BLACKHAWK DOWN

A CLEVER, PRACTICAL STORAGE SOLUTION.

WORDS AND PHOTOS MARK ALLEN

IN AN effort to increase storage options and ease roof-rack access, we’ve attached a Roadsafe ‘Blackhawk’ rear wheel tray and step to the spare wheel of our Troopy.

The kit is so ridiculously easy to attach to a vertical spare wheel (tyre sizes ranging from 14 to 37 inches in diameter) using the included ratchet strap and easily adjustable tie-down rings under the main tray.

The optional step, held in place by the same strap, has teeth that ‘bite’ into the tyre and anti-slip tape on the upper surface to provide an extra stepping point for those also wanting easy access to roof racks.

However, care must be taken not to exceed the weight restrictions of your spare wheel carrier. Given that, this tray is rated to carry 120kg (static) and 60kg (mobile), while the step can handle a person who weighs up to 120kg.

A brace rail can be mounted vertically (as we have done) to prevent the load moving towards your 4x4; or horizontally to allow a larger platform.

The powdercoated platform incorporates various holes and slots to aid in securing gear, which can be done via bolts, straps or ropes (these items are not included in the standard kit).

To give you an idea of the size of the platform, we’ve chucked up a jerry can, a 47-litre Evakool icebox and a stack of firewood. We won’t use the tray to cart gear all the time, but it’ll remain in place – I reckon our main use will be as a (two) step up to the roof racks.

On the downside, the tail of the ratchet strap is way too long for 33-inch tyres, so it needs to be trimmed – a heat knife is the best tool for the job as to prevent the strap fraying. Also, the ratchet strap doesn’t lay flat on the tyre where it hooks onto the underside of the tray. A simple secondary ring or fitting would solve that.

All up, the Roadsafe rear wheel tray and step provides a great extra storage option, along with safer and easier access up to the roof racks.