Rola series episode 4-Platypus Cargo Bag wraps up camping necessities

July 22, 2011
Rola series episode 4-Platypus Cargo Bag wraps up camping necessities

Confront the Rola Platypus Cargo Bag and get a grip on camping necessity. In the process GoSee guarantees a great deal of self-insight. Combine the Cargo Bag with Rola Vortex Luggage tray and Heavy Duty Roof Racks and reality really sinks its teeth in.

This fourth workout with the Rola heavy duty system series of Information Articles reveals a great deal about how little we need to be comfortable in camp. For your correspondent it underlines a great life lesson:

How little is needed to live well not how much.

Control of weight loaded is the key which gives the best results with the Rola systems which combine to make the Platypus Cargo Bag package. The maximum load which can be carried is governed by the carrying capacity of the roof rack bars. This in turn is governed by what the vehicle manufacturer says is the allowable load on the roof. Please check the vehicle Owners Manual.

The Retro GoSee Toyota HJ60 manual diesel Sahara GX is the test bed for the Rola gear evalaution series so your correspondent asked Toyota. Toyota says they have no specifications before 2007 for the maximum roof load on 100kg rated Toyota approved roof rack bars. But Toyota is happy with a maximum of 80kg (176.3lbs) for the Land Cruiser 80 and 100 Series 4WD's.

The 4WD Toyota 70 Series, which is the modern version of the 1985 built GoSee Retro HJ60, is rated to carry 100kg, (220.4lbs) Toyota says. With that yardstick information GoSee spoke to Rola about the carrying capacity of the Platypus Cargo Bag (Product 59100), Vortex Tray (LTVX) and Heavy Duty Gutter Mounted Roof Rack CGM21-2.

The Rola answer is specific. The Rola Roof Rack bars are rated under warranty at 100kg, so substract the weight of the Vortex Tray (about 17kg) and about 5kg for the weight of the empty Platypus Cargo Bag and that gives the weight which can be carried in the bag/tray combination.

Please note - that is on bitumen roads. To go offroad the rule-of-thumb is to derate the carrying capacity of the roof racks by 1.5 so 100kg becomes 67kg maximum.

GoSee spoke to Rola and agreed 78kg (171.9lbs) is the maximum carrying capacity of the Rola bundle on bitumen for the Toyota HJ60 Sahara 4WD.

For offroad work the maximum carrying capacity is about 30kg. (66lbs). Now reality chomps home. The question is will the long established GoSee camping kits weigh-in safe under Toyota and Rola's maximum warranty numbers?

The answer is yes for bitumen roads. No offroad.

GoSee keeps three distinct travel kits loaded in 48 litre sealed bins and travel bags. One regularly used GoSee kit is not related to this feature as it is the GoSee Hayman Reese towing gear, but the other two are the result of years of use with convenience and weight saving bedded in by experience.

For 4WD Offroad use GoSee cut 10kg from the established solo 4WD camping kit. For bitumen road runs GoSee weigh in at 67kg.- 11kg under the safety warranty limit. But as it turns out it is not just about weight with the Platypus Cargo Bag.

Rola Platypus Cargo Bag. Sunroof access to four front straps.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag. Sunroof access to four front straps.

The Platypus Cargo Bag expands from 283 to 425 litres. All it takes is the release of a zip. Three 48 litre sealed bins fit fine, plus a 4-person heavy duty tent with floor, all its poles and pegs and the big (10kg) roll of shade-cloth GoSee uses to protect campsite grass and keep dirt out of GoSee camp life in tents, caravans and motor homes.

The 425 litre expanded capacity of the Platypus Cargo Bag does not reflect how much can or should be loaded into the available space for two reasons.

First the Toyota and Rola roof rack warranty limitations and second commonsense supported by the physical limitations of the shape of the gear loaded. Then there is the fact that the Cargo Bag is water resistant, not waterproof. Rola makes that clear in the instructions.

So GoSee has a head start as much of our camping equipment is permanently stored in sealed 48 litre storage bins. They cost about $15 in hardware outlets and supermarkets.

The GoSee storage bins are labelled and a regularly updated notebook keeps track of what is in them. Obviously the weight of each bin is checked and recorded. The result is easy, quick loading and no water or dust in the food and camping equipment which is in them. Between trips they stack neatly one atop the other in the workshed.

With the Toyota and Rola warranty numbers in mind GoSee weighed the three storage bins before loading them into the waiting Platypus Cargo Bag in the Rola Vortex Luggage Basket fixed to the Rola Heavy Duty Roof Racks on top of the Toyota HJ60.

GoSee weights for easy bitumen road work are: Bin 1 which is cooking and kitchen weighs 10kg, Bin 2 weighs 18.5kg. Bin 3 weighs 16kg. Total = 44.5 kg. Also loaded into the Platypus Cargo Bag are: Tent 9kg, shadecloth 10kg, 2.25 tonne hydraulic jack 3.5kg. So total weight is 67kg (147.70lbs).

Bin 2 holds a small gas stove and a dozen gas cans to run it, Coleman double 4WD airbed, pumps and connections, folding chair and tent poles.

Bin 3 holds a big 2-burner gas camp stove, ropes, tent pegs and hammer, tie downs and a boiler suit. All three bins have small wheels to help loading and unloading. All three and the tent can be reached by standing on the tailgate of the HJ60.

Rola Platypus Cargo Bag ready to load 67kg. (147.70lbs).
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag ready to load 67kg. (147.70lbs).

The placement of the load to make access easy for the items which will be needed while touring is essential.

This will vary. If the planned trip includes many stops overnight on route to the destination load the vehicle with the items needed least on the roof rack. Anything wanted immediately should be carried in the vehicle.

Do not load anything into the Platypus Cargo Bag which is not in a watertight container or waterproof sealed bag. The eight straps which hold the Cargo Bag in the Vortex Tray pull tight initally from the tailgate and then via the Toyota Sahara's sunroof.

The snap clips on the tiedown straps may need to have their moulded lock prongs expanded to provide security. This can be done easily with finger pressure. It pays to check they remain tight. As the load beds in adjustments will be needed. All tiedown ends should be fed through the Velcro stops to prevent them flapping and wearing.

For 4WD offroad runs. GoSee cut the camp kit carried in the Cargo Bag. Weights are: Shadecloth 10kg, 2.25 tonne jack 3.5kg, tarp 2kg, Bin 3 big 2-burner gas camp stove, ropes, tent, its pegs and hammer, tie downs and a boiler suit 16kg. Total 31.5kg. (69.4lbs).

With the total bitumen road weight of 67kg (147.70lbs) loaded on the Rola roof rack package the handling of the HJ60 Sahara changes. Firstly it improves as the weight settles the truck-like spring suspension and the big 4WD rides smoother.

This is typical as the Sahara does not really settle down until 250kg (551lbs) is loaded in the back. It can handle over 500kg (1102lbs). The Rola luggage package is carefully placed to put the load over the rear axle.

It is not too far back to prevent access via the Sahara's sunroof and it is also placed to allow easy access by standing on the 4WD's tailgate. This balanced handling situation for cargo and truck was carefully measured out before the Rola system went upstairs to assist with loading and the safer handling of the Sahara.

The Retro HJ60 Sahara is a long way from standard. The softer suspension is by ARB which makes a varst difference to driving the high wheelbase 1985 4WD both on and offroad.

Rola Platypus Cargo Bag. Bitumen road load of 67kg. 8 straps hold it in Vortex Luggage  tray.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag. Bitumen road load of 67kg. 8 straps hold it in Vortex Luggage tray.

The manual diesel is turboed with a modified manifold and exhaust system aimed at towing. It is no sportscar but its low revs 423Nm pulling power would make a fair fist of climbing a gumtree.

With 67kg on the roof punting the already high wheelbased truck into a tight left or right turn or across a slope of more than 30degs can push balance.

No real problem if the driver knows how to handle it but heavyweight 4WD's as opposed to more recent 'suburban' SUV's and some similar AWD's demand informed handling.

GoSee recommends SRODRV001B Drive and recover a 4WD. Getabout Training Services is a good choice as they are a Registered Training Organisation and the piece of paper earned in the training has real value. www.getabout.com.au

About the Rola package -

Rola Platypus Cargo Bag Part 59100, 1040mm x 880mm x 500mm $199.

Rola Vortex Luggage Tray Part LTVX Interior size 1210mm x 950mm x 100mm $299.

Platypus Cargo Bag and Vortex Bundle $399.

Heavy Duty gutter mounted roof rack cross bars. Product number CGM21-2 $317.

Editors note: Too much weight on a roof rack is not wise. It can have a dangerous affect on handling and stability particularly on tall 4WD vehicles. On no account load more than warranty ratings allow. Vehicle fuel consumption may rise.

What is in the three storage bins which weigh 1.5kg empty:

Bin 1 - 4WD inflatable double matress and pumps, small gas stove with 12 gas cans, beach towels x 2

Bin 2 - Cooking and kitchen needs, herbs and spices, rice, pasta, oats, coffee and tea, matches in sealed glass jar, can and bottle opener, cork screw, cooking utensils, frypan and pots, tea towels, sponges, steamer, shopping bags, scissors, camp chair and tent poles.

Bin 3 - Tent pegs x 12, multi purpose hammer, digger axe, Peg-It Tent Peg Wizard, spare towing mirrors x 2, a box of roofing nails to pin down shadecloth groundsheet., rubber tiedown straps x 6, a set of de-flappers for awnings, big two-burner gas stove with wind shields, boiler suit and ropes.

Also loaded into the Platypus Cargo Bag:

4-man mountaineers heavy duty tent 9kg, Shade cloth groundsheet 10kg and waterproof sun reflecting tarp 2kg.

www.rola.com.au

Please follow this link to the first Information Article in the Rola Roof Rack series -

Rola Platypus Cargo Bag expands from 283l to 425l with zip open
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag expands from 283l to 425l with zip open
Water  in Rola Platypus Cargo Bag after a week exposed to wild weather.
Water in Rola Platypus Cargo Bag after a week exposed to wild weather.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag buckle  lockclip prongs needed to be  expanded.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag buckle lockclip prongs needed to be expanded.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag with 31.5kgs of GoSee  gear for 4WD offroad  camping.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag with 31.5kgs of GoSee gear for 4WD offroad camping.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag cinching straps streamline Cargo Bag.
Rola Platypus Cargo Bag cinching straps streamline Cargo Bag.