If you’re heading on a road trip or braving British weather with your camping buddies, it’s inevitable that you’ll have plenty of cargo with you. In these scenarios, a roof rack will be your best friend. Roof racks are designed to free up room in your car, allowing you to pack everything you could possibly need for your adventures, whilst keeping things safe and secure. Of course, there are safety precautions you need to take when installing one, which is why we’ve put together a guide to roof racks and tying things down. Read on to find out everything you’ll need to know…
How will a roof rack affect your car?
Being that installing a roof rack at the top of your car increases its overall surface area, it will consequently increase your car’s wind resistance. This means that your vehicle will consume more fuel when traveling on the road, so whenever your roof rack isn’t in use, always remember to remove it to save your pennies.
Roof rack safety
The universal limit for a roof rack is roughly 165 additional lbs for a dynamic vehicle (a vehicle that’s in transit) – which also includes the weight of the roof rack itself – so it’s vital that you’re not overloading. This will vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle, so if you’re ever unsure how much extra weight your car can hold, refer back to the owner’s manual.
Before you set off on your travels, you should always make sure that your cargo won’t negatively impact your car’s stability, and that it won’t inhibit anyone else’s view of the road. It’s always essential to keep a close eye on the speed limit, and remember to be particularly careful when going round corners to cater for your vehicle’s additional weight.
What type of roof rack will my car need?
There are various types of roof racks to fit different car makes and models, so it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all in this scenario. Some cars may already come with a factory cross bar, but you can purchase additional accessories (take kayak carriers as an example) that can attach safely onto the factory bars. If your car doesn’t already come with its own roof rack, you’ll need to look carefully to find one that’s compatible.
What will you need in your roof rack system?
To safely set up your roof rack system, you’ll need:
Load bars – these will go across the roof of your car to support your cargo. Their size will vary from vehicle to vehicle.
Foot packs – these are used to support the cross bars.
Fit kit – to attach the foot packs onto the roof of your vehicle.
When it comes to tying everything down, bungee straps are a brilliant tool to use for cargo control. They’ve got high elasticity, a flat shape and their wider construction makes them ideal for covering a wider surface area, and they come with two wired hooks that are sewn into the webbing for additional strength.
Stretch the bungee strap to ensure that it can safely fit across your luggage, setting to the desired tension before securing everything onto the roof rack using the wired hooks. Once you’ve done this, make sure to give the straps a few tugs to check that they’re tight enough, and then you’re good to go.