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How to keep your boot clean and undamaged when transporting gear.

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I'm a big fan of tow balls and roof racks, but I always try to fit items in the car where possible.

It's better for safety and security, not to mention a sealed compartment is more likely to keep your items in good condition.


However, for many people with full interiors, the idea of sticking dirty items in the car isn't appealing. With the right precautions, this won't be an issue.


It's obvious, why the guide

Before anyone comments "Pmod, you wrote a guide on putting dropsheets in a boot, wtf. Roflcopter"...

Good preparation takes care and thought, and isn't a skill everyone naturally has. In my experience, some folks benefit from a few simple suggestions, hence this guide. That, and I wrote half of this in a post, so why not?



The goal here is to use thick fabric, or rubber. Floor mats and carpet offcuts provide excellet protection, as do old heavy-weight cloth curtains.

Ideally, you want a soft underside to protect the car, and a non-abrasive upper section to protect your goods.

Carpet also provides great protection for the back of your driver/passenger seats if transporting wheels or tyres.



The less an object moves, the less damage it will do to the interior.

Empty cardboard fruit boxes are good, since they fit inside each other and cover a lot of space.

Gym bags can be used, as can rolled up towels or tool boxes.

If moving an engine, an effective way to make it stay put is to sit it oil-pan-down on an old tyre (no rim, of course). Always transport engines and gearboxes upright, and line the boot with a plastic dropsheet to avoid fluid spillage.



An often-overlooked facet of transportation are gloves. Apart from protecting your hands from damage (bonus), they allow you to handle dirty items without messing up your steering wheel or door trim.

A cheap pair of riggers gloves can be had for less than $5, and will take up no space in your tyre well.



I've found it easier to wrap bikes up, rather than place them on dropsheets. If loading a bike in dirty conditions, then a little extra care is needed to keep your car clean.


Buy the the following:

- Two 5m tarps

- Bag of super-heavy-duty pegs (the type that will crush your finger)

- Cloth dropsheet made of thick fabric (e.g. heavy curtains)

- Small plastic bag


Process is:

1. Line your boot with the dropsheet (you would do this before going to the bike track). Use a few pegs to keep it in place.

2. Drape the back of the dropsheet over your bumper to avoid scratches

3. Spread one tarp flat on the muddy ground

4. Spread the second tarp flat on top of the first tarp, keeping the underside clean

5. Stand bike upright on the tarp, wheels on the ground

6. Lift up the edges around the bike and peg in place, like a taco

7. Put the bike taco into the boot, on top of the thick fabric dropsheet

8. Put the muddy dropsheet into the plastic bag

9. Drive home, remove everything and hose off the tarps


An alternative is to tie 20cm lengths of shoelace to the eyelet rings on one tarp, then tie the edges together instead of using pegs.

Personal preference really, however the shoelaces will probably get dirty.

Edited by pmod

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Nice. Good link.

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