What do you put on a roof rack?

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You may have seen plenty of vehicles with roof racks on the road. If you don’t have one yourself, you’re probably wondering how they are used and what can you put on the roof rack.  

People load items on their roof rack ranging from baggage (big or small), sports equipment, tools, camping gear, field instruments, light construction materials, home accessories, and more. 

The only caveat is that the cargo shouldn’t exceed the weight limit of the rook cargo rack and the vehicle. Otherwise, it could lead to damage and a higher risk against road safety. 

Nonetheless, if you’re careful enough with the type and weight of your load, you can use the roof rack with ease all the time. 

What To Consider Before Loading Items on Roof Rack


There’s a weight limit on how much your roof rack can handle when it comes to cargo. It’s usually tied up with the weight capacity of the vehicle itself. On average, a roof rack system can carry about 165 pounds. However, manufacturers set the limit to 150 to protect its weak points. 

If you exceed the TWC, it can damage the roof cargo rack altogether through the immense pressure of the load. 

It can lead to having an unstable roof cargo rack where one side is stiffer than the other. In the long run, you may even have your tires losing air pressure because of this. 

Likewise, the pressure can also damage the roof of the vehicle depending on how heavy the load is. Plus, it greatly affects your steering and fuel efficiency.


Aside from the weight, you also have to consider the size of your package. Both factors affect one another, which in turn impacts the overall performance of the vehicle. Likewise, improper placement of oversized items can also cause a nuisance on the road. Hence, you have to plan it well. 

If you have larger items, you can examine whether fitting them in a vertical or horizontal position would work better. Its surface area is of concern especially when the car starts moving.

Type of Material

Given that your items are more exposed on the roof rack, it only makes sense to keep delicate items inside instead. 

Things you wouldn’t want to expose to dust, sunlight or possible water damage due to weather changes should not be placed on the roof rack, especially if they lack added protection or covering.

On the other hand, sturdy and rugged items like bicycles, kayaks, and surfboards typically remain safe on the roof rack. 

What Should I Load on My Roof Rack?

1. Luggage

You can choose to place your luggage on the roof rack, especially if you have a roof cargo basket carrier instead of inside the car. That extra space offers additional space for more passengers to accompany you on your trip.  

Luggage being tougher against the outside conditions can withstand better than typical bags. Provided they are well positioned and fitted tightly with ropes or any tightening material to keep them in place, there is no need to worry. 

Plus, if you ever find yourself picking someone up at the airport with lots of luggage, you can rely on this car accessory for more space.  

Check out the ARKSEN Heavy Duty 64 Inch Universal Roof Rack if you have an SUV, crossover, or car.

What do you put on a roof rack?

2. Sports Equipment

It is not uncommon to see cars with roof cargo baskets installed on them and skiing equipment mounted. They make up for the perfect transporting vehicle to make way for a fun experience during winter when ski parks are opened. 

In the same way, if you are into cycling, you can put up a bicycle on the roof rack. On the other hand, if you are more into surfing, you need not worry about where to put your board. As you can guess, surfers intentionally mount up a roof cargo basket for such a purpose. 

For kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, consider the HYPERAX Iridium M Steel Cargo Roof Rack Kayak Carrier. It gives the security and safety your equipment needs.

3. Camping Gear

Camping requires plenty of stuff. After all, you will need tools and supplies to survive the wild. Therefore, you’ll find roof racks to be handy. They are even more advantageous if you put up a roof cargo basket carrier to keep all your items intact.

You can strap your tent or cooler on the roof rack along with other things you’ll be using at camp. Likewise, you can continue to rely on roof racks if ever you need to build a makeshift tent of awning near your vehicle.

For Camping Gear, and other advantures, consider the Rockland Aluminum Camping Gear Roof Rack Utility Carrier on amazon

4. Construction Materials

If you are in the process of renovating a part of your house and you need some materials to buy on the hardware, normally you would want to use your pickup truck. 

However, if you have an SUV or other closed vehicle, you can go for the second-best thing and that is using your roof rack provided that you also install a roof cargo basket carrier. This accessory provides a lot of points on which you can tie your rope to keep your purchase in place. 

Nonetheless, you should take extra precautions and be selective with the construction materials you place on your roof rack. If you have tons of items, it’s still best to have them delivered to your home. But if they are few and safe enough to load on your roof rack, then you’re good to go.

5. Home Accessories

If you’re on a budget or store delivery isn’t an option for you, you can opt to bring items for house furnishing through your roof rack. Whether it’s a small dresser or pieces of floating shelves, you can simply secure them on your roof rack with straps. 

On the other hand, you also need to gauge how fragile the items could be. Although they can keep in place on the roof rack, the external exposure still poses tons of potential for damage. 

Things that can easily break or get brittle should be placed inside the vehicle instead of the roof rack. Nonetheless, if you’re careful enough, the transport can go smoothly.

6. Tools

Whether it would be for your car, for your home, a particular commercial establishment, or any that it may suit it well for, a roof cargo basket offers to keep your tools in a reliable location ready to be used anytime. 

If your line of work requires various tools or large equipment, then roof racks will serve you well. 

For example, If you are an independent filmmaker who is always on the go for location changes, you may have to forget about renting another car if your own vehicle has plenty of storage for different pieces of equipment. Of course, that includes a reliable roof rack.   

Final Thoughts

When looking into the functions of a roof rack, you will soon realize its versatility in terms of cargo storage and delivery. Since it caters to different types of items you can easily load and unload, it’s safe to say, that roof racks provide the best value for their price. 

With that, there is no doubt that getting your vehicle its own roof rack will only improve its capacity and overall worth. Likewise, it will allow you to engage in different types of activities.

About the author 

Vieira Babeker

Hi! I'm Vieira. I've always been interested in different Auto Accessories

My passion here at theroofboxes.com is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and tips for Automotive Accessories.

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