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Storage Solutions For Your Gear
(Inside And Outside)
Sometimes the vehicle glovebox is not big enough to put your tissues, CD’s, maps and sunglasses. The addition of a UHF/HF radio can pose a problem if it will not fit in the existing dashboard of the vehicle so you look for other solutions. Most vehicles today come with side door pockets, centre console and cup holders but it never seems enough.
There are a range of solutions available such as dash pods, overhead roof consoles, larger door pockets, spare wheel storage packs as well as seat and cargo barrier tidy’s.
There are various designs of roof consoles such as the full fascia across windscreen console, wide style centre roof console and designs that will not limit head room. These roof consoles provide storage for radios, UHF radios, maps and sun glasses.
Two brand names are RoNo Roof Consoles and Outback Roof Consoles.
When installing a roof console be careful it doesn’t impede your rear vision mirror or sun visors or your vision from the driver’s seat.
Apart from general carry-on items, permanent dashboard pods are often added for gauges, switches and to house a UHF or HF radio.
Door pockets can accommodate can holders, speaker systems and a pocket for the larger travel books and maps.
Cargo Barrier Organisers attach to a cargo barrier if one is installed. Pockets of the organiser can hold spray cans of say WD40, sun screen and other gear.
Seat organisers strap on behind the front seats and have an array of pockets for storage of CD’s, drink bottles, maps, books and toys. If you have children this seat organiser is a must for easy access to all their gear such as drink bottles, colouring in books and pencils.
Spare wheel sacks or bags are a bin like sack that attach to a spare wheel on the back of vehicles like 4WD’s and SUV’s.
For those who travel off-road it is important to protect the environment and take your rubbish back with you so one of these rear wheel rubbish sacks is a must. These sacks can also be used to store your recovery gear, wet clothing and fishing gear keeping them out of the interior of your vehicle.
Look for those dirty gear bags with a heavy duty harness system and made from heavy duty material with a reinforced base.
Some brand names or suppliers of rear wheel rubbish sacks are MSA 4 x 4 Products (previously Michelle Sacs), Rucksacker and Infront Camping Gear.
There are a wide range of roof-racks available to suit all vehicles and are designed to fit vehicles with the traditional rain gutters or permanently mounted to the roof. Mostly the choice of roof-rack construction will be between aluminium or steel with aluminium being the lighter of the two. Some roof-rack storage systems have longitudinal tracks bolted to the roof of the vehicle that allow the cross bars to move along the length of the track, separate single bars and others come in a complete unit. Roof baskets can be bolted to the roof-rack cross bars.
When choosing roof-racks for your vehicle look for full length rails that spread the load across the length and width of the vehicle. Look for aerodynamic cross bars as this will minimise drag and reduce wind noise. Check the vehicle roof load rating as well as the load rating of the roof-racks themselves to make sure you do not exceed their capacity.
Vehicle manufacturers usually specify the maximum safe roof load for the vehicle in the owner’s handbook and roof rack manufacturers also provide the load rating for their roof rack on the packaging. Another thing to consider is that any load carried on the roof is considered to be part of the ‘gross vehicle mass’ of the vehicle and this must not be exceeded.
It is preferable to pack lighter weight gear on top as storage on top of the vehicle adds to the height and alters the centre of gravity. Check if the vehicle with the roof-rack or roof basket attached will fit in your garage or under your carport. Measure the height of your vehicle with all your gear on top and write it down on a piece of paper and stick it to the dashboard so you will know if you will fit when going into shopping centre car parks, under low bridges etc.
You may want to keep the rain and dust off the gear stored on your roof-rack so a roof rack storage system such as a canvas storage bag or roof pod/roof storage box may be just the thing you are looking for.
Some brand names for roof-racks and roof storage canvas bags and boxes are Infront Camping Gear, Thule Roof Racks, Prorack Roof Racks, Rhino Roof Racks, MSA Products and Bushranger 4WD Gear.
Distributors of vehicle interior storage systems are Department of the Interior, Michelle’s Sacs now called MSA Products, Automotive Interiors & Accessories Inc, Infront Camping Gear, ARB and other vehicle accessory and 4WD stores.