If your roof-top load isn’t secured properly, it can lead to damage to your vehicle, unnecessary fuel consumption, and unsafe conditions for yourself, your passengers, and others on the road.
According to Rhino-Rack, a roof rack manufacturer, here are some tips to help better secure roof-top loads:
- Your roof-top loads should have three to four tie-down points on the vehicle to avoid shifting.
- Avoid too much overhang at the front of your vehicle; wind can rip the roof racks off your car.
- Check your load at regular intervals. Push and pull on the load in every direction to make sure that it’s snug and hasn’t loosened during the drive.
- Adjust your speed to avoid “lift,” to counter the new higher center of gravity, and to make sure your vehicle will stop in time when braking. Loading your roof top with weight changes the dynamics of your vehicle.
- Take note of overhead clearances like in underground parking garages. One idea is to put a Post-it note on your window screen with an arrow pointing up.
- Avoid attaching the loads to your bumper. It can rip off.
- Your vehicle and roof racks will have a maximum carrying weight. Make sure your roof top load isn’t too heavy.
- Use tie-down straps; bungee cords allow shifting. Ratchet or rapid-locking straps are a variation of tie-down straps and are easy to use.
- If there is an overhand at the rear of the vehicle, attach a red flag to the load to bring to other people’s attention.
- Special items like recreation equipment (kayak, bikes, boats, etc.) require special rack attachments.