Van Guard roof rack review

Roger Bisby installs a new Van Guard roof rack.

When I sold my old Mercedes Vito I sold the roof rack with it. It was a Van Guard roof rack made for the van so there was little point in keeping it besides I really fancied the look of the new Van Guard roof rack with the aerodynamic Ultibars. All I had to do was tap in my registration number on their website and it found my vehicle, a long wheelbase Vauxhall Vivaro. The side bars and the aluminium roof-bars are part of their standard kit but the bits that vary from vehicle to vehicle are the steel roof brackets. On my van there are three two hole fixing points on each side and for reasons I don’t quite understand, a single hole fixing above the cab.

Fitting a Van Guard rack was a simple job on my last van but it is now even easier. The side bars and the filling in cross bars simply clip into position but, once fitted and clicked down they are very solid and won’t move.

The bolts that secure the brackets to the van roof need to be torqued up to 8Nm so you will need a torque wrench to do the job properly. I decided to go for a rear roller bar because the van is quite high and it is impossible to side load the rack. The roller is not essential because you can slide ladders on the rear bar and there is no real friction but I find the roller really useful for 8 x 4 sheets.

I decided to fit a new lined tube carrier to complement the look. The lining is to prevent plastic conduit from getting scratched and it is also good for all manner of trims. The tube carrier is lockable but these days I tend to leave mine unlocked on the assumption that anyone who is looking to steal copper tube is unlikely to worry about having to jemmy open an aluminium tube. I suppose I could put a sign on saying ‘No copper tube left in here overnight’ but that presupposes the thieves can read.

About Roger Bisby

Roger Bisby
Roger Bisby is an English television presenter and journalist, known for his expertise in the British building industry.


  1. Avatar

    We would never use this company again. Our ultibars roofrack arrived all hangin out the box and bits missing… no thanks

  2. Avatar

    Hi Terry, Laura from Van Guard here. We are deeply sorry you experienced an issue with your Ultibar packaging and totally understand your frustration.

    As our manufacturing and packaging of our Ultibar van roof bars are all handled internally at Van Guard HQ in Exeter, Devon we do consistently review our processes, products and packaging for improvements.

    Since September 2017 I can confirm our packaging has been updated to be more compact, more robust and more suited to heavy duty courier handling than it ever has been. In the event something unforeseen should happen to a customers package we do stress customers should contact our dedicated customer support team to help in these scenarios – as most cases can be resolved within 24 hours.

    We hope the quality of our Ultibar Van Roof bars has superseded the packaging mishap and you do consider ordering from us in future should a need arise.

    All the best,

    Laura Woodward

    Sales Support Manager – Van Guard

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