Roof Racks and Spare Tyres

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2553 Views:2326 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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Can anyone give me a realality check on the value of roof racks and spare tyres. Also the family is heading to the Kimberleys next year and the subject has come up on the number of spare bits and pieces to take and tyres are on the top of the list. The problem that has arisen is where to put more than one tyre apart from on a roof rack. We are taking a camping trailer and does it need more than one spare ???

Any info would be appreciated

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Reply By: Cashy - Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00

If the camper trailer runs thesame size tyres and rims as your car then you will have the spare form the trailer and in emergency the two on the trailer. If the tyres and rims aren't the same then I wouldn't even think of leaving home without a second spare for the car. Depending on your vehicle you have the option of fitting a replacement rear bar with a twin tyre carrier. The general rule that most well prepared people follow is the trailer runs the same tryes and rims as the car and they carrry three spares, two for the car and one for the trailer. In the worst case then you have five spares for the car and go back and colect the trailer.

AnswerID: 9427

Reply By: Member - Richard- Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00
I have been researching roof racks and I have come to the conclusion Rhinorack is one of the best for my 4WD (Frontera). Their web site is The Frontera has roof rails fitted as standard but the standard cross bars are not really designed for the high loading that bush bashing will give. So it is necessary to also buy Rhino roof bars to clamp to the rails to bolt the rack too. I consider the alluminium rack (not the basket type) is the most suitable. The basket ones I do not think will stand up to bush bashing considering that they are dependant upon the welds of the mesh on a couple of the bars to hold them in place.

I priced buying a spare wheel fitted with a tyre and even if I buy the standard steel rim, (my Frontera has alloy wheels), I am looking at about $700 a wheel with tyre fitted. I think it will be cheaper to buy a beadbreaker (R and R (08) 8369 0060 seemsa to be a good system) and carry a spare tyre and tubes and repair kit with me. Mind you that will still caost about $500. You might consider that if you carry an extra spare wheel you may still have to carry tyre repair equipmwnt for the time you puncture both spares.

Look, I am a novice at all this stuff and do not intend to tackle the real trip until 2004 but thats above is what I think at present.
AnswerID: 9429

Follow Up By: Tuco69 - Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00
Richard, we are in the process of having a camper trailer built. We have a Toyota Surf with factory alloys and wanted the same wheels and tyres on the camper. To our horror we found that new alloys were available from Toyota at $1,100 EACH!
However a search through the trading post and enquiry at a few tyre shops led us to a traded in set of 5 for $450 ($90 each)- which we bought.
So now with 3 on the camper we also have an extra 2 spares - should we damage any.

FollowupID: 4805

Reply By: Eric - Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00
THe usual debate is wether to take a trailer or a roof rack both are a problem in the kimberly because of the bad roads, the idea of taking both is scarry. If you must take a trailer fit it with the same hubs as your 4x4 and the same ofset wheels and good tyres with a spare mounted on the draw bar of the trailer, the springs on the trailer will break if they are the usual cheap short springs fitted to domestic trailers so get springs from a car with proper shackles and shock absorbers. plan to leave/ dump the trailer at some stage as the fialure rate is high. good luck. Eric.
AnswerID: 9436

Reply By: OziExplorer - Monday, Dec 09, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 09, 2002 at 01:00
I have only ever had one spare of each and never been caught short. I have always had a set of tyre levers, spare tube and repair kit. Only ever had to use it once. I always replace tyres before others do, and put my lack of tyre problems down to that. When I saw some of the rubbish people were travelling on and the problems they were having, always ensured I never let my tyres get to badly warn. Another issue was people who had inappropriate tyres fitted for the job they were demanding of them. Overloading tyres appeared to always be a major issue. On trailers they would have 4 ply tyres that were underrated for the job when they really needed 6 or 8 ply tyres.
As for other spare bits, never took much at all, as things like radiator hoses, fan belts etc. etc. are always replaced on planned maintenance. Always remove the alternator, starter motor, idler pulley and air-conditioning clutch and replace the bearings and bushes and generally service them at 100,000k's. With the cost of alternators and starter motors today, I think this is more important than ever. Not un-common for some starters and alternators to be between $600 and $1,200 - NON-genuine. If you have a vehicle that the alternator or starter is genuine only, getting them serviced before failure is imperative to the well being of your wallet. Always had a good set of tools on board, and some gasket paper of three different types, Permatex, epoxy glue, the dreaded Silastic, some wire, insulation tape, terminals, spare bulbs, few nuts and bolts.
AnswerID: 9442

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Monday, Dec 09, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 09, 2002 at 01:00
Don't forget how much extra fuel roof racks can use. Only ever used a roof rack once. I really did not like the extra weight up there. The increased sway at times, was definitely not what you would call safe feeling.
FollowupID: 4812

Reply By: Member - Chris - Monday, Dec 09, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 09, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Peter,
I have always carried two spares for the troopy, one outside and two inside when over in the Kimberly. My camper now has the same tyres as the truck, and now carries one of the spares. Fortunately I have the room to put spares into the vehicle without roof racks, but would not put something heavy up there - lots of potential for damage to you, never mind the centre of gravity change. I wouldn't go anywhere in that part of the north without two spares though. I've seen a few vehicles down to their last on the GRR; one in particular had gone thru 3 spares and was repairing the latest puncture when I pulled up. The Gregory NP is somewhat remote to get stuck without an extra spare as well.El Questro does a fine job repairing them while you're at the bar though.

AnswerID: 9457

Reply By: royce - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00
Roof racks = heaps of air resistance = lots more fuel and lower speed possible. VERY hard to lift a wheel up that high too!.
AnswerID: 9576

Follow Up By: Truckster - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00
Thats always bothered me too

Lifting the wheel and tire onto the roof in 45 degree heat after driving for 4 hours, having to unload roofrack to get new wheel, then unloading car to get to the jack brace etc, changing tire, and then reloading car... thats the last thing I would want to be doing in the sun...

Im thinking there are lots of dead wheels and tires just left out there?

Look at Opposite lock rear bars, and Kaymar dual wheel carrying . lots of $ I think, but then I think once having had to life a tire to the roof, it would pay for itself!
FollowupID: 4908

Reply By: Cam - Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Peter,
Albeit a bit late for a response I have recently complete a trip similar to what you are planning (see trek notes for the Gibb River Road for 27/7/02).
I travelled in a GU Patrol with roof rack (a Jaram Overlander - weight 30kgs & fairly areo dymanic but still adds to the fuel bill). Dont be put off by the additional fuel costs as what is the alternative - take nothing ???

As for tyres we didnt have a camper trailer but did take 3 spares (one tyre on a rim placed on the back door of the car & 2 tyres without rims on the rack. Take a pair of bead breakers, levers & patches as well as some spare tubes & dont forget a good quality air compressor. We did two tyres which probably is not a testement to the road conditions but more to the fact that the existing tyres were getting low in tread & perhaps inflated a bit to hard. As for the rimless spares by some 2nd hand ones.

Other spares we took were radiator hoses, fan belts & fuel filters good insurance as we didnt require any of it.

We travelled with our 2 sons (4 & 6 yrs) who had a ball not to mention a great experience. How many kids can claim to walking into Mitchell Falls & geting a helicopter ride out !!!!!!!
AnswerID: 9607

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Peter,

We've been towing an offroad campertrailer around for over 3 years now. Wheels and tyres are interchangable between car and trailer although with a slightly different offset. But in an emergency, they can be interchanged. On remote trips, we always carry 3 spares between car and trailer.

Got a new campertrailer arriving before Xmas, this time fitted with exactly the same wheels and tyres all round. On the trailer we wanted standard GU steel rims but at $420 each, we were prepared to go with same size white rims. But with a bit of perservence and ringing around tyre & Nissan dealers, we finally located a set of brand new "2nd hand" geniune rims for $100 each.

If yoy are buying a 3rd spare, shop around and try to get one second hand to save $, the tyre at least if not a suitable rim. Tyre dealers usually have some kicking around.

In the past, we've carried our 3rd spare on the roof rack. I know first hand it isn't easy to get up there but my husband has worked out a bit of a technique over time so we manage fine. Roofrack is an ARB universal rack, very solid good looking unit and the best part is it can be fitted to several different types of vehicle. We originally had it on our Pajero, goes on the Patrol when required. Yes, the roof rack does adversely affect fuel consumption but as we have nowhere else to put the spare that is out of the way and we are not interested in fitting extra rear carriers, this is a solution that works for us.

We're doing the GRR in 2003. Might see you up there.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 9617

Follow Up By: Peter - Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00
HI Melissa,

thanks for answering my question, but is your roof rack steel or alloy and how much change was there to your fuel consumption.

We will be in the GRR area in about june 03 how about you???


FollowupID: 4995

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Peter,

Roofrack is constructed of tubular steel so it is pretty heavy, but being an ARB product we have every faith in the quality of construction and its ability to withstand even the roughest of offroad conditions.

On the Paj, I'd estimate fuel consumption dropped from say 17L/100kms to 18L/100kms give or take a half a litre. Haven't had it on the Patrol yet but consumption is similar otherwise so probably expect the same sort of drop.

Haven't set firm dates for our GRR trip but we are aiming for as early in the season as possible, which will probably be early June for us. Planning on taking 4 to 6 weeks depending on $$$.

Email me at if you like.

Regards, Melissa
FollowupID: 4998

Reply By: Allyn - Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00
this may help you to decide. I paid $284 for a Bridgestone 7.50R16 at Drysdale Station last year (Kalumburu Rd). Totally unavoidable purchase despite greatest of planning. Don't know what they're worth normally but am tipping it's at least half that.
AnswerID: 9642

Reply By: peter - Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks everyone for the replys it has help emmensely

AnswerID: 9647

Reply By: Greg - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
Peter I have been travelling around for 30 years and have tried most options. A camper trailer is the best way providing it is a very very very well built unit if you want to tackle the badly corrugated tracks. The more difficult tracks such as the Simpson should NOT be attempted with a camper trailer although you can get one through all you do is put a lot of strain on your vehicle and yourself and wreck the track for others. When I do the rough tracks I take a rooftop camper mounted on an alloy rack with room for gerries or toolboxes on the top. The roof top fuel is used up first. I have used the same gerries for 30 years and have never split one yet. The rack is a full length gutter mounted unit and has worked well. The gutter mount runs the full length of the gutter which is important to distribute the load. I only ever carry 1 extra spare inside the vehicle if no trailer otherwise trailer wheels are interchangeable. A couple of spare tubes and tyre repair kit is important for the rougher more isolated trip. Fuel wise a roof rack uses nealy as much fuel as towing a very heavy trailer particularly with a head wind of any strength. The most important thing when travelling outback is to keep your speed down. I rarely have problems because I drive much slower than most. By doing this you won't have tyre problems and likewise cracking roofracks or gerrycans is less likely to happen.
AnswerID: 9692

Follow Up By: Peter - Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for the reply and the travel tips on speed and spares.

The roof rack you have as I understand it has a complete full length gutter support instead of the standard "legs" on each side, this is stronger????

Thanks peter
FollowupID: 5047

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