Car roof racks are a handy way to increase the carrying capacity of your vehicle. Whether you need to transport luggage, camping gear, skis, bikes, kayaks, or cargo boxes, a quality roof rack opens up a world of possibilities.
This article will explore the different benefits of roof racks, popular roof rack systems, choosing the right roof rack, and installing a roof rack onto your vehicle’s roof. Read on to learn everything you need about utilizing your car’s roof to full advantage!
Choosing the Right Roof Rack
When selecting a roof rack, the most important factor is ensuring compatibility with your specific vehicle’s make, model, and year. Most quality rack manufacturers design roof racks to fit specific vehicles, so you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s fit guide.
Measure your factory roof rails or bare roof to determine the correct length and width of the rack that will fit. Also, consider the weight capacity you need – do you plan to carry heavier items like luggage containers or kayaks? Going with a heavier-duty bar and tower system may be wise to handle greater weights.
Installing a Roof Rack
Installing a roof rack is usually a relatively straightforward process, but it pays to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. First, assemble the towers, bars, and mounting hardware based on the fit guide. Lay out all pieces to test the fit without attaching anything permanently.
Attach tower mounts securely to the proper roof points near doors with the provided hardware. Ensure the towers align properly and torque bolts to the vehicle maker’s specs with a calibrated torque wrench.
With towers in place, fit the crossbars into the towers’ grooves or T-slots per the instructions. Make crossbar adjustments so spacing and centering achieve optimal weight distribution. Confirm bars are centered on towers, level, and have even overhang. Finally, tighten all remaining clamps and screws securely and check torque on all hardware with a torque wrench.
Types of Roof Racks
Crossbars – These basic horizontal bars mount to towers or clips that attach to factory rails. Cross bars allow roof-top mounting of various carriers and gear. They offer versatility to mount bikes, cargo boxes, kayak saddles, ski racks, and more. Aerodynamic models minimize noise and drag.
Cargo Boxes – Weatherproof roof containers optimized for luggage and gear storage. Hard shells lock contents securely during travel. Models are sized from 10 to 20+ cubic feet in capacity. Excellent for increasing packing space with minimal effect on driving. Easy to load/unload.
Kayak Racks – Specialty J-cradles and saddles that cradle kayaks overturned on the roof. Quality racks have padding and multi-arm securing straps. The best is adjustable for carrying one or two kayaks. It’s a great way to transport boats securely.
Ski & Snowboard Racks – Vertical or stacked designs to mount skis or multiple snowboards securely using rubber-lined arms and locks. Allows gear to be carried safely without reducing interior room.
Bike Racks – Fork or upright mount designs carry from one to multiple bikes on the roof. Rear wheel straps or fork clamps hold bikes tightly during transport—a simple way to bring bulky bikes anywhere.
There are also more specialty roof racks available for transporting ladders, cargo nets, rooftop tents, and even small boats! Whatever the cargo, carefully choosing the right carrier ensures your gear travels safely from point A to point B.
Get More Out of Your Vehicle with a Roof Rack
One of the best features of roof rack systems is the versatility and additional cargo capacity they provide. With a quality rack properly installed, you transform useless roof space into a convenient, secure cargo zone. This liberates the interior for passengers while safely transporting gear on the roof.
For outdoor adventurers, vehicles become infinitely more capable with roof racks. Attach a bike rack and bring along the two-wheelers for family cycling adventures. Strap kayaks overhead to reach that new stretch of paddling paradise. Secure skis and snowboards during winter road trips to the slopes. Or pack the latest water toys like paddleboards for your next lake getaway.
Travelers likewise benefit from the extra storage roof racks afford. Roof containers free up packed rear cargo areas. Now, bring everything but the kitchen sink without worrying about cramped quarters inside. Racks also provide security via locking mechanisms, which is not possible with interior packing. Plus, you’ll enjoy cleaner interiors without gear and muddy equipment inside the vehicle.
Campers can utilize roof space for all manner of outdoor equipment, firewood, and cargo that is too awkward to fit inside. The roof rack enables taking so much more on those weekend escapes or extended off-the-grid excursions. The right rack becomes invaluable for overland adventurers and van lifers invested in extended road travel, too.
With versatile roof rack systems, vehicles transform into better-equipped machines ready for pursuing all kinds of outdoor activities and journeys. Take full advantage of the possibilities with secure overhead storage space!
Having a good roof rack on your car could mean you are ready for any adventure. Ensure equal weight distribution across reliable bars/rails, correctly secure it all, and be careful while on the road. Do not overload the car’s roof or take sharp curves quickly. Utilize the above discoveries, and soon, you will appreciate why a roof rack is essential for tackling all your journeys and exploits.