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Roofbox and Roofrails query
I've got a 56 reg Multispace Desire and I am wanting to buy a roof box for it. I'd like any advice on how best to set up roof bars/roof rails for a box. I've noticed that the Berlingo roofrails are designed to be removed and fitted crossways on the roof as well as lengthways - a roof box could be attached directly to the rails in this way - is this advisable or not? If not, and buying a pair of roof bars is a must, I have seen roof bars that fit onto the roof rails and some that fit directly into the slots on the car roof. Which should I choose?
Any help gratefully received. Happy New Year.
Hi Jimmy and welcome

Firstly I never realised that the bars could be removed and switched through 90 degrees. I think that the problem that you will find is the the attachments on a roof box are going to be a fixed distance apart which may or may not be in the right place for the existing bars.

I was looking at roof boxes recently (but never took it any further) and all the links and sites that I found showed cross bars being used and attached to the existing roof bars. My own personal thoughts were that attaching directly to the roof using the locating lugs would probably be more secure and would also allow the box to be mounted a little lower thus reducing the centre of gravity a bit.

Let us know how you get on please
2005 Berlingo Multispace 1.6i Desire (Iron Grey)

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.


The normal way is to use cross bars when roof rails are fitted. BUT...we were given a second-hand Halfords roof box some years ago that came with roof bars and all sorts of clips and brackets. After fiddling around with the bits I found that the spacing of the U bolts of the box was complimentary to the spacing of the Berlingo brackets for the roof rails. So I fixed the roof box directly to the Berlingo rails and then lifted the whole assembly into place on the roof before bolting down the rails (in the across roof direction).

This has worked brilliantly ever since. When we finish our holiday we just unbolt the rails and store the whole lot together (taking care to fix the bolts back to the lugs on the roof brackets so as not to lose them). I guess the only disadvantage is that we don't have rails on the roof for most of the year.

If you are looking to buy a box it might be worth checking the spacing of the U bolts on the underside of the box.

03 Multispace 2.0 Hdi Forte (with Modutop and ABS)
Hi MATEY , i BOUGHT SOME SPECIAL OFFER THULE RACK LOAD,full flat platforms to give a load platform similar to landrover heavy duty units. AND had to fit rails to std roof bars on my fitted swing across rails. This took the whole lot too high and looked silly, so I took the roof racks back. The swing over rails are great for canoes etc, however I have fitted rails onto my std rack [leaving that in place, ie running alomg length of car]. hope that makes sense. My additional rails are then extra long so i can get two sitton canoes on the top. Go to halfords on a quiet day and ask them to try one. Otherwise get one down off shelf and measure hole distances to see what fixes best.
Many thanks to you all for your help with this. I have decided to try out attaching a box directly to the existing roof rails (once fitted crossways on the roof). I like Taynish's approach of removing the box and rails together for storage as it it can be hassly fitting and unfitting the box u-bolts on a tall car. Mont Blanc Vista boxes have the right U-bolt spacing options to fit the rail spacing so I'll try out this configuration. I'll let you know how I get on.
Any news on this? I am going to start looking for a roof box soon and want one that will fit directly to the existing cross bars. One thing that I have noticed is that when the bars are put across they sit very low and close to the roof.
2005 Berlingo Multispace 1.6i Desire (Iron Grey)

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Borrowed a Mont Blanc Vista box and tried out fitting it directly to the cross bars. Did many miles with a fully loaded box and it worked fine. Yes, the bars do sit low on the roof but this didn't present any problems.
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to Jimmyw67 for this post:
  • Andre, tonyd
According to the handbook :-

Maximum load on the roof ( sitting on the rails actual on the roof, the three long ones and 3 short ones ? ) is 35kg

Maximum load on the roof bars configured transversally ( across from side to side ) is 70kg

Maximum load on roof bars or roof rack ( fitted to roof mountings in the recesses that run full length of the roof ) 1s 100kg evenly distributed

It makes no comment on using transverse bars on the fitted roof rails when they are in the fore and aft position but I would personally err on the side of caution and go for 70kg.

Also to bear in mind that exceeding these limits could not only cause damage but puts one at risk of the law considering your vehicle to be "Overloaded" or your load " Insecure " ( and your insurance company may not be happy and refuse indemnity )

I use the Berlingo bars switched around with a large roof box and works perfectly with my Mont Blanc.

I don't load it with heavy items. The roof box itself has a max load similiar to that of the bars anyway, to alternative bars would be no better.

I've been all over the this country and up Loch Ken camping with it in situ and never even considered alternative bars. The box has enough position options for the u bolts, so it fits like a glove.
How do you switch the bars around as I can't see how? Do you access the bolts from the outside?
I have a multispace 06.

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