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Do you use a roof box?

(15 Posts)
fadingfast Wed 08-Jul-15 18:51:09

We have decided to take the plunge, as our volume of camping gear is now bigger than our car boot (Octavia estate).

We are a bit overwhelmed by the choice and undecided what brand (thinking of a Kamei or Hapro) or what size to get. I really don't want to get a giant one (and I don't think we need it) but I'm wondering if one around 300-350 litres will be big enough or if we will regret not getting a bigger one.

Any suggestions? We were a bit shocked by the cost, when the bars and fittings are factored in. I'd prefer not to spend more than around £300.

The sheer tedium of looking at them online has nearly driven me mad, so any words if wisdom would be most welcome.

FrozenAteMyDaughter Wed 08-Jul-15 20:07:05

We couldn't manage without our roofbox. We got an Exodus 470 litre one from Halfords several years ago when we had a smaller car. We now have a Zafira and if I was buying now I would get a 580 litre I think. However, the 470 is pretty big really. It is £250-ish but they sometimes have sales on and it is worth waiting for one if you can. That is without the bars etc, of course.

We are very pleased with ours - it has lasted well.

One thing I would say is don't get the cheap rectangular bars if you can afford the aerodynamic ones. Our cheap ones make a weird vibrating noise at high speed if you keep the bars on without the roof box and it is very annoying (solvable by taking the bars off the car of course).

Bearsinmotion Wed 08-Jul-15 20:14:44

Ours is Thule and I love it! We have 2 small DC and i use a wheelchair so it lives on my car permanently after we realised we were using it every other month (and had nowhere to store it!). One thing to be aware of - the roof bars are specific to the make and model of the car, so in the 5 years we've had ours, we have changed cars twice, and had to fork out ~£100 each time for new roof bars.

droogie Wed 08-Jul-15 21:02:08

Can you borrow one? We bought bars and used a friends for a couple of years in exchange for beer and wine until we both booked to go away on the same weekend.

They had the Exodus then we got the Karrite Odyssey 470. It's the same size as the Exodus (so we knew everything would fit!) but sturdier and cheaper (Karrite is Thule's budget range).

Blooming ugly sticker on the side though!!

lavendersun Wed 08-Jul-15 21:38:55

We have a long Thule one - probably just over half of the width of the car. I would buy the best you can afford as they last forever. Ours is now 15 years old, lives in the garden under a tarp (sunlight is damaging to the plastic or whatever fancy stuff it is long term during camping season and in a barn in the winter.

Painful if you have got to buy everything together - it all adds up!

RhubarbCrumbled Thu 09-Jul-15 14:12:15

We've inherited my dad's old Thule roofbox and it's brilliant - still going strong after 30 years so it's worth buying a decent one. There are usually quite a few on ebay too.

With regards roof bars, we have a set for a each car of Halfords own brand. They're really sturdy and seem like they'll last as long as we keep the cars.

PosterEh Thu 09-Jul-15 14:15:20

We have a Thule roof box and bars. DH gets a new company car every two years and we can use the same bars but have to buy new footpacks to hold them on the car. This costs about £30 a time I think.

Honeymoonmummy Thu 09-Jul-15 20:23:03

We have a Thule - we bought the bars from halfords and the box second hand on eBay, it's still going strong 5 yrs later, we couldn't go camping without it now!

twattock Thu 09-Jul-15 21:01:33

We got ours from (i think) off the Net. Drastically cheaper than anywhere else. Good for bike racks too.

MissWimpyDimple Fri 10-Jul-15 17:18:59

We have a Handirack and Handiholdall. It's great!
A lot less to store

Wiggletastic Fri 10-Jul-15 19:52:48

We have a Thule, not sure what size but covers about 3/4 of our Citreon Picasso roof. It is excellent and we can get loads in it, all the funny shaped stuff that doesn't fit well in the boot - gazebo, wellies, washing up basin, buckets and spades etc. Its good for days out to the beach too as you can put wet/dirty stuff in it rather than the boot and then just wipe it down when you get home. We must have the non-aerodynamic rails though as it does make a weird whistling noise when driving at speed.

2fedup Fri 10-Jul-15 20:00:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sobek Sat 11-Jul-15 09:55:21

We've had a large Halfords one for years now and we couldn't cope without it. One of the best purchases we've ever made! Think it's a 420 or 470. Would like a 580 now. Suggest you buy the biggest one you can afford. They're often available at great prices on ebay and Friday-ad.

poocatcherchampion Sat 11-Jul-15 17:42:33

We bought the biggest one at go outdoors and rails from was perfect.

fadingfast Mon 13-Jul-15 21:41:49

Thanks for all the advice. We ordered a Kamei from It arrived 2 days later! We went for the more expensive aluminium aerodynamic bars, so compromised on a smaller but hardwearing box (340l). It looks huge but I'm sure we'll have no trouble filling it! We've managed up until now with no box at all (and we have LOTS of camping gear), so I think it will be big enough.

Happy summer camping everyone smile

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