Roof Rails technically called “rails,” are fastened to the roof of your vehicle. The bar of this roof rail runs parallel to the roof’s entire length from front to back. The roof rails are typically already installed by either the manufacturer or can easily be installed on their own. However, installing the roof rack can require professional assistance and/or specialized skills. When you purchase a new vehicle, the dealer or the manufacturer will typically install the roof rack for you as part of the installation.
While many cars come with the roof rails pre-installed, it’s important to make sure they are compatible with your vehicle. Many cars have different sizes and widths of rims. When you shop for a roof rack, be sure to ask the salesperson what size is compatible with your make and model. If you are not sure, don’t hesitate to ask – it’s better to know ahead the problem is likely to be addressed before you spend money or time troubleshooting it.
Installing roof racks is relatively simple. The majority of modern vehicles have standard roof rails that attach to the frame of your car. Simply remove the existing roof racks from your vehicle, and check out the mounting tabs under the rail. In most cases, the tabs will need to be adjusted in order to line up with the cutout in the existing rail. This may require some preparation work on your part, so ask the salesperson for assistance if it becomes difficult.
Once the tabs are in place, bolt the rack onto the frame and secure it with stainless steel nuts and bolts, according to the specifications of your vehicle. Some roof rails are easier to install than others. Check your vehicle’s manual for instructions. Roof racks typically mount from behind the front seat in the front passenger area. Other racks can be mounted in the middle of your trunk, or inside the console in some cars.
As a general rule, roof racks should be installed where the sun is hitting the most at all times. To ensure the evenest distribution of weight, aim for an approximately equal distance from each side of your vehicle. If you live in an area where snowfall is prevalent, or where visibility may be limited, place your rack to the back or sides of your vehicle. In areas where there are many obstacles, such as hills, you may want to look at the installation of side-view roof rails. These allow you to mount your rack at the rear or sides of your vehicle, avoiding the awkward center-of-the-road positioning seen with other types of roof rails.
There are several different types of roof rack accessories available, including hook and loop tie-downs, cable ties, and roof bars. Mounting cable ties to your roof rack is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your cargo secured. Crossbars are another common accessory and come in a variety of sizes and designs. They are mounted using clamps, hooks, or pressure-mounted clips. These are great for securing different-sized items, including ladders and boxes.
Roof racks are usually mounted to a vehicle’s chassis via the frame. However, for vehicles with side airbags, cargo securing options include hook and loop attachments that secure the cargo to the roof rack instead of inside the vehicle. For even greater security, you can use roof racks on Jeeps and convertibles to carry long or irregularly shaped cargo, ensuring that cargo is properly secured and evenly distributed throughout the vehicle. These devices also make it easier to secure your items to your jeep, allowing you to drive freely without worrying about how much weight your cargo is carrying.
When mounting roof racks to your jeep or another vehicle, make sure to follow all recommendations in the owner’s manual for the specific make and model of your jeep or vehicle. Some adjustments to your vehicle’s mounting can make a huge difference in how secure your cargo is, as can surface issues with the roof. Make sure that your roof rails are mounted properly, using clamps or hooks, and secure enough to hold your cargo. You can choose from different colors to compliment your jeep, or even customize your roof racks to match your vehicle. There are roof racks for almost any type of jeep, whether it’s classic or modern design.