The standard Instagram offroad/overland/safari build starter kit is pretty simple: questionable lift, big mud tires, matte paint, lots of lights, bull bar, and a roof rack. I think we all secretly love these builds. Unfortunately my quest to turn the Wagovan into just that has gone awry and I need your help!

My Wagovan didn’t come with a roof rack or provisions for one. Plan A was to use a “bare” roof rack kit. Unfortunately, due to the way the door seals work on the Wagovan, this turns out to be a non starter*. The bars I ordered are going back, and this leaves $175 in the budget to do something else.


But what?

Help me decide!

*The Civic has a seal on the car side in addition the the one on the door. The vehicle side seal has a hard piece of body work in the center (think pinch seam) that prevents the clamp on style and the strap style bare racks from working. Also I hate the strap type bare racks. Also also I’m not willing to drill the roof. If you’ve read and understand all of this, I’m open to suggestions about ways to fit a rack!

Here are the options as I see them

RGB LED Underglow - $100

Ok... this isn’t as silly as it sounds! We do plenty of overlanding at night. Sometimes it would be helpful to see under the car and sometimes it would be handy to have a small amount of ambient light.


... also it would look cool...


While I am an EE by trade, I don’t think I’d bother building my own with so many commercial variants available.

Magnetic Mounted Roof LED Lights - $200

I’m planning on mounting lights elsewhere on the car, but I could spring for another light bar with magnetic mounts. This would have the added benefit of being temporary. If I spring for an RGB version, it would blow the budget but... worth it?


I could also go for quad spots, but those would also break the bank.

Full Size Spare - $125

Probably the most useful of the options, though without a roof rack I’d have to find a place for it! This would buy me a spare wheel and full OD tire.


Enhanced RGB Interior Lights - $125



The idea here would be to use some manner of LED lighting to make it so I could really light up the interior of the vehicle. Probably strip lights, but I’d review my options before making a decision. This could provide good light when loading/ unloading at night, but also the Civic is enough of a greenhouse it could provide ambient light too. The RGB is so I can do red or amber lighting at night.

Magnetic Mounted Roof Tools - $150

Throw a shovel and some knock off MaxTrax on the roof using magnetic mounts. Not as cool as they’d be mounted on roof bars, but have the benefit of being (relatively) easily removed.


That roof rack that __________ suggested in the comments - $???

If it’ll work and is less than $175, I’m game.

Put that money towards one of your other shitboxes - $175

Yeah that should honestly have been my default! But... BUILD!

Will hoon for funds


Clearly I’m stuck on the notion of lighting, but I’m not sure what my other options are.

What do you think Oppo? Reply in the comments or use this handy google thingy.