Jul 29, 2016
As we get set for the big summer holiday getaway, lots of you will be either definitely making plans for, or just considering, attaching a roof rack or box to your car.
The benefits of having this extra carrying capacity on your vehicle are many and obvious, and include:
So with this in mind, especially considering that many people only use such accessories for a few weeks each year, Mycarneedsa.com has compiled a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts to ensure that you get the full benefit out of using them, but are also aware of all the potential risks and know how to eliminate them.
The first ‘Do’ on our list is pretty fundamental, and it is:
So next, you should consider:
Just as cars come in all shapes and sizes, so do roofboxes and racks, so the next tip will seem obvious but is nevertheless essential if you aren’t to make a costly mistake, and it is:
Consumer advocate Which? points out that many manufacturers also overstate the capacity of their boxes, and fail to tell buyers how tall their car will be once it’s fitted - which could lead to problems if you try to drive into your garage with the box on.
You also have to consider how your car will look with a box attached, and fitting a roof box which is too big for your vehicle - particularly if it protrudes over the front and potentially obstructs the driver’s vision - is asking for trouble.
Right, you’ve gone and made your choice, and now you’re the proud owner of a new roof rack or box. The next piece of advice is probably the most important of the lot, but it’s one that many people fall foul of, and it’s simply:
Then, before you even set off, it’s important that you know what you intend to store where, taking into account the manufacturer’s recommendations for using your rack or box, as these will have been compiled as a result of exhaustive product testing, meaning that you will have clear instructions as to what is and isn’t suitable to be carried, so:
Many of the potential pitfalls of using a roofrack or roof bars arise from this, and we’ve summarised these below along with, where practical, giving some tips for avoiding them. The first point to bear in mind concerns fitting, and is:
Boxes and roofbars can take a real buffeting at these sorts of speeds, so if you’ve skipped engaging all the locks, you’re likely to find out pretty quickly. And if you don’t lock away the contents of your roof box, you’ll have trouble persuading your insurance company that you took all reasonable precautions against losing them.
And while it can be difficult to gauge the exact weight of the contents of your load, it’s always best to err on the side of confining lighter items, and softer bags, to your roof box in any case, as this minimises the risk of any damage or breakages.
Also, think about how easy it will be to load and unload any items you need to carry: this might mean that you have to restrict the weight of each item you load ‘up top’, but better that than injuring yourself doing the heavy work!
All that said, roof boxes and roof racks are purposely-designed and proven ways of safely transporting a variety of goods. In order to keep their contents and you and your passengers safe while using them, however, it’s important that you bear all the above points in mind.
And just as importantly as the mounting of your roof rack or roof box itself is the way you load it, as detailed in the last of our ‘Dos’ above. Ultimately, you should never rush either fitting or loading a roof rack or roof box, but if either is used properly, it can be a very valuable source of extra load space.
Finally, you also need to check whether your insurance company covers you while driving with a roof box or roof rack. This is especially important because many don’t consider them to be secure, and you may need to take out extra cover.
Even after considering all these factors, there’s no escaping the benefits that can be gained from fitting either accessory to your car. Just be sure to follow all the fitting instructions, and our tips for their correct use, and happy holidays and leisure trips are assured.
Whatever help you need with either the supply or fitting of accessories and new or replacement parts for your car, be sure to get a quote for the job from Mycarneedsa.com, where trusted specialists will guarantee a good job at a fair price.
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