How to load your roof rack –safety on the road?
When you’re driving a long distance, especially with your family or close friends, traveling comfortably without compromising safety is uppermost on your mind. It is understandable that while embarking on a road trip with a large group of people, you’ll need to carry a lot of luggage. As packing your bits and pieces inside the car will leave passengers with hardly any space to sit comfortably, loading the belongings on a roof rack is safest.
This article on “How to load your roof rack” offers you practical tips on effectively loading your vehicle’s roof with your stuff. Properly arranging and safely packing your luggage on your Toyota 4Runner roof rack or firmly securing your truck topper for camping after loading your luggage ensures your belongings are safe. For a start, refer to your auto’s handbook the maximum amount of payload you can haul safely on a roof rack.
On the other hand, the roof rack manual specifies the stand’s tare capacity or the maximum weight of cargo the bracket can carry. In case your car does not come with a built-in roof rack, then you may have to buy the same. Make sure you choose a rack that fits perfectly on your vehicle’s roof so that you will be able to pack up your travel gear safely.
Proper installation should be your priority
If your car already came with a roof rack, then you have one less thing to worry about. Or else, you may have to buy one that attaches securely to your vehicle; ensure that the rack’s tethering points match with your automobile’s roof. Bear in mind that a mismatch will mean that your payload will be strewn all over the highway while you’re driving the car at 100 miles per hour.
A roof rack that does not fit appropriately will also rattle or vibrate forcefully when you’re driving, causing scratches and abrasions.
The vertical height and horizontal span of your payload
Always pay heed to ‘low overhang’ signs or warnings that you see pasted on bridges, culverts, and underpasses while driving. Disregarding these road signs not only increases the likelihood of your luggage getting damaged but also jeopardizes yours and your passengers’ safety. See to it that you keep the ‘low overhang’ caveat in your mind while you pack a bike, kayak, or canoe.
While packing your possessions on the roof rack, ensure that the payload does not extend beyond 3 meters and 4 meters towards the front and backside of the vehicle. The total length of your car and cargo on the roof rack should not be more than 12.6m under any circumstance. Always try to distribute the weight of the payload evenly throughout the roof rack to maintain the center of gravity.
Once you’re done packing and loading, keep a note of your cargo’s height as well as the length by which it extends frontally and at the rear. While you’re on the highway, make sure you watch out for bridges, underpasses, low hanging tree branches, and electric wires.
Maintaining the equilibrium or balance is extremely crucial
Maintaining the stability or balance of the payload is exceptionally vital, or else it makes your possessions vulnerable to intense swinging. Poor packing could make your cargo shift and roll while you’re driving at high speed. So you must pack your travel gear stably and secure it firmly with nylon ropes.
Spread the load out as much as possible so that the size and weight of the packed items are distributed evenly.
- You may find it remarkably easy to pack your belongings in a Pac-Man or Minesweeper game. However, loading luggage atop your vehicle’s roof rack is an altogether different ballgame. Opt for lightweight items as much as possible and always pack the more substantial articles first.
- And make sure to pack only stuff that you may not need to access now and then. Using a cargo carrier or a durable packing case for packing helps prevent payload from rolling or sliding, thus offering you complete peace of mind.
The final tip on how to load your roof rack suggests you be aware of the weight limit of both the vehicle and its rooftop. You’ll be better off making a list of all the items you are packing together with their weight. The heavier your load, the higher will be the wind resistance, thereby reducing the vehicle’s aerodynamic effect, and eventually lessening gas mileage.
Packing goods beyond the prescribed weight limit increases the chances of your vehicle getting damaged as well as endangering passenger lives from a mishap.