Roof baskets often require a pre-installed roof rack for mounting. However, once you have the crossbars fitted on the rail, attaching the roof basket becomes a breeze.
To attach a roof basket to a roof rack, all you need to do is assemble the parts first and then fasten the basket using clamps, screws, or whatever fit kits that come with your purchase. The process is simple and can be done in a matter of minutes.
But if you’re wondering what particular tasks are involved, just read on as we lay out a simple guide on installing a roof basket on your roof rack.
4 Steps to Attach a Roof Basket to a Roof Rack
To install a roof basket on your car requires these easy and simple steps:
1. Secure the Roof rack
Before mounting the whole roof basket in place, it is best to see if your roof rack is still up for the job. It’s important not to skip this, as it would be harder to adjust the rack once you have the roof basket in place.
Try to push and pull the crossbars and get a feel of their structural integrity. Check the bolts and screws on the feet and the fit kits if available.
2. Assemble the Parts
Factory-made roof baskets come with instructions on how to put everything in place. The basket itself is usually divided into two or three portions by which you attach them throughout using predetermined screws and bolts. Some may even have wind deflectors for a smoother journey on the road.
Simply follow the step-by-step guide in assembling the basket and make sure all points are correctly connected and tightened.
3. Position It Well
When the assembly is all done, you can now put the basket on top of your roof rack. You might need a friend to help you with this one. It is best to keep it as center as possible, which would help in the even distribution of weights.
4. Fasten to crossbars
Once you are satisfied with the position of your roof basket, it’s time for the last part, and that is fastening it into the roof rack. Use the fit kits as instructed. Fit the crossbars with the locking mechanism mentioned in the instructions. Test the stability of the roof basket by gently yanking it from the roof rack
Related: 6 Reasons You Need a Roof Rack
Why Should You Secure Your Roof Basket?
The last thing you want to find during your trip is your roof basket, all gone after a long drive. It may sound crazy, but the reality is that this unfortunate event can happen and can affect not only you but anyone on the road. With this in mind, it is best to understand further how securing it in place should be a priority.
1. It Is Exposed to the Environmental Risks
As you drive on your journey, external conditions that could deteriorate the equipment over time affect your roof basket.
For example, the wind can significantly impact the integrity of the roof basket. So by securing it nice and tight, you can preserve and use it longer.
2. It Might Get Displaced During Transportation
Call it a freak accident, but the chances of a roof basket flying off your car’s roof can be possible if it’s not secured on the roof rack.
Without properly putting your roof basket in place, some parts of it may be taken up by the wind detaching itself. This can cause a problem since it can fall into the way of those behind you.
Accidents had happened all because a piece of load dropped from the basket and startled ongoing drivers.
Things to Consider Before Installing a Roof basket
Before you install a roof basket, consider the following factors that could affect your safety and security on the road.
Unlike a roof box, the roof basket is more exposed to the harshness of nature. How will it fare on a sunny day? Will it degrade when the rain is pouring? You have the option of putting up the additional coating to its paint to give you peace of mind.
Likewise, you can consider adding a cover or placing your items on a roof bag instead for better protection from the weather.
The type of load you will be mounting in your roof basket should be considered. It fits fine for most materials such as groceries, an extra tire, luggage, sports equipment, and other sturdy cargo.
However, if you need a more enclosed and robust carrier, consider a roof box like the Thule Force XT.
When hauling your items, it’s imperative not to exceed the weight limit, not just of the roof basket but, more importantly, your car’s limit. Overstuffing the roof basket without taking the total weight into account can lead to your vehicle’s poor performance and potential damage during the drive.
Tips on Securing Cargo on a Roof Basket
When hauling your cargo, it’s best to follow best practices in securing each item. This way, you can ensure safety and stability even with extreme road conditions.
1. Use reliable tying materials
Keeping your materials in place often requires tying them within the roof basket. Fortunately, you have plenty of options for this task.
Net: Use this when you have a lot of small individual pieces such as boxes and luggage.
Straps: If you are hauling mid-sizes or more oversized items, straps are better options than a net or ropes. These are easy to use, but you have to be careful as you could over-tighten your cargo.
Ropes: These are an excellent way to secure cargo, but you may need to learn how to do it properly.
2. Distribute Weight Evenly
Uneven placement makes it easier for the wind to disrupt the car’s aerodynamics, affecting its performance and fuel consumption.
So, if you have various items to haul, distribute the weight evenly to prevent displacement on the road. Fill the center first, and then strategically position your load in a way that one side is not heavier than the other.
3. Check the Tires for Any Change
After mounting up the cargo, it is a good idea to check your tire pressure. Find out if they begin lacking some air due to the overall weight. If this is the case, readjust your cargo or consider reducing the load altogether.
4. Check After First 10 Minutes on the Road
When you’ve already checked that your cargo is secured, try to stop by and recheck its condition after 10 minutes. If all seems okay, then you may drive away with the ease of confidence.
Installing a roof basket is not as difficult as you think. Simply follow the basic steps, and you’re done before you know it.
However, it’s essential to understand that your work on keeping your roof cargo basket secured continues after the installation. Therefore, as long as you are using the storage item, you must ensure that its functionality and safety are maintained.
This means being mindful of its maintenance and proper usage all the time.