7 Types of Roof Rack Mounts

There are various types of roof rack mounts in the market. And that’s because vehicles come with different roof designs and roof rails. Depending on your car manufacturer, it’s wise to inspect and determine the correct type of roof rack mount to install.

Nevertheless, you would want to install the correct roof rack mounts to make your roof rack stable for different luggage.

Let’s face it;

Sometimes we travel with car covers, tents, water, and extra fuel, especially on challenging adventures. And if these items fill the trunk, you will have to secure others on your SUV’s roof.

When it comes to equipping your roof with a rack, the good thing is that various manufacturers have different mount options. And you are lucky to choose your best.

Luckily, some vehicles have multiple mounting options. It all depends on their roof type and the rails installed by the manufacturer.

Let’s dive in and learn the types of roof rack mounts.

roof rack mounting types
Roof rack on a beetle

7 Types of Roof Rack Mounts

1.      Permanent mounts

You can opt for permanent mounts if your car has no roof rails. However, the only drawback with these mount types is that you cannot move them once installed, just as the name suggests.

The wisest step is to determine the type of cargo you would regularly carry on your car’s roof. Then, install the roof rack following that analysis.

The good thing with permanent mounts is that they are time-saving since you don’t have to keep adjusting them.

Secondly, some hand adjustment knobs found in other mounts may fail. But for the permanent mounts, it’s just a one-time installation exercise with little maintenance.

You install permanent mounts by drilling on the car roof. But first, you need to measure and mark the points correctly. Afterward, you will have to rivet the racks on the top.

2.      Clamp mounts

Clamp mounts are very common in modern cars. They are popular because you can easily install them even without skills.

Luckily, mounts usually come with straps in the kit. And you install them around the edges of the door sill. Tension from both sides secures the bars.

Although the mounts may seem simple, they effectively secure your cargo. However, you should read the manual to know the manufacturer’s recommended weight to load on the rack for a comfortable ride.

Since several cars on our roads have them, clamp mounts are available in nearly all car spare parts shops.

Read: How to strap snowboard bag to roof rack

What to Consider When Choosing a Roof Rack for Your Car
Roof rack on SUV

3.      Track mounts

A metal track is installed in track mounts permanently running with the roof’s length. To install them, you will have to drill the car roof permanently and rivet the rack like the permanent mounts.

Afterward, you can choose the metal bars you would like to install because the mounts are flexible.

However, one major drawback with track mounts is that a roof hood lining drop is required for some car models.

If your car requires a hood lining for installation, you will spend more. Additionally, it’s time-consuming, and you may need a specialist.

4.      Flush rail mounts

Flush rail mounts run the length of the roof. They lie on the top such that there is no gap in between.

Since they aren’t raised, you need special feet clamps that don’t touch the roof. In this way, you’ll protect the car paint.

Flush rail mounting has two options of feet clamps;

  • Molded rubber bushing which is attached to the rails.
  • Pin type system – it has pre-drilled holes on the hood. The pin is inserted to secure the rack after adjustments.

5.      Gutter mounts

Gutter mounts are the oldest method used in cars. But from the year 2000, they have become unpopular due to more stylistic mounts in the market.

Gutter mounts have easy-to-install feet that don’t require skills. Despite being old methods, you will always see them on a few vehicles like Land cruisers, Hiace vans, and other earlier SUVs.

The good thing with the gutter method is that there are no limits to the number of mounts you would install on the roof. However, in most cars, you will see three mounts on each side and metal bars running parallel.

Additionally, gutter mounts will serve you best if you regularly carry ladders to your farm or construction sites. They are firm and well raised.

6.      Raised rail mounts

They are referred to as raised or open rail mounts. Like raised roof rails, you will notice they have a space between the roof surface and the racks.

Raised rail mounts are easier to work with when fitting the racks. The method uses a basic clamp system that doesn’t need skills.

Luckily, you can have several racks of different loading capacities to install on your vehicle, depending on your cargo.

Read: How to use ratchet straps on roof rack kayak

7.      Fixed point mounts

Fixed point mounts are just like permanent mounts. The only difference is that they are installed on the hardware set by the car manufacturer on the gutters.

Fixed point mounts don’t require side rails. If you intend to install them, you will have to uninstall the roof rails.

What to Consider When Choosing a Roof Rack for Your Car

1.      The weight

You may think that some metals are heavier and strong. But you may be adding unnecessary weight to your car.

See, aluminum racks are light but strong enough to hold your cargo. It’s wise to choose stronger racks than heavier ones.

2.      Durability

Find some metals that will serve you well without rusting, especially if you live in salty areas.

3.      Low Profile

Low-profile racks are easier to load and offload. Additionally, they have minimal noise and also enhance fuel economy.

4.      Consult others

Consult and observe what other car owners are using. You will get the best advice on the rack types that would serve you longer.

5.      Choose metal

Plastic racks can turn brittle if exposed to the sun for an extended period. Opt for metallic racks because they can last longer.

Are All Roof Racks the Same?

Roof racks are different. You will have to choose your rack depending on the weight you need to load on your vehicle.

What is the Difference Between Crossbars and Roof Rack?

Crossbars are usually two bars that run across the car roof. On the other hand, a roof rack has more than two bars. Additionally, it has a modular design.

Do you Need Crossbars on a Roof Rack?

A roof rack has enough bars to hold your cargo on the roof. But if you need to install crossbars instead, check on the suitable types of roof rack mounts.

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