The car modifications are coming on great and Bee-Bee is really starting to look like she’s ready to drive around the world. One area that is problematic with the Hilux Surf is the fact that it doesn’t have any roof gutters or rails thus making it challenging to fix any kind of roof rack onto the vehicle. Once I had pulled the roof lining out we had a better idea of how we were going to solve the problem. Initially we had plans for a grand full length overlanding safari style roof rock, the plans of which you can see below.
I took the plans to several local metal workshops and waited patiently for them to get back to me with quotes. Like many companies we’ve encountered most didn’t bother to reply at all and some needed serious chasing whilst one or two came through with the goods straight away. The quotes for the rack varied ridiculously from £600 right up to £2900. Unfortunately the company who quoted £600 could not carry the work out for another month. It was at this point that we decided to take a new approach to our problem and contacted Norman Logic. We decided that we’d go with a more simple approach to fixing our roof tent to Bee-Bee. Matt Norman suggested we made up two simple roof bars that would be fixed directly through the roof into the internal cross members of the vehicle. The roof bars would also be joined together in the middle with one cross brace to offer rigidity and to stop any twisting that might happen. The base plates have a threaded bar that fits through the roof and is bolted up from underneath. This new approach meant that we’d save a fair amount of weight on materials but would lose some valuable storage space.
We wanted the tent to sit as low as possible so that the vehicle isn’t too top heavy; Matt carried out some complex measuring and a couple of days later we had a rack on Bee-Bee. The bars fit perfectly and Matt did a grand job of making sure everything is water tight. The roof doesn't flex at all with the rack and tent in place and loaded with two fully grown adventurers. The rack also has brackets on either side allowing us to switch which side of the car we place the awning. The brackets also act as security stoppers in case the tent comes loose and slides sideways on the roof bars. Overall Matt Norman at Norman Logic did an amazing job, the welding is nice and neat and the whole project was well thought out and executed perfectly. We can't thank and recommend him enough.