Whether your excursion is for the weekend or a longer period, planning a road trip is fun for all involved. It allows you to explore new sights and experience unique places. But it can be hard to pack for the journey.
A roof rack is a savior to many and provides the perfect way to make the most of your car space. Cargo carriers are available in all sizes and shapes, leaving plenty of extra room for equipment you’d like to bring on your road trip.
Want to ensure you store items safely in your roof rack? Read this handy guide.
Table of Contents
Declutter and Only Pack What you Need
While it is easy to pack a warehouseful of stuff when setting forth on your adventure, you should consider making a list; otherwise, the kitchen sink might very possibly end up coming along. This should prevent you from overstuffing your roof cargo box.
If you can eliminate anything beyond what’s absolutely essential, it will make packing easier. The result? It will limit the weight of your cargo box. Too heavy a load can be inconvenient when driving. For more information on the legal weight requirements of cars, check the gov stats out.
In addition to this, overloaded roof boxes can cause a plethora of problems, including :
- You will waste time and money hauling around overhanging loads you don’t need to take with you, which can use more fuel than necessary.
- When you pack too much, securing the contents of your roof rack can prove impossible. Many items may move around. In the worst-case scenario, they will become damaged.
- Opening and closing your roof box will prove a challenge, which makes finding what you need a chore.
With these points in mind, you’ll have to be deliberate about what goes with you. The packing is crucial before departure!
Place Heavier Items At The Bottom Of Cargo Box
In loading your car for a journey, you would be well advised to put the heavy goods at the bottom of the cargo box. If placing anything on top of these, you must make sure the weight is evenly balanced.
Doing so will ensure:
Heavier boxes near the bottom will also help to keep their center of gravity optimized. Using this method will keep the box from swaying while you drive.
Lowered wind resistance:
The result will be less drag while driving. This will boost your fuel efficiency. When packing for your road trip, it’s wise to place the heavier items at the base of your cargo box. You should also ensure any weight on top of these items is distributed evenly.
Adding lighter items that you may need on the drive or arrival to the top of the load will mean you can remove them without disrupting the rest of your cargo box. Heavier items at the bottom include tools, sports equipment, and luggage.
Protect and Secure Fragile Items
If you’re planning on packing delicate items, such as glassware, electronics, or additional breakables, you must:
- Wrap anything fragile in bubble wrap, old clothing, or towels before packing.
- To add some extra cushioning, use packing paper or foam around these.
- Breakables should be put in the middle of your cargo padded out with softer items surrounding them. Only then will they stay in place.
- Fragile cargo must be secured with a cargo net or bungee cords.
Applying the above suggestions will help your valuables travel safely.
Securely Latch and Lock the Cargo Carrier
- Cargo boxes come with latches. All must be closed before you set off.
- Double-check these before beginning your journey to ensure everything inside is safely stored. This ensures that the box will close flat.
If auxiliary locks exist, lock these down as well. This will keep the latches from flying open.
Secure All Loose Exterior Straps
Finally, give a good tug or push on the box to check that it is securely in place and will not move about during driving.
Accident situations can be avoided if all locks are checked before beginning your journey.
Choosing the Right Carrier for Your Cargo
Roof boxes are available in various forms, each designed with specific vehicles or purposes in mind. To determine if a cargo box is suitable for your car and lifestyle, it’s essential to evaluate compatibility. Explore the top 10 factors outlined below to assist you in making an informed decision:
Fabric designs versus hard shells:
The materials used for the fabric are lighter, and hard goods cases are more solid. For those planning to off-road, the latter is probably a better choice. Of course, if weight is your last consideration, you could go with lighter fabric.
Check that the capacity,
size, and shape of the box suit your vehicle’s make and model.
Consider the mounting points.
Would you prefer the cargo box to be fixed in position or temporarily via grip clamps? If you’re using the cargo box every weekend, the first will be more apt. However, if your car boasts multiple uses or various family members drive it, the latter is likely better suited.
Do you prefer rear or side access?
Or is dual access more apt? This varies according to your vehicle. For best results, try and select one with better accessibility.
The sensible thing is to choose the right type of roof box for your vehicle and lifestyle.
The Bottom Line
The key points? Learning how to load your rooftop cargo box correctly, and selecting one that meets the needs of both vehicle and lifestyle will guarantee an easy ride.
Putting these packing tips to use, you can fill the cargo area of your car correctly and avoid damage while improving stability.
To ensure success? Weight must be balanced; luggage clutter removed; and fragile goods padded and placed carefully within loads.
When your gear is packed and secured, you should have no trouble entering the wide-open roadways. Knowing that both yourself and your belongings are safe makes it easier to navigate the adventure ahead!