It’s a common scenario that we often see vehicles with mounted racks on top of them. If you’re not familiar with this mounted appendage, you might wonder what exactly they are for.
Roof racks carry items such as carries, luggage, bicycles, kayaks, canoes, skis, camping materials, and many others that work well into their arsenal. While most vehicles come with spacious compartments for storage, oversized items are bound to be attached to the roof for better transport and a comfortable ride.
In this article, I explore deeper the many aspects that make roof racks a reasonable purchase adding more value to your car.
What Is the Point of a Roof Rack?
Using a roof rack comes in various ways, mainly depending on what you put on them. With this in mind, here are standard items that make you appreciate it more:
Using carriers on your roof racks, such as a roof basket and a roof box, makes it easier for you to load essential items on the go. These carriers are often added when items need more security against the weather or specks of dust as both provide a tight enclosure.
When going for a long drive with friends and families across town, a roof rack works well to store luggage to provide more space inside the vehicle. You can use a sturdy rope to mount them all secure, adding less stuff to bother you on the road.
For many biking enthusiasts, a roof rack isn’t an option but a necessity. It is one of the most convenient ways to transport your bike from your house to anywhere you find it ideal to use it. A vehicle-mounted with a roof rack waits at the finish line in the competitive pro scene.
Kayaks and Canoes
It is more fun to get into water sports if you can bring your own kayak and canoe without renting a separate transport vehicle. Fortunately, this is rarely a problem thanks to the functions of roof racks. You can simply mount these oversized items on your car’s roof rack.
Skis and Snowboards
Putting up a roof rack in your car makes it a more friendly choice for skis and snowboards. This is because, in snowy conditions, they can quickly put their skis on top of it.
If you ever feel like camping, you would worry less about the baggage you need to bring for your trip if you have a roof rack in your car. Items such as tents, coolers, bags, and other similar stuff can be put up top.
How Do You Install a Roof Rack?
Installing a roof rack may vary depending on the type of roof your car has. In addition, some vehicles have no pre-installed attachments on top of them by the time of purchase which makes the installation process a bit longer.
Bare or Naked Roof Installation
Installing a roof rack in a typical car with no factory-installed or readily available mounting gear comes in three easy steps and needs three components: fit kits, feet, and crossbars. Follow this procedure to attain that desired result on a naked roof:
Step 1: Attach the Fit Kits to the Feet
Fit kits are what secure the feet in place in your vehicle. This usually comes as a clamp that can be tightened with a screwdriver or, depending on the instruction manual that comes with its purchase.
Step 2: Place Crossbars Into Feet
With your fit kits now attached to the feet, it’s now time to place your crossbars on them. Again, make sure to secure the screws and bolts tightly.
Step 3: Mount the Rack on Your Roof
Now that you have assembled the three rack pieces, it’s time to place them on your roof. Find a good spot, and you may use a measuring tool to see that both sides are the same as the other. Fasten the fit kits, ensuring no loose ends, and you’re done.
Raised Side Rails Installation
Installing a roof rack on a car with factory-installed raised side rails on top proves more accessible. In addition, you only need two components in this particular case, namely foot packs, and crossbars.
Step 1: Attach Crossbars to Feet
Feet serve somewhat like feet for your crossbars, and just like in the previous installation, make sure to fit them well.
Step 2: Placed Rack on Side Rails
Now that you’ve attached the crossbars and feet, it’s time to put them on your roof. This is done by connecting the feet to your side rails and tightening the attachment using the fit kits.
Hole Mounted Installation
Specific roof racks are installed by first getting holes that serve as base points for your roof rack. If you’re vehicle already has holes for this installation, you can simply put up the roof rack. Otherwise, you may want to employ the services of a professional to place those holes.
To follow through with this kind of installation, check out these steps below:
Step 1: Secure the Holes
Factory-mounted holes can be located with plastic, metal, or square covers. Standard tools can quickly take them off. If there isn’t one, drilling into the spot of your choice would be logical but this may require some expertise.
Step 2: Place the Bracket
After securing the holes, you may now place your brackets in them. These will serve as the feet for your crossbars. It is best to use a water sealant when installing them to prevent water from pouring down inside your car.
Step 3: Mount Crossbars on Feet
After testing the anchorage of each bracket to your crossbars, you may now place the crossbars on them. Put in the necessary screws, and you’re done.
Choosing What Installation Fits Best
It can be noted that the simplest form of installation would be the one for cars with prebuilt raised side rails on them.
But while this may be the case, using drilled holes for your roof rack installation lets you configure a firmer and sturdier design at the cost of having it as a permanent approach.
On the other hand, the naked roof and raised rail installations to work best on easy and plain terrains, while for more adventurous ones, hole-mounted installation may just do the part.
Does Roof Rack Have an Effect on Car?
Roof racks may offer convenience in terms of space and storage, but it’s important to note that they can also have an impact on your car. This is practically why it’s not recommended to use the racks daily for hauling heavy cargo.
If you find your car exerting more torque than before, it could be because of the extra weight brought about by your roof rack. Vehicles have weight limits, and the closer one finds them, the more force is needed to move the car forward. This is why choosing a light yet rigid material for a roof rack comes in hand.
The roof rack affects a car’s aerodynamics aspect. It disrupts the flow of wind in a way that speed is compromised. Additional drag is created and therefore affects the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
If you’re looking for added storage on your car, having a roof rack could be the exact solution you’ll need. Not only will you have extra space inside your car, but you can also haul oversized items that usually do not fit your car’s compartment.
However, when choosing a roof rack, it’s best to plan your purchase ahead based on how you want it installed, target load capacity, roof type, etc.