Roof Basket / Bag / Box

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 07:43
ThreadID: 33141 Views:3862 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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Hi all,

on our recent trip to the Barringtons we unexpectedly ended up on a rather difficult 4WD track. We realised this after sliding into a hole big enough to swallow the front passenger side of the hilux. (very scary!!!). Our poor dog in the back seat got covered by a heap of food and cooking gear.

Apart from saying that hand winches might be hard work but they're more useful than power winches, we need to put some of our camping gear (tent, table, chairs, sleeping mats) up on the roof so we have more room in the ute.

What are the pros and cons for:

roof basket

roof box (like the thule ones)

roof basket and a bag (like the bushranger ones)

Thanks heaps for your help...

PS we would've taken a photo but the car was somewhat vertical and the camera way out of reach :-(
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 08:01

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 08:01
A day would not be a complete day with a bit of action right... :)

I have a full roof rack and I love it. It's strong and I can fit allot of stuff up there. I have even watch sunsets up there while sipping a beer
AnswerID: 168432

Reply By: Alan H (Narangba QLD) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 08:05

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 08:05
Be careful of the weight you put up on the roof.

If you had a lot of weight up top it might have turned your slide into a rollover.

Things like baskets make tying everthing down simple as there are lots of anchor points. Boxes are great to contain, secure items but there need to be full at all times to prevent things sliding around.

Have used a canvas bag and while it was great and kept things dry and out of the dust it got holes in it from wear points where objects moved slightly on rough roads. The advantage of a bag is that it can be squashed down to fit the load. I had some rachet straps across the top to hold the bag and contents to the rack (it also had small ties to locate it to the rack but these were not strong. I also put a sheet of ply in a floor to help it hold shape when loading and to prevent object digging holes through the floor.
AnswerID: 168435

Follow Up By: Member - mikeyandmary (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 08:33

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 08:33
The weight on the roof would be about 20kg plus the weight of the basket. Its mostly really light stuff that seems to take up a lot of space in the ute. We've got a 40L engel, draw and dual battery under the canopy so space becomes limited once the recovery gear is put in. (Sure am glad I packed it though!!!)
FollowupID: 423754

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 09:28

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 09:28
Have you thought of an arrangement inside the roof of the canopy a drop down arrangement where you can pack stuff up there thats light and still get to the stuff in the back. Sort of like a basket hinged at the front, but inside.

Mr Al's got one in his 100series
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AnswerID: 168445

Reply By: Mark T - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 11:12

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 11:12
We have a thule box (Ocean 200) that fits on the roof bars. It has internal tie down points and comes with 2 webbing straps. (Which I threw out last week in a clean up 'cause I couldn't remember what they were for!!)

We stack our stuff into a large canvas bag (custom made) and then tie this down inside the Thule. It is really amazing device.. you wouldn't know its there most of the time. Is very waterproof and almost completely dust tight. (98%).

However, always remember that weight overhead certainly shifts your centre of gravity and also when off road most manufacturers advise halving max roof weight.

Good luck in your decision.


AnswerID: 168449

Reply By: sam_84h - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 11:41

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 11:41
Adding to the vehicle's hieght doesn't do your fuel economy any favors. There's a almost a 2L/100km saving by not having the rack (ARB with canvas Bag) on our Prado. You have to be careful as to which trees you choose to drive under, the branches can rip the canvas.

I'd be going onto the roof as a very last choice.
AnswerID: 168450

Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 12:03

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 12:03
I'd agree with Bonz and Sam. Roof storage would be my last resort. With the Extra Cab I've probably got an extra 300-400mm space compared to a dualcab but had no problem packing everything in for a three week trip.

AnswerID: 168451

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 13:25

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 13:25
Now dont you be doing that! First you know stuff and talk authoritively then you agree with me what next? You'll be moving to the cleaner climes of Vic?
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 14:31

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 14:31
hahaha What! Move closer to Truckster and Rock Crawler, you've got to be kidding. How could I enjoy my bottled water and lattes LOLOL

FollowupID: 423787

Reply By: Laura B - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 19:01

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 19:01
We have an ARB roofrack.

Ours is the size of the whole roof so we can get a lot in it.

PRO'S : No need to get a camper trailer cos our tent goes on top along with the swags etc. , the spare tyre goes in it so we dont need to spend big bux on a rear wheel carrier (we bought the 80 with it on it) ,

CON'S : Its a hard job getting the tent on and off the roof but Nathan does it easy now after a few trail runs! Not sure about the fuel economy because we have always had it on...before we got the lift done when the 4b was all packed up it would be nose diving into the air!! but now its all good....

We also have a Bushranger rack sack and its also brilliant!! Except that we needed to seal it with some high potent sealer which brought on massive headaches!!LOL!! Its gone through every type of weather possible from dust storms and 500km dirt roads to extreme rain fall and there have been no leaks....even when the folded table put a small rip in the base......!!!

we have the biggest one which was about $200 from memory and it fits in the roof rack with the tent,dbl swag,single swag.porta cot,folded table etc with a bit more room for smaller things like chairs and tarps if we need to....when its all in the spare tyre fits on the roofrack too - perfect fit!!!!

I would go one for the dogs sake if he goes with you lots...for safety reasons....Just remember what goes in them must come down at some stage and if you have any back probs i would steer clear......

Good luck,I hope this has helped!!!!

Laura B
AnswerID: 168483

Reply By: Member - TPM (SA) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 00:28

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 00:28
Hi M and M,

If it is only the dog in the rear seat, you could remove the seat ? If so you could have a storage box built ( removable if desired ) and cover it in marine carpet.That could hold alot of equipment ( plus a water tank) and the Pooch could sit on top in comfort.
He/She would also get a good view of what is going on.

If it was removable you can re fit the seat for when at home.

No issues with wind resistance an keeps the weight low.

Good luck TPM
AnswerID: 168525

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 12:04

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 12:04

On our trip to the Corner Country, two other vehicles (a Jackaroo and a Rodeo) both had "Roof Rack/Baskets" on their vehicles.

I was quiet impressed what you can carry up top.

As one who has generally towed a trailer or camper, I observed what the others carried, where they carried it and how they carried it.

Our friends had no trouble in distributing their gear so that heavy objects were generally stowed below, in the vehicle whilst lighter but bulkier objects were put up top.

They one exception in both cases was a jerry can of fuel, each of which was secured in the roof basket. The small gas bottles (2 kg I think) were also put on top.

The Rodeo also had an underbody water tank which saved room inside the Cab area.

I am convinced that travelling light and putting bulkier items such as tents and swags on the roof rack, and including a "sack" to cover/seal everything, there should be no problem at all if travelling and camping in this fashion, especially if you are with other travellers, where some load can be distributed.

On this trip, I carried 4 jerry cans of fuel and sixty litres of water in the trailer, as well as the tinnie and outboard, etc. so as a group we had sufficient reserves for any emergency.

Just takes a little extra planning and Roof Rack storage is a safe and viable option.

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AnswerID: 168570

Reply By: Member - Prickle (SA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 22:03

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 22:03
M & M,
We had a Lux duel cab until '04, could fit heaps in it, more than i the 100s.

60l water tank against cab, built this in, stacked crates on top of this, 39l Engle on slide to right other box on left and packed stuff on top of this.

Had a long range tank, no second spare though.

Did simpson trip, 16 days and did not have a problem.

100s - have had to really re think things, have roof rack, sack etc, recovery gear and spare on rack.
Back seat up, room for grates and 60 L water, bit different, but we'll get there.

The lux only had about 75kg roof load but 100s = 200kg, not that I would load it up, only light stuff up there.


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AnswerID: 168795

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 06:51

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 06:51

yep, basket and bag for mine. Just come back from another trip (Goulburn River NP) with the Wife and four kids. We have a large basket with the large rack sack. It gets the porta cot, five sleeping bags, aircraft case for the Wife and kids' clothes, thunderbox bucket, firewood, folding high chair, axe, spade and an open rectangular crate to carry any misc items. Keeping on the slower back roads (as I prefer) also enabled the fuel economy to be a pleasing 12.7L/100km (550km for 70L) with tyres at around 35 psi front and back (Cooper ST 265/75/16.) Higher speed roads increase the parachute effect.

Access is no probs esp if you use the tyres to stand on. Also need to make checking the securing points part of your routine but it all holds very well on corrugations or wonky low range work. The point made about the mesh providing multiple anchor points is indeed a good one.

AnswerID: 168822

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