How to Put Luggage on Roof Rack

How to Put Luggage on Roof Rack

You plan to travel with your family. And after packing several items, no space is left in the trunk for the luggage. This article gives tips on how to put luggage on roof rack.

Cars like SUVs have additional storage options, but they still won’t be enough for all necessary items required by the occupants. More so, while traveling with kids, you need a wide range of items to carry.

That aside, kids tend to play all along the journey in the back seat. Also, their dog pet jumps all over the trunk and back seats.

On the other hand, you have come with your buddies for the trip. Definitely, the space will be minimal.

However, you can make the journey smooth if you learn how to secure items to the roof rack. Well, this article will loop you in on the basics.

Additionally, you will be lucky if you own an SUV or hatchback car. These cars have amazing roof spaces for heavier luggage.

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Read on to learn how to put luggage on roof rack.

What is a Roof Rack?

How to tie luggage on roof rack
Outdated roof rack

Surprisingly, many people have no idea what a roof rack is. You have seen metallic or plastic bars attached to the vehicles’ roof rails on the road. That’s a roof rack.

A clear definition of the roof rack is a set of bars secured on the car’s roof. They facilitate carrying loads on the top to preserve interior space.

Especially during summer, when the sun is scorching, car occupants need space for air circulation.

Luckily, you can carry bulky items like bicycles, canoes, kayaks, and several others on the roof rack.

However, when securing your luggage on the car’s roof, ensure it’s firm enough to avoid accidents. Secondly, you shouldn’t compromise the vehicle’s performance or safety.

Read: What to do with old rims

How to Put Luggage on Roof Rack
Roof rack

How to Put Luggage on Roof Rack

Putting luggage on the roof rack isn’t just placing it and driving for the road trip. It would be best if you looked at several things to ensure;

  • Your luggage is safe
  • Your vehicle performance isn’t compromised.
  • Your safety and that of other road users.

Read on to learn how to use a roof rack for luggage;

Step 1: Choose Your Luggage Carrier

Putting your luggage on the car’s roof makes it prone to weather and road grime. To avoid losses, choose a durable and waterproof carrier.

You wouldn’t want to reach your destination with wet items if you drive in the rainy season. Choose roofpax carriers or a rooftop cargo box to transport your items safely.

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Moreover, choose the right size that will fit your car’s roof. Overhanging carriers may hinder visibility and pose other dangers.

Step 2: Weigh Your Luggage

Before attempting to load your luggage, confirm your vehicle’s load capacity. Secondly, read your rack’s user manual to confirm its load limit.

You will learn that most roof racks are made of simple materials that can withstand a maximum weight of around 70 kgs.

The vehicle’s load capacity includes the luggage inside the trunk and the number of passengers. Read the user manual to confirm all necessary details.

Note that overloading the car would cause difficulties while driving. You wouldn’t want to risk your whole family’s lives and that of other road users.

Read: Front runner roof rack leaking

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Luggage on van

Step 3: Place Your Cargo Carrier on the Roof First.

First, place your luggage carrier on the roof rack without adding the items.

Raising your luggage to the roof rack may cause back and shoulder pain. But if you have people around to assist you, you can pack your items before putting them on the rack.

However, place the luggage carrier on the roof to simplify your job if you don’t have people around to help you.

Afterward, pack your items in the bag or cargo box and ensure it’s full to prevent flapping while the car is in motion.

Ideally, pack items that you would rarely access at the bottom. Then, remain with the necessary items you need on your journey inside the car.

For instance, items like breast milk storage bags and baby diapers should remain in the car.

Step 4: Set Your Luggage Carrier Properly and Close it

Close your luggage carrier and position it at the center of the roof rack. Setting it at the center distributes the weight.

Moreover, lay the bag flat to minimize wind resistance for aerodynamics purposes. And nothing should hang over the car’s sides to mitigate the risks of overtaking vehicles hitting your luggage.

Overhanging items may also hinder your visibility when using side mirrors.

Read: Luggage carrier for SUV

Step 5: Secure the Luggage

There are varieties of options for securing cargo on the rooftop. Take a look;

1.      Cam buckle straps

They are tightened using hand strength. You can only tighten the cam buckle strap as much as your hand can apply force on it.

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2.      Ratchet straps

Ratchet straps are effective in securing heavy loads. You can use them on the roof rack, trailer, or truck bed.

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3.      Lashing straps

Lashing straps are used for light-duty, especially when securing fragile cargo. They are easy to use on the roof racks.

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4.      Bungee cord

Bungee cords are versatile enough for any cargo size. However, if you suspect your luggage may fly from the rooftop, choose other options.

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5.      Nylon rope

Nylon ropes are very common in all car and truck types. A nylon rope will be effective if you know how to tie a couple of knots.

Secure the luggage with at least four straps. Then, extend two straps from the back and two from the sides, passing over the cargo.

Later, shake the luggage by grabbing it from the side and confirm it’s secure before starting your journey.

FAQs on Roof Racks

Do Cargo Bags Scratch Your Roof?

Cargo bags do not scratch the roof because they are made to sit on the crossbars. Also, some bags come with lightly padded mats. If you decide to secure the bag without a roof rack, the mats will protect your paint.

Can You Use a Cargo Bag Without Crossbars?

If your luggage is lightweight, you can secure the cargo bag without crossbars. Else, you need crossbars to protect your car’s paintwork.

What is the Best Position for a Roof Box?

The roof box should sit at the central part of the roof bars. The idea is to evenly distribute weight between the bars.

Based on the above tips, we can conclude putting luggage on the roof rack is easier. You only need to follow the correct procedure.

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