How to Fit a Roof Rack

Let’s say you have bought a roof rack either for your bike, your kayak, or other gear that you want to transport. How do you go about the process of fixing it? Most people tend to think that the only way to fix a roof rack is with the help of an expert. Well, that is not always the case. You can do it yourself but with extra hands to avoid scratching your car. Here is a guide on how you can fit your roof rack perfectly and without any problems. Make sure you pay attention to every bit for you to make a faultless installation.

Car with roof luggage box container

Assess the pre-existing roof bars of your vehicle

The first step to take is to determine the types of roof bars your vehicle possess. Does it have a naked roof, or does it come with pre-installed roof bars? The answer to this question is going to decide the equipment you require during the installation process. For a bare roof, you should get some crossbars, a foot pack, and a fit kit. All these are necessary to help you come up with a steady base for your roof rack. However, don’t need these tools if at all, your vehicle has roof bars. You are likely to find fitting slots somewhere on the bars. Look out for plastic tabs. The company often uses them to cover the slots. For those people whose vehicles have a curved roof, you are going to need a roof adapter. It is an equipment that makes sure there is a balance in weight distribution to prevent one side of the car from carrying too much weight.

Assemble the system

The next step of installing roof racks is to assemble the system. You should already be aware that the roof rack is going to come in pieces. You thus need to assemble it before you fit it on the roof of your car. You are going to need a manual from here henceforth. Start by joining the base of the roof rack. Do this by screwing the side of the rail on the crossbars. Once you finish, measure the distance of the rails to the back and front of the car. Go ahead and place the kit at the center. It is the only way to ensure weight distribution is perfect throughout the vehicle.

Start drilling 

Before you proceed to make unnecessary holes in your car, make sure the vehicle doesn’t have any crossbars. If it has, there is no need for drilling the whole system. Make holes that are the same as the pre-existing holes on the roof rack.  You can then go ahead and screw the base of the rack on the vehicle. Remember, don’t make the screws too tight and don’t make them loose either. Many roof racks for cars indicate on the manual how tight the screws should be to avoid damaging your vehicle.

Place the mounts

Now that the crossbars are ready and the permanent base is complete, it is time to install the mounts. The sections where you place the mounts depends on what you are planning to use the roof rack. A kayak rack comes with mounts that are different from those of a ski rack. They should, however, fit perfectly and effortlessly. Place the mounts beginning from the back of the car heading to the front. That way, you get to have an excellent field of view on where to place every mount. 

Finalize with the rack

The last bit of how to fit a roof rack is to load the system on the mounts. The hardest part is over. Placing the roof rack on the mounts is quite simple, but you need someone to help you do it faultlessly. During the installation process, you need to make sure that the rack is at the center of the car. You should also go ahead and perform some checkups to ensure that it is not loose. Do this by shaking the rack and tightening the screws further if you feel any signs of looseness. Once you mount the rack and you are sure it is secure, you can go ahead and start enjoying using your roof racks to transport gear, kayaks, and bikes, among others.

Decide which accessories can pair well with the roof rack

You must get some additional accessories for you to have an easy time loading and carrying loads. Some of these accessories include rack pads, awnings, tie-downs as well as locks. You can also include roof tents if you are the type of person who loves camping throughout the summer. For a recap, remember:

  • To pick a roof rack that fits the type of roof your car has.
  • You don’t need to drill holes on your vehicle if your car has pre-existing roof bars.
  • You should not screw your roof rack too tight.
  • To have a roof adapter, if at all, your car has a naked roof.
  • To read the manual and installation instructions carefully before proceeding.

That is so far a step by step guide on how to fit a roof rack on your car. The guide is, however, going to be more effective if you use it together with the manual that comes with the roof rack. Every roof rack requires a different installation technique, so make sure you go through the manual carefully. As soon as you finish installing the roof rack, confirm its capacity to avoid overloading the system.


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