Although the ubiquitous ute is one of the bestselling vehicles in the country, it may not be for you. After all, you may love the car that you have and cannot imagine driving a truck of any kind, no matter how popular they may be. Nevertheless, there is a limit to what you can safely carry in the boot or passenger cabin of a car, and if this is a growing problem for you, you may want to buy a roof rack. Before you go ahead, what should you bear in mind?
The most important rule here is to read the regulations first. It's never a good idea to overload a roof rack, but you can easily do this without being too careless. For example, always be aware of the maximum allowable weight stipulated by the vehicle manufacturer. It's not unusual for this to be lower than the maximum weight stated by the roof rack provider, so just be aware.
If you drive a crossover of some kind, you might like to take note of its revised height once the roof rack is fitted, especially if you will be carrying items on top of the rack on a regular basis. Otherwise, you may be in for a nasty surprise as you pull into your garage for the first time. You may not have realised that this was a tight fit before, but now you've got some damage to prove it.
When you are fitting the roof rack, make sure that you get two people involved in the job. Always ensure that it is attached correctly, using the recommended torque settings, and use copper grease to protect the bolts and fittings. This grease has anti-seize properties and will protect those vital components from adverse weather.
Many people choose to fit a roof rack because they love surfing or canoeing and want to be able to carry their equipment on weekends. Whenever you carry anything with aerodynamic properties like this, make sure that you tie it down securely to the front and back of the car, as well as to the roof rack itself. Otherwise, you may experience a considerable amount of 'lift' as you're driving down the highway at speed, and this can cause damage before you know it.
Buying the Right Product
There are many different types of roof racks on the market. Make sure that you buy one that is designed for your type of vehicle, and get advice from your parts supplier before you proceed.