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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a set off Thule aero roof bars with locks (the ones that attach to the lip along the roof of the van) and have successfully had a few good surf trips with them until today, when whilst traveling down the motorway back from Croyde to Bristol with 3 boards attached the whole thing came away from the roof and flew across the motorway. Luckily no-one was hurt, and we had the fortune of having a Wessex water van behind who slowed down and managed to remove the boards from the motorway. Two of the boards are properly mashed and the third luckily was in a soft bag so is ok. The boards were still attached to the bars and luggage straps but the bars had ripped from the top of the van and taken off a large chunk of paintwork with them as well.
Before anybody asks, yes they we clamped tightly onto the van and were positioned at the front and middle above the sliding door where the gutter depth is largest.

Can anybody recommend any roof bars/rails that are attached through the roof of the van that are any good for transporting surfboards as I'm not going to be using the clamp on ones again as I think it's too dangerous traveling at motorway speeds. I unfortunately can't put them in the back of the van as I have a full camper conversion and there's not enough room with people in the back.

Thx D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
was thinking more of binning it and bolting on one through the roof so it doesn't happen again.
 

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I've thought about doing the same thing as I have a large quiver ranging from 5'10 to 9'2, going in anywhere with a 9'2 in an SWB is tight! I believe Van-x do some for about £125, I've seen people on here using Suzuki Jimny bars from the scrappy to good effect, good luck and glad everyone was ok!:ILU:
 

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Exactly the same thing happened to my son but he couldnt stop, he saw the roofrack with 6'10" B52 Ocean magic board and windbreak land on the hard shoulder, he turned round at the next junction saw it still lieing there with a yellow southwest highways pickup stopping. By the time he turned round to head north to where it happened the lot was gone.
I called in the depot at Thornbury (Bristol ) a couple of days later to ask for it back.
They knew nothing about it.... when I asked if we should perhaps look for it on ebay they thought it was hilarious......... mmmm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That sucks. I was extremely lucky that the motorway was reasonably quiet and that nobody was tailgating me as they'd have had a surfboard through there windscreen probably.
I was dubious before I bought the bars about having them just clamped on, but now I'm certain that for anything to be properly secure it's got to be bolted down. Just need to free up some money for some new bars now. :(:(
 

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I assume before you started it was all secure? if so could only have been the vibration that loosened stuff up, unless you were aiming for light speed? if perhaps some decent loc-tite would stop it happening again?
 

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:eek:

Been using a clamp on style roof rack (not thule) for 10 years on a t4 with all sorts of combinations of lengths and numbers of boards. Never even had to tighten the rack after a long journey. If you can bear to answer these questions I'd be gratefull, might point to a reason for failiure...

What sort of speed were you going?
How much board was in front of the front bar?
How close were the bars together?
Can't tell from your description, did the boards over hang the windscreen?

If the bars are new, perhaps contact the manufacturer and let them know?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
here's a pic of the boards on the roof, bar spacing etc.
I was going about 65/70 when they came off. The front bar stayed where it was but the rear bar came off with boards still attached to it.
 

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Hi mate,
I had the van x cross bars fitted a couple of months ago.
They are very robust and I have no worries about strapping a few boards on.
They look pretty decent too as they sit low to the roof.
I'm in bristol, you are welcome to take a look if you need to.
Owen
 

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If the front bar stayed where it was and you lost the boards and rear bar then it sounds like the front straps were loose. The boards would have lifted and ripped the rear bars off with the boards as the force would have been massive! Sounds like faulty straps, or they weren't tight enough in the first place I'm afraid. Nothing to do with poor fitting of bars there.

I have been travelling the country for years with canoes on the roof of the car with bars that grip the gutters similar to those on your van and I have never had an issue with the bars. That's been on vans, golfs, Peugeot 309, Audi coupe, Volvo estate, Audi A4 rover coupe.... None ever had problems.
 

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If the front bar stayed where it was and you lost the boards and rear bar then it sounds like the front straps were loose. The boards would have lifted and ripped the rear bars off with the boards as the force would have been massive! Sounds like faulty straps, or they weren't tight enough in the first place I'm afraid. Nothing to do with poor fitting of bars there.

I have been travelling the country for years with canoes on the roof of the car with bars that grip the gutters similar to those on your van and I have never had an issue with the bars. That's been on vans, golfs, Peugeot 309, Audi coupe, Volvo estate, Audi A4 rover coupe.... None ever had problems.
Should have also added... Glad you and everyone else was ok and no one got hurt. Shame about the boards and paint though. I would be gutted if my boards got damaged
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The front strap was as tight as I could get it and about a foot back from the tip of the boards. It was still attached and had not come loose from the bar.I would have also thought that with the wind deflection from the windscreen that the air would have pulled that off first. I'm guessing the back bar came loose due to vibrations/a bad fitment and the boards slipped back along the roof. That would explain the 20cm long patch of paint missing from where the rear bar used to be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The only thing I can equate it to is the fact that the van had a complete re-spray a couple of years ago and the channel especially at the back of the van isn't pronounced as it is towards the front and this could have caused the bar to slip??

Either way it's still a downer as it's going to need to go to the spray shop. :(
 

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Got me worried now. Will check mine are secure. Mine are set further back than yours, first bar above pillar between passenger and sliding door and other on seam. My boards sit much further back than yours. Didnt find instructions much help so just fitted where I thought best.
 

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You need to go through the roof lots of roof racks would work,i fitted a rhino couple of years ago solid job.
 
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