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Van roof top storage ??

Discussion in 'Van Dwelling / Rubber Tramping' started by anyiki, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. anyiki

    anyiki Just signed up

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    Seeking advice about the best roof top storage options for van livin ! (ford e150 early 2000s)
    looking for something or a system to store bulkier tool and equipment type stuff in a waterproof / secure / somewhat aerodynamic / relatively easily accessible thingy to attach to a roof rack or other options,
    anyone have systems or units they love, things to avoid at all costs ? thanks !
     
  2. Carlvanguyrios

    Carlvanguyrios Appreciated Participator

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    The black thing on my roof is a thule rocket box. It holds a crap ton of stuff. It's also easy to remove if you have to. I highly recommend.
     

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  3. creature

    creature Completely Addicted
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    good question.
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    well.. you guys have seen my crap..since you have the workshop, i'd recommend building your own.
    anything you buy will:
    1) not be as space efficient as a simple rectangular box
    2) over designed for aerodynamic performance
    3) made of less durable materials

    a simple box with a simple fairing will not only be plenty sufficient, but far easier to get in & out of, & far more customizable..

    most rooftop cargo boxes have only a hinged lid, so getting shit out is a bitch.
    if you have time & resources make your own, side it up with HDPE or vinyl/aluminium siding, and customize your access & storage.
    put all the shit you use least up top.. jumper cables, spare battery (perhaps), clothes for other climates (no point having inulated boots downside in the desert, or shorts in the high mountains).
    mementos & whatnots can go up there, too, as well as spare water, your air compressor, full journals, unused art supplies, a bit of emergency food, spare gas, odd tools & odd parts.

    generaly speaking, when you van/vehicle dwell, you don't carry much that isn't essential or of immediate use at any given moment, so stowage is critical to avoid that crawling up on top of your rig moree than needed.
    in any case, you WILL be, so
    a ladder directly accessable to a side hatch, or a hatch directly reachable from your existing ladder is critical.
    your rig is big enough that you probably don't need to worry about being too top-heavy, but it's a consideration that has to be in you mind.. also, the extra side surface area in wind will have some effect on handling.
    you can get a lot of room up there..
    it may be quite possible, if you find one or two of them cheap/free to utilize a truck topper or two.
    i know from experience that putting one of those fuckers on top of a van is def a two person job.
    if you're creative, i think you could make them look more in place than just held on with ratcheting tiedowns : )

    BTW.. make sure you have a 6 pack of those fuckers to at least start with..
    the remainders go up top, too..
    on your rig oppers will need a bottom put in place, since you can't seal them directly to the roof..

    anyways.. at the MacDonald Pass vista in Helena NF, MO..
    snow & mist & sunlight

    & thinking of you guys..

    c

    tmp_27963-IMG_20171005_1120281954783308.
     
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    #3 creature, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  4. MamaSow

    MamaSow Hungry for Knowledge
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    The waterproof rooftop box has changed the minivan into a palace. Space inside for living is priceless. I have winter clothes, bedding, some extra food (lightweight), etc in mine. I don't have to access it daily which is a plus for me. It's kinda my long term storage for light weight items.

    The minivan has a trailer hitch too. I got a basket thingy for the back and put a waterproof "booty bag" in the basket. When I need to haul more stuff around, which I sometimes do, the booty bag is my overflow overflow storage hauling place.
     
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  5. Matt Derrick

    Matt Derrick StP Founder, Admin, and travel addict
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    We bought this rooftop cargo carrier to put on the roof of my girlfriend's car and it completely changed how we lived in that vehicle. Also, it's only 50 bucks! It did great driving all over the country and even if you don't have roof racks it can be Jerry rigged with a few cheap straps:

     
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  6. Wild Ty Laserbeam

    Wild Ty Laserbeam One of the Regulars

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    I tend to agree about the inaccessibility if the plastic clamshell premade ones. Hah one on my van and found it to be a big Hassel to get things out of. If you can make your own it seems like a good idea to me. Don't get me wrong it was better than nothing but I think it's wierd to have to open it from the middle. Stuff falls out sometimes.
     
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  7. creature

    creature Completely Addicted
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    good question.
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    yeah.. def a point!

    the basket / hitch cargo carriers can add quite a bit of space..
    you need a hitch receiver on your van, although maybe there's something that can be bolted on, if you have a bumper hole ?

    these things tend to obstruct the rear doors, and you should secure the outer corners with a tiedown from each to the rear door hinge, to improve lateral stability, otherwise they seem uncomfortably twisty, to me..

    but def a great point..

    if you don't use the back doors, put a box on the thing, or a waterproof bag, as per mama, & you'll have east access additional storage.
     
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