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Westy Roof-top Storage Bag Options
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photogdave
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had been using an old hockey equipment bag with a tarp over it, held in place with the earth cargo strap from GoWesty.
I got a more weather-proof looking roof bag with the new van so I may try that without the tarp this year.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: bags Reply with quote

bjrogers86auto wrote:
Has the Rola bag stayed dry? My Thule gets wet in a hard rain. It would be nice to be able to keep it dry...

Brian.


Mine stays dry. The most water I've ever had in it is a couple of drops, and that was during a hard rain while driving. I place the bag so that the zippers meet at the back of the luggage bin. And make sure the vinyl flap is Velcro'd into place all the way 'round. Buckles are plenty strong on mine.

I used to use dry bags in the bin... got to be too annoying.
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MichaelRpdx
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: bags Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
bjrogers86auto wrote:
Has the Rola bag stayed dry? My Thule gets wet in a hard rain. It would be nice to be able to keep it dry...

Brian.
I learned back in bicycle touring days to use trash bags to keep items dry inside whatever bag.. (Then recycle the trashbags for use as.. well.. trashbags.. and swap in new ones as needed)
Since trash bags are ultra flimsy and easy to poke holes through I've switched to trash compactor bags. Much thicker plastic, much less vulnerable to tiny holes that let the dry escape.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been searching for a large, waterproof-ish box/bag to fit a couple Pico chairs and a flat-folding grill. I like the Pelican/SKB cases, but they're too narrow for my stuff, so the Rola bag mentioned here seems like my next best option:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


But the thing is pretty massive height-wise. I only need about 4 inches. How well/neatly does this bag compress? Does it flap around at speed? Is it easy to access the contents? (I'd leave the bag in place, removing the contents at camp)

Thanks!
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chimivee wrote:

But the thing is pretty massive height-wise. I only need about 4 inches. How well/neatly does this bag compress? Does it flap around at speed? Is it easy to access the contents? (I'd leave the bag in place, removing the contents at camp)

Thanks!


It compresses pretty good. The only problem is the straps; they are super-long so the flatter the bag is the longer the straps you have to deal with. I'll be trimming my bag's straps and/or coming up with a different strap system altogether. At speed, no flapping. Last trip, one of the straps came loose on the highway and slapped against the roof; pulled over, re-tied the strap and it quietly lasted another 800 miles.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The bag would've been flatter in ^that pic had I not hauled the upper bunk ladder on that trip.

Ease of access: So easy a chick can do it. Wink Laughing But seriously, it's pretty easy. The only annoyance, as said before, is the straps; with the long "tails", there's a lot of strapping that needs to be untied before you can loosen/remove the rear straps to unzip the bag. Not a big deal, just a tad annoying.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:

The bag would've been flatter in ^that pic had I not hauled the upper bunk ladder on that trip.

Great, thanks for the info and pics.

kamzcab86 wrote:
The only annoyance, as said before, is the straps; with the long "tails", there's a lot of strapping that needs to be untied before you can loosen/remove the rear straps to unzip the bag.

Yes, I can see that being an annoyance over time. Perhaps some simple side-release buckles could be added so that the straps could be quickly disconnected.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Thanks again. I think I'll order me up the Rola bag!
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1621
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After going over the pros and cons of roof top storage in rainy Oregon, I've opted for the Rola bag. It's nice for bulky items, weather-tight, and I don't necessarily need the heavy Yakima box for all my travels. Besides, getting into the Yak box when the top is up sucks. Thanks to all the reviewers here, especially Kamzcab86 with the photos, I do think this is going to work out well. Very Happy
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rossjen
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought one of these last summer. It is serving me very well. I carry a large screen house w/ poles, a portable BBQ, a lobster pot, and fire wood. It ties down well with no issues when driving. I am very satisfied. You can pick the size that you are comfortable with. Mines fits perfectly in the overhead storage area.


Cabela's Ripcord™ Duffel Bags
Our popular Ripcord Duffel Bag is rugged and roomy enough to take anywhere. It has a durable, heavy-duty 1,000-denier nylon bottom that's both wear- and water-resistant. The tops are constructed of a durable 600-denier polyester ripstop fabric. Each bag has heavy-duty No. 10 main zippers and No. 8 zippers on the front pockets for rugged dependability. The beefed-up carrying straps are fortified with 3" webbing with matching wrap hand grips to make them comfortable to carry when fully loaded. Zippered front pocket keeps items handy and secure. A padded shoulder strap with metal hardware is included. Imported.
Sizes:
Small: 18"L x 9"W x 9"H
Medium: 24"L x 11"W x 11"H
Large: 30"L x 13"W x 13"H
X-Large: 36"L x 16"W x 16"H
Magnum: 42"L x 18"W x 18"H
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I got the Rola - definitely a nice, heavy weight bag and the footprint is a very close fit for the Westy luggage rack. But it's really tall, and since I'm not smuggling petite lap giraffes, I don't need all that space. Although, it can be cinched down, it's a lot of excess material and I wanted something a bit more sleek. So I made a low profile frame for it out of PVC, then took the bag to an auto upholstery guy and had him chop it!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It went from 18" in height down to about 6.25" - enough to hold my two folding chairs, notebook grill, and leveling ramps.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Had it cut just below the expanding zipper, so it can still expand another 4".

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Added some quick release buckles to the side that opens.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Overall, it fits great and looks good. Very happy with it! Can finally ditch the stupid bungee net.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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1621
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this idea, very clever!

A few questions for you Chimivee - Is the bag still water resistant? Can any auto upholstry shop do this? And what is the process of "welding" called so I don't look like an ass if I ask someone to do this for me? Wink
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Last edited by 1621 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that's very, very well done Chimivee.

I ... a ... still tend to just wrap my stuff in a small cheap blue tarp and bungy it up there .... Embarassed
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:

A few questions for you Chimivee - Is the bag still water resistant? Can any auto upholstry shop do this? And what is the process of "welding" called so I don't look like an ass if I ask someone to do this for me? Wink

By "welding," are you referring to the way the bag was cut/reattached? It was actually sewn. The upholstery guy was a little concerned initially that, if the bottom panel wasn't square, there might not be enough material there to work from, in which case he would replace it with new material. But, he was able to make it work using the original material.

As far as water proofing, I was going to coat the new seam with some seam sealer, like that used for tents and outdoor gear. But, when I got the bag back, the upholstery guy thought it might be okay without. It's a tight double stitch. Can take pics if you want. I'll see how it goes and seal if necessary (although in my case, it's not critical that the contents stay absolutely dry).

So, yeah, I would think any decent upholstery shop could do something like this. It wasn't cheap though - cost me $120. But assuming it was 1-2 hrs labor and an oddball job, price was fair to me (plus this upholstery guy threw in some extra work at no charge the last time I was there). I think you could get it done for less if you want to shop around or if you know a good seamstress with a badass sewing machine.

Worth noting: When I was mocking up how the bag fit the frame and where to cut it, I simply folded/tucked the excess material under itself. In this state, it actually looked/functioned fairly well (not as tight). I considered leaving it this way, but it wasn't totally svelte Embarassed and I had been daydreaming about how to build this bag and wanted to see how it would come out. But it's an option if you don't want your bag to go under the knife.

In total, the bag, chop-work, and pvc, still came out to under $200, and you end up with a pretty nice, semi-custom, expandable Westy gear bag/box.
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singletrackrod
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:42 am    Post subject: Rooftop storage bag Reply with quote

Ortlieb makes a drybag/pack that fits beautifully.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: Rooftop storage bag Reply with quote

singletrackrod wrote:
Ortlieb makes a drybag/pack that fits beautifully.


Do you know what model?
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singletrackrod
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject: Ortlieb bag Reply with quote

http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-25.htm

X-tremer XXL, it is a bit short of the full width of the luggage well, but it doubles as a pack[/i]
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juanb
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at this thread and others, searching for a good solution for storage in the rooftop. Last year I had gotten a big plastic tub thing that I strapped to the top. It worked ok, but it was clumsy to put in and take out, and when in the back of the van just tended to accumulate clutter.

I figured that a big bag like the Rola or a container like the Pelican are not what I wanted. I want something more modular, that I can take out easily and carry with me if necessary.

So I just ordered two of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GF21EC

Not sure how they will fit up there, chances are I can put at least three of them in.
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gonewesty4good
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ortlieb makes great quality bags but I think a roll top that is long and shallow would not be easy to load...take a look at the SealLine Zip Duffle series, made in Seattle USA and w/ a lifetime warranty! Watershed makes some killer duffles too. Smile We have always used kayak dry bags with great results
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gonewesty4good wrote:
We have always used kayak dry bags with great results


I got a huge NRS dry bag, too big for a kayak for $20 at an outdoor store (EMS). Check them at the end of the season. I also think the big ones might not sell and you might find a similar deal.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do the pop top struts make it more difficult to put the top down?

FWIW, positioning a rocket box toward the back of the roof might allow for easier "popping" of the top than you expect, even without struts. I was pretty surprised that I could still pop my top my 80 lb canoe up there, just a bit back of center, without struts. I was thankful to have my wife there to push the cross bar in place but it wasn't bad. I would think a rocket box is lighter yet.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:59 pm    Post subject: top bags Reply with quote

bibbylauer wrote:
For simplicity, I've always found that dry bags used for rafting work well up there with some bungie cords. For example, Sierra Trading Post has some of 'em at: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/d/4690_Drybags-and-Totes-and-Misc.html

I believe that some others have also pointed out that certain gun & bow cases fit and can provide waterproof storage.
Blue Bay Bus Second this, I use this and Jack's plastics in Aztec New Mexico can make any size you need, does all our river rafting bags check them out. Very Happy
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