There are few things less frustrating than when you are going on an adventure trip with your friends, but you run out of space to bring your gear to the car. You might even consider tying the gear to the roof of your car. But once you attempt to do it once, you’ll realize how inefficient it is. So you might think, do I need roof rack crossbars?
For the most part, If you travel frequently in your car and are constantly running out of space, a roof rack cross bar might be really useful. The crossbars give support that the roof of your car alone cannot. You could even dent your car if you're not careful. Roof rack crossbars are therefore always useful.
"however if you don't want to get one I recently wrote an article about cargo carriers that don't require a roof rack you might need to ckeck that out, its awesome one."
Even if you don’t travel or go on adventures, a roof rack crossbar might come in very handy for you. But how do you install it? Won’t the roof rack damage your car? Let’s find out.
Why Do You Need Roof Rack Cross Bars?
Roof rack crossbars are things that you think you don't need until you come across a situation where it might have been handy. It's one of those things that you will constantly find a use for once you install it. Especially if you travel a lot with equipment or like skis or adventures, having a roof rack can be very helpful to carry sports equipment.
Here some major reasons why you should get a roof rack:
A lot of people just tend to think that they can tie anything they need to the roof with a rope and call it a day. I mean, yes, that does get the job done, but it’s also very risky. A rope isn’t sturdy at all and will move around as you drive. Especially if you’re carrying things like a paddleboard or a surfboard on there, they could easily slide off and cause accidents.
It’s much more dangerous than you might think. Having crossbars allows you to strongly attach whatever you want to on top. It provides stability and it also absorbs a lot of the shaking and moving. It acts as a suspension system. Plus, there’s no chance of things slipping off.
Roof racks alone don’t have the strength to carry extra weight. They are pretty lightweight and can easily be dented if you’re not careful.
Having roof rack crossbars provides extra strength to the car and allows even weight distribution. So there’s no risk of too much weight accumulating and making a dent. It allows you to carry even heavy objects without worry.
It’s much easier to just put things on the rack and secure them in place, because roof racks come with tonnes of different accessories and allow you to tie things to them quite easily. Doing it with a rope alone is a lot of hassle, especially if you want it to be secure. It’s even harder to detach the ropes and get things off.
Roof rack crossbars make it very convenient to put anything up there. It also frees up space inside the car, so you can bring more people or more things with you. Even roof racks alone can cause extra aerodynamic drag. So crossbars are essential for your car's safety.
How Much Do Roof Rack Crossbars Cost?
Depending on whether you are just buying the crossbars or a whole roof rack set up, costs will vary. But most roof rack crossbars start at about 30 USD and go up to as high as 300 USD. Prices vary depending on material and design. You need to find out which ones are compatible with your car, especially if you already have rails installed.
I would suggest the CargoLoc 2 Piece Aluminum Cross Bar set on amazon, for its build quality and affordable prices. But you can also check out other options and see which one you like best and what suits your budget and needs.
Do Roof Racks Damage Your Car?
A lot of people get concerned when installing roof racks that it might scratch the surface of their car or damage it. Properly installed roof racks don’t cause damage to your car, and a lot of models like hatchbacks and SUVs come pre-installed with raised rails even if a proper roof rack system isn’t involved. So it is perfectly safe.
Roof racks and roof rack crossbars protect your roof from damage. You can sometimes get scratches while carrying stuff on the racks. And if you attempt to install a roof rack on a completely bare roof, you might cause damage. But all of this can be avoided if you're just careful.
Use a protective covering for your paint, and use pads to protect the edges. You can use vinyl film to protect the roof and keep a layer between your roof rack and the surface of your roof. In particular, be very careful when loading and unloading. Repair any blemishes you may have made. The longer you leave it, the more it might get worse.
How Much Weight Can You Put On The Roof Of Your Car?
When considering rooftop weights, you have to take into account the weight of the roof rack crossbars and the weight limit that the car manufacturer has mentioned. It is usually between 70 pounds and 165 pounds. You should be able to find this rating in the owner’s manual of your car.
There are usually two types of weight that you have to be careful about when putting anything on top of your car. These are the static weight and dynamic weight. As the names suggest, dynamic weight is the weight that the roof can support while the car is in motion. Similarly, the static weight is for when the car is stationary.
The dynamic roof weight limit will usually be much lower than the static weight capacity. You’ll be able to find both these ratings in your manual. You should also take into account the weight of the crossbars themselves when considering weight capacity. While crossbars allow you to distribute weight evenly, they have a weight of their own as well.
So keep in mind the weight capacity of the crossbars, the roof, and the weight of the load. Be careful never to exceed the recommended capacity, as this can not only damage the car but also cause accidents on the road.
Can You Install Roof Rack CrossBars Yourself?
Yes, you can install roof rack crossbars on your car by yourself. You just have to be careful about following the correct instructions and choosing crossbars that will work with your car. Everything depends on the model of your car. Examine your car and choose what’s best for you.
Some models like SUVs and hatchbacks come with pre-installed raised rails. These are the easiest to install a crossbar on. You don’t need to do any extra mounting, just follow the instructions on the crossbar manual. Remember to check the length and attachment style properly to see if it will fit on your rails.
Other models have hidden mounting hardware on the roof. Look for those, in small protective casings. These kinds of cars will require you to install a new roof rack system, but it’s still much easier than installing crossbars on a bare roof. There’s no need to drill for these models and you can attach the crossbars pretty easily here as well.
With completely bare roofs, it can be quite difficult to install crossbars. But it’s not impossible. You might need to drill the roof. It is possible to do it by yourself, but you might end up scratching the paint or damaging the roof. Better to get a professional to do it.
I hope this helped in answering your concerns of do I need roof rack crossbars? Most people will be benefitted from having one, even more so if your vehicle already comes with roof rails.
These provide extra ways to carry the load and provide support and stability. They are also very convenient to use. So, get one for yourself today!