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Roof top boxes - tips for packing??

(14 Posts)
babydriver Tue 14-Jun-05 15:52:05

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!!)?

spykid Tue 14-Jun-05 15:55:51

We always put our cases in ours, then the soft bags and loose bits in the boot

Ellbell Tue 14-Jun-05 20:02:00

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!

throckenholt Tue 14-Jun-05 20:09:13

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 .

Have a good holiday.

Min Wed 15-Jun-05 10:33:05

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.

Frieda Wed 15-Jun-05 10:56:21

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?

babydriver Wed 15-Jun-05 17:42:12

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.

Janh Wed 15-Jun-05 17:56:37

Put the lightest things in the roofbox, bd, the heaviest in the boot.

Frieda, does your car have those sliders at the sides of the roof, with ridgy things inside when you open them?

happymerryberries Wed 15-Jun-05 17:58:33

Put whatever is in the roof top box in a bag incase it is raining when you unpack!

Janh Wed 15-Jun-05 18:00:12

Oh, and Frieda, make sure you get one with a lid that stays open while you put things in and out - the cheaper ones don't and it's infuriating.

turnupthebass Wed 15-Jun-05 18:03:27

We put all the bedding and pillows and towels in when we were camping. Bought the bars and box separately - box off ebay at bargain price (from a trader though).

Good advice on checking it will close - been there a few times!!

My only dislike of them is not being able to have the sunroof open without risking everyone's ears bursting!!

There are various bars at Halfords that fit different cars - not too dear either.

throckenholt Thu 16-Jun-05 18:30:34

have a look at - very informative site - we got ours from there.

amynnixmum Thu 16-Jun-05 19:12:38

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 as well.

Frieda Thu 16-Jun-05 22:51:18

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

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!

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