How to Choose the Perfect Roof Rack

April 20, 2021

Warmer weather means spontaneous trips to the lake, camping in the great outdoors, or even a cross-country road trip with family or friends! The bottom line is you need a lot of gear, but you do not have as much space in your truck or Jeep as you need. The perfect solution is a roof rack to carry what won't fit inside. Now that you know you need a roof rack, the options can seem overwhelming. This is your guide to choosing the perfect roof rack to fit your needs!

Understand Your Vehicle

First, you need to know what your truck or Jeep already has installed and capable of carrying. Determine the weight capacity of your roof either via the owner's manual or online.

Next, identify the equipment your roof already has, if any at all. Some vehicles come as a blank slate. However, most have roof side rails. For a complete set up you will need side rails, cross bars, and the roof rack that fits your needs.

Estimate Your Cargo Weight

Ensure the combined weight of the heaviest items you wish to carry is less than the vehicle's maximum weight capacity. It is crucial to avoid exceeding the manufacturer's recommended weight limit.

Choose and Install Cross Bars

Cross bars provide maximum stability for your roof rack and are highly recommended. Measure your roof to determine the appropriate size cross bars that your vehicle needs. It is important to note that you should take measurements near the front and the back of your truck or Jeep because the widths could differ. Once the cross bars are installed, it is time to choose your roof rack.

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What Kind of Roof Rack Do You Need?

The type of roof rack you will need depend on what you intend to carry. For instance, do you want to haul luggage, bicycles, kayaks, etc.? Use the descriptions below to determine which roof rack(s) best fits your needs.

Cargo Boxes

Hard plastic cases that are well-suited to store items such as clothing, shoes, dried goods, etc. These cases can be locked, and fragile contents are protected due to the hard exterior. This is a great option if you need extra space for luggage.

Cargo Bags

Cargo bags are similar to boxes, except that they are made of waterproof soft material. Compared to cargo boxes, bags are flexible, making them easy to install, remove, and transport. It is ideal for carrying anything that needs protection from the weather. However, it is not recommended to transport fragile items in cargo bags.

Bike Racks

If you're a biking enthusiast, then a bike rack may be just the thing you need. You can choose from racks that carry single bicycles or ones that can carry multiple bikes.

Canoe, Paddleboard, and Kayak Racks

Canoe, paddleboard, and kayak racks are perfect for transporting your vessel to your favorite body of water. Canoe racks are simple, making it easy to secure and remove your boat. Paddleboard racks allow for multiple boards to be stacked for ease of transportation.

Cargo Baskets

Cargo baskets are exactly as they sound, baskets that attach to your vehicle's roof. These are ideal for hauling large items with tie-downs that cannot fit in a cargo bag or box. Please note that cargo baskets do not offer protection from the rain.

Ski and Snowboard Racks

Ski and snowboard racks allow you to haul multiple snowboards or pairs of skis easily. In order to choose the perfect ski or snowboard rack, it is important to know how many skis and snowboards you will need to haul and whether any other gear will need to be transported on the roof.

Get Your Roof Rack Professionally Installed

The right roof rack means ultimate freedom and a significant expansion in the hauling capability of your truck and Jeep. Carolina Custom is the leading customization shop in North Carolina. Our experienced team can help you choose the perfect roof rack and provide professional installation. Contact us today to get started!

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