How to Safely Load Your Roof Rack: 5 Tips to Know

May 3, 2021 1 min read

Is a road trip on the horizon? From camping to moving, the must-pack list grows quickly. You may find your vehicle doesn’t have enough space for every item you want to take with you. If your vehicle has a roof rack, you may be able to bring more things along. While a kayak or bike may not fit inside your vehicle, securing it to your car’s roof top may be a good option (if done safely).

Whether you’re a pro at loading your car’s roof rack or you’ve never used it, before you start securing items, consider these roof rack safety tips. The last thing you want to do is ruin your trip by having to pick up items off the road.

5 Roof Rack Safety Tips

Strategize Item Placement

When packing your roof rack, it’s important to distribute weight evenly. As you load items, spread them across the roof, using your center line and doors as a guide. The lighter items should go on the bottom with the heavier pieces on top. This will help ensure the lighter items won’t fly off when you hit the interstate. Finally, covering everything with a net or tarp can further help ensure items will stay safely in place.

Know Weight Limits

While using your roof rack means more space, it doesn’t mean you should put just anything up there. Be sure to know both the roof rack’s weight capacity, as well as your vehicle’s limits. Too heavy of a load can cause problems as you drive — more wind resistance, poor gas mileage and more. If your vehicle’s weight limit is exceeded, it could mean damage to your car.

Leave Installation to the Professionals

If your vehicle didn’t come with a roof rack, it’s a good idea to have it professionally installed.

Choose the Right Fit

Not all roof racks fit all vehicles. Read product descriptions carefully or have a professional company select the carrier and install it.

Test it Out

Before hitting the open road, test the load to ensure it’s not moving around, or you have loose straps.

Items You’ll Need on Hand

  • Ratchet Straps
  • Bungee Cord
  • Cargo Netting and/or a Tarp

Is Your Coverage Keeping Up?

Preparing for your road trip takes more than packing the essentials. Ensuring you have the proper coverage in place can help you avoid snags. Ask your agent about our Emergency Roadside Assistance coverage. Our 24/7 dispatch service will send reliable, professional help to get you back on the road quickly. 

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.