Top Safety Tips for Using Roof Racks
Everyone loves a good road trip filled with good conversations, fun music, and scenic views to take in along the way. But, it would never be such a fun experience if everyone is packed inside your car like sardines. Good thing that Withcar roof racks are now here to the rescue.
A roof rack is the best travel gear you can ever have to make sure that you and your passengers have enough room to minimize grunts and whines and ensure that everyone has a great time.
However, adding some load on top of your vehicle always comes with a few safety risks. The last thing you want is to park on the side of the road all of a sudden just to chase down your stuff because you failed to secure it properly. And while you are going on this chase, there are speeding tractor trailers and cars darting here and there.
If you want to stay on the safe side, there are several important things and tips you should know and remember before you go out and hit the open road.
Is It Accessible?
You are probably proud of your skill of packing all of your luggage in your car like a pro but trying to pack a roof rack is a completely different story. Make sure you pick the lighter items then pack first the heaviest of these light items.
It can be a serious pain to load and unload stuff when you are out on the road so be sure you pack only those things that you know you won’t have to access too often. Yes, this may make things sound too complicated yet cargo carriers are the best way to contain all your things in one confined spot and make your load more aerodynamic.
Check the Balance
When car roof racks are packed, this increases your car’s center of gravity that can leave it more prone to intensified swaying, particularly during high speeds. Most of the time, load shift occurs if you don’t properly pack your car roof rack and this can cause all kinds of issues while driving.
In the event that the weight is only concentrated too far to the front, this will end up diving forward whenever you brake. But, if the weight can only be found to the back, steering may be a bit challenging. This is why it is extremely important to make sure that your packed load is stable and tightly secured. The secret here is for you to spread out your load to evenly distribute the size and weight of your items.
As much as possible, don’t store liquids on your roof rack since these will end up shifting as your car moves and cause your vehicle to lurch and create a driving situation that is not only difficult but worse, can also be potentially dangerous.
Mind the Height
Those who drive a passenger car or SUV are probably used to taking those low overhang warnings for granted. Every time you add some load on top of your car, you will have to pay close attention to such signs, particularly when you are carrying your bike.
After you have finished loading up, don’t forget to measure its exact height then keep this note near your steering wheel. You also need to watch out for parking garages, bridges, tree limbs, and wires. Also, remember that every time you make those quick stops for some fast food, head to the counter instead of the drive-thru.
Ensure Proper Installation
For cars that don’t come fitted with roof racks, your number one priority when shopping for one is to ensure that it is the perfect fit for your vehicle. All racks come with attachment points where they are hooked to the car and once these points are not aligned with the shape of the roof of your car, this will mean bad news for you.
The least that can happen is to have your paint messed up but the worst is your load might end up diving off your car at 70 miles per hour. Make sure you consult an expert to get the best results.
Also, remember that there are roof rack bags that are not waterproof. If you got some items that shouldn’t get wet, make sure to seal them properly in plastic bags.
Consider the Weight
During your planning process, it would also be wise if you know the weight limit of the roof rack as well as that of your car. If you will pack lots of stuff, you can list down the approximate weights to be sure that you are in good stead.
Heavier loads may end up creating more resistance to the wind which means more noise and lower gas mileage. Going beyond the weight limit may be damaging to your car as well and may even result to a serious accident. SUVs tend to have higher centers of gravity in the first place so loading up the rooftop heavily may make the vehicle roll over.
If you are using your roof rack often, it would also be a good thing to invest in a hard-shelled pod. This will not just prevent the load from shifting and keep your gear protected from the different elements. These pods are also aerodynamic, helping reduce wind drag and the gas mileage as well.
Other Tips to Stay Safe When Using a Roof Rack
Before embarking on your trip, see to it that you are insured and the coverage is good enough for you. No matter what kind of roof rack you use, make sure that you refer to your car manual to know the weight limits for the vehicle and the rack alike. Roof racks often have weight limits that range from 75 to 250 pounds. Going beyond the limit may be damaging to your vehicle and lead to potential accidents. It is also a must to ensure that the roof rack doesn’t affect rear or side visibility. Always park smart and you are good to go.