Whether for hauling a large piece of furniture home from the store or packing for a long road trip, there are many reasons drivers use roof racks for overhead storage. However, the items you store on top of your vehicle can pose traffic threats if they fall off mid-journey. This is why you should always follow these five tips for properly securing items on your roof rack before you travel.
Check The Loading Weight
The first step is to familiarize yourself with how much weight your vehicle and roof rack can hold. Before loading, always check the owner’s manual for your vehicle and your roof rack accessory. If you have the tools, try weighing these items yourself for a more accurate reading. Alternatively, you can check their shipping weights from the manufacturer’s website. Getting a weight confirmation will allow you to compare it with the weight capacity of your roof rack and vehicle to make sure you don’t exceed their limits.
Check The Size And Placement
Monitoring the size and placement of your roof rack cargo is also key to your travel success. Your cargo should never be too tall, or it will act as a windsail. Additionally, you don’t want it to hang too far over the hood or tail of your car. This can impact your vision as you drive and could also result in a violation if you don’t measure and mark your items properly.
Use Proper Tie-Down Straps
The type of material you use to secure your roof rack cargo is crucial. Standard rope and bungee cords won’t provide a heavy-duty hold and could cause your items to shift during the drive. Instead, choose professional tie-down straps with tightening buckles. These straps are thick, durable, and offer the tightest hold for your equipment. They’re also easy to lace between small spaces and the bars of your roof rack.
Secure The Front Of Your Items
One of the most common causes of items falling off a vehicle’s roof during transport is the wind flow underneath. These are called updrafts, and they can send items flying off your car’s roof if they’re not properly secured. Pick up extra tie-down straps to loop over the front of your items to secure them to the front of your roof rack. This will help provide extra protection against the force of updrafts and keep your items in place.
Take It For A Test Drive
After you’ve measured and secured everything, don’t start your journey quite yet. Take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure your cargo stays in place. Drive for about five minutes and stop to check the support of your straps and if anything has shifted. If not, and you’re comfortable driving with the weight, you’re all set to continue. Just remember to make regular stops and check on your overhead items.
Now that you have these five tips for properly securing items on your roof rack, you’re ready for your next road trip. If you’re interested in transporting items on your vehicle’s roof, consider investing in a roof rack yourself. If you’d like to learn more, you can find these and other Toyota Tacoma accessories here at Trail Grid Pro.