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Rola's CTM57-2 bars versatile, convenient accessory for heavy duties GoSee Colorado

June 28, 2012
Rola's CTM57-2 bars versatile, convenient accessory for heavy duties GoSee Colorado

Designed to make the best use possible of the roof space available on wagons, vans and 4WD's Rola's CTM57-2 bars are a versatile, convenient accessory for the hard working GoSee Colorado.

Rola recommended fitting CTM57-2 heavy duty Commercial Series option bars to the GoSee 3 litre TD LT/R auto Colorado we use to haul the GoSee dual-axle Jayco Westport caravan.

Our touring kit includes Hayman Reese drop-shank and tow head with a WDH.

There is adouble aluminium strip in the centre to add additional strength throughout the bars. There are also insert strips which must be cut to length which help cut wind noise. The crossbars are rounded on the leading edges to make them more aerodynamic and reduce drag. This is a significant factor in reducing wind noise and aiding fuel efficiency.

We found the CTM57-2 bars fitting diagrams and instructions comprehensive. As usual we took time-out to digest the information which made the job easier and the result professional. GoSee always check all the bits against the directions before we start assembly jobs.

But this time GoSee had a mystery, we had four washers branded 316 which we could not find a place for. Rola says a few extra washers are added to ensure there is enough for the fitment of the racks. It is normally four to five washers to ensure there is not too much confusion as adding one or two plays a little more tricks on your mind, Rola says.

From the first step of fitting the end supports to the crossbars to locking home the end caps on the crossbars when the job was done we found the assembly logical with only a few quirks.

The end supports have wedge blocks which determine the seating angle of the support foot as they clip on. Pay attention to clipping them on the right way around.

They have an Edge A and Edge B and that matters. It is A side out that is needed. The locking bolts which slide into the aluminium roof strips are a fiddle to fit, but patience pays in this case.

The four crossbar supports slide into the crossbar channels, later we snapped the aerodynamic strips into place after trimming for length. This is a measure twice, cut once, situation and care is needed to get an exact fit. The result is neat and helps cut wind noise at highway speeds.

The final stage of fitting the Rola aluminium track mountings to the Colorado roof was a surprise. The tracks are permanently mounted to the vehicle roof.

They have an adhesive face which is revealed by pealing off a film protection before they are pop-rivetted to the Colorado roof.

We used a waterproofing sealentfor each hole we bored to mount the aluminium tracks. Leaks are not on our agenda and some pop-rivets are bad news in the wet. On first impression fitting the Rola aluminium track mountings seemed the toughest part of our hands-on fit-up job. But in reality it turned out to be easy.

There was a bit of messing around to start to get measurements right and the exact distances apart for the tracks, but sticky tape and a pop-rivet on each side at one end of the two aluminium longitudinal mounting tracks made fixing the other end pretty easy.

GoSee follows Commercial Rola roof-rack instructions
GoSee follows Commercial Rola roof-rack instructions

GoSee had some trouble putting the rivets in, but a new pop riveter fixed that problem.

Ours was old and worn out and wouldnt work properly. There is no substitute for good equipment. But our drill kit was up to the task and a new drill bit set did a quick clean job. We took our time and measured twice, to be sure to be sure.

So we took about about an hour and a half over the roof mountings and fitting by the time we cleaned up afterwards.

The Rola bars are sturdy and easy to keep clean (when bugs splat on them). They look good especially as they match the GoSee Colorado's colours. They are available in black and silver. The Heavy Duty Track Mounted kit comes with two crossbars and is certainly versatile as the loads GoSee has carried on them include a cumbersome bed which was easy to load and tie down.

On the first serious test run with the bars carrying a load into stiff headwinds GoSee found there was a fair bit of wind noise at about 100kmh. Driving around town at 60kmh and below there was no problem.

We moved the front bar back about 10cm which helped with the vehicle aerodynamics and with less wind drag the noise level is now acceptable for long distance highway speed travel.

The Rola bars have increased unladen fuel consumption marginally. On a 580 km unladen round-trip test run the Colorado returned 9.8 lt / 100 km with the Rola bars in place. The difference when the unladen roof bars are on the Colorado is between .1 and .2 of a litre cruising at an indicated 100kmh.

Rola rack Roof mounts have adhesive face
Rola rack Roof mounts have adhesive face

But with the bars loaded and the items on top adding wind drag fuel consumption can rise to 11.2lt/100km cruising at 100kmh. Load carrying is always a trade-off whether it is a trailer being pulled behind or a load being carried on roof racks.

The Rola CTM57-2 bars offer the option of load-carrying convenience up to the maximum load of 80kg. When loading, pay particular attention to weight distribution.

Always ensure that the load has a low centre of gravity. Fasten the load securely against sliding and check regularly for correct positioning. Loads heavier than 80kg must go in the tray of the Colorado ute or in a trailer behind.

The main benefit of Rola bars is that they cope with a multitude of tasks without the hassle of hooking up and handling a trailer. They also mean that potential tyre troubles are limited to the vehicle and the Rola bars areeasy to adjust or remove.

Heads up on using roof racks: The roof rack and roof load must not project beyond the body of the carrying vehicle. The load must not extent beyond the sides of the Roof Bars. Long loads should be positioned centrally on the roof rack and securely fastened at the front and at the rear.

Narrow and heavy loads should be carried as close to the end supports as possible. It is your responsibility to comply with statutory requirements regarding the projection of your load. Always secure the load with sufficiently strong synthetic or textile straps.

Rola bits must be checked against instructions
Rola bits must be checked against instructions

When carrying heavy loads, the addition of extra crossbars has proven to be the most successful way to minimise vehicle roof deformation. However, increasing the number of crossbars does not increase the vehicle's maximum permissible roof loading.

Check your vehicle owner manual for maximum rated roof loads. Check the security of your load and the tension of the bolts and fastenings of the roof rack before departing and at regular intervals during your journey.

Specialised systems: Where applicable, a specialised roof rack and accessories should be used to carry or secure your load (eg, Bike Carrier, Water Craft Carrier). The maximum permissible load for a roof rar is the lower of the maximum load capacity specified in your vehicle operation manual, or specified as applying to the roof rack.

Do not exceed the maximum specified load capacity.

Maximum permissible load = weight of the Roof Rack + weight of accessories + weight of load (cargo).

The mounted and loaded roof rack will affect a vehicle's handling characteristics, particularly relating to crosswind sensitivity, corners, bends and braking behaviour. Exercise extreme care when driving and adjust for the change in vehicle handling and braking behaviour by always driving safely and at a speed appropriate to travel conditions and the load being carried.

Wind resistance is the number one cause of roof rack failures. Prior to securing a load, consider the surface area of the load to determine the suitability of carrying the load on the Roof Racks. Extra caution should be taken when travelling in high winds, at high speed, or when carrying loads with large surface areas (eg tables, bed bases and mattresses, sheets of wood).

The roof rack should be removed regularly to clean adjoining vehicle surfaces, attaching locations and the roof rack itself.

Snip crossbar streamlining   insert  to length
Snip crossbar streamlining insert to length

Regularly check the proper functioning of your roof racks, and tighten all screws, bolts, connections and straps. Immediately replace any worn or damaged components.

To increase fuel efficiency, remove roof rack from carrying vehicle when not in use.

Rola recommends that you store the roof rack security key and fitting instructions in the glove compartment of your vehicle.

Do not use elasticised or occy straps.

The maximum permissible load for roof bar is the lower of the maximum load capacity specified in the vehicle operation manual, or specified as applying to the roof rack. Do not exceed the maximum specified load capacity.

Maximum permissible load = weight of the roof rack + weight of accessories + weight of load (cargo).

GoSee fitted CTM57-2 to our 3 litre TD LT/R auto Colorado.

Crossbars 2.

RRP: $362

They also suit the Colorado's first cousin the Isuzu D-Max Crew Cab.

Tie down deadeyes fitted as well
Tie down deadeyes fitted as well
Front Bar
Front Bar
Top view
Top view
Note end cap snap-lock and wedge block bias
Note end cap snap-lock and wedge block bias
Protector strip needs trim
Protector strip needs trim