Space for all our camping gear

For our trip to Malawi during December 2015/January 2016, we needed some extra packing space for a mattress, bedding and campchairs. We had space available on the roofrack but needed a way to keep everything dry as we would be travelling during the rainy season.

After some research we came across a “waterproof” canvas bag that is primarily made for packing ammo boxes. It was big enough to take six ammo boxes.  The outside is made of canvas and the inside has a pvc lining. It appeared to be watertight and the dealer assured us that is was, so we bought one. Unfortunately it was not big enough to take the mattress as well so we had a special bag made of “waterproof” ripstop canvas.

We mounted the ammo box bag in the space between the rooftop tent at the back, and the jerry cans in the front. We also packed our chairs, the side awnings for our awning and some other stuff in it. The bag with the mattress in it was strapped down on top.  All set and with great confidence we left home.

Disappointment and disaster!!!. When we arrived at our first campsite in Malawi after driving through a few rainstorms, everything was soaking wet.  The mattress bag was not waterproof and neither was the ammo bag.  So for the next couple of days we were improvising, getting everything out in the sun to dry, and to keep it dry during rainstorms.  Not an easy task as the Landy was packed to the brim on the inside.  But alas, we survived.

Gerida made a note in her “things to do before the next trip” notebook to find a solution for keeping our camping gear when it rains.

After looking at various different options, I came across a company that makes customised aluminum boxes that are water and dust proof. This would be the perfect solution.  I measured the available space on the roofrack, gave them some measurements, and asked them to make a box for me.  I ordered the box in a size big enough to take all our camping gear. No more separate frustrating bags to strap down.  In a few weeks’ time my custom-made box was delivered and I fitted it on the roofrack, again in the available space between the rooftop tent and the jerry cans.

Hopefully this box will live up to expectations, but only time will tell. We are leaving on the 14th of  December 2016 for our next trip to Malawi.


Pieter & Gerida