We're off to France on a camping holiday at the end of the week, and we'll be using a roof top box on our car for the first time. Any tips on what we should pack in it (or definitely not pack in it!!)?
Top tip... Don't do what my dh did and forget to lock it before setting off. (In his defence it was our first trip away with baby dd so a bit stressful.) Within 5 minutes we were merrily scattering changing mats, nappies and other bits down the M4!
Sorry not to be more help than that. I think our packing technique involved throwing everything in...
Other top tip... buy an MPV. No longer need roof box!
Make sure you don't exceed it's weight limit. Then pack all the stuff you don't need straight away - so for example keep enough food, clothes changes nappies etc for the journey and the tent in the car if you can fit it in, put the rest in the roof box. Pack the rigid things first and then squash all the soft stuff around them. Keep checking you can close the lid - we often get caught out packing it up and then can't close the lid because something round the far side where you can't reach is fouling the mechanism .
We pack using plastic bags rather than suitcases so we can get more in. I do one bag per child and a couple per adult and then a few extra ones - seems to work for us! Then have small overnight bags etc. in the car.
I was thinking of getting one of these for our hol later this summer (but needless to say, haven't actually done anything about it ) Can you get them for any sort of car? Ours is a Nissan Almeira, and doesn't have any of those bar things on it will I be able to have one?
Frieda I think you can get them fitted to just about anything. Our car didn't have the roof bars to begin with but we had them fitted when it was due for its annual service. We got the box from the dealership too, but you can also get them from Halfords and other places. Not particularly cheap but I reckoned it was worth it for the extra space.
Thanx other MNs for the tips. Will certainly aim for squishy bags and non-essentials up top as far as poss.
babydriver, we put the tent in ours so that it is easily accessible when we get to the site and we don't have to worry about getting anything else out until the tent is up - useful when its raining. The rest of the space we pack with pillows, duvets etc.
Freida, you can definately get bars to go on a gutterless car because we have a Toyota Avensis which is gutterless and we got bars for it. They're quite easy to fit too. We got both our bars and roof box from roofbox.co.uk as well.
Just checked in after being away & wanted to say thanks to Janh (re: sliders in the sides of the roof I'm not sure. It seems to have black rubbery strips running down each side, so maybe they are what you mean. Can't check til dh comes back with the car tomorrow), amynixmum and throckenholt as well as babydriver for advice about the top box. Most useful. Will now check out roofbox.co.uk.
HMB - it had better not be raining when we reach our campsite, or I'll ask for my money back. We've made a point of booking a site 500 miles further south than last year because we spent 90% of our holiday sheltering from the constant drizzle!