Before you can use a car roof box, you have to learn what the best position for the accessory is. It holds any kind of car roof carriers including baskets, boxes, bike carriers, snowboard carriers, etc. Unless you load the car roof carrier in the right way, you will have to face several hassles later, including damages caused to the box and an enhanced risk of accidents.
Where Do You Mount The Roof Cargo Box On The Roof Racks?
Ideally, you should position the cargo box in the middle of the car roof rack. However, balancing it will be a tad harder when you load more than one cargo box on a car roof rack. You have to think of distributing the weight in an even manner.
When you set up the cargo box atop the car roof rack, ensure it sits in line with the rack. The clamps should be set in a way that the carrier is positioned facing the road. The narrow face of the box should face the car engine, not the other way around.
Weight Balance Is Important
When you position the car roof carrier, think of the gravity center of the car. The front side of the car is heavier as this contains the engine and other mechanical parts. Only a few models have engines set at the rear side. The roof box should be packed in such a way that the heavy items are placed in the bottom and middle. When you position 2 roof boxes on a car, ensure weight distribution is done carefully. Always, think of the overall weight limit. Better be safe than sorry, as the saying goes.
Position of the Car Roof Box and Its Impact
We have already informed you about the best position for a cargo box on the roof of a car. But some people tend to ignore this and position the box in a way that suits their needs. On short journeys, this will not have much of an impact but if you are planning to go on a long trip, positioning the roof box incorrectly can have a major impact on the overall performance of the car and fuel economy. Take a look –
If you don’t want to destabilize the car, don’t even think about putting the cargo box too far forward. This can have a dramatic impact on the aerodynamics and thus fuel economy of the car can take a serious beating. The front windshield is going to play spoilsport as it will interfere with the airflow.
Pushing the roof boxes towards the rear of the car can make it harder for you to open the trunk. So, basically you will be stuck in a situation where you can’t access your luggage until your reach your destination or unless you stop your car in the middle of the journey to get the roof box off the car so that you can have full access to the trunk. The whole idea is ridiculous, to say the least. Things can get even more complicated if your car happens to have a rear antenna. Then, you really need to be careful about the positioning of the roof box.
By positioning the roof box in the middle section of the car, you will be able to avoid a lot of problems that we have just discussed. Weight distribution will no longer be a hassle and its central position will not interfere with the overall stability of the vehicle. This works best for those cargo boxes that open towards the side.
Of course, it makes it easier for people to attach their roof boxes on the side as it makes it super easy to load and unload gears. But roof boxes when positioned towards the side can lead to poor weight distribution.
What To Do When Finding Balance Is Hard?
If you feel the car roof carriers are not well balanced, drive slowly. Be careful when taking turns. If there are others in the car, caution is important.
Ease Of Access
Some car owners, especially those using tall SUVs load the cargo boxes on one side of the roof rack. This is done to facilitate ease of access. If the boxes can be opened from the sides, it makes sense. However, ensure you do not load the cargo boxes with heavy items when you want to place them on a side of the roof rack. Loading the cargo box on the passenger side is recommended for safety.
Using The Cargo Box As Per The Car Rack Type And Style
- Roof rails – The presence of roof rails makes setting up a cargo box easy. There are many roof rack models and you have to buy one compatible with your car model and one that supports a wide range of rooftop carriers. The car dealer may help you get an OEM unit.
- Crossbars – You can set up crossbars on the roof rails. Ensure you buy sturdy and rugged crossbars for supporting cargo weight. A cheap crossbar will bend or get rusty soon like they say- If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
- Cargo Carriers – If the car is already equipped with a roof rack and crossbars, you can set up a cargo carrier atop. Most such cargo boxes are made with mounting hardware to make your task easier and faster. The manufacturers offer video installation guides or printed instructions.
Checking The Cargo Box Installation
After you set up a rooftop cargo box on the car, check it well before hitting the road. Push and pull it from all sides to see if it is set up well or not. Drive a little with empty and partly loaded box as well. When you are confident, use it normally for the trips.
Things To Remember
No matter how large or sturdy a car roof carrier you buy, always keep an eye on the overall weight limit before using it. Overloading the box can be risky and it enhances risk of mishaps on the road. Also, remember there are certain things that you just cannot put inside a car roof cargo box. Examples include explosive substances, hazardous chemicals, animals, liquids, bricks etc.
Summing It Up
Be careful when you position a cargo carrier atop your vehicle. Checking the right position of the box and keeping an eye on the weight limit are what you need to do.