5 Tips to Choose the Best Roof Rack for Traveling

September 17, 2020 | by rebecca siggers, guest contributor

When the stresses of the week are wearing on you, there is nothing better than taking a personal vehicle out for a weekend jaunt. A season change, a business achievement, or a family celebration invariably lead up to a travel break. Whatever the reason for the trip, carrying luggage and accessories becomes essential. The interiors of a car may not be well-equipped to accommodate medium to big-size items such as a baby carriage or a folded wheelchair. Space is a necessity that your vehicle may not easily be able to accommodate. 

A roof rack is your go-to in such a situation. It amply fulfills the space needed for luggage and equipment without compromising on the overall experience of the drive. Passengers, as a result, feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable given the hassle-free ride. A car roof rack comes in custom fittings but one must know the ways to get the best roof rack installed for their vehicle. Let us find out the best tips to follow in roof rack purchase.    

1. Find Out Your Exact Requirements:

What you need from the roof rack is the first fundamental to know. Knowing the type of cargo to put on the roof rack is a prerequisite. A versatile roof rack will meet all your expectations as long as you are clear on the materials to load and the quantity. The roof rack fitting for carrying a bicycle may not be the same as the one for a snowboard or fishing rod. Likewise, Camper van owners need a camper shell roof rack instead of a regular one. Make sure to research various sites, visit various roof racks stores before making a final buying decision.

2. Check Compatibility:

Roof racks are not available in a universal size. So, check out the compatibility factor of a roof rack with your vehicle. The dimensions, design and shape of a roof rack differ with each model. Not all are the same. 

Also, check the roof measurements of your car and compare it with the roof rack you wish to install. Specific racks fit on an SUV whereas some may not be attachable. Before starting on the roof rack mounting, look into these pertinent issues for trouble-free rack mounting experience.  

3. Check the Weight-Loading Capacity:

Once you find your desired size, you should estimate how much luggage you're planning to haul on your trip. Ultra-light to heavy roof racks come in a variety of load-bearing capacity. Loading your car with luggage of lower weight makes better sense than working the other way round.

The good point of going in for lighter racks is that they reduce the burden on the car. They also cast the least impact on fuel efficiency. As compared to steel racks, Aluminum racks come out to be stronger and have a higher load-bearing capacity while being lighter by 30 percent.  

4. Design of Roof Racks:

The automobile market has a wide-range in vehicle types and sizes; finding a roof rack of a common size that fits all vehicles and adventures is a challenge. Some racks rise above in design and flexibility. They are clean and classy and come with bolt-on accessories that suit most fancy SUVs. Putting roof tents on them is also easy, owing to their horizontal slanting design.

That is why modular roof racks come up as a promising style statement for any car enthusiast. The design, engineering, and manufacturing go into making it a world-class rack system. And it is a perfect set-up that is lightweight, corrosion-free and strong. The rack material is another point to bear in mind. Steel, aluminum, wood crossbars are options to consider. You can also make a custom one for your SUV.  

5. Fulfills Sports-Rack Requirement:     

Traveling can involve a wide variety of adventures, such as hiking, skiing, rafting, or kayaking. Does individual sports activity call for independent roof racks? On average, roof racks can accommodate sports equipment of all sizes and strengths. However, niche sports activities like golf etc. may need custom-friendly roof racks.

Design variations and enhancements are a common feature in roof racks. Some racks come with safety locks to ensure full protection of sports equipment when you are driving on a hilly area.

The market for roof racks is perhaps as big as the range of vehicles on the road. As a sensible person behind the wheels, you need to narrow down your choices after checking on factors like weight and built-on roof racks. Look into the roof racks’ durability and product support on a long-term perspective.

Take into account every detail before buying roof racks. It is a life-long investment like your newly purchased vehicle. So, give it a sense of pride, and it will return the gesture as a trusted companion.

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