• Feb

    The Drama of Storage Issues (Where’s the $%&# K-Tel Patty Stacker?)


    In preparation for our trip, we decided to look into rooftop storage and went to a local REI sporting goods store in San Diego.

    I’d originally thought that a rooftop rack and hard shell box would be the way to go. Until we found out the price – a whopping $7-800.00USD for the whole thing. That was out of the park, and we looked for another solution.

    We quickly found it. A heavy vulcanized collapsible box that would fit on top of the car, called a Sherpak, no doubt a pun on the Sherpas of lore. And the price was much more affordable – only $110.00, so we bought it and set about learning how to use the thing.

    After a few false starts, we learned how to pack it and secure it to the roof. The number one mistake people make is to load it on the ground, then lift it on top of the roof. Bad idea.

    Outside of lifting a bag that feels like heavy jello, it’s a great recipe for a hernia. The recommended way is to place the bag on top of the roof, load it there, then secure it with the straps.

    Once we figured out what to do, we got it all secured with the straps inside the car (since my car doesn’t have a roof rack). It was a bit uncomfortable with one set of straps since they were in the front and that got in the way of my vision. At the back there was no issue.

    Once we drove away, we thought we’d done a pretty good job, until we drove from San Diego to Palm Springs. That’s when we discovered that the entire load had shifted considerably and to make sure it didn’t do that, we’d have to push it forward on the car and repeatedly tighten the straps.

    The other issue which wasn’t totally unexpected was wind resistance. On one trip, we ran into a crosswind. Man, what a pain. Not only was it hard to drive the car, it really slowed us down and even with a lead foot I couldn’t manage more than 100Km/Hr (60mph).

    Finally, the kicker came from a friend of mine, who pointed out that the rooftop bag could make us a potential target for bandits on the highway.

    That did it.

    We unpacked the bag, did some creative juggling and discovered we could pack everything inside my car without totally blocking my rear view. Not only did we save on space, we also gave ourselves an added bit of security.

    At that point, the storage bag became storage in the car. Maybe we can sell it to someone else down the road. 🙂

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