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We’ve been “Zinglered”!!
I wish I could take credit for the idea for this mod, but I can’t. The original idea comes from another Travato owner and all around nice guy named Dennis. I don’t remember where I saw it first, but it may have been the Travato Owner’s Group on Facebook (which, for those of you who own Travatos, is a great place to get ideas, inspiration, and help).
Dennis’ original box was a custom aluminum fabrication that mounted to the Fiamma bike rack when the bike trays are in the upper position.
After seeing pictures of this box, and then inspecting it in person (at the Sea Otter Classic), I set out to have one of our own for Lance.
I don’t weld (yet), and I don’t have large brakes and presses (yet), so I had to outsource the box construction. I eventually wound up at Image West Metals in Salt Lake City. I took Lance there, gave them all the measurements, and then had to wait. Waiting is difficult for me.
But eventually it was ready, and here it is:
The box is made out of .10” aluminum sheet (just less than 1/8 of an inch). It weighs maybe 10 pounds empty. The exterior dimensions of the box are 27 ½ x 19 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches. Those weird dimensions are actually nice round numbers when you convert them back to metric. (Remember, the box was made to fit an Italian rack.)
To attach the box to the rack, I used two ¼” stainless steel bolts on each of the two rack uprights. Four bolts total. You need to use a spacer between the rack and the box so that it clears the plastic bits on the rack. Drilling through the rack was a lot less difficult than I thought it might be.
Inside the box, besides washers, lock washers, and cap nuts, I backed up the holes with 1/8” aluminum bar stock, which should keep the bolts from trying to pull their way through the metal. Apart from the drilling and torquing bolts, there wasn’t much else to do to install it.
My design for the box does present one issue with the back door though. It covers up the handle, so you have to reach in from the side in order to get the rear door open. Like this:
In Dennis’ original box, he had the box open from the end so that he could rig up a cable extension to open the door.
I thought about duplicating that, but decided I really wanted the wide opening door, so I’m just dealing with it for now. But I admit, it is a pain.
So that’s the box. What are we storing in it?
Well, Stef has been saying that she wants to bring Mel along on our trips.
But more seriously, I’ve been keeping all the “outside” stuff in it. Power cords and adapters. Leveling blocks. Water hoses. That kind of thing. Oh, and our mountain bike shoes because those are usually muddy.
And that’s about it! We’ve been rolling with it for a few weeks now, and it shows no worse for wear.
Since the initial install, I did add some gasketing around the door. And then after I took it to a car wash, I realized the gasketing didn’t work all that well, so I drilled drain holes in the bottom. But other than that, it’s been a peach.
This wouldn’t be too difficult for any sheet metal fabrication shop to crank out, if you were interested in having one made yourself. But as a one-off, it was kinda pricey…
Anyway, that’s it! Until next time…