in the predicament was to travel away from the group they were with by themselves over a track they had negotiated in 2wd quite a few times. Only a days drive from town too.
AnswerID: 115719

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:58

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:58
When I was yonger we lived up in Marble Bar and my mum rolled our 1983 Jackaeroo at about 80km/hr on the MarbleBar to Headland "highway" (a dirt road that had more bulldust than gravel). It had a Large Heavy Eskey, a Ply Tucker Box and tools etc in the back. The gutters on the roof bent over the tops of the doors, preventing us from being able to open them. Luckily for us the back windows in the cargo area had smashed in the accident and we used the esky to climb up and out of the vehicle (it was resting on it's side).
FollowupID: 371330

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:52

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 15:52
I had an argument about this on this forum a while back when everyone INSISTED that a cargo barrier was the ONLY way to secure a fire extinguisher. I mentioned this problem with the 100 sereies and also with the surf (which has a very similar system). The surf however is a little more well thought out with the lock as when it's up it is still flush with the top of the tail gate, preventing most of those problems, however they didn't think to well about the handle. The only way to open the tail gate is to wind the electric window down, reach inside and pull the handle. If the fridge, boxes etc ram up against this handle, you can't pull it open even if the the lock is open! Furthermore, if the windows screws up (pretty likley being it an electric window in a 4wd) then you can't wind the window down in the first place. Having a cargo barrier in any of these instances would cause you MAJOR dramas. Especially as dry food, fridge and water tap are all in the back store area of the vehicle.
AnswerID: 115727

Reply By: Member - Bernard - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:37

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:37
BenSpoon, Utemad and Traveller2 --

Gosh! You guys frightened the hell out of me with your comments about cargo barriers and the problems they can cause. Having stirred up the thoughts about the possible problems, I know that Murphy's Law will ensure the it happens on the next trip.

So, although in a state of blue-funk I delayed replying until I went out to the fourby (NM Pajero with full, single rear door), climbed inside, had a good look at everything and then experimented. For this purpose I pretended that back door and driver's side of vehicle was hard up against rock faces.

From the back seat I was able to get my arm past the barrier and open the rear side window. Useless for entry as it is designed as a vent/airflow windo and only hinges open about 5cm. However, a good "wack" on the clip mechanism would spring it off and allow the window to be opened much wider. This would allow some small stuff to be pulled out.

More encouraging was the cargo barrier itself. The way the top bolts are positioned, I had no trouble getting to them with a spanner and undoing both bolts. Likewise for the bottom bolts into the floor ... a much tighter fit, but achievable.

But, even though the top bolts are easily accessible, there is a real possibility of dropping the spanner on the wrong side of the barrier and not being able to reach it. So, two thoughts occured to me (sometimes, despite what SWMBO says, I do get a bright idea or two), fist is to attach the spanner to the barrier by a cord or small chain; the second was to replace nut with a wing nut, thus removing necessity for a spanner.

Now I'm only left with what to do about drawer unit. Haven't bought or made one yet ... but plan to do so. More I think about it, the more I'm inclined to make my own with some form of "release" to open or remove top if access is blocked because rear door can't be opened.

If I'm successful in putting any "bright ideas" into reality I'll post the results. In the meantime I'll think about what to do and have a tinny or two to help me think more easily and creatively.

But, many thanks you all for your thoughts ../ and stirring me into action.


AnswerID: 115732

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 17:04

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 17:04
A wingnut.... brilliant in its simplicity.

with the drawers, on my last bus I had custom made ones that used ply panels ontop or the drawers with sliding bolt locks on the panels that lock in when the panels are down. There was a piano hinge running down the middle of the Left and right sides, so only half the drawer cover had to be lifted off the drawers at once, meaning I could leave my fridge and heavy stuff on one side and still access the other side. If you cover the panels with marine carpet and just trim it around the lock, they sit flush with the top of the carpet- quick release and no protruding metal edges.

The panels, once removed, also doubled as a table, ground cover, sandboard, a hard surface to drive on in boggy sand, windbreak for the stove.....
FollowupID: 371339

Follow Up By: Member - Bernard - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 17:29

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 17:29
BenSpoon, you're a genius ...

... but don't tell everyone I said so. You've just sent my thoughts off on a totally different tangent.

In the Pajero the third row of seats fold flush into the floor and have a cover which keeps the area level. So, when you remove the seats (a simple two minute task) you have this amazingly handy underfloor storage area of around 90 litre capacity.

Obviously it would be stupid to lose this area ... as would (and does) happen with some of the standard drawer units. However, provided this area was used for storing stuff only used infrequently, it would be possible to design a unit still giving access to this area when needed.

But -- by working on a variation of your suggestion it would be possible to solve the previous problems and still keep this (seldom accessed) storage area.

Thanks again ... now I'll need another tinny or two while I find a new sheet of paper.


FollowupID: 371343

Reply By: Longreach - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 20:05

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 20:05
After reading all the replies I've been out to have another look in my LC100 and my cargo barrier has room in the mesh to get a spanner to the bolts from the front of the screen. This is the nylock nuts that hold the strips of metal to the screen rather than the bolts that go into the vehicle itself. ( My Milford screen is about 3 years old) The thing is, to keep a suitable spanner in the car in front of the cargo barrier. If this were not possible, another idea I had is to keep a couple of hacksaw blades handy, perhaps taped to the front of the screen. If really desperate, these could be used to cut an access hole in the mesh.
AnswerID: 115762

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