Handiworld – HandiRacks and Handiholdall – Part 2

Part 2 – Handiholdall

(Please note that the HandiRacks and HandiHoldall were purchased by me for my own personal use whilst camping, and that I am not being paid to endorse this product. However, please be aware that this post contains affiliate links for which I may be paid a small commission should you make a purchase.)

Following on from my review of the HandiRacks, today I am reviewing the holdall . You can read my review of the HandiRacks here.

The holdall states that it has a capacity of 320 litres, but I guess that this is hard to imagine. But it really is HUGE.

folding camper roof rack
Handiholdall in action

We purchased two additional orange duffels which each can contain 135 litres, and these two fit side by side into to HandiHoldall once it is on the roofracks (never pack up the holdall before you secure it onto the roofrack).

To give you some idea of what we fitted in each duffel : there are three of us (two adults and a 13 year old)

  • Duffel one contained all of our clothes for one week away, we took more than we needed
  • Duffel two contained all our shoes, toiletries, books, and also towels (hand, bath, tea)

Basically – everything we needed to take with us. The boot of our car literally roof rackcontained a very large awning for a Conway Cardinal (including poles and annexe) , a freezer bag and two bags of other foodstuffs. (You shouldn’t put food in the HandiHoldall).

So, the two duffels went up into the roofbag and although there was enough space for more gear, we didn’t really have anything to put up there.

The bag fixes on to the roof rack using straps and are securely fastened (obviously the holdall comes with full instructions).

 

The duffel bags have triple fold zips , to keep water out and are made from very thick plastic. There are several straps over the whole of the bag, to assist with lifting them onto the car (bear in mind the maximum weight your car can carry, and how strong you are to lift them up there)

In addition, the HandiHoldall also has covers over the zipper to keep all the contents dry.

roof rack and roof bars
Handiracks and Handiholdall

Once we were all packed up, we could see that there would have been space for even more up there in the holdall, but we really did not have anything else to put up there!

One thing to note is that the Holdall does not have to be fitted onto the HandiRacks – if you have conventional roof bars for your car already, the Holdall can be purchased alone and comes with the necessary straps to fit it to roof bars.

The HandiHoldall and the duffels are available at various online retailers and retail at around £100. Given their flexibility and capacity, and how easy they are to fit onto the car, I would definitely recommend the Holdall over a conventional roofbox.

 

Home Farm THS, Blue Anchor, Somerset – Campsite Review

Our first holiday at a Trailer Tent & Folding Camper Group Temporary Holiday Site with our Conway Cardinal Clubman! We were looking forward to our trip down to Somerset for a week, and hoped to see lots of folding campers and meet like minded FC people.

The THS was on a rally field behind a farm with a camping field – as it was a rally

folding camper campsite somerset
Camping at Home Farm

(at reduced rate of £9 a night) we were not allowed to use toilets and showers on the site. We were a little wary of being self sufficient in that respect, but we had been assured that the site next door had a swimming pool which was open to the public and had showers we could use in there. It is worth noting that Home Farm is a CS and so it would be possible to camp there as an “ordinary” campsite but at an increased nightly rate.

On arrival, the stewards were extremely welcoming, not least because we had a folding camper. They told us how they used to have a Conway Cardinal (burgundy). We were asked to pitch at the edge of the field, opposite another folding camper. During the week there was only one more folding camper arrive, we had hoped there would be quite a few. I did notice that a couple camped on the farm’s main camping field, and there were also a few on the site next door.

folding camper somerset
Conway Cardinal at Home Farm

Within a few hours of our arrival, several people had wandered past and told us that they used to have a Conway Cardinal like ours. We also got asked to show some people round our camper as they were thinking of upgrading from a tent. All in all, the feel around the site was really friendly, with a lot of interest in our camper.

The stewards on this holiday meet were the friendlies we had ever come across, keen to help, keen to chat and totally still in love with folding campers and trailer tents (even if most of them now have motor homes and campers). While we were there, we had discussed joining the TT&FCG arm of the C&CC as it was only £6 a year – after we were brought an application form the decision was pretty much made. We’re still waiting for something to come through in the post to confirm our membership, but will update on the membership benefits once we have received it.

About the area

The area of Blue Anchor is lovely and peaceful. The site is a few minutes walk

folding camper somerset
Camping at Home Farm

from the seafront, and in Blue Anchor there are two pubs and a cafe, along with the neighbouring caravan site with a shop. There is also a station for the West Somerset Railway.

The site at Home Farm is right next to a pub,and there is a car boot twice a week in the summer season.

The seaside resort of Minehead is a short drive away, as is the harbour of Watchet and Dunster Castle and medieval vilage. We really loved the area, it was so peaceful and easy going. We had a really great week in Somerset, and really enjoyed the company of the Trailer Tent and Folding Camper Group.

HandiHoldall and HandiRacks Review – Part 1

Part 1 – HandiRacks

Or “How to pack more stuff for the holidays”

Do you find that no matter how well you pack, there just isn’t enough room to take everything you want on holiday in your folding camper?

Read on, as we have found a great solution to this. As I will be reviewing both the racks and the bags, I have separated the review into two parts. First up – the racks.

(Please note that the HandiRacks and HandiHoldall were purchased by me for my own personal use whilst camping, and that I am not being paid to endorse this product. However, please be aware that this post contains affiliate links for which I may be paid a small commission should you make a purchase.)

Handiholdall roof bag
Handiholdall

So, despite having a car with a massive boot, we had begun to find that we had less and less space for our essentials when we were away in our folding camper for a week or more. Last year, we had our old Ford Focus when we went to Cornwall for a week with our Conway Cardinal, and the old Focus roof-bars were in the garage, along with a tatty roof box from a well-known car shop. Faced with the prospect of buying yet another set of roof bars for our new Mondeo, I started my online search feeling slightly downhearted. We were also aware that our roof box was difficult to fix onto the bars, difficult to open and close and didn’t really hold that much – particularly as it was rigid and an awkward shape. My online search led me to a company that had a roof bag, which seemed easier to use/fill than a roof box, and pretty cost effective. They also made a product that alleviated the need for a new set of bars with each new car purchase – an inflatable roof rack.

What are Handi Racks ?

Handi racks are inflatable roof bars, and can be fitted on almost any car. Because they are universal, there is no need to buy a new set of roof bars each time you get a new car. They are relatively easy to fit onto your car in just a few minutes, and come pretty much ready to go out the box (including a pump!).

roof rack and roof bars
Handiracks and Handiholdall

 

Basically, they go over your car and through each door to fasten within the car. I can confirm that while we were driving the straps within the car were completely unnoticeable and did not affect the inside of our car at all. I have read online reviews that suggest heavy rain soaks the straps and that this can soak down the strap into the car, but we didn’t have rain on our journey and so cannot comment on this.

Once they are inflated, they can support up to 80kg on the roof of your car – this could be camping stuff within a HandiHoldall, or could be flat packed furniture, surfboards etc. The racks have 5 D-RING anchor points on them, enabling you to fix various items on to the racks.roof rack

There are also optional anti slip pads (to pop between your car roof and the racks) and a rain kit (to soak up any water that might soak into the straps).

roof rackThe racks retail at around £65, from various different online sites and we felt that this cost was reasonable given that the racks will be used on either of our cars (Mondeo and Fiesta) and can be transferred for future vehicle purchases, or lent to family & friends.

We also purchased a HandiHoldall and some duffels, which I will be reviewing in Part 2 of this Handiworld review.