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Author Topic: Roof top carrier  (Read 950 times)
Doneworking
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« on: March 08, 2014, 09:50:31 am »

Hopefully, next week is the end of our winter here in Oklahoma City. Today: snow!  Monday:  74 degrees.  Welcome to "normal" on the Southern Plains. 

We certainly look forward to many adventures in our PC2350, but we are dealing with the limited exterior storage available compared to our previous RV (Roadtrek 210 Class B).  Two alternatives come to mind, the easiest being a hitch carrier.   We have used them before, but the design of the PC would cause the license plate to be covered.  The solution is either a drop hitch receiver to pick up a few inches or something like a StowAway that allows the plate to be secured on it and lighted as well.   Since we will be just toting camper junk, I really prefer a cheap carrier and have used them in the past.

Second, that roof has some nice room up at the top of the ladder.  My old Sears roof carrier I used on a Jeep GC many years ago is hanging from the ceiling in the garage and the colors even match the PC.   Wouldn't take much modification to make that work. 

My question:  has anyone installed a roof storage container and if so, how did you secure it?   Drilling into the roof gives me pause and simply strapping down to the ladder rail bars on the roof would probably be really  inadequate.  I have no idea what might lurk in the roof (wiring? etc.) and I am not sure of its structural makeup for securing something like a storage box. 

In any event, of course, only really light weight stuff would be put up there.  When you are dry camping you just need (or at least we do) more "stuff" than fits into that one exterior storage area on the 2350.


Paul
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BGolden
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 12:04:16 pm »

Check out Stow Away hitch mount box. I have used mine on my 2350 for 5 years. The box plugs in to the hitch plug for brake lights, rear lights, and the license plate holder light. If you go to the website and submit photos of the rear of your mh they will recommend the box for your needs. I'll post picture for you to see here.

Bill G
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Bill and Karen Golden
BGolden
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 12:28:21 pm »

This company produces a great product, and they have very good customers service.
The box I purchased swings from the mh to allow access to the rear storage compartment.





http://www.stowaway2.com/
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 12:30:53 pm by BGolden » Logged

Bill and Karen Golden
Doneworking
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 10:02:28 am »

Bill, that Stowaway looks great on the back of your 2350.  What I would really like to accomplish is to put something up on the roof.

Has anyone added a roof carrier to their PC?

Since we just got ours a couple of months before winter, we are trying to decide to tow or not to tow.  If we tow, then we can use the tow vehicle for extra storage.  If not, I would love to get by without a hitch carrier because they all add two feet to length, more or less.   That is the reason I am intriqued by something on the roof for light camping stuff.

Paul
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NLK
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 11:22:23 am »

BGolden ... I believe your cargo box and swing away frame may be just what I need.  I have a 2551 PC.  Does it clear the spare tire cover on the Phoenix Cruiser or did you have to buy the hitch extender?  I removed the bottom section of my ladder so clearance there is not an issue. After using it for an extended period of time are there any additional concerns or insight with the product that you could share with me?
 
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Sparky
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 10:29:05 am »

Paul
   We also upsized?? haha  from a RT 210 to the 2350,, little surprised that you need more room.. how ever not sure what all your hauling,,, I use the space under the dinette (store my bikes) space under the bench seats and have plenty of room... I would be very reluctant to use the roof,, first just getting up and down  realize they have a ladder but I only use that if it was an emergency.... I would go with the stoway that you attach to the hitch those look neat... some of the guys have already posted and those look great
sparky
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PS   I'm sure you looked at all the tips that are posted, lots of great ideals to help out
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 12:24:25 pm »

We don't, but if we ever needed extra storage when not towing, that seems a great way to gain it.  I would assume you wouldn't fill it up with heavy items like fire wood for example.  I also assume it would be wise to use a Quiet Hitch to stabilize it.
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Doneworking
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 03:03:48 pm »

Thanks for the responses.   Apparently, no one is encouraging to use a roof top storage container.  As I stated, I am very familiar with Stowaway and Stowaway II and swing away hitches.  My question really was about the roof. 

Ron, in answer to your comment about a quiet hitch or similar product:  I have used hitch carriers in two rvs over the years (thus, my familiarity with what has been posted) and I think you can use them pretty well "out of the box".  However, I did make shims for one installation a few years ago.  I simply cut a couple of metal strips the right size to fit on either side of the receiver and drilled them so that the hitch pin went through the receiver, two shims and tongue of the hitch carrier.  It really solved the problem for the price of thirty minutes with a drill press and a hack saw. 

The weight concern on any hitch carrier is appropriate IMO.  You have to look at the tongue weight capacity of your hitch and then allow a percentage for safety.  Since the weight is not supported by an axle (like with a trailer), you gotta really lower that weight for me to be comfortable.   We used ours boondocking and never exceeded about 20% of the tongue weight allowed by the hitch manufacturer.   Thus, no problem.   Probably could have done more by why???

If anyone wants to try an inexpensive hitch carrier, Walmart sells a pretty nice one for about $79 and so does Harbor Freight. 

Paul
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 03:09:10 pm »

...I simply cut a couple of metal strips the right size to fit on either side of the receiver and drilled them so that the hitch pin went through the receiver, two shims and tongue of the hitch carrier.  It really solved the problem for the price of thirty minutes with a drill press and a hack saw.  

Paul
There's Quiet Hitch, and then there's Paul's Free Silent Hitch... ThumbsUp

Paul, I don't know anyone here who would consider climbing up their rear ladder to get something on a semi-regular basis while on a trip.  But then again, most of us are getting a bit dated to be considering it.
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Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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2 Frazzled
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 04:27:44 pm »

Paul, if you really want to carry a hard top carrier on the roof, I'd call Phoenix. I've seen other posts where Phoenix has sent owners the diagram for the roof structure so they can mount solar panels, etc. Also, there are posts from Keelhauler showing how he had Phoenix add another cross bar to the roof rack configuration so that he can carry his kayaks up there. Kermit may have suggestions for stowing gear on top. You may be able to add standard short rails and cross bars the same as you would mount on a car. Whatever you decide just remember down the road that your rig is now taller than what it originally was and may not fit under all the bridges and overhangs you could go through previously.
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2014, 10:18:33 pm »

We have a Stowaway 2 that we no longer use. We've changed to towing our car, instead.  It's for sale - black, with lights, swing away frame, licence plate holder, and a lock. We do live on the coast in Oregon if you're traveling in the area. Just let us know if you're interested.
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BGolden
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 08:56:19 am »

BGolden ... I believe your cargo box and swing away frame may be just what I need.  I have a 2551 PC.  Does it clear the spare tire cover on the Phoenix Cruiser or did you have to buy the hitch extender?  I removed the bottom section of my ladder so clearance there is not an issue. After using it for an extended period of time are there any additional concerns or insight with the product that you could share with me?

NLK
yes we did add the extender.  Like you, I also removed the bottom of the ladder, the box clears both the spare tire and the rear storage area.  I did replace the bottom of the ladder by drilling out the rivets and adding locking pins allowing the ladder to close up and secured with a bungee cord.

When I first purchased the Stow Away box I filled out the questionnaire on their web site. The company followed up by calling me and asked a few questions, so they made all the right suggestions helping me with the purchase.  After my 5 years using the box I did have to re secure the wiring inside for the lighting, with a few wire ties, nothing major, I also added a thin piece of plywood to protect the rear light fixtures from coming into contact with items stored in the box. As I removed a lawn chair I caught the light connector, so I decided to fabricate some protection.
The product has performed well and gives the ability for more storage.
I hope this helps. 

Bill Golden
 
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Bill and Karen Golden
Doneworking
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 12:23:27 pm »

My wife (aka She Who Must be Obeyed) has solved this storage problem.  It is not a cheap solution:  a new Jeep Cherokee to pull behind our new (to us) 2350.   Actually, it sounded brilliant after I took a long gander at that Jeep.  Blondes always seem to come up with solutions  Wink

Paul
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2014, 01:13:58 pm »

My wife has been looking at the new 2015 Cherokee to replace her 2004 Liberty. We currently tow the Liberty using a Blue Ox tow bar. I will have to find out about base plates for the Cherokee if she buys one. She is looking at the limited with all the bells and whislies. I like the trail hawk but it is her  car so I will have to do a lot of talking to get my way.

Which model did you get? Please keep us informed about converting it to tow, tow bar and brake system.
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Tom Hanlon
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NLK
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2014, 09:25:31 am »

BGolden
Thanks for the info on the carrier box.  It's always nice to be able to talk to someone that has used a product for an extended period of time.  This forum has so many wonderful people that are always willing to help out in many ways.
 ThankYou
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