Is a Roof Rack Right for Your Ride?

Is a Roof Rack Right for Your Ride?

Storage space in a vehicle is one of the top concerns people have when selecting a new car or truck. This is especially true for large and active families. Getting bulky hockey equipment or bikes from one place to another can be challenging in smaller vehicles. Even large SUVs and trucks can run out of space faster than you think. This is when the roof of your vehicle looks like a promising option. You must first determine whether this is a viable option for your specific vehicle.

Choose the Rack First

You should figure out what you are going to transport on your roof and find a rack that accommodates it before purchasing a vehicle. It may seem impractical to consider a piece of equipment that is just a few hundred dollars over automotive machinery that costs thousands, but it could save you a lot of hassle. Not all racks fit on all cars and if you are transporting precious cargo like an expensive snowboard or high-end mountain bikes. Finding the best rack for these items and then finding a vehicle that fits it leaves you feeling assured that your cargo is stay put.

If you already have a vehicle that you want a rack fitted to, be sure to conduct research to know which racks work for you. All vehicles can support a roof rack; it is just a matter of knowing which types can be used on yours and accommodate your needs.

Trunk Mounts

Be sure to have the lower feet resting on the car’s bumper when setting up a trunk-mounted rack. This is to ensure that the bumper supports most of the weight on the rack, and only minimal strain is put on supporting straps and hooks.

Prevent Bike Wheels from Turning

Use straps or bungee cords to prevent bike wheels from spinning while being transported. It is ok to leave them if it is only a short trip, but you want to keep them in place during long rides. You can tie the loose ends of the support straps around the wheels if you are using a trunk rack. Spinning wheels are not an issue for roof racks and some hitch racks as the wheel are held in place by the rack itself. Keeping the bike wheels locked prevents it from further wear and tear. If it spins the whole ride, it is as if the bike was being ridden for the whole trip.

Hanging Low

If you go over a steep incline or bump and the items on your rack are hanging too low, you risk having the items drag on the ground. This can damage the items or even cause them to fall off, resulting in lost property and a road safety issue. Prevent this problem by fitting the items to the arms of the rack so that the items sit higher up. You may also be able to change the position of the adapter bar frame if you are using one.

Remember Your Items

Before pulling in your garage, remember to take the items off your roof. It may seem like an obvious tip, but if you only occasionally use your roof rack, it could be easy to forget. Come up with a system for reminding yourself like by putting the garage door opener inside of a bike glove. You could also tape a sign inside your car to remind yourself of the added height to your car when approaching other low clearance areas.