Hi, just joined the forum and have exactly the same question. Is there a possibility of getting roof rails fitted to a hatchback or would I be better off getting a tow-bar and a small trailer??? We need a bit more space for camping purposes so a roof box would be really handy.
Is there anything else I could use instead of getting rails fitted, don't know, like bars that don't need rails to start with or something??
Roof rails (running front to rear)? I doubt it, though maybe one of the car customising places has thought to do them. I don't fancy the idea of drilling into the roof though, which is going to be necessary if you want to fit rails on the hatch.
Roof bars (running side to side)? No problem: I have a set for mine and they work fine with a roof box. Don't naturally assume that the dealer will be the most expensive option either - my bars were from Renault, and they were a lot cheaper than anything that Halfords had to offer.
We have a Mont Blanc 450 roof box (I think that's the model.) I worked it out, and it basically gives you another boot's worth of extra load space. I find that there's plenty of room for the caravan awning, poles, blow-up sofa bed, the baby's buggy and loads of other stuff in there, so it should suit you down to the ground for camping. The whole lot (including the roof bars) should cost you less than just having a towbar fitted, let alone buying a trailer. You also won't be limited to 50/60mph and banned from the outside lane of the motorway as you are when towing.
I prefer to secure the roof box with two heavy-duty ratchet tie-downs as well as the locking mechanism. It's very tempting to overload these things (I know I do) and put a lot of strain on the locking mechanism. I've seen them burst open on the motorway more than once.
Thanks for that. I might sound a bit daft but are there any options, like bars, that don't need the rails to start with? I know you need the rails to attach the bars but is there anything else I could use to put stuff on the roof??
The Renault bars for the hatch don't need rails: They sit on their own rubber pads and grip the roof at specially made points that are already present and hidden behind the door rubbers. You simply loosen off the clamps at both ends, get the feet located in the correct places behind the door rubbers (the only fiddly bit) and then tighten up so that the whole bar basically grips onto the roof like a vice.
I'm trying to dig out a picture of my car with the roof box or even just the bars in place, but so far I've been unable to find one
The roof box is going to set you back around 150 quid on top of that if you want one the same size as ours. Motor World still have them on offer at £150 - a few places are slightly cheaper mail order, but probably around the same ro dearer once you add the delivery charge.
Still, that's around £250 all-in, which is still around the price of a decent sized trailer, excluding the cost of the towbar.
And of course there's always eBay. Second-hand boxes turn up pretty cheap on there every now and again if you're prepared to wait for one to pop up in your area.
Thule, Atera, Moss, Fapa and Halfords (OEM Thule and MOSS) own roof bars. Both classic steel and aero aluminium, I prefer the aero as the aluminium (aero) type bars have a greater weight capacity ... roof load limits allowing, plus if you change car you only need to change the foot packs ... usually
Just a quick question again.
I found these on ebay and it looks like it's the ones you were talking about. Could you have a quick look for me please as I don't want to make a mistake and buy the wrong ones.
They look a bit like the Halfords bars that I had for my Laguna I - they worked fine, but were a bit of a pig to fit and remove. They also only appear to be rated to 50Kg. The Renault ones are (I think) rated to 70 or 75 - handy when you're wanting to dump heavy camping gear in there.
Now here's a set of second-hand genuine bars. Going for more than I paid for mine once you add the P&P, but maybe worth watching
The only problem with the second-hand ones is that the original kit comes with some clear plastic to protect the paint on the edge of the doors. These are left permanently attached to the car, so you won't get them with the second-hand bars.
When I swapped cars, I had murder getting replacements until SportTourer on here kindly sent me some spare material that he had kicking around. You might find similar difficulties getting hold of the stuff.