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Purchase Off-Road Lights: Discover the Reasons Why You Should!

Off road lights

What makes driving on muddy, rocky, and rough paths thrilling? Well, it’s the excitement that comes with beating the odds and completing journeys others deem as terrifying. With the right equipment, you can come out victorious and ready to try out tougher expeditions.

Your offroading experience gets better if you have reliable off-road lights. They produce extra illumination aside from the on-road lights your car comes with. They give you the advantage of covering difficult paths safely since they are bright, and do not put a strain on your vehicle’s power. They are installed in various positions of the car to customize your preferences regarding the places you’ll be visiting.

These Lights come in many designs with a construction from aluminum, steel, or ABS (plastic). They are more attractive to off-road drivers since they produce different colors in their lighting systems. You’ll also notice that they are not just mounted anywhere. Most people prefer installing them on the upper parts of the vehicle to provide a far-reaching light.

Off road lights

Types of Off-Road Lights

As we delve further, you are probably asking yourself; which are the types of off-road lights available? Now, you’ll encounter two main designs in either individual lamps or light bars. These lights shine in a particular beam pattern to serve the specific purpose the driver intends.

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    Flood Beam Pattern

    Floodlights illuminate a wide section of the road which includes the sides. The driver can see what’s happening on the road but not too far beyond. These lights are mostly preferred as fog lights or in wide workspaces where you need to guide other workers. You’ll find them on towing vehicles.

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    Spot Beam Pattern

    This type of beam reaches further into the distance so that you can see another car approaching much sooner. It is best in avoiding accidents with oncoming vehicles especially in mountainous areas or where the roads wind too much.

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    Combination Beam Pattern

    If you want a customized approach to the beam pattern you choose, then the combination beam makes a great choice. It offers both wide and a far-reaching light. This way, you can see oncoming vehicles from far and also have a full area of view during foul weather.

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    Diffused Beam Lights

    This beam is created from either of the two but with a small twitch. Honeycomb light covers are introduced into the design to split the illumination coming from each bulb. The result is a soft light devoid of any reflections and shadows.

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    Driving Lights

    These are much like combination lights since they shine all-around the vehicle. The main drawback is they are not as bright as spot beams.

Major Off-Road Lighting Options

In 2017, LEDs are making it big, and this is for a good reason. Light emitting diodes are more energy efficient as they do not produce as much heat as their HID (High-Intensity Discharge) and halogen cousins. LEDs rely on the movement of electrons which create magnetic radiation, thereby lighting the bulb. They are effective while covering rough trails and rugged terrain out in the backcountry.

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    LEDs: These lights top the list of the lights that last longest while using the least amount of energy. They are preferred as the more eco-friendly design since they don’t generate lots of heat. They are bright, and they also produce light in different colors. Red and blue colors capture people’s attention even when you pass through a quiet neighborhood.

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    HIDs: This is another popular choice loved for its very bright white light. These lights do not consume energy like halogen lights hence they are a viable choice for most off-roaders. Since these lights use xenon gas, they are a contemporary choice for the new car models on the market today.

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    Halogen Lights: You’ll identify this kind of off-road light by the budget-friendly price tag. They use a filament contained in a vacuum to generate an extremely bright white light. They also produce more heat than the other types. As such, halogen lights tend to have a shorter lifespan than their other counterparts.

Which Mounting Position Makes The Most Sense?

Off road lights

After identifying the ideal choice for your vehicle, the next step will be the installing process. There are three favorite places; that is the bumper, roof, or windshield pillars. There’s no better place than the other since each poses its advantages and disadvantages.

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    Bumper : Floodlights are effective when installed on the bumper. For one, they produce a direct wide light in front of the vehicle. It is a simple location for most SUVs since some come with the mounting wires already in place so you’ll only need some equipment to install the light.

    Flood bars are long enough to boost your vehicle’s current driving lights to offer an extraordinary amount of illumination.

    Spot beams installed on the bumper offer concentrated light on the path.  You’ll like them if you are covering long stretches of curving roads.

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    Roof: To maximize your visibility, installing your lights on the roof also makes for great visibility. Choose flood beams or a combination of both the spot beam and the flood beam when mounting in this position. This is because when you install on the roof, there’s an increase in your jeep’s height hence losing some light clearance.

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    Windshield Pillars: When mounting in this position, it’s important to choose lights with small widths. The main motivation for this area is when illuminating the sides of the road. Spotlights are ideal for this position to prevent any glare which may affect your overall night-time visibility. Also, do not go for very large lights as they may inhibit vision to the sides.

    Another popular place is the grille as it offers visibility closer to the ground. Small rectangular or circular fog lights are an incredible accessory if you want to add on the road illumination.

Off-Road Lights: Buyers Guide

Buying off-road lights may seem like quite a simple process. But when it comes to comparing the models on the market, it becomes confusing and a bit of a headache.

Quality: A high-quality off-road light is water resistant, and it takes the road tortures to a whole new level. Remember that the light is going to undertake trips amongst thickets, bushes, mud, and rocky paths. If you were to be caught in a storm, ensure your light does not seep into the water. Also, look for lights with a construction from aluminum or steel materials which are resistant to damage.

Lumens: The lumens gauge how bright the light is. Knowing the lumens output will give you a pretty good idea on how well your model will illuminate the path.

Long Warranties: The warranty of a product indicates how long the manufacturer expects it to last before asking for repairs and replacements. If a company is not willing to offer an extended warranty period, then you should lose your confidence in purchasing such a light. Also, look at what the warranty covers. Will it guarantee the replacement or repairs alone? And do they ship it for free when conducting the repairs?

Know about the Voltage: The essence here is to know how bright you want the light to be. A high voltage indicates that it is brighter than its counterparts with a lower voltage.

Size: The bigger the light, the brighter it will be. If you want to have tons of bright light, then you’ll want to consider LEDs with a high number of bulbs.

When looking to purchase an off-road light, size is most likely the first thing that pops up. You’ll find them in sizes from 4 inches all the way to 50 inches. More so, they come bearing a different number of bulbs. These bulbs are engineered to produce a spot or a flood beam. Other lights have a combination of the two beams which we recommended above.

Tips when Purchasing Off-Road Lights

Get two small Lights: When choosing off-road lights, you may be tempted to get the large light on the assumption that it offers better illumination. But the opposite is true. With a huge light, you can only install it to face one direction. With two small lights, you can angle them slightly to the side you want to illuminate. Hence you have a bright vision on a focused direction.

Prefer Flood Lights and Combination Lights: When driving in the backcountry, you’ll want to see the sides of the road as you should be prepared for animals crossing the road. That’s where the flood light comes in, but you also need to see the road ahead. A combination light will give you ample illumination as well as far-reaching visibility.

Durability and Reputation: The company that makes the light you’ll be installing must have some reputation. You’ll want to read about them in buyers’ reviews so that you can have an idea of what you’ll be buying into. If the company has not taken their lights through vigorous off-road testing, you cannot expect it to live up to its standards.

What is the Lights Amps Draw? There’s no humor in a dead battery in the middle of nowhere. That’s why you should check how much energy the light is drawing. Picking off-road lights with a high amp draw puts you at risk of a battery drain. As such, if you want peace of mind, choose bars with a small amp draw so you can have multiple functions on the battery.

Bottom Line!

Off-road lights are great accessories which will help you be safe on rugged terrain. They are not only an addition to the aesthetics, but they also provide tremendous advantages. They’ll help you offset some of the challenges that come with driving back trails. From escaping potholes to running over a deer, they increase the thrill of night-time driving.

A Comprehensive Guide to LED Daytime Running Lamps for Your Car

LED DRL

Noticed how all Volvos have their lights on even during the day? Well, now that technology is catching on in today’s modern vehicles. They say we need to protect human lives on the road as the traffic becomes crazy each day. What better way than to use the most efficient technology? LEDs are the perfect Daytime running lights we have seen in recent times.

What are LED Daytime Running Lights?

After going through years of research, LEDs have come to use low power in their bulbs through special wiring. They don’t flicker or cause error messages on the dashboard since they are designed to produce excellent visibility during the day as well as increase illumination at dusk and dawn.

Benefits of LEDs in Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)

LED DRL

Although daytime running lights have been around for a while now, we were yet to see the benefits that LEDs brought along. Now we can see it has paid off to use LEDs instead of Halogen or High-Intensity Discharge bulbs in DRLs. Why, you ask?

The power to run DRLs is drawn from the engine. LEDs use about 5watts to 20watts, unlike others which use upwards of 200w, so they are energy efficient. They do not increase the amount of fuel the car burns. As such, they limit the carbon emission by that particular car.

LEDs produce dazzling lights which provide great visibility in low light conditions. Mostly in winter, pedestrians need to see oncoming cars as the visibility is reduced to near zero in some countries. Not to mention, they prevent head-on collisions when traveling on two-lane roads. On the other hand, HIDs need some time to reach very bright intensities since they need to light up the xenon and then draw power from the car’s battery. 

For those with black cars, they are especially hard to see on a misty morning. All it takes is one second for you to bump into an oncoming car if their headlights are not on. Since LEDs use focused rays, the moment you have them on, you can see the way ahead on the road, and as such you have a safe driving experience.

The other main advantage is their lifetime. LEDs are deemed to last up to 3000 hours over Halogens which have 1000 hours of life and 2000 hours of HIDs.

Choosing LED Daytime Running Lights: Factors to Consider

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    Light Intensity: Because you are majorly purchasing the LED DRL for daytime use, the stronger the light intensity, the better it will be for increasing visibility. The number of lumens indicates how bright the particular light will be. If the LED says it produces 3000 lumens, you’ll have to know how many of the 3000 lumens does it actually use. This is because you’ll want LEDs where you can see and be seen.

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    Color: In daytime running lights colors may be somewhat of a limit to only cool white and warm colors. When choosing your LED DRL, it’s crucial to look at the temperature of the bulb since it dictates the color of the light. Warm white LEDs run from 2500 Kelvin to 4000 Kelvin while cool whites run from 5000 K to 8000 Kelvin.

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    Style: If you want to add some character to your car, you have the chance to choose from a variety of different bulbs which are installed in various patterns. This is because the sizes of the bulbs are in a series of small units.

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    Power of the Lights: The power and beam size are an important entity of the LED daytime running light you choose. In most countries, the regulations dictate a maximum of 800 lumens on any particular DRL. However, you have the chance to choose LEDs with lower intensities. Most drivers are advised to choose LEDs with 5W running with 600 lumens. At 200 lumens the LEDs are dim during the day, and at 800 they can be blinding to oncoming traffic. Make sure you consider the outside conditions of your area as you match the power and beam size of your LED DRL.

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    LED Lifespan: Check to see that the kit indicates the LEDs can last up to 3000 hours. Most manufacturers miscalculate on how long the LED daytime running lights will last, but they come close to the number indicated.

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    LED Quantity: LEDs offer just the right versatility for your car. When looking at the number of LEDs, it’s important to consider the viewing area. With a bar that has 28 LEDs, you can have a 360-degree viewing angle. Let’s just say, the number of LEDs should be in line with the viewing area you want.

Where should you install the LED Daytime Running Light 

LED daytime running lights are installed anywhere on the front of the car. There are four popular locations for LED daytime running lights.

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    Bumper grille

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    Mid-center grille

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    Center hood grille

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    Lower bumper

How do you Install the LED Daytime Running Lights?

LED daytime running lights are not exactly complicated when it comes to the installation process, but you should first know about the car’s electronic circuitry.

What you’ll need:

Standard or long nose pliers

Screwdrivers

Multimeter/ 12V tester

Power drill plus drill bits

Tape measure

Stiff wire like one bent from a coat hanger

The installation manual: it’s always important to read the mounting instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Mounting the LED Daytime Running Lights

Select the correct height of the LEDs based on your chosen location. For regular use, select at least 25 centimeters from the road and for parking purposes at least 35 centimeters.

Slip the wire into the bracket.

Drill and bolt the bracket into the selected location. Ensure that the bracket fits seamlessly with your car’s bumper or grille.

Now latch the LEDs into the bracket using the screwdriver

Now it’s time to wire up. The lamps connecting the LEDs have wires which you route to the source of power. In this case; near your car’s battery is the perfect control location.

Use the cable ties provided on the kit to secure the leads along the bumper

To tap the power supply, you can go directly to the batteries terminals and not on the ignition. This makes sense since the LEDs can get information whether the battery is running or not.

Tap the red wire on the ACC. The ACC is located on the fuse box. You can find it by using a tester meter on the empty places in the fuse box. First, connect the black wire to the negative then find the ACC spot by inserting the tester in the fuse box. Touch the different locations until one spot lights up. That is the ACC where you’ll connect the red wire.

With the black wire on the negative, insert the red wire in the ACC’s blade. Turn on the engine to see the LEDs at work. These daytime running lights should work when you fire up the engine and turn off when the engine is not running.

Conclusion 

LED Daytime running lights last longer than standard bulbs. They are energy efficient and thus growing in popularity. They enable you to see much clearly as opposed to other forms of daytime lights. However, there are important considerations that you need to take before you go the LED way. Some rules and regulations dictate their usage, so you check with your country’s legalities first. But they are practical, much more sophisticated, and stylish for any car.

Easy to Choose the Best Truck Bed Mats with this Buying Guide

Truck bed mat

Truck bed mats are used by truck owners to protect the surface of the vehicle from dents and scratches. Choosing the best truck bed mats can be overwhelming for most people as there are so many brands and models available in the market. This guide will help you choose wisely so that you are able to protect the floor of your pickup truck from damage.

What is Truck Bed Mat?

Truck beds see more action that any other part of the pickup truck. When loading and unloading cargo the bed is under constant attack from wear and tear and spills. Even when you take good care, an unprotected truck bed is susceptible to wear and damage. A good quality truck bed mat will help protect the life of the truck bed.

A truck bed mat is a mat that is installed in the bed of the pickup truck. It helps protect the vehicle bed surface from dents and scratches especially when you load and unload cargo into the truck bed. Apart from this, it safeguards the cargo when the pickup moves on the road. Cleaning the truck bed also becomes an easy task when you install the mat.

A good quality truck bed mat prevents the cargo and goods from slipping in the truck bed. Direct sunlight can damage the bed surface and the mat helps prevent it. You will also be able to reduce the maintenance fee. The only disadvantage of using a mat is that it occupies a little bit of space on the truck bed.

Materials of Truck Bed Mats

Depending on the manufacturer, truck bed mats are made from different materials. The common and popular materials that are used include:

  • Rubber – The best mats are those made of rubber – recycled or virgin rubber. They are thicker when compared to their counterparts and this enables them to provide better protection. Rubber doesn’t stain and can withstand extreme weather conditions. The material fights UV rays and this lessens fading. It is also easy to clean a rubber mat compared to plastic and carpet mats. All that you need is some soap and water to remove the dirt and grime from the mat. This can make it look as good as new.
  • Plastic – Mats that are made of plastic are lightweight. They do have a big disadvantage when it comes to temperature. They can easily melt in extreme heat. You need to make the choice of this material depending on the kind of weather in your area.
  • Carpet – Carpet mats add style and protect the truck bed from dirt and grime. These mats are cheap but they may stain easily in the long run. They are also much thinner than rubber and plastic and may not last long if you are hauling heavy cargo.
Carpet mat

Some Popular Brands of Truck Bed Mats

The popular brands of truck bed mats include Dee Zee, Westin, Bedrug, Dual Liner, Promaxx, Access, BedTred, Toyota, Genuine, Loadhandler and WeatherTech. Before you make the choice, it is advisable to learn about the pros and cons of each brand so that you are able to make an informed choice. When choosing a popular brand, you need to ensure that they fulfill your specific requirements and budget.

The Different Points of Truck Bed Mats and Truck Bed Liners

When choosing the best truck bed protection, you need to be aware of the differences between truck bed mats and truck bed liners. This can help you make the choice as per your specific requirements.

Truck Bed Mats

Most pickup truck beds get unsightly dents and scratches due to shifting cargo. A good quality truck bed mat protects the truck bed by preventing the cargo from shifting during transportation. Mats help safeguard the truck bed bottom but will not be able to offer protection on the sides.

  • Mats are made of rubber and plastic and this makes them affordable. You can choose mats as per your budget.
  • The truck bed mats can be easily installed and removed. This makes it convenient to clean and maintain.
  • The entire flat surface of the truck bed is covered by the mat. When it is combined with the tailgate, it offers better protection and prevents damage to the tailgate.
  • They offer long lasting protection to the truck bed.
  • The mats can be customized as per the specific dimensions of your pickup truck.

Truck Bed Liners

Truck bed liner

Do you want to protect the truck bed from dents that are usually caused by shifting cargo? Truck bed liners extend across the entire flat surface of the truck bed and this prevents the cargo from shifting and damaging the truck bed.

  • The bed liners are available in different sizes and shapes and they fit perfectly to safeguard all three sides of the truck bed. Damage to the bottom and the two sides of the truck bed is prevented due to this. Your cargo gets the best protection due to this feature. 
  • Different kinds of materials (rubber, carpet and roll on polyurethane) are used to make the bed liners. When compared to the bed mats they are slightly expensive.
  • You can choose to install the bed liners permanently or semi-permanently. You do need to remember that if you install it permanently you will find it difficult to access anything that is concealed in the truck bed compartments. You may have to dismantle the liner to gain access to the compartments and this can be a time-consuming process.

How to Choose a Good Truck Mat?

There are many factors that you need to consider when making the choice of a good truck mat.

  • Shape and Size – The size and shape difference of the truck bed depends on the manufacturer. You need to choose a mat shape and size that matches the dimensions of the truck bed. Customized mats can be easily cut to create the perfect fit. They need to be cut to fit the exact dimensions of the truck bed. If they are not cut to the correct size they will not be able to prevent shifting of cargo in an effective manner. 
  • Durability – Irrespective of the type of cargo you are hauling, you need to choose a mat that is durable. This is one of the first things that you need to look for when buying a truck mat. Look at the quality of materials that are used to construct it. High-end durable mats are made from rubber and polypropylene. Depending on your choice of material, you will be able to ensure that the truck bed withstands loading and unloading of heavy cargo. This also makes it resistant to abrasion, corrosion, breaking, cracking, tear and rust.
  • Traction – One of the important things that you need to consider when choosing a good truck mat is traction. The bed mat should be skid proof. This is necessary if you want to keep the mat in position. When the mat maintains its position, the cargo will also be able to maintain its position and will not skid off the truck bed. A textured surface can prevent the cargo from shifting even when the vehicle is driven at top speed. If the cargo skids all over the bed surface, it can damage the item that is been transported and the interiors of the truck bed.
  • Ease of Use and Maintain – Ease of installation and removal needs to be considered when making the choice. The truck bed mats should be easy to install. You should also be able to remove it within minutes. Avoid buying mats that are too complicated to install and remove. There are some mats that are secured with fasteners or some kind of adhesive or held in place by bolts that are designed to fit into pre-drilled holes in the truck bed. Buy truck mats that are resistant to stains and spills as this makes them easy to clean and maintain.
  • Price – The price of the mat depends on the quality of materials that are used in its manufacture. Carpet is cheap but may not last long. Mats that are made from rubber and plastic are affordable. If you are on a tight budget you can choose mats that are made of recycled rubber. They are affordable and offer good protection.
  • Warranty – The warranty will vary depending on the brand and choice of materials. Buy brands that come with good coverage but without any considerable increase in price. The terms of the warranty can vary from state to state and it is advisable to gain awareness about it before making the choice.
  • Weather – The weather in your area should also be considered before making the choice of truck bed mat. If the weather is too hot, you need to avoid choosing mats that at made of plastic, as they can easily get damaged. If you face rain and snow on a frequent basis, you need to choose mats that can withstand such weather. Rubber mats will be able to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Some Additional Information

The Thickness and Weight of Truck Bed Mats

Truck bed mats are available in different thickness. Thick mats last long and offer adequate protection to the truck bed.

  • The thickness of the bed mat will affect the space of the truck bed. The thickness of most brands of mats is usually 0.375 inches. You will be able to carry less cargo if you opt for thick mats. 
  • Weight is also an important consideration when making the choice. Lightweight mats ensure that the pickup truck uses less fuel but they may not be as strong and durable as the thick ones. This makes the thick mats a preferred choice of truck owners who haul heavy cargo.

Other Necessary Accessories for a Pickup Truck

  • Tailgate Mats – Tailgates tend to get damaged when you load and unload cargo. The tailgate mats provide the next level of protection to your truck tailgate. They can help shield the truck beds from dents, scrapes and scratches when loading and unloading heavy cargo.
  • Cargo Bar – The will help hold cargo and prevents its movement. This ensures that even the heaviest cargo loads will not shift during transportation. The bars can be adjusted to fit any pickup truck. You will be able to carry multiple items using the cargo bar.
  • Tonneau Cover – The covers provide added style and security to your pickup truck. They help protect the cargo from all types of weather. You can choose from a wide variety of categories including folding, hinged, retractable and roll-up.
  • Bed Extender – The bed extender increases the truck bed’s hauling area. This can enable you to carry cargo that is larger than the truck bed. You will be able to carry a large number of items in a safe and orderly manner. This can also help you cut down on the number of trips you need to carry large cargo.

Tips to Use and Maintain the Truck Bed Mats

A good quality truck bed mat protects the pickup truck bed from damage. Even though they protect the truck they can attract a lot of dust and debris. Regularly clean so that you are able to remove dirt and grime. If dirt and grime are left to accumulate they can cause corrosion.

Before you start the cleaning process, you need to remove all cargo from the truck bed. Most manufacturers specify the cleaning process to be followed. Wash the mat with soap and water. Use a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess water after you complete washing the mat.

The truck bed mats that you choose should be easy to install. It is advisable to choose bed mats depending on the appropriate size of your pickup truck.

  • Avoid using harmful chemical on the mat. Avoid using acid to wash and clean the mat. Harsh chemicals can damage the mat and it can develop cracks. 
  • Avoid loading and unloading sharp objects directly on the mats.
  • Clean the truck bed mats with soap and water. This can help in removing dirt and grime. You will have to wash harder if you want to remove stains from spills that have accumulated on the truck bed.

Conclusion

Before you choose the best truck bed mats, you need to ascertain your specific hauling needs. If you haul heavy cargo, it is best to choose thick mats. Purchasing a truck bed mat is a big investment and you need to consider all features and benefits before making the choice.

When you gain knowledge about the different things that you need to consider when buying a truck bed mat, it can make the process simple and rewarding.

A Definitive Guide To The Best Trailer Hitches

Trailer hitch ball and bar and plastic top

A trailer hitch is designed as an attachment to a vehicle’s chassis for towing. There are different types of tow hitches some of which are intended to mount directly onto the frame of the car while others integrate with the particular make of the car. Tow hitches take different forms from tow hooks to tow balls or tow pins. All the different designs allow specific articulations with the trailer or vehicle in question. This way, it can accommodate the weight it is made for and retain its flexibility and stability. 

What are the Benefits of a Trailer Hitch?

Tow equipment comes with the following important advantages.

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    Accommodate Heavy Weight: Trailer hitches exhibit excellent stability and robustness to accommodate large loads in excess of 17,000 pounds. That’s why with the proper trailer hitch you are sure of a stable vehicle without any swaying from side to side when driving. Not to mention, there are variances in the load capacity for various tow hitches, so you’ll be able to choose which one is compatible with your specific vehicle.

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    Allow Swiveling of Trailers: Many are times when you need to make wide turns to make it around a tight corner. But with a trailer hitch, your tow vehicle is in sync with your car such that the shift is smooth and tight. This means you can ride on different roads without worrying too much about bends.

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    Offer Great Convenience: A trail hitch opens up your options to tug along trucks and buses for long camping trips, homes on the road, or even the use heavy work equipment. They provide smooth connections with the vehicle so that you won’t have to fumble with parts during attachments. Some are adjustable to allow for height adjustment using different ball sizes.

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    Easy to Setup: Towing a trailer is simple with the proper hitch. Most of them are installed in the factory like seen on SUVs and pickups. They are versatile and require little effort, for example, some have a reinforced hole which takes a ball on the bumper while others have a ball mounted to on a bar against the bumper.

So which are the Types of Trailer Hitches?

It’s now a common scenario to see trailers on the road. And with each tow truck is a trail hitch accompanying the towed vehicle or equipment. Most heavy-duty trucks now have a trailer hitch already installed on them.

There are six major categories of trailer hitches as there lies a great deal on this simple mechanism.

Trailer hitch ball and bar and plastic top


Rear Receiver Hitch: The most common hitch you can find on almost every tow truck is the rear hitch receiver. It ranks between Class 1 of the light duty hitches to Class 5 of heavy duty hitches with receiver tubes from 11/4 ”x11/4” to 2 ½”x 2½”. They have square tubes making them the most versatile in accepting various tow accessories from boats, sleeper campers, bikes, SUVs, and utility vehicles.

Front Mount Trailer Hitch:This type of hitch comes in handy when you want to use the front end of your car. This may be when you want to install a plow, a winch, an extra carrier, or putting a boat into the water.  A front mount trailer hitch works in the same design as a rear receiver hitch only that it cannot tow more than 9000 pounds of cargo. It uses a front receiver which bolts directly on to the vehicle’s frame. At best, SUVs, trucks and vans can use this type of hitch since it can hinder visibility when used on other cars like sedans.

Fifth Wheel Hitch: Heavy trailers are usually long and more prone to swaying and instability. That’s where the fifth wheel trailer hitch comes in. This hitch does not use balls for towing. It is a flat plate in the shape of a horse shoe and connects to the bed of the trailer. It is uniquely made such that the hitch carries the coupler unlike on ball hitches where the coupling is part of the towed vehicle. The fifth wheel hitch is available for heavy trucks and allows for different accentuations to take up heavier loads and also provide room for absorbing bumps. Here we are talking about trailers in the range of ¾ ton or 1 ton. These trucks can haul from a good 15,000 pounds up to 25,000 pounds thanks to their long beds.

Gooseneck Trailer Hitch: There’s a high similarity between fifth wheel hitches and Gooseneck trailer hitches. One, they are both designed to tow large loads.  Second, they mount at the front of the vehicle. They are used with trailers that have front protrusions in the middle of the truck bed. This way, you can still use your truck bed when you are not towing any vehicle. 

You’ll find them on gardening equipment and massive RVs with an average towing capacity of up to 30,000 pounds.

Bumper Hitch: As the name suggests, it is a hitch which mounts directly to the bumper. It is not intended for towing large weights since it uses a simple square receiver. They haul a weight up to 2000 pounds of trailers up to 6ft. or boats up to 14 ft. 

Pintle Hook: The primary distinction of this hitch is in the hooking part. It uses a tow ring and a pintle to secure the trailer. It mounts either directly to the frame of the trailer or uses an extra mounting receiver which slides into the truck. They secure the largest loads around 60,000 pounds and can be seen on heavy construction equipment.

Trailer Hitch Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to picking the most appropriate tow hitch, there are some factors that you need to consider. Here’s your guide to the features to watch.

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    Tongue Weight: A hitch system has to be rated for the particular vehicle or equipment it will be towing. Here, we look at the tongue weight. In trailer hitch jargon, it’s pretty easy to get caught in the words and not get the real meaning behind systems. Now, the tongue weight is the load the trailer puts on the hitch. It lets you control the movement of the vehicle to prevent it from swaying. Usually, the tongue weight should be at least 15% of the gross towed weight.

    It’s important to check this weight before you start loading up the trailer. This way, you are safe that your cargo will arrive at the destination it is intended. You should always adjust the tongue weight by shifting the load from different positions forward or after of the RV.

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    Hitch Balls: This is the attachment point for the trailers. The ball mount has a hole which locks in the ball. The diameter of the ball should be the same as that of the coupler. Most of them measure from 1 7/8” to 2 5/16”. The ball is responsible for the swiveling of the trailer and for making smooth turns. It’s always important that the shank passes through the ball mount.

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    Trailer Lights and Wiring: This part provides the signals and power to the lights of the trailer. The trailer is required to have a wiring harness which powers the trailer lights. It is, hence, crucial that you choose the right wiring system which suits your trailer. Most vehicles have already installed wiring mechanisms that plug in directly to the trailer. Always measure the current connector on the trailer and the vehicle to ensure that they are compatible before buying a trailer hitch.

How do you choose the right trailer hitch?

Before embarking on choosing the best trailer hitch, you should remember that safety is of utmost importance. This is where we say; there should be no compromises when it comes to bringing your family safely to a camp site.

Fifth Wheel Traler


Gross Towed weight (GTW): First, always make sure to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find the specific GTW (Gross Towed Weight) your vehicle can tow safely. Know the weight of your towed vehicle and your car's towing capacity to decide which type of hitch you will need. Do not assume the weight. You can easily add up to 20% more of the recommended weight and not realize it.

 There are accurate methods of measuring the weight which involves using scales to know the exact weight of the cargo and the people who’ll be traveling in the trailer. This way, you have a great shot at identifying the type of hitch to choose for your tow truck.

Consider Weight Distribution: For those trailers that weigh above 4000 pounds, it’s a wise decision to distribute those lbs. A weight distribution hitch offers better stability than using just one hitch. You’ll also have better chances of being in control as you drive.

Identify the compatible ball mount to determine the Correct Drop or Rise: Ball mounts which also include pins and clips are usually sold separately. As such, it is your job to determine which accessories are fit for your tow vehicle. Make the following simple considerations before buying your ball mount:

  • Know the weight capacity the ball mount can carry
  • Ensure the ball mount fits the trailer coupler and the receiver
  • Determine the drop and rise for your towing system
  • Decide on the construction materials like aluminum vs. steel and the adjustability

How do you measure the Tongue Weight?

There are different methods of knowing how much the tongue weighs before you even determine its capacity. You can opt for one of the following methods:

Tongue weight scale-They are heavy duty scales which allow measuring the tongue trailer

Bathroom scale- There are guidelines to follow when measuring using a bathroom scale. First, most scales have a limited capacity, and as such, they should be utilized for tongues of small trailers.

Weigh Safe Ball Mount- It is perhaps the most convenient method to know your trailer’s tongue weight since it displays the metrics as soon as you hook the tongue.

Commercial scale- These are usually found in truck stops where you can know the tongue weight by paying a fee.

How to determine your vehicle’s hitch tongue weight capacity?

As we said earlier, the force that the tongue of the Recreational Vehicle applies to the hitch of the tow truck is the tongue weight. The TW should be considerable enough to weigh on the hitch ball to prevent swaying of the tow vehicle. Remember that here you are dealing with the effect of gravity and that a high point of balance can easily offset the balance of the tow truck and lead to accidents.

It is usually recommended that the TW should exert from 10-15% of the total Gross Trailer Weight. For example, if the GTW of your system is at 2000 pounds capacity, the TW at 15% of the GTW should be at 300 pounds.

But that is just an estimate because you don’t know the weight of the tow truck. So, first know the Gross Vehicle Weight rating, and it’s going to be a matter of multiplying the TW percentage by the GVWR. The GVWR is the entire weight of the trailer and the tow vehicle. It is subject to changes so you should remember to pick a hitch which can accommodate weight variances.

How much is the maximum towing capacity of trailer hitch? 

The hitch towing capacity is mainly determined by the class in which it falls. That is from the hitch with the smallest receiver end, to the one with the largest receiver opening.  There are five major types by which you need to qualify a hitch with the weight it should carry.

Class 1 hitches- Best suited for hitches designed to attach to the frame. Their capacity is for light loads at up to 2000pounds.

Class 2 hitches- These are recommended for towing up to 3500pounds. They attach to frame and attach to most family cars.

Class 3 hitches- These are considered as a heavy duty category with a capacity of 5000pounds.

Class 4 hitches- Another heavy load type which includes towing of full-size SUVs up to 7500 pounds.  They come with weight distribution sockets to stabilize the tow truck and the trailer.

Class 5 hitches- They offer the highest weight capacity at 14000pounds. They are best for heavy duty hauling of full-size trailers and RVs.

The Best Trailer Hitches on the Market

There are many brands of trailer hitches. But you don’t have to test each of them to decide on the best model for you. Whether you want to bring your camper to the site, or your boat down the lake, we have identified the best models just for you.

1. CURT 13333 Trailer Hitch Class 3

2. Curt 13323 Class 3 Trailer Hitch

3. CURT 13127Class 3 Trailer Hitch

4. Reese Towpower Class III 21556 Towing Starter Kit

5. Connor 2Inch Tri Ball Hitch

6. CURT Class 4 14374 Trailer Hitch

7. Reese Towpower 2Inch 21536RAK Class III Trailer Hitch Starter Kit

8. CURT Class 1 Trailer Hitch 112653

9. Reese Towpower Class I Insta Hitch 51171

10. Goplus - Triple Ball Tow Hitch Mount for 2Inch Receiver

Essential Towing Accessories of a Trailer Hitch

Hitch Balls and Mounts- These are additional parts which include the pin and clip to tow the trucks. The ball mount attaches to the ball via the pin and clip. They fall under the different categories regarding the Gross Trailer weight.

Trailer Wiring- Every trailer must carry lights. No questions about it. But to most people, this might come as an after-thought after purchasing your trailer. Fortunately, most manufacturers pre-wire the trailer before it’s out on display.

Although you can be working with a pre-installed hitch, you’ll still need to bring in the connectors. It works by just unplugging the connector from the rear lights, plug in the harness, and route it between the female and male ends. 

Couplers- A trailer coupler is a system which is either welded or bolted to the trailer tongue. It allows the swiveling of the hitch ball. The main factors to consider when choosing the couplers are the Gross trailer weight and the trailer tongue.

Hitch Cover & Steps- Hitch steps allow easy access to the roof and the rear of your trailer. They are easy to install; hence increasing the functionality of your sports utility vehicle or truck bed.

Hitch covers, on the other hand, are basically covers which take off the unsightly metal protrusions from trailers. They are now designed to be classy and elegant to meet your tastes and preferences. They also prevent the truck from being exposed to the elements.

Hitch Pins- These act as fasteners for securing trailer vehicles. They eliminate the need of using keys as the locking mechanism of your hitch.

Backup Cameras- Hitching a trailer is a hard job, and it takes time to get it right. A backup hitch camera comes in handy to provide fast alignment. Most of them point directly to the trailer ball to give you the best view of the back of the trailer. This way, you can use them during reverse for extra safety and visibility.

Cargo Carrier- Sometimes you don’t have much to carry so a trailer can be too big for a short journey. A cargo carrier is functional when you want to tow just a considerable size of the load. They come in the form of baskets or cargo boxes and can be enclosed or flat.

Hitch Grill- For those that like traveling with their grills but do not have enough space on their vehicle, a hitch grill works the magic by allowing you to have a barbecue on the road. It has complete access to the rear of the car with the convenience of not touching the ground. With one, you can cook on the road and feel totally in control.

Bike Racks- Vehicles use trail hitches while bicycles use bike racks to attach to cars. You need to consider the design of the hitch mounted bike rack to determine whether it goes with your car or bus.

Ski Racks- These are usually found on the rooftop of cars to transport your ski securely. They are designed for vehicles which do not have crossbars or side rails.

Snow Plow- These are heavy blades which mount in front of trucks. They work with receiver type hitches when needed to fit on SUVs and vans. They sync with the hitch mounting assembly eliminating any additional installments.

Towing Safety Tips

Trailer Hitch
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    Driving Tips: When towing a vehicle, you should give yourself some distance between the other vehicles. Remember that your truck is long and so it takes more time to accelerate the rig and even longer to stop. Ensure to be cautious when switching between lanes plus to take wider turns when going bends and corners.

    Watch out for bumps as they can cause a jump which may lead to hitting of the trailer and causing sways.

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    Braking Tips: It is a bit scary if you ever lose control of your recreational vehicle. When hauling heavier loads, it’s important that you have electric brakes and a trailer brake controller. If your vehicle does not have an already installed brake controller, opt for proportional designs which do not disrupt the consistency of the trailer braking when you have the foot on the brake pedal for long.

    Always ensure that you allow the brakes to be in the right conditions for breaking so don’t be in a hurry to get to anywhere. Ensure to drive at a consistent low speed at around 20 miles per hour. If your trailer starts to sway by any chance, it’s recommended to activate the manual brake control. Avoid applying the tow brakes which can be more disastrous than it already is.

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    Handling Downgrades and Upgrades: Always keep your speed in check when driving on long upgrades. Remember to downshift to assist the braking process plus don’t engage them for extended periods to prevent any overheating. Also, avoid passing steep upgrades since they may drag you such it’s easy to feel like the truck is doing the entire job.

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    Backing Up: Steering in reverse is the trickiest aspect of driving tow vehicles. For most of the time, we recommend avoiding situations where you have to reverse. Otherwise, if it’s unavoidable, keeping the speed down and going at it slow should give you a smooth back up. Also, have the best visibility you can afford by installing backup cameras.

How to Maintain your Trailer Hitch

After using your trailer hitch for several camping trips, dirt is bound to gather on the various parts. Without proper care, the metallic components will breakdown and wear due to friction. Every part which moves is subject to wear and tear which is not a good thing. From the moment you install your trailer hitch, it goes without saying that it should be a great time to start the upkeep.

First, ensure that all the moving parts are properly lubricated. From the hitch balls, mounts, and the hitch use the correct grease to prevent rust and reduce friction. Also, invest in ball covers and hitch covers to keep out moisture.

By now, we believe you’ve learned everything there is to know about trail hitches. The importance of this equipment cannot be understated since it allows hauling accessories which make every trip worthwhile. Weight is your friend, and it can be your enemy. It is, therefore, important that you know the limits of your hitch trailer. Have the metrics at your finger tips from the Gross Towed Weight to the Tongue Weight and Gross Vehicle Trailer Weight. This way you are safe from sways and losing control on the road.

After using your trailer hitch for several camping trips, dirt is bound to gather on the various parts. Without proper care, the metallic components will breakdown and wear due to friction. Every part which moves is subject to wear and tear which is not a good thing. From the moment you install your trailer hitch, it goes without saying that it should be a great time to start the upkeep.

First, ensure that all the moving parts are properly lubricated. From the hitch balls, mounts, and the hitch use the correct grease to prevent rust and reduce friction. Also, invest in ball covers and hitch covers to keep out moisture. 

How much is the maximum towing capacity of trailer hitch? 

Top 10 Best Roof Rack That Will Make Your Travelling a Breeze

cargo roof rack

There are lots of times where a situation may come up that you will need to use a car in transporting items that have odd shapes which may not fit into the trunk. On such occasions, placing the items on the roof of the car is your best alternative.

Roof racks play a vital role in such cases as it makes it easy to put the items on the roof. It does not only ensure they hold the items firmly to the rack, but also prevent any discomfort due to a reduction in the space for the occupants.

1. What is A Roof Rack?

A roof rack is s set of bars which are attached to the roof of a vehicle using a hook, bolts or fitted directly from the manufacturers. They are connected to the roof so they can be used to carry heavy items without damaging the body of the roof. They are important especially when the object to be transported is irregularly shaped.

bike roof rack


Roof racks are of different types, but they all have fitting pieces, gear mounts, towers, support brackets, rack feet, and crossbars as the major components. Everyday items which we usually transport on roof racks are bicycles, luggage, and outdoor sporting equipment like a kayak.

2. Is it Legal to Overhang Loads on Your Vehicle? 

Placing loads on the roof of your car and transporting them does not make you a law breaker. There are no laws against overhanging loads, so it is legal.

One thing you should take note of is that "you must secure your load and it must not hang out dangerously" according to the Highway Code. This means you may be stopped if you don’t adequately safeguard the load on the roof. There will also be consequences for this action.

You don't want the load to go beyond a 1m gap from the roof at the front and the back of the car. The sides of the cargo should not be more than 200mm from the edge of the car.

You should also be careful if the vehicle is registered as a commercial fleet which is controlled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Another important thing to take note of is driving with load overhanging at night. For a situation like this, what you need is a light shining on the load so that other road users can take note of it when driving close as far as 200m away.

3. Why You Should Buy a Roof Rack?

There are lots of reasons why you should purchase a roof rack and if you don’t have any idea on the importance, read below.

●    It helps protect the roof finish when transporting items

● Using a roof rack contributes to preventing you from impeding on the space available for the passengers inside the vehicle

●   You get to increase the carrying capacity of your vehicle when you add the roof to the trunk

●    To ensure there is clear visibility for the driver when he needs to look behind

●    It is ideal for cars with trunks that cannot fit in any meaningful load.

There are some vehicles which come with a roof rack, like a SUV, which does not require an additional purchase of a roof rack. A pickup also doesn’t need the roof rack since the trunk is much wider than that of a regular car.

While this may be true, there may be cases where you need to encroach on the roof space when using a pickup. In such situations, it won’t hurt if there is a roof rack attached.

4. What Can You Carry with A Roof Rack? 

There are lots of things you can use a roof rack to carry and most of the times it is for items with irregular shapes.

Here is a list of what you can carry on your Roof Rack:

●    Kayaks, canoes, and gear for water sports

●    Bicycles

●    Mattresses

●    Snowboards and ski

●    Luggage

●    And any large cargo.

Although it is great to know that you can carry almost anything on the roof of your car, there are limits to what you can, or rather, what you should carry. This is because excess loads can either damage the vehicle or cause the roof to cave in.

5. How Many Types of Roof Racks are there?

There are lots of various kinds of roof racks available, and the difference in construction is as a result of the roof’s design. Some common types of roof racks available include:

Bare Roof Rack

For this kind of roof rack to be used for a vehicle, there should be no rain gutter, rail, or attachment points on the roof.

 This system is simply placed on the roof of the vehicle and is connected to the door frame with a hook to secure it. It is quite familiar with newer car models, and it is arranged using a rubberized hook, the rack fit and kit, and a crossbar.

Fixed Point Roof Rack

If a car is designed while considering a customer fitting a roof rack to it, the manufacturer may decide to create threaded holes with which you can attach the roof rack.

This will require a fixed point roof rack to be connected to these holes using the correct size of bolts or screws. Most fixed point roof racks usually come with a rubberized pad which has holes drilled into it, rack feet, and the crossbar for the rack.

Raised Side Rail Roof Rack

 A side rail is a type of roof rail that runs parallel to the length of the car. In a raised side rail, there is space between the bottom of the roof rail and the roof.

What this implies is that you can get a good grip on the rail if you wrap your hands as there is space for the hand to go round the rail. It usually consists of the rack feet and cross bars.

Flush Side Rail Roof Rack

 This is another type of side rail roof, and the flush is used to imply that there is no space between the bottom of the rack and the roof of the car.  The rails are also parallel to the length of the car.

In this roof rack, trying to get a grip on the rail may not be possible as the space between the bottom of the rail and the roof is not wide enough for your hand to fit in. It does not mean there is no space.

 It just means it is not very wide. Unlike the raised side rail, there is an additional component in this type of side rail roof which is the hardware kit. It contains a specialized device which is used to connect the rack feet to the rail.

Rain gutter roof rack 

There are also other types of roof racks which are no longer common. An example of this is the rain gutter which allowed people to fix the roof rack in the gutter. The channel used to come on the roof of the car and is often seen in old models of different vehicles.

There is also the factory pre-installed roof rack. In most cases, these roof racks cannot be removed from the vehicle. It is sometimes known as to as factory bars.

On a truck, an alternative to a roof rack is also installed. This is called the bed rack. This is different when compared to the roof rack, and the height of the frame can be adjusted so space below can be used for other items.

6. What Are the Best Roof Racks for Carrying Particular Item? 

Apart from the roof rack, some items require the attention of a specified carrier to convey it from one place to another. Listed above are some of them.

Carrying Bikes

A bike bar rack is useful if you have a bicycle to mount on the roof of the car and it allows you to arrange up to six bicycles on the rack. It is installed while using the car roof rack as the base. There are lots of different bike racks and different methods of mounting.

bike roof rack


There are other additional products like the fork, frame, and wheel mount which are also used. The fork mount is used to hold the front fork in place when the bicycle is mounted, so it does not move.

The frame mount is used to lock the frames to the bike rack while the wheel mount is used to lock both wheels to prevent them from moving.

Carrying Canoes, Kayaks

kayak roof rack


Kayak and canoes can be installed directly on the roof rack if you wish but if you use a wide mouth J bar, you can easily mount your kayak or canoe in a nearly upright position and strap it in easily.

Carrying Luggage, Cargo or Camping Gear

cargo roof rack


Transporting luggage and other gear or cargo can be done with any roof rack. As long as you secure it from falling off, it will be okay.

 You should also consider buying a carrier basket for this type of items. A carrier basket is simply a basket in which you can arrange the items. This makes it easier to cover and then mount on the roof by attaching to the bar racks.

7. How to Figure Out the Right Roof Rack for Your Car?

Here are a few points you should take note of before choosing a roof rack for your car

    Consider the Maximum Weight the Roof Can Carry?

When you want to buy a roof rack, one of the questions you want to ask yourself is what kind of car roof do you have?  First, make sure your vehicle is rack compatible by checking with the rack manufacturer. After that, you also have to figure out the maximum amount of weight the roof can carry along.

    Consider the Vehicle Overload Limit

If you have a commercial or four wheel-drive, have a think of what you want to carry. Figure out your vehicle payload limit as well as the manufacturer maximum roof load capacity. There is no need for heavy-duty racks if the vehicle and other components like tires, engines, and fuel efficiency can't take the load.

    Determine the Type of Rack that Fits Your Vehicle.

If you have a SUV, we recommended you use a simple rack system like those that come with crossbars and sturdy towers.

However, if you have a vehicle without pre-installed rails like a hatchback or sedan, then you want to go for a specialized roof rack that offers hardware, kit of pad, and bolts.

    Decide what Items You Want to Carry

Before buying a roof rack, it would be an excellent idea if you decide on the types of load you want to carry. If you aim to haul bikes, then go for a rack that is suitable for bikes like the Thule Sidearm. If you want to haul different types of gear, then you may want to go for a customized roof rack.

In a nutshell, you can also check the manufacturer’s website on crossbar links to know which one is the best for your vehicle.

8. How to Install Roof Rack on Your Car? 

Below are various ways to install roof racks of different models and make.

Install Naked Roof Rack

If you have a vehicle that has a naked rooftop, below are easy to follow installation tips you can apply on your vehicle.

Step 1: First figure out your car specific instructions in the q-clip measurement to know the exact for your vehicle.

Step 2: Remove any accessories on the roof and do a thorough cleaning

Step 3:   The next step is to place the pads on the roof of the vehicle. Make sure they are 2 feet apart and at the same time parallel to each other.

Step 4:   You want to open all the doors on your vehicle and wrap the chest around your vehicle.

Step 5:  After that, wrap the chest around the vehicle through the bracket.

Step 6: You will also have to wrap the straps around your car, then thread the straps through the bracket of the other side.

Step 7:  Tighten the straps and ensure that the pegs are firmly in place.

Step 8: At this stage, you can place your item on the roof using the straps to tighten the load. Don't forget to wrap the strap around the bracket.

Step 9: make sure your item is securely placed on the roof

Step 10: Please test-drive after installation.

Install Fixed Point Roof Rack

Step 1: When setting up your fixed point crossbar start by setting up your fit kit to your vehicle by inserting the metal attachments into the rubber base pad.

Step 2: Once you have the metal inserted into the rubber base pad. You’ll need to attach the base pad on the foot. This is easily done by lining up the holes on the foot with the holes on the metal bracket.

Step 3: know that each kit will be slightly different depending on your vehicle and whether or not you have fixed points or flushed rails.

Step 4: You can adjust the feet by loosening the silver Allen bolt which allows the crossbar to slide in and out of the foot housing.

Step 5:  To prevent the crossbar from sliding in the foot, simply tighten the bolt.

Step 6: Remove the fix points cover to the fix point location.

Step 7: You need to screw the bolts that come with the rack into the fix point locations.

Step 8: The next step is to tighten the bolts to prevent any cross threading.

Step 9: Then slide a barrel sleeve over the bolt and finish tightening the bolts with the tools provided.

Step 10: Repeat this procedure in all the four fix point locations

Step 11: After the fixed point bolts are fastened install the bolts through the hole in the middle of the rubber base pad.

Step 12: You want to adjust the pad so it’s properly aligned

Step13: Then place a washer and tighten a barrel nut to secure the foot in place.

Step 14: Next, ensure you have your rubber base pad attachments and the points fully tightened as well.

Step 15: With the foot securely fastened you want to measure your crossbar so you have equal crossbar length in each foot, then tighten a silver bolt to secure the crossbar in place.

Step 16: Insert a rubber strip to help eliminate any wind noise that is created by the open channel. You can do this by simply pressing the strip into place.

Step 17: To complete the installation place the lock cover onto the foot and use a plastic plug to secure the cover in place. So, you have to buy a lock core separately and install the lock and place the plastic plug and lock crossbar to your vehicle.

Install Raised Side Rail Roof Rack

Step 1: Assemble your roof rake components. You’d have to slide the clamp into the cross rail.

Step 2: Then install the end cap into the end of the cross rail.

Step 3:   Insert the rod on the lock assembly into the center hole of the end of the cap and clamp

Step 4:  Rotate the lock counterclockwise to rotate to open the jaws of the clock.

Step 5: Repeat this process on all four ends of the cross rails.

Step 6: Place the roof rack onto the vehicle.

Step 7: Make sure you adjust the position of the roof rack on the rail and make sure the cross rails are centered.

Step 8: Fasten the clamp jaws and rotate the lock clockwise.

Step 9: Lock the end of the ends of the roof rack with the supplied keys

Install Side Rail Roof Rack

Step 1: place the front crossbar to the front of the vehicle's roof. Make sure you measure from a fixed point on your factory side rails.

Step 2: Once you have established this position, use the included Allen key hold down the bolt which will pitch the clamps firmly to the side rails on your vehicle.

Step 3: Repeat this process on the driver and passenger side of the car so that the front crossbar of equal opposite position with the side rails.

Step 4: After this, you can place back all the cover you have removed before installation.

Step 5: Place the rear crossbars to the rear of the vehicle's roof.

Install Rain Gutter Roof Rack

Step 1: Adjust the rubber boat to all four legs.

Step 2: Fit the lakes to the vehicle gutter, adjusting each leg so the foot sits into the groove of the cutter.

Step 3:  Position the legs parallel across the vehicle

Step 4: Slightly tie the clamp screws and measure the distance of the vehicle.

Step 5: Repeat this process on the other side of the car.

Step 6: Place the heavy-duty crossbar onto the legs and push the leg attachments to bolt up and turn so that the channel nut is fully located on the inside of the bar.

Step 7: Make sure you measure for equal crossbar overhang.

Step 8: Hold the leg against the outer edge of the cute and use a spanner to tighten m10 bolt and the channel, but to 15-Newton meter.

Step 9: Do not over tighten. Lower all to secure the roof rack of the gutters

Step 10: Don't also over tighten the m6 screws too. Insert the end caps by using a rubber mallet to knock the end caps into place.

Step 11: After all this, your rack system is now ready for use.

In all, please read the appropriate instruction of your manufacturer’s manual to ensure you get the list to all components.

9. How to Tie Things to Your Roof Rack? 

luggage on roof rack


It’s important to always secure your items on your roof rack before hitting the road as failure to do this may pose serious problems to you and those around you. Here are a few ways you can tighten items on your roof rack.

Step 1: As earlier said, you want to make sure that your roof rack is unique to your vehicle model

Step 2: Make sure the item is not too heavy. The most you want to place on your roof rack is about 80 kilograms.

Step 3:  Ensure the roof bars are set wide apart to evenly support the load and make sure you properly fasten the straps.

Step 4: Don't forget to spread a blanket or any piece of clothing that will protect the vehicle from being scratched up before loading the item.

Step 5: Make sure you arrange all your loads in an orderly manner.

Step 6: Although roof rack that is attached to the side of a rail roof is preferable, make sure you loop the rope through the doors of your vehicle and tie it around the item on the roof if you have a vehicle that is using a naked roof rack.

Step 7: Check for movements and make sure the load is securely fastened.

Step 8: You may need an extra strap when conveying bulky items like canoe, ladder or even a bike. In such case, you’ll have to get another strap and wrap it around the front and back of the vehicle to hold it down with the rack.

Step 9: If you are going to carry an item like a ladder that overhangs to the end of your vehicle, you will need to attach a red flag.

Step 10: Lastly, ensure the load is secured nose-down with no amount of lift.

Step 11: A rule of thumb is to check whether the item has moved on the rack after driving for a short distance.

Step 11: Make sure you tighten and add more straps if required.

10. Safety Rules When Traveling with Roof Rack 

Do you know that each year almost 1000 of poorly secured items fly off car roof on the main roads? And this can cause delay, damages and most times injuries. So, to ensure your loads are properly secured in your roof racks, here are a few safety tips you want to keep in mind.

    Don't Overload the Vehicle

You should always make sure you pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instruction on the amount of load your vehicle can carry. You don't want to overload your vehicle as this may reduce speed and fuel efficiency.

    Choose Roof Racks with Security Locks

To ensure the load is securely held down, you want to choose roof racks that offer security locks to lock up the load and prevent them from moving or falling off the roof.

    Use High-Quality Tie-Down Straps Ropes

We recommended you use quality tie-down straps to fasten all the items nose-down without any sign of movements.

● Don’t Over-Speed

We also recommend you shouldn't be at a high speed or pass the required driving limit when carrying bulky items on your roof rack.

Also, you want to make sure the tires are in good shape. You don't want it to blow up when you are at a very high speed.

    Frequently Check the Ropes

Ensure you do check those straps occasionally, so you don’t have anything falling off your roof rack.

11. Things to keep in mind before purchasing roof rack 

Before you buy a roof rack, there are important questions you need to ask yourself. Below are some useful tips that can help you decide on which is best for your needs.

●    Does your vehicle come with a pre-installed roof rack?

●    What kind of items do you wish to load on the roof rack?

●    What material is the roof rack made of? Is it durable?

●    How are you going to secure the items you want to transport?

●   What’s your plan for getting the loads up to the roof? Most size of the rack should be the same size of the vehicle

●    You need to have an idea of your car roof design.

There are also some other things you can look out for such as if it is a heavy-duty roof rack if you will be using it frequently, and other features like adjustable feet, aerodynamic design, and safety lock.

12. Common Problems and Solutions

1. Most roof racks tend to be noisy when driving on a highway. Most times, it sounds like you are on an airplane while you’re going 60MPH.

Solution: A quick tip to reduce the noise is to bring the crossbars down to a level that is more acceptable. You can also take a cordage cord and wrap it around your crossbar member in a spiral pattern. That will automatically reduce the noise of rushing air as you’re driving on a highway.

2. Another problem is that the load doesn’t often stay in place as it ought to.

Solution: In such case what you want to do is to tie down all the bulky items with an additional tie-down strap securely to your roof racks.

3. May end up leaving multiple scratches on your roof.

Another inevitable problem we often encounter when conveying objects on our roof rack is that they end up scratching our vehicle. Of course, we don't want that on our car. So, what is the solution?

Solution: As earlier said, all you want to do is to spread a towel on the roof to protect it from scratch. You also want to consider buying a roof rack that features a rubberized tower to protect your car from multiple scratches.

4. A roof rack can bring down your car fuel efficiency because of their resistance against noise, and wind.

Solution: Most roof racks reduce your vehicle's fuel efficiency. The best way to counter such problems is to choose an airplane wing roof rack that will increase your car cargo space as well as help you improve your fuel efficiency. You can mount multiple bikes, place canoe and kayak without even causing damage to your vehicle’s roof.

14. What Are the Best Roof Racks On The Market?

CargoLoc Roof Top 2 PC. 46" Aluminum Cross Bars
CargoLoc Roof Top 2 PC. 46" Aluminum Cross Bars

CargoLoc Roof Top Rack is a high-quality, lightweight rooftop rack that’s specially designed for vehicles with sturdy and raised 52” cross bars.

This roof rack is estimated to offer 150 lbs. of load capacity and is ideal for a car that features SmartFoot fitting kits.

The looks and feel of this roof rack are simply amazing, and it perfectly fits my Toyota Siena. And can effectively help you to convey your kayak, bicycle as well as other larger object with ease.

The installation is simple and straightforward, and it holds down your items very firmly without the steel getting rust.

The racks are lockable, making it convenient when carrying kayaks and bags. It is durable and can resist unfavorable weather elements.

Pros

●    Lockable for added security

●    Easy enough to put together

●    Cheap and affordable compared to other brands

●    Well-made aluminum crossbars

●    No sign of movements while driving

Cons

●    It makes a whistling noise when driving at a relatively high speed.

Apex Rlb-2301 Universal Roof Crossbar
Apex Rlb-2301 Universal Roof Crossbar

The Apex RLB2301 is a sleek multi-purpose rack system that is designed for vehicles with raised factory side rails. The quality is pretty good, excellent and reliable.

It is made of some dark epoxy powder covered steel, and features rubberized grips on the portion where you lock down.

This item fits a vehicle roof of complete 49.75" roof rack cross bar system. It fits perfectly well for SUVs, Vans, Trucks or Cars.

The Apex RLB-2301’s weight capacity is 130-Ib, and it has a dimension of 1.75"W x 1.75"H. The size and thickness of the crossbar allow it carry heavy loads such as haul luggage, sports equipment, gear and more without being disturbed by the wind or torrential downpour.

Pros

●    It is made of solid steel materials

●    It is easy to install without any problem and tightens up very well

●    It gives you more space for storage.

●    It’s not all that expensive, and it’s of good quality

Cons

● Not close to description since it may not fit some car model

Jeep Grand Cherokee Crossbars Roof Luggage Racks
Jeep Grand Cherokee Crossbars Roof Luggage Racks

According to the name of this product, it’s majorly designed for jeeps. It’s a great addition to your vehicle and is perfect for carrying loads such as bike rack, ski rack, snowboard rack, roof bags, and box.

The JEEP GRAND is also great for hauling luggage just as the apex roof cross bars. This lightweight and durable product carries a load capacity of 150Ibs, and it is made of an aluminum crossbar.

 With a dimension of 50.5 x 5.8 x 5.8 inches, this brand offers rails that have two screws. One for tightening the rail mounts to the rail and the other screw which allows the rails to be adjustable.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is very easy to install and stays tightened. It doesn't make any noise or shake around while on speed or disturbed by the wind.

Pros

●    It is straightforward to install

●    It feels very sturdy and mounts solidly

●    No wind or noise problem at speed

Cons

●    It wears out after some time.

●    Only fits chrome side rails models and not altitude or SRT models.

Sportrack Sr1002 Complete Roof Rack System
Sportrack Sr1002 Complete Roof Rack System

The SportRack SR1002 Square Crossbar Roof Rack System gives you a chance to transport your items. The sport rack crossbars can be installed on most recent vehicles. And its weight capacity is 130Ibs, with a product dimension of 50.5X5.8X3.8 inches.

With a square bar design and a steel construction, this roof rack can accommodate a variety of accessories like skis carriers, bike, kayak, racks or different items easily and safely on your auto's exposed rooftop.

It delivers steel development and dark plastic covering that resist rust and brutal UV rays. This economically priced removable roof racks system is going to clamp to your vehicle roof.

Just like every other crossbars, the sports racks comes with two crossbars with four towers and four clamping feet, two for each crossbar.

The feet have nice coded clamp, so it doesn't damage your vehicle. Each foot has a lockable cover, so if you remove the covers, it exposes the amble that secures the foot path of the vehicle. So, once you have the crossbar installed on your roof, you place the lockable cover so that nobody can gain access to it.

Pros

●    It has a very sturdy steel

●    It resists rust and brutal UV rays

Cons

●    Makes some whistling noise while at a considerable speed

Rage Powersports Universal Aluminum Locking Roof Cargo Bars
Universal Aluminum Locking Roof Cargo Bars

The Universal Aluminum roof load bars are made of quality aluminum that allows you transport large cargo without difficulty. The lined ribbed rubber on the top of the bar gives an extra grip for your cargo. These bars come in a sleek design that helps to condition the breeze clamor down.

The dimension of this rails measure 53.4 x 1 x 1.5 inches, and it is ideal for vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUV, and minivans. It is lightweight aluminum construction with a 150 lbs. weight capacity.

The Installation for this product is a piece of cake. You don’t need any tool to do so, and you can easily install the two bars within fifteen minutes. Simply screw the long handles by hand to fix the bars over the roof rails. You would then be able to bolt the handles to secure the bars from any form of theft.

Regarding fitment, you can fit rails up to 50 inches separated from one side and the other. Each bar has a 5/8″ wide ribbed rubber attachment which gives extra grip

 One good thing about purchasing this product is that you don’t need to get separate mounting bars that need you to invest hours checking if they will fit together.

Pros

●    It is made of an excellent aluminum material

●    It is very sturdy, and Installation for this product is a breeze

●    It fits perfectly when installed on cars

●    Less expensive

●    Looks great

Cons

●    They make loud whistling noises

●    The Locking mechanism is very cheap, which makes the item less secure from theft

54" Universal Locking Roof Rack Crossbars by Vault
54” Universal Locking Roof Rack Crossbars by Vault

Universal Locking Roof Racks are designed directly to fit your vehicle or SUV’s raised side rail roof. If your vehicle has cross rails that are installed on the roof of your car, then this brand is for you.

It supports any accessories such as kayak carriers, keyboard carriers, or cargo baskets. It offers three different sizes of the basket, providing a universal fit for your vehicle.

The Locking Roof comes with crossbars that measure 53 inches on both ends and features a 1-inch height by 2-inch wide. The low-profile Aerodynamic design of this roof rack is impeccable and skillfully engineered to give your load the maximum security.

You can attach the crossbars to any side rail rubber pads. The rubber pads placed at the feet of the roof will protect the roof from scratches or chip the paint.

It comes with crossbars that offer you 2 sets of keys that allow them to lock and secure your items without falling off easily.

Another interesting feature is that it comes with a rubber paint strip that protects it from dust. You will also get integrated lock and units that secure the rack to your vehicle.

Pros

●    Once installed, it doesn't slide around. It stays firm without any movements

●    The bars are well-built

●    Pretty affordable compared to other products

Cons

●    Fairly easy to install but not too easy. The instruction manual didn't do a great job

●    It produces a bit of whistling sound when driving at 50MPH

Thule Complete Cross Road System
Thule Complete Cross Road System

This kit comes with everything you need to mount your favorite Thule Complete cross road accessories to the roof of your vehicle. Such as your luggage, bike racks, kayak carriers or cargo boxes.

The whole roof rack system has a 165-pound weight capacity, and the dimension of this rails measure 60 x 6 x 5 inches. It works with any vehicle that has raised side rails and the accessories directly mount to the load bars.

The crossbars themselves are 58 inches long. They are constructed of durable steel with a plastic coating to enable them to resist rust and corrosion. The cross-rod foot packs use a rubber coated steel strap to secure them in place and ensure the side rails don’t get harmed.

Pros

●    Made of robust and durable steel

●    It is super easy to install 

●    Stays tightened,

Cons

●    It's a bit noisy

 
Spec-D Tuning RRB-PLT09BK Honda Pilot Black Aluminum Roof Top Rack
Spec-D Tuning RRB-PLT09BK Honda Pilot Black Aluminum Roof Top Rack

The Spec-D Turning is a high-quality black aluminum roof rack that is specifically designed for vehicles with side rails to help you hold your items securely to the roof.

The Spec-D Roof Rack offers both rear and front cross bars that house a black powder coated finish. The best part is that the roof rack produces no noise even at high speed.

The crossbar comes with 46 inches in length and 2.5 inches in width and also has a maximum weight capacity of 110lbs/50kg 110lbs/50kg to help you carry your entire load without falling off. You don’t have to pass through a lot of stress installing it as the installation process is pretty easy and instructional manual is easy to understand.

We do recommend you have someone to assist you when installing the racks to make the work a lot easier for you.

Pros

●    Ease of installation

●    Lightweight and durable aluminum

●    Waterproofed and well-coated finish

●    Easy to follow instruction manual

●    Well- built crossbars

Cons

●    In most cases, the cross bars may not fit correctly

●    The attachment points are plastic instead of metal.

Highland 2006200 Black Heavy Duty Bar Carrier
Highland 2006200 Black Heavy Duty Bar Carrier

The Highland 2006200 Heavy Duty Roof Rack is ideal for vehicles with naked roof and Vans with rain gutters. It is carefully designed for high-quality commercial heavy duty steel for carrying objects like ladders, kayaks and large equipment.

 With a well-built stainless steel and an aerodynamic cargo basket coupled with a sleek design, this roof rack can be customized to carry heavy items weighing up to 125 lbs.

The cross bars feature 37-inch to 62-inch for a vehicle with rain gutters, and it’s sturdily built to securely carry a heavy load and also features heavy-duty gauge steel that is perfect for commercial use. With silver/black splotchy finish, this roof rack did an excellent job in prolonging the life of the crossbars to last longer.

Pros

●    Easy to assemble

●    Well-made gauge steel

●    Perfect for vans with gutters

●    Affordable compared to other products

 Cons

●    You may have to drill 2 holes in each bar to get the exact fit.

●    The clamps aren't fully coated to prevent scratching up the van.

Whispbar Rail Bar Roof-Rack System
Whispbar Rail Bar Roof-Rack System

The Whispbar Rail Bar roof-rack model is perfect for vehicles that offer smart foot fitting kits. The sleek design is perfectly engineered to resist wind and improve fuel efficiency. Thanks to its airplane wing design that does a superb job in reducing wind noise and securely holding down your items.

 Even though your car is equipped with sidebars, this product gives your open roof usability. Unlike other brands, you don't have to drill the cross bars and permanently attach your automobile. Thanks to the fact that the Whispers rail will fit any car with factory side rails.

Rest assured that without much assistance from someone, you can easily install the device without much hassle on your part.

Pros

●    Lifetime warranty

●    Easy to install

●    Well-made crossbars that can hold a lot of items

Cons

●    The locking covers are made from plastic materials.

●    A bit difficult to get the covers to lock in place after installation

15. Conclusion

As a motorist, you are legally responsible for any damage or injury caused if an item falls off your roof racks. That is why it is essential to getting the best roof racks as well as always properly secures your load before hitting the road. What you need are roof racks specific to that particular model.

That is why we have done the whole hard work for you by outlining a detailed guide of what you need to know about roof racks and best products that will give you the best results. Take a closer look at each brand and see which one fits your vehicle and also your budget.

Extensive buying guide and review to choose the best winches!

In simple terms, a winch is a powerful machine with drums on which cables are rolled to pull heavy objects. These magnificent tools have been fabricated for both water and snow sports, pulling riders swiftly across snow and water. And if you are an off-road enthusiast and your vehicle are stuck in mud or other rough terrains, winch maybe the first thing strikes your mind in such case.

1. What is a winch?

Before you buy a winch, it is imperative for you to know all about its components and functionality. A winch consist of several differ elements and each of these elements have a different purpose. Manufacturers combine these elements together in the most appealing way for a bigger goal.

Car Winch with a steel cable and a hook



Let’s take a glimpse of the components used in constructing a winch:

A cable wire

There are two types cable employed in winches, steel cable or synthetic cable. Steel cables are more reliable when it comes to heavy duty job and they are even durable. On the other hand, the synthetic cable is easy to handle, but get damaged soon. A standard winch includes 40 to 100 feet of wires and the measurement varies depending on the requirement.

Winch Drum

To wrap the wires around, there needs to a solid gear, and winch drum serves the purpose. The wires are cleanly wrapped around the winch drum, which rotates in a circular motion winding the cable in as well as out.

Motor 

The motor used in the winch is used to turn on the functioning of the drum so that it can pull and push the wire. You must know that not all winches come with motors as some are handled manually. Still, the popularity for motored winches is more in comparison to manual winches.

Gear train

The gear train used in the winch converts the power of motor into pulling power, making it possible for the winch to pull the heavy materials.

2. Pros and Cons of having a winch

When it comes to owning a winch, there is a whole lot reason to have them in your possession. No, wonders winches have more pros than cons. Let’s see what the pros are:

If you are an off-road enthusiast or someone who want to travel alone, winches are a must for you. There are times when your vehicle gets stuck in the mud, and you don’t find any help around. In such case nothing works better than the winch. All you have to do is fix it with the car and winch's motor will automatically pull the car out of mud. For many, winches have proved to be a savior when they were stuck amidst muddy areas.  

Off-road car winch


Some of the winches are also proven to be beneficial in waters. Boat owners use winches for pulling the skiers and for other recreational activities.

The only downside of the winches is they are heavy and will add weight to your vehicles, which will eventually reduce the acceleration and cornering speed. Even the chances of wear and tear increase with this extra weight. If you are ready to accept the downside, then these machines are an excellent possession.

Pros 

  • Highly efficient
  • Can pull the heaviest objects
  • Good for water skiing and vehicle towing
  • Great investments

Cons

  • Heavy to be carried on a vehicle
  • Need powerful powering source

3. How many types of winch are there? How does it work?

Operating sports utility vehicles and trucks may require winches, but winches come in different shapes and types and before you buy one, you need to understand your requirements. Basically, there are two types of winches: Power winches and Manual winch.

Power Winches

The power winches are rather a good choice as you will just have to hook the rope end to the object and the rest will be done by power winches. These winches are further classified into several parts depending on the source of its energy. Have a look at their further division!


Electric Winch

Electrical winches are powered by batteries, which can be either the car’s battery or an extra one working independently. Select the batteries depending on the type of operation you want to get accomplished. Suppose you are buying winches for emergency usage, then just the car battery will work. However, if you have bought it for occupational need, then you must get an auxiliary battery. Winches generate a significant amount of heat, hence limiting the energy supply and other capabilities, so an extra battery will be worth.

Hydraulic Winch

A hydraulic winch is connected to a hydraulic pump, and making these winches the most powerful option you can have. These winches are most popularly used by boatmen to pull skiers. We would say the hydraulic winches are best suited for industrial purposes. The only downfall about these winches is the installation, which is pretty involved as the winch is fitted inside the engine of the vehicle and the vehicle needs to be running for the winch to work.

Pneumatic Winch or Air Winch

 Air winches are also known by the name "Air tugger" and "Air hoist”. As per the name suggests these winches are powered by air, making it a more versatile and safer option. They are more efficient and safer than any of electric and diesel winches. When compared to electric and hydraulic winches, the air winches make a better option for industrial workload.

Manual Winches

Some of the winches are made for lightweight functioning and are handled manually. If you are looking to pull objects of 1000 lbs, manual winches are a good choice, plus, they are light weighted and portable too. If compared to the power winches, these winches have been ahead in portability but lacks a bit in efficiency.

4. What is the right winch for you?

The most important thing to take in consideration while buying a winch is how you will be using it. To utilize the power of a heavy duty winch, you require a heavy duty vehicle too. In case your vehicles capacity doesn’t match that of the winch, then the outcome couldn’t be so good. So, you must determine the frame and weight strength of the vehicle on which you want to mount the winch.  Last but not the least make sure you are particular about the type of winch and cables:

Basically, there will be two purposes of buying the winch, one for industrial use like towing and other for the off-roading journey.

For off-roading, you will need a winch that exerts high power on the rope. If the winch weighs too less or can't offer much power to the cord, it is going to be difficult to pull the vehicle out. Also, make sure that that the winch is not too heavy for the front of the car as it might cause off balance.

For towing job, you will need winches that are medium weighted and have a high durability. As you are buying it for regular job purpose, it would be better to buy a durable one, even if it costs a bit more.

Next, comes choosing between electric and hydraulic winches and here is how you need to go:

Electric winches

The choice is obvious when it comes to electric winches, if you are using it for off-roading, then go for nothing else than electric winches. It runs on vehicle’s battery as well as a spare battery. If you have space for an extra battery on your car, we will certainly recommend you to go for auxiliary battery as it won't affect the car’s performance.

Hydraulic winch

The hydraulic winch is powered by the hydraulic system of a vehicle. In most of the cases, it will be the power steering pump which will be used by the hydraulic winch. Along with being a good industrial option, this type of winch is even perfect for water sports like skiing. Boat owners get the hydraulic winch fixed to their boat’s engine and offers balance to the skiers.

Air winch

When it comes to picking heavy load, nothing works better than the air winch, but believes us it has the most complex components you can think of. If you are okay with understanding the functionality and can assemble and disassemble the components, there won't be a better option than this. All over it is a good choice for regular heavy duty tasks.

Warning! For anyone trying to put their hands on hand winch just because of the cheap prices, beware of a headache it is going to give. We only recommend it for light duty tasks and portability. If you want it for landscaping, then it will definitely work.

5. Things to keep in mind before purchasing a winch

We hope you are ready with quite a few information about winches. Let’s put these information together to buy the best winches available in the market:

Know your vehicle

Before you go for one of the winches, first know the capabilities of your vehicle. Learn about its weight and strength as it will be the deciding factor for selecting a winch.  Go by the simple formula: for pulling a 1000 pound object, the winch needs to offer 1,500 pounds line pull.

Winch motors for your vehicle

Winches are primarily defined by the motor they use like – permanent magnet, hydraulic, and series wound.

If you have a smaller vehicle and you need winches for small recreational activities, then permanent magnet motor will work. These motors can work even on the 12-volt car battery, which is good enough for basic home usage.

For vehicles like SUVs and ATVs, you can run for a solid option like the series wound motors. Whether its rock climbing or pulling the vehicle out of mud, these winches prove to be the best. No to forget, even commercial users rely on these winches.

Here comes the master of all, the hydraulic winches. If you are engaged in an occupation where you require winches for the entire day, look no further than hydraulic winches. They have been successfully used for towing and other daily application for a long time now.

Type of cable

Synthetic and steel are two types of cable found in the winches with both having their ups and down. While steel cable is a solid choice, some people find it a bit heavy to handle and it is even open to corrosion. On the other hand, the synthetic cable is easy to use, but has a very less life. You can’t rely on them for heavy duty tasks, plus they add a lot weight to the winches.

Steel cable

Steel cable


Pros

  • Durable
  • Less expensive
  • Won't add more than 10-15 kg of weight, which is a lot lighter than synthetic cable
  • Dissipates heat from internal brake drum

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Can rust
  • Hard to handle, you will need hand gloves to operate

Synthetic cable

Synthetic cable


Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Won't rust

Cons

  • Synthetic cables are susceptible to UV exposure, heat, chemicals, and abrasion
  • Exhibits substantial elongation when under a load

Last but not least, you should see for the ease of installation these winches offers. What we want to say is, you won't like to indulge in a heavy installation process for small uses. For ease of installation opt for electric winches and expect a little complexity out of the hydraulic and air winches.

6. Accessories you need to buy with a winch

It is equally important to focus on the accessories that come with the winches. The absence of even one of these accessories might create a ruckus while installing the winches. Here is what you need to look for:

A mounting kit: This is one accessory that comes directly with the winches. Also, it will be the gateway to mounting the winches. When you research for your purchase, focus on winches that come with a mounting kit.

Tree saver strap: Although most of the people ignore this one product, it’s worth all the investment. When you wrap the hook around the tree, it usually damages that particular spot and even harms the hook. To avoid this, a tree saver strap is wrapped around the branch, and then the hook is attached to it. 

Some clevis pins: Clevis pins will be needed when you are attaching the tow and snatch straps together. There will be many other requirements too, so, better have a few extra ones in access.

Snatch blocks: You might not need it always, still it’s a necessary element when you want to double or redirect the pull.

Thick leather gloves: Save your hands from any damage by wearing thick leather gloves. It’s a must have accessory from the aspect of personal safety.

7. Safety rules when using winch

One final piece of information before you set towards the list of best winches and of course, it’s an important one. We are talking about the security aspects while buying the winches.

When you buy the winches, the company provides a list of safety measures. Be sure to read it carefully, before you start using the machine. However, if you are too bored to read those technical sentences, here is our simplified version of safety measures that you should follow:

Wear all the important gears before jumping in the field. If the task is heavy duty, go for a safety jacket, a helmet, and gloves. But, if it’s a standard recreational activity back at home, just the gloves will work fine.

Be aware of the load you are about to tow as you have to deliver the power according to the weight of the object. While taking the load on, never exceed the capacity of wire rope, it might cause breakage and falling of the load.

If the winch has grown too hot, take a brake and start loading once it cools down. Last, but not the least, make a better use of the accessories that come with the winch, for, e.g., use the choker chain and sling for hooking the rope.

8. How to use hand winch

Hand winches are portable and convenient when lifting standard size objects back at home.

Step 1:  Wrap the anchor strap chain around the immobile object and tie it to a tree or any strong object around. Once done, hook the winch to the strap and pull the winch cable to take it to the object you want to move.

Step 2: Inspect the attachments from both the ends, making sure it’s sound and secure.

Step 3: Push and pull the winch lever to tighten it for a better pull.

Step 4: Continue turning the crank and release the tension till the object has moved completely.

The process is as simple as this. The best thing about these winches is – they are light weight, cheap, and can be carried very easily. Even the load capacity is quite decent for such a price and low complexity thing.

9. How to wire electrical winch?

There are two ways to power a winch. You are either going to chose the vehicle battery or the auxiliary batteries. Vehicle batteries are recommended for light-to-medium duty winching jobs, but for the heavy-duty winching job, you will require an auxiliary battery.

Wiring process with car battery

On the winch

  • Attach the negative wire to the negative ground post and power wire to the positive post.
  • Take both the wire from the winch all the way to the engine compartment, making sure it doesn’t touch any hot areas.

Under the hood

  • Attach the positive lead to the positive post of the vehicle’s battery and negative lead to the negative ground post.

Wiring with auxiliary battery

Wire the auxiliary battery parallel with vehicle’s battery, making sure the combined battery is at 12 V. Also, don’t forget to install a battery insulator in between.

On the winch

  • Just like above, attach the power wire to positive post and negative wire to the negative ground post.
  • Run the wire into the battery compartment, without bringing it in touch with any hot thing.

Under the hood

  • Attach the positive lead to a positive post on the auxiliary battery and negative lead to the negative ground post.

You can also add quick disconnects to make the wiring easier. Once done, power it up and there you go with a ready to pull device.

10. How to attach winch cables to drum?

Whether you are installing a cable on a new winch or replacing the older one, the process is very easy. Here we are going to show you how to install winch cables to drum:

  • Put the clutch in the freewheel setting. Remove the bolts using a socket and pull the old wire from around the drum.
  • Start inserting the new cables in a way that it feeds of the bottom portion of the drum.
  • Insert the screws through the loop and fit it in the end of the wire. Some cables might not have the loops so get one that matches the specifications of your winch.
  • Apply a little of the thread locking compound on the bolts and tighten the socket with ratchet. Make sure it is secure.
  • String the cable out and attach it to a solid object like a tree. Winch it in line with the vehicle on neutral and do maintain the weight as you spool in.
  • Keep winding the cable on the drum in close loops, making layers one above another. In the end, just unhook the cable from the tree and wrap the rest of it securely.

11. How to install winch on your vehicle?

The process of installing winches will vary from vehicle to vehicle, but the basics will remain quite similar.

  • Install the mounting plate for your particular vehicle. Use Loctite to secure the winch to the mounting plate and then connect it to the ATV.
  • Connect the six-gauge winch wire with the ATV, and then you can connect it from the winch to the relay. Doing this, you are going to connect the switch to the winch and run electricity from the ATV to winch motor. In certain cases, you may also need the contractor box, which is located under the seat.
  • Connect the red and black wire from your ATV to contractor box and follow the instructions given on a particular ATV.
  • Set up the power switch at a convenient location, we would recommend it to be on the handle bars.

And now all you have to do is to connect the final black cables to the battery to power your winches. Now test the setting and you are done with the process.

12. Common problems when using winch and solutions

Winches are a great option for handling heavy loads in the day to day life, but when it comes to troubleshooting them, they might seem a little tricky. Here we have mentioned some of the problems that you might face and their possible solutions:

Motor running in one particular direction

The reason behind this issue could be a defective solenoid or a faulty remote. If the defect is in the solenoid, jar the solenoid to free contacts and apply 12 volts to coil terminal to fix it.

For the faulty remote control switch, disengage the winch clutch; remove the remote control plug from socket, and try running it at 8 and 4 o’clock.

Motor gets too hot

This is a normal happening, and there is nothing wrong with your winch. Just set up a cooling period for the winches to prevent overheating.

Motor runs, but the drum cannot be engaged

If a clutch doesn’t engage, you might have to disassemble the winch to find the cause and repair it.

Motor damaged by water

A high-pressure car wash might cause harm to the winch, and the only way to recover the loss is by letting it drain thoroughly.

Motor is running below recommended speed

Several reasons can be there behind a low-speed motor. Either the cause is insufficient battery, bad connection or insufficient charging system. Start by checking the battery, if its 10 volts or less, you might need to replace it.

While checking the batteries, if you come across corrosion wires, clean it and apply grease. In case, the trick mentioned above doesn't work; you will have to replace the existing system with larger capacity charger.

13. What are the best winches on the market?

Power winches

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch

Superwinch 1145220

If you want to stick to a highly efficient magnet motor while choosing your winch, then Superwinch 1145220 Terra is one awesome choice. The product arrives with 55’ of ¼” steel wire rope, and 1.6hp weather sealed motor.

No matter what the weather condition is this steel gears and oil pocket bronze bearing machine will always function smoothly. As far the compatibility is concerned, this one is especially recommended for ATVs.

Some other noticeable features are the ergonomic cam action free spooling clutch and handlebar mounted the switch. You can quickly disengage the motor and manually draw out as much rope as you need.  All over, the products boast, high-end power, combined with versatility and durability.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Circuit breaker protected
  • Weather sealed
  •  Heavy duty latch

Cons

  • A little pricey

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch has been thoroughly updated for heavy duty tasks, and you are going to witness enhanced performance with excellent durability.

The winch comes with 6.6 hp Amphibious motor and 3 Stage Planetary gear System. The waterproof rating is IP67, and there is 500AMP Solenoid too. Smittybilt has maintained its quality standards by making this product completely waterproof, so even if it gets wet, there is nothing to worry.

You will receive the kit with all the wiring essentials.  93.5 feet 5/16 inch cables are wired around the winch drum, giving it the capacity of 9,5000 pounds single-line control. The product carries a five year or 100,000-mile warranty, which will depend on the usage which one will come first. In clear words, you will have lifetime mechanical warranty and three years of electrical warranty, which is quite an offer for this price.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Automatic in-drum brake

Cons

  • Handle to switch from free spooling may seem hard to move

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

For those who are looking forward to lifting the weight up to 1,000 lbs WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC is a savior.  The winch is considered ideal for the job of pipe fitting, construction, iron work, garages, auto shops and machine shops. You can also use it for farm and ranch use, hunting, and home improvement.

The variable speed trigger has both forward and reverses control button that allows you to be precise about the movements. As far the ropes are concerned, you will get 15’ of 7/32” cable cord, which users often complain about. But, for the low price it is available on, the cable length justifies.  With just 15 lbs weight, we consider PullzAll is one of the lightest options available in the market.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Cable length might need to be extended

Master Lock 2953AT 12-Volt DC Portable Winch

Master Lock 2953AT 12-Volt DC Portable Winch

For a winch with high-level compatibility with most types of vehicles, the Master lock 2953 AT winch makes a great option. You can mount it to any flat surface and use it in any vehicle be it a boat, trailer or car.

 It can roll approximately 6,000 pounds of objects on land, but in the water, the capacity gets reduced by 1000 pounds, leaving the marine capacity to 5000 pounds. And, when it comes to pulling the objects, expect no more than 2000 pounds.

The best thing about this winch is, it shuts itself down if overloaded, so, there is no worry of wear and tear. However, you will get a one-year warranty on this product.

You can carry this winch conveniently on one of your vehicles as it doesn’t occupy much space. For us it is one of the most versatile options available in the market.

Pros

  • Convenient to carry
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Free spool problem

Warn 89030 Vantage 3000 Winch

Warn 89030 Vantage 3000 Winch

When you need a powerful option of winch at a cool price, the Vintage 3000 winch is our choice. Whether you are moving heavy loads or towing vehicles, a powerful motor with 3000-pound of pulling capacity sounds enough.

Vintage with this release revealed an entirely new design, which is reliable and fast. All the components of the winch are packed in a compact form offering enough of portability.  You will find the winch to be corrosion resistant, which means the weather won't affect the mechanical build.

50 feet of 3/16 inch wire rope is rolled around the winch drum, making it reliable when you have to pull objects from far. So, whether it’s the coil length or the pulling capacity, this Vantage winch has maintained its position nicely.

Pros

  • Dash-mounted control switch
  • Corded remote

Cons

  • It will not fit on the mounting brackets of UTVs

Rugged Ridge 15100.01 8,500Lb Winch with Steel Cable

Rugged Ridge 15100.01 8,500Lb Winch with Steel Cable

Lightweight, durable, and affordable will be the three attributes to best define the Champion Power Equipment Wireless Power Winch Kit. Constructed with durable HP series wound motor, this winch makes a good option for off-roading. Whether you are planning any recreational activity of mud blogging, this winch will serve the purpose without messing.

The packet arrives with 94’ of 5/16” diameter wire rope, which is enough for most heavy duty industrial jobs. The entire exterior body is corrosion resistant, so, you don’t even have to worry about the mechanical health of your precious investment.

 There is a 12-foot remote switch which will swiftly control the winching actions. Buyers receive five years of limited warranty with this product, which is quite cool.

Pros

  • Good length of wire
  • Durable build
  • Five years warranty

Cons

  • You will have to grease it from time to time for long life

Champion Power Equipment Wireless Power Winch Kit

Champion Power Equipment Wireless Power Winch Kit

Champion power equipment winch kit is a great option for you if you are looking for powerful and reliable winch kit. ATV or UTV, it goes well with both of them with its 1.6hP permanent magnet motor. The ergonomic handle bar mounted remote control ensures a complete control on the winching action whether you are moving it in or out.

However, there will be just 38 ft of aircraft cable attached to it. We won't blame the manufacturers for the less wire as the product is available at a cheap rate. The winch comes with 2-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support. Not a bad deal at such an affordable price.

Pros

  • Permanent magnet motor
  • Durable build
  • Goes with both ATV and UTV

Cons

  • The winch is designed to be run for 1 MIN on and 5 MIN off.

Manual winches

Reese Towpower 74329 Winch

Reese Towpower 74329 Winch

Resse Towpower has been designed by keeping in mind the daily lifting jobs that we across at our home and outdoor. The product unreels easily facilitating swift pull of the object to be lifted. Even the installation process is straightforward, so you won’t have to worry about complex installations.

The winch will support almost 1500 LB of weight, which is a good choice for lightweight indoor and outdoor jobs.

Pros

  • Heavy Duty
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Spin it fast, and you will notice balancing issues

TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller

TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller

The TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller claims the capacity of 4,000 pounds on a single line and a safe working load of 2000 pounds. As it uses a simple ratcheting gear pulley system, there is nothing mechanical to learn about this product, except that it does its tasks very well.

Considered ideal of landscaping, construction, and other one handed operation; this manual puller is affordable also. The steel cable combined with this puller is 12 feet and 7 inches, which makes it 7 feet and 3 inches on the double line.

As far the build is concerned, it has an all steel construction, suiting well to the hands. Even the grip is firm with the cushioned coverage on the handles. For little everyday jobs, a recommended choice we would say.

Pros

  • Decent quality
  • Aircraft grade steel cable

Cons

  • Not for industrial jobs

Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch

Resse Towpower wins zinc plated to give the outer body and excellent corrosion resistance. The comfortable handles fitted to the winch make it easy for you to process the winching.

 You will get it with 36’x1/4” rope, which might seem less, but serves the lightweight indoor and outdoor jobs. Buyers even claim the build to be smooth enough to not require any hard and fast maintenance.

Pros

  • Enough rope
  • Zinc plated
  • Corrosion resistant

Cons

  • Not for heavy duty task

14. How to maintain winch?

No doubt, these machines are going to be one of your precious possessions, and it seems okay to spend a few minutes to preserve its long life.

Follow a lubricating schedule every month by applying grease to all the joints. This makes sure the movement is swift, and the joints don’t corrode. After a period, the bolts might get loose; it would be better to check the fitting from time to time.

For electrical winches, it is necessary for you to maintain the wiring. Keep checking all the possible connection for breakage and replace if any of the wire or switch is damaged.

Last but not the least; wires are the components of utter concern. Technically you should emphasize on finding any cuts and corroded wire.

15. Conclusion

We hope you now have all the details that you have been seeking for a long time. However, even if you know the facts, pros, and cons, make sure to check your personal requirements and work areas and then only proceed with buying a winch. If bought with above consideration in mind, these winches are going to deliver a great value for your investment.

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Top 10 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews for Your Pickup Trucks

Choosing your best tonneau cover for your pickup bed

The best Tonneau cover protects your truck bed from the elements. It also protects your cargo from potential theft. With so many options available, choosing the right Tonneau cover can be difficult. Read the guide so that you are aware of the many aspects, features and aesthetics that you need to consider when making the choice.

What is a tonneau cover?

A tonneau cover is a bed cover that helps shield your truck bed from sun, rain, hail, wind and other elements. It protects the cargo from debris and prevents theft.  It is one of the most essential accessories that you can have on your pickup truck. It helps secure the cargo and ensures that it remains intact at all times.

There are two types of tonneau covers – hard and soft. The hard cover is made of durable plastic or fiberglass. It is used to firmly enclose the cargo. The soft cover is made from sturdy materials and can be easily opened and closed. The soft tonneau cover is more affordable whereas the hard cover is more durable.

Benefits of Tonneau Cover

The benefits of having your truck bed covered are numerous. The benefits of tonneau cover go way deeper than just its aesthetic appeal.

  • Weather Protection: This is the most obvious benefit. Whether it is rain, snow, hail, wind or whatever element that crosses your path, the tonneau cover can help protect and keep the cargo dry and safe.
  • Keep Cargo Safe: If you are transporting delicate cargo then the cover can offer the much-needed protection to keep it intact.
  • Improve Gas Mileage: The aerodynamic design of the tonneau cover helps reduce air drag. This increases the gas mileage by 5% – 10% when compared to an open bed.
  • Keep the Pickup Cool: The truck bed cover can help keep the harmful UV rays of the sun away and this keeps the pickup cool.
Tonneau cover keeps the pickup cool

What factors to consider?

Tonneau cover is an accessory that every pickup truck owner needs to consider buying. Before you make the choice, there are several factors that you need to consider.

Types of Tonneau Covers

The truck bed covers come in several types, styles and fit for all brands of trucks. You can choose the type you want depending on your specific needs and requirements.

  • Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: The roll up truck bed covers roll up from the tailgate to the truck cab. They are usually made using aluminium support frames and heavy-duty vinyl. No drilling is necessary and they can be installed easily. They are available in several types including Velcro, snap less and snap and are reasonably priced. They are an ideal choice for keeping the elements out and the cargo dry at all times. They are available in a wide variety of colors with black being the most preferred.
  • Retractable Tonneau Covers: The retractable cover has a series of planks that slide open and close. They act like a garage door for the truck bed. They are made from heavy duty and heavy gauged aluminium panels. Most of them are available with intermediate locking positions. This can enable you to open the bed cover partially or all the way. The retractable covers are available in both manual and electronic designs. The manual model features auto latching positions on the rails and this lets you lock the cover partially open. The electronic covers use a motorised feature that enables you to roll the cover automatically. They can be stopped anywhere along the rails. A remote control is available for some electronic covers and this can give you total freedom to open and close it from a distance.
  • Folding Tonneau Covers: The folding covers feature 3 – 5 panels that tend to hold together. This makes it easier to open and close the cover. Most of the models available open up enough to allows space to place any kind of cargo you want. There are some models that can be folded all the way against the cab and this can give you complete access to the truck bed. Even though the folding covers usually come in the standard black color, you can choose to customize them to match the truck color for an added cost. It is an affordable design and is perfect for pickup owners on a tight budget.
  • Hinged Tonneau Covers: The hinged tonneau covers are made of hard cover and they are easier to open and close. You will be able to customize the hinged covers as per the specific requirements of your truck. The hinged covers are convenient and this can help accommodate larger cargo loads. Most of these covers have a load capacity of 400 lbs or more. You require minimal effort to open and close the covers.
  • Snap Tonneau Covers: Snap covers are available both in hinged and roll up designs. They are the most affordable options for pickup trucks. Installation is simple and you will be able to complete it within minutes. A snap cover is an ideal choice if you don’t plan to open and close the cover frequently.
  • Toolbox Tonneau Covers: The toolbox covers are designed shorter than the truck bed so that they can accommodate the truck toolbox.  With this cover, you will be able to enjoy the security and protection of a tonneau and easy access to the toolbox.

Materials

Top quality materials offer the best protection to your truck bed.

  • Vinyl – The vinyl covers provide the best water protection in any type of weather condition. The tough tonneaus are made from marine grade material and have superior stitching. This makes them one of the most popular materials.
  • Canvas – The canvas covers are durable and provide lightweight protection. They are mostly used in folding and roll up tonneau types. They are found less frequently than most of the other materials.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass covers provide superior strength and longevity. They are an ideal choice if you work in tough climatic conditions. Even though they are bulky than most other materials they offer the best protection to your cargo.
  • Aluminium – Aluminium is considered one of the best materials for tonneau. They are strong, durable and light and this makes it easy to handle.
  • ABS Polymer – The ABS polymer material is strong and easy to use. They are made of super durable quality and are easy to lift up when you want full access to the truck bed. They are resistant to impact and help protect the cargo from debris.
ABS Polymer is used in producing the tonneau cover

Installation

The installation can vary from one cover to the other. The soft cover can be installed within minutes with no tools. Covers that require rails need to be installed separately and you will need basic hand tools to complete the installation.

Covers that use hand tightened clamps or bolts require no drilling. There are some brands that require some drilling on the tailgate during installation.

Strength and Durability

The strength and durability depend on the material of the cover. Fiberglass covers provide maximum strength and durability whereas vinyl, canvas, and aluminium are lightweight materials that are strong.

Price and Warranty

The price and warranty of the tonneau covers vary depending on the different features and materials used.

Top 10 Best Tonneau Cover Reviews

1. Lund 96893 Genesis Elite Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

The Lund Elite roll up cover does more than turn heads. It helps protect your valuable cargo against weather (rain, hail, wind, snow) and theft. The covers feature heavy duty black rails and bows and this ensure easy operation.

The integrated seal on the front and rear rails ensure protection against moisture and debris. The cover includes all necessary hardware for quick and easy installation. No drilling is required. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.

Pros

  • Protects and conceals the truck bed contents. The tarp rolls up easily and provides quick access to the truck bed. 
  • The premium twill weave material has been specifically engineered to be resistant to dust and debris, UV, mold and water. The unique texture of the fabric doesn’t trap dirt. 
  • The cover reduces drag and improves fuel economy. 
  • The cover is completely maintenance free.

Cons 

  • It is not as durable as the folding tonneau cover. It will not be able to handle much snow weight.

2. TruXedo 953301 Titanium Hard Roll-Up Tonneau Cover

The TruXedo is a hard roll up bed cover that offers complete access to the truck bed. The low-profile design greatly enhances the appearance of your truck. It provides good security and all that you need to do is to close the cover and lock the tailgate to protect and secure the cargo. The vinyl material used to make the cover is UV resistant. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.0’.

Pros

  • The quick release system enables you to remove the roll up cover within seconds. You will be able to access the truck bed without tools. 
  • Installation is simple and easy and you don’t require any special tools or drilling.
  • The heavy-duty aluminium provides additional durability and strength.
  • The slam latches allow you to open the tonneau cover from both sides. All that you need to do is to simply roll the cover to close the cover in a secure manner.

Cons 

  • The cover can get quite hot in the summer even with guards on the side.

3. Roll-N-Lock LG221M M-Series Tonneau Cover

The Roll-N-Lock LG221M enables you to lock the cargo in a convenient and secure manner. The sturdy tonneau cover is built using vinyl and aluminium. The M-series has a sleek appearance and this is greatly enhanced by the low-profile design and aerodynamically styled housing lid. With just the turn of the lock lever you will be able to slide the cover open. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.

Pros

  • The clamp on track design is patented and greatly simplifies the installation process. It minimizes the need for drilling holes on most trucks.
  • It has a unique frictionless construction.
  • The tonneau cover opens and closes in seconds with no cross bars or snaps.
  • The built-in tailgate lock keeps the cargo secure and protects it against any kind of theft.

Cons 

  • The tonneau cover is expensive.

4. Pace Edwards (SWF2843) Switchblade Tonneau Cover

The Pace Edwards (SWF2843) tonneau cover is simple and easy to install and remove. The continuous tension spring helps the cover retract smoothly within seconds. The canister can be easily removed and this gives complete truck bed access and maximum cargo capacity. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.5’ - 6.0’.

Pros

  • The handle makes opening and closing of the cover from either side completely easy.
  • The cover has a pull strap and this offers a lot of convenience. This means that you don’t need to climb the truck to operate the cover.
  • The padded polymer is bonded to rigid aluminium panels and this makes it weather resistant.
  • No drilling is needed for installation on most pickup trucks.
  • The cover allows full rear-view visibility due to its low-profile design.

Cons 

  • The canister occupies a bit of space on the truck bed and this can restrict your ability to carry more cargo.

5. Tyger Auto Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover (TG-BC3C1006)

The Tyger Auto has tri-fold design and this provides complete access to the truck bed. The clamps are patented and this makes installation easy. The weather tight seal protects the cargo against moisture and dust. The low-profile design prevents resistance and this can enable you to save money on gas. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.8’.

Pros

  • No drilling is required for installation. No special tools are required and you will be able to complete the entire process within minutes. 
  • The cover is made of sturdy vinyl and this makes it strong and durable. The heavy-duty vinyl can support a lot of weight including heavy snow.
  • LED light is included.

Cons 

  • It is not completely weather proof and water can get under the cover.

6. BAK (26309) BakFlip G2 Truck Bed Cover

The BAK truck bed cover helps protect your precious cargo from the elements. The innovative living hinge system of the cover ensures water resistance. This means that the cargo remains completely dry and safe even in heavy rain and snow. You no longer have to worry about delivering things in any kind of weather. It can fit a truck bed size of 5.5’.

Pros

  • The panels automatically latch to both sides of the truck and this makes installation quite easy. The hardware that is necessary for the installation is provided. 
  • The panels can flip open in the same direction. This can help you access the truck bed easily.
  • The cover is scratch and UV resistant.
  • The cover can be folded all the way forward and up against the pickup trucks rear cab. This gives you complete access to the truck bed

Cons

  • The metal shavings tend to fall off during installation. 
  • Even though it is easy to install the instructions can be hard to follow.

7. MaxMate Premium TCD371011 Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover

Enter your text hereThe MaxMate Premium is an easy to install tonneau truck bed cover and features three foldable panels. The vinyl cover is coated with marine grade aluminium powder and this can help withstand extreme weather conditions.

The high grade aluminium frames have an upward arch support and this ensures that the cover is held taut. The tri-fold cover is lightweight and has been specifically designed to protect and secure cargo from weather and theft. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.5’.

Pros

  • The tri-fold cover is fully assembled and this makes installation easy. The cargo rack or side rails need to be removed to complete the installation. 
  • The weather tight seal protects the cargo from moisture and dirt.
  • The aerodynamic sleek design helps save 10% - 12% of gas.
  • It comes with a ten-year warranty.

Cons 

  • It is not very hard and strong.

8. Lund 98001 Genesis Hinged Tonneau Cover

The Lund hinged tonneau cover fits perfectly to the edges of the pickup truck. This helps block moisture and protects the cargo from any kind of damage. The hinged design enables you to access the truck bed easily.

The cover is made of high-quality vinyl and this makes it durable and tear resistant. The double-sided fabric custom fits the trucks and adds to its elegant appearance. The cover comes pre-assembled and this enables you to install it within minutes. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.6’.

Pros

  • The sleek design improves aerodynamics and this reduces drag. This significantly improves fuel efficiency.
  • It includes a hassle-free closure that keeps the tonneau cover tight and protects the cargo from weather.
  • The latching system enables you to open and close the cover with one hand.

Cons 

  • There can be fitting issues with some trucks.

9. R&L Racing Hidden Snap Vinyl Tonneau Cover 94-03

The R&L Racing tonneau cover is made of heavy duty commercial grade vinyl fabric. It is coated on both sides and this makes it an ideal choice for weather proofing. It is thicker than most of the covers that are available in the market and this can help it withstand heavy rain and snow.

The aluminium frame is lightweight but strong and the gently arched design prevents accumulation of rain and snow on the cover. The all-weather sealing system protects the cargo in all types of weather. It can fit a truck bed size of 6.0’.

Pros

  • The unique design of the cover reduces aerodynamic drag and this increases fuel mileage. 
  • No drilling is required for the installation and it can be easily completed within minutes. The tonneau cover comes complete with all hardware that you will require for installation.

Cons

  • It does not fit all types of pickup trucks.

10. Truxedo 1117416 TonneauMate Toolbox

The Truxedo toolbox works with almost any type of tonneau cover. You don’t require a tonneau cover for its installation. The toolbox can help organize all the cargo in a systematic manner. Apart from being organized it also adds to the security with a built in keyed lock.

Pros

  • The versatile design enables it to support heavy loads.
  • It is constructed using a high-quality and heavy-duty material. It features an adjustable mounting design. This facilitates flexible positioning of the toolbox.
  • As the toolbox is elevated off the floor, you can use the entire truck bed to store and transport cargo.

Cons 

  • The toolbox can be opened only from one side.

Additional Information

Other Additional Accessories

  • Bed lighting kit – The lighting kit is a perfect choice for truck beds as it provides immediate illumination. You can always switch it on whenever you need extra light in bad weather.
  • Lock – The lock provides extra security and enables you to keep the cargo completely safe and secure.
  • Cargo Bar – The cargo bar enables you to keep the cargo from banging, sliding and rolling around in the truck bed. This can help prevent damage to the truck and the cargo. You can also use it to customize the cargo space.
  • Bed Extender – If you have items that extend beyond the truck bed then you can make use of the bed extender to carry the cargo in a safe manner. It helps create additional space for the cargo.

Installation and Using 

Depending on the type of truck you have you need to choose the appropriate tonneau cover. One of the important things that you need to remember about installation is that each type of cover has its own way of installation. The base part needs to be set first and then you need to install the cover.

It is advisable to check and test the cover after installation. The tailgate needs to be checked for closing after you have put things in the cargo bed.

Maintenance

It is best to check and test the tonneau covers at frequent intervals. This can help you know whether all parts work and are secure. The covers can be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before washing the cover. You need to remember that different surfaces react differently to soap and other cleaning agents.

Avoid placing heavy things on the cover for a long time. Even though the covers are made of durable and sturdy materials, they can get damaged if you place very heavy loads on top of them for a prolonged period of time.

Final Verdict 

It is advisable to choose a tonneau cover that fits your needs. Review the different brands and learn about the pros and cons so that you are able to make an informed choice. Weigh in factors such as type, material, installation, strength and durability and price and warranty before making the choice. When you make a good choice, you will be able to protect the cargo in all types of weather conditions. It can also help protect against debris and theft.

Easy Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Bike Rack

A bike rack which is also called a bike carrier is a device that is attached to a car or bus. A bike rack is used to transport bicycles. You can mount the bikes in the carriers by fastening both wheels and supplying some additional support.  Hitch rack, on the other hand, is a type of bike rack which glides into the receiver of a trailer hitch on a car or truck for fastening. Apart from bikes, it may contain other things.

Main Benefits of Bike Racks

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    Easy to use: It is super easy to mount your bike to the rack. You can take it anywhere with you while traveling. There is no need to disassemble your bikes for compact and easier storage.
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    Saves space inside the car: You can use either the trailer hitch or the rooftop to take along your bike rack wherever you go thus creating enough space inside the car for another person or accommodating essentials. Carrying your bike to your favorite vacation spot, camping site, picnic spots, beaches, and other outdoor space has never been easier.

Different Types of Bike Racks

The bike racks can be classified into three different types as:

Roof mount bike rack

Roof mount bike rack

This type of bike rack is designed to mount the bike on the roof in suspended upright position and it offers lockable mounting. It can allow sedans to carry four bikes and large vans to accommodate seven bikes. It is quite difficult to install roof mounts. However, with an additional storage case, additional cargo storage can be offered. Roof mounted bike racks can support different bikes depending on the rack design. Avoid roof racks if you are planning to travel in a low clearance area. Also, never use roof racks heavy weight bikes. Mounting bikes onto tall vehicles can be difficult and may cause damage to vehicles.

Pros:

  • It is versatile and allows you to carry other things like canoes, snowboard, or other kinds of gears.
  • It is transferable between different vehicles if you have a fit kit.
  • It is a secure and a stable bike rack.
  • Roof mounts with locks are available.
  • The driver’s visual view is not obstructed.

Cons:

  • It may not fit in low clearance areas.
  • It is not easy to install roof mounted bikes, especially in tall vehicles.
  • It reduces your vehicle’s gas mileage more as compared to other racks due to the increased wind resistance.
  • Noise caused by wind resistance creates noise pollution.
  • It is permanently attached to the vehicle.

Hitch mount bike rack

This common type of bike rack needs a hitch for suspending the bike from the tail end of the car. The hitch mount bike racks are designed differently and it is easy to install one. The hanging style hitch mount is lighter and also costs lesser than the platform style hitch mount. You don’t usually have to remove the wheels to mount the bike. This style of hitch mounts usually needs additional tools to keep the bike stable while traveling. Hitch mounts can carry multiple bicycles with ease but they are quite expensive. Some intricately designed styles are difficult to install or remove from your automobiles.

The platform hitch mount bike racks are heavier and costlier but it offers additional benefits. This style ensures stability while traveling and it can transport varied style of bikes all at once. To ensure the protection of the bike and lower the risk of damage, minimal contact with the frame of the bike is recommended.  In some cases, you will have to drill holes in your vehicle’s chassis for installing some hitches.

Class 1 hitches are suitable for most cars including SUVs and can carry up to 3 bikes. Class 3 hitches are found commonly on pickup trucks and trucks-based SUVs and cannot be adapted to most cars.

A trailer hitch will cause added expense if your vehicle doesn’t have one already. Installing the rack might block access to the rear lift gate of your vehicle. It poses the risk of bike damage from backing into an object or getting hit from behind.

Pros:

  • Hitch racks are very easy to install. They usually come fully assembled and you have to insert it into the hitch of your vehicle.
  • It is easy to secure the bikes in place and so you are less prone to property damage.
  • It is easy to load and unload hitch racks.
  • You can access low clearance area.
  • Some models allow clear access to the rear door.
  • It is not permanently attached to your vehicle.

Cons:

  • It increases the overall length of your vehicle.
  • The basic models interfere with access to trunk or rear cargo area.
  • The bikes might sway.
  • The racks which can carry 4 to 5 bikes are usually heavy.
  • The bikes are more likely to obstruct rear view window, taillights, and license plate.

Trunk mount bike rack

This is the most popular type of bike rack. It offers convenience while carrying different types of bikes. One carrier can fit many vehicles and it is easy to lift and hold the bike in place. It can also be stored away without any hassle while not in use. The trunk mount comes with straps and can usually carry one or two, and in some cases three bikes. The rack is designed for easy storage and it is the least expensive bike.

However, trunk mount bike rack poses more risk of vehicle damage as the weight rests on the body panels of the vehicle. It can block the driver’s rear window view and the straps have chances of coming loose, wearing out, or snapping. It can get difficult while locking bikes to rack or car.

Pros

  • It is lighter than other bike racks and more portable.
  • You need only moderate lifting for attaching the bike.
  • It is not attached to your vehicle permanently.
  • It comes handy for short trips and occasional use.

Cons:

  • Access to trunk is blocked.
  • Bikes may sway a little while transporting.
  • It can get difficult to lock bikes to rack.
  • Bikes may obstruct taillights, rear window view, and license plate partially.

What materials are used to design bike rack and hitch rack?

The materials used to design bike rack and hitch rack include steel, aluminum, titanium, and alloy. The weight of the bike rack, capacity, price, and durability depends upon the type of materials used while designing. Roof mount bike racks have added advantages over other types of bike racks as they provide the greatest capacity to transport multiple bikes for a given vehicle. The long crossbars are extended beyond the width of the vehicle making it possible to transport up to six bikes on the mounted roof.

Hitch mounted bike racks are quite expensive and usually heavier than other bike racks. They come in 30 to 50lb range. Even with the highest capacity models of hitch mounted bike racks, the overall capacity can be limited to four bikes. Access to the rear or trunk hatch is also limited in this hitch mount models.

Trunk mount bike racks are traditionally light weight and they are a convenient option for those vehicle owners who don’t have a roof crossbar on their vehicle. It is also a great choice for those who don’t want to put money in buying a hitch receiver. Trunk mount bike racks are designed to fit most kind of vehicles.

What are the popular brands of bike rack?

There are many bike rack brands in the market today. Some bike racks can handle more weight capacity; some are more versatile, while others are more durable and adjustable. The most popular bike rack brands include Allen Sports, Thule, Yakima, Hollywood, Kuat, Saris, etc.

What is the average price of bike racks?

The price of bike racks depends on the type of the bike rack, materials of the bike rack, and the number of bikes that the bike rack can carry. Usually, the lowest price starts from $25 and can go up to over $200.

How can you choose a good bike rack?

Keep in mind the following criteria while choosing a bike rack:

Versatility

A good bike rack is versatile in design. It is able to carry many different types of bikes and bicycle frame size and shape. A bike rack that makes use of the bicycle frame as the main point of fastening is not a versatile bike rack. This type of rack cannot carry different bikes as there are a plethora of frames available on the market.

Bike racks manufactured by brands like Thule can hold varied frames and sizes securely. Another versatile bike rack brand in the market is Kuat. Both Kuat and Thule bike rack designs use a ratcheting arm to fasten the wheel in the front of the bike, no matter what size of wheel you have. It is the best option available if you want to transport heavy bikes. You will find straps to secure the rear wheel.

Capacity

Capacity is another determining factor of a good bike. If you wish to transport many bikes at a time, you should find a bike rack which is capable of it. Most vehicles’ highest capacity is achieved by making use of a roof mount set up with many individual roof racks. Though some bike racks designed by Kuat have the capacity to hold only one bike, the ability to put many units on the roof allows a high capacity alternative.

Ease of installation process

A good bike rack needs to have an easy installation process. Packaging, directions of use, and overall design all comes under installation unit. Once it is assembled, you should be able to attach it easily to your vehicle. Bike racks designed by Thule stands out for its ease of installation. Find a rack which has hex wrenches added to its features. It makes the assemblage easy.

Easy to install bike racks designed by Thule need no tools for assembling. Even the attachment process can be done with ease with the help of the Fit Dial feature.

Ease of use

You should be able to mount the bike on and off the vehicle without much hassle.

  • Roof racks: Roof racks do not qualify for ease of use though they are well designed. If your vehicle is tall, it becomes difficult to install roof racks. The presence of multiple latching points in roof racks, however, makes your bikes stable and secure.
  • Hitch racks: This type of rack is lower to the ground. Bike racks designed by Thule, Kuat, and Yakima does not need the high amount of lifting and has user-friendly attachment features. With this type of racks, you get a locking pivot with which you can swing down the rack for accessing the hitch.
  • Trunk racks: Among all, the trunk rack has the least loading height and it is easy to install this type of bike rack. However, the racks do not fit every vehicle model and so it is difficult to get into and out of the trunk with bikes on. The trunk racks, further, need straps for stabilizing.

Durability

Good bike racks are designed for durability. The best bike rack features should include cable locks, ratcheting arms and should have anti-scratch powder coat finish. The RockyMounts and the Yakima are durable bike racks with a few moving parts. They are designed for simplicity and can last for many seasons.

Security

The most secure racks are the ones that make use of cable locks. Thule and the Kuat bike rack brands produce some of the best racks with cable locks. They have heavily built locking hitch pin and cable locks which draw out of the trays or ratcheting arms. Some Yakima racks have locks integrated into a fork clamp. However, the racks do not have long cables to thread through all the wheels and frames.

What kind of cars should use bike racks?

Almost all the cars can use bike racks including Sedan, hatchback, Van, SUV, and Truck. The kind of vehicle you drive can up to some extent determine the type of rack to be used. An SUV usually stands tall making it difficult to use roof racks. However, hitch racks and trunk racks are perfect for SUVs. The vehicle offers high ground clearance and can travel on rough roads.

Hatchbacks usually come without a stretched boot. It is much smaller in height as compared to an SUV, making it an ideal choice for installing trunk racks. Since sedans are just extended forms of hatchback cars with the rear boot, it is not hard to mount a bike in it.   

If you are the owner of a sedan, hatchback, or SUV, transporting two to three bikes in trunk racks are an economical choice and they are light weight. The trunk racks tie up to rear decks through straps and hooks. They can be installed and removed without any hassle with a little practice. Also, trucks and vans make great vehicles for transporting multiple bikes as they are both sturdily built and can carry the heavy load.

What kind of bikes can be racked?

There are many kinds of bikes that can be racked including the Mountain/full-suspension bikes, Road/carbon bikes, Urban/hybrid bikes, Kids’ bikes, and Tandem/recumbent bikes among others.

Mountain bike is one of the most appropriate for travelling

Mountain bikes are great for traveling the long distance and it ensures comfort as it comes with a shock absorbing and rear system. This provides enough reason why you should rack a mountain bike and take it for your adventure trips. You can also find foldable full suspension bikes designed for easy transport and storage. There are both front racks rear racks which can be compatible with mountain bikes that come without rack eyelets.

Road bikes are light, stiff, and fast and designed to travel on paved roads. Touring bikes are most common among road bikes and a rack that attaches to the seat post of the bike works just fine. Most rear racks can be attached to the bike with the aid of P clips.

Urban bikes are great for novice cyclists, commuters, children, and for general use as they are stable. Using urban bikes can save a lot of fuel and parking space. Some innovatively designed racks offer a chain which is concealed inside the poles. You can use the chain to lock it to the frame lock which comes integrated. Some racks designed for urban bikes can park up to 10 bikes where only one car can be parked.

There are different kinds of Kids’ bikes including balance bikes and basic small wheeling. Almost all the kids’ bikes whose wheel size measure up to 24’’ come in mountain bike design with horizontal handlebars and tires meant for grip. These kinds of bikes are excellent for everyday use. Kids’ bikes can be racked with the help of an adapter bar. It fits well when attached to the handlebar and the seat post.   

Tandem bikes are traditionally designed to be ridden by more than one person and promise lots of fun and fast cycling. Good quality tandems weigh twice as much less than a single bike and it is a good idea to rack them. You will find roof mounted racks and hitch mounted racks which are able to transport tandems bikes securely to your desired spot. 

How many bikes should you attach?

The number of bikes you should attach depends on the number of hangers available on the bike racks. Some bike racks have more hangers and some have less. Usually, hitch bike racks are designed to hang up to 5 bikes per rack. Hitch bikes can easily hang any type of bikes unlike other types of bike racks. Whenever you attach bikes to your vehicles you should consider the weight capacity of your car to avoid any kind of property damage.

How can you set up the bike rack on your car?

Depending on the kind of car you use, you should set up the right bike rack:

Setting up a trunk rack on the car

  • Lay the rack on the ground in such a way that the upper straps and hooks are laid above the rack. Allow the lower straps to drop below the rack. Don’t keep any knots on the straps. Keep the levers on the body of the rack adjustable and not overly tight. 
  • Next, open up the trunk to glide the upper hooks into the top of the trunk lid. Place the straps to the correct side, i.e., right strap to the right and vice versa. Slide the hooks away till they are no more your than four to six inches wider than the rack’s body without tightening straps.   
  • Keep the rack in place. The best position is the middle of the trunk as it allows an even distribution of weight to take place.
  • Hold of the bottom straps and place the hooks onto the bottom of the lid of the truck. The two straps must be in the middle of the rack for providing balance. Leave the straps only tight enough to permit some tension from the hooks.
  • Close the trunk while loosely holding the body of the rack in place. The lid of the trunk should be firmly held in place.
  • Hold the body of the rack in its final position. Begin tightening the straps one at a time once you position the rack and center. Don’t fully tighten up the straps before you are sure the others are in place to get a balanced rack.

Setting up a hitch rack on a car

  • Prepare all the tools for installing the hitch rack bike. Ensure that the frame and wheels of your bike are compatible with the rack. The rack should also be compatible with the car. Swing-away racks offer easier access to the trunk, while platform racks can make loading and unloading easier.
  • Install the base parts of the hitch rack into the frame of the car. It can be attached with the aid of carriage bolts and steel blocks with square shaped (in case of Class 1 trailer hitch) holes. To ensure that it doesn’t come loose, the carriage bolt should be inserted fully into the hole.  
  • Hold the hitch in position by first getting everything to fit loosely and then tightening it. Connect the remaining parts of the hitch rack into the base parts.
  •  Double check for making sure that you have installed it properly.

Setting up a roof rack on a car

  • Start by choosing the right roof rack for your bike. Thule roof mounting bike racks are lightweight and most of the parts come assembled. It is easy to install them and you can do it rather quickly.
  • Install the essential parts of the rack into the car’s rooftop. To do it, first place and fasten the holder on the roof bars.
  • Fasten the lockers and straps of the wheel and place the bike on the holder before closing the lock in the center. After that, you can tighten the straps to lock the system.
  • Add other needful accessories for the rack.
  • Double check to ensure that you have installed it correctly.

How can you use bike rack in the right way?

Follow these steps to use bike racks in the correct way:

  • If you are using a hitch bike rack, hang the bikes by using hangers. It will grab the wheels securely in place.
  • For trunk bike rack users, use many straps and cables to attach the bike. However, some high-end trunk bike racks use the mechanism like hitch racks.
  • If you are about to use roof racks, you will usually need to lock three points of a bike. Two points need to be locked on the base of the two wheels. The other point needs locking on the frame.

How can you maintain bike rack and fix some problems?

It is essential to maintain your bike rack and have some idea about how to fix them. Keeping yourself updated and informed will extend the life span of your bike rack as well as for enhancing its performance. Below are listed some ‘how-to’ to maintain your bike rack:

  • Check the bike racks timely for any damage: After each use, check whether there is any damage on the bike rack. Even if there is a slight damage, it is better to mend early in order to save major damage from occurring in the future.  
  • Clean the bike racks thoroughly: Make sure to clean the bike racks thoroughly including the contact points on the car after each use. It will increase the life span of the bike rack and maintain its performance.
  • Equip the bike rack with a lock: Equipping your bike racks with lockers is the securest way to safeguard your bike rack. It will deter thieves from trying to steal your bike racks. And also, by making use of locks your bike racks will not fall off from your vehicle and get damaged.

Our top 10 picks for the best bike rack

  • Swagman Standard Roof Rack
  • Yakima FrontLoader Rooftop Bike Rack
  • Thule Sidearm Universal Bike Mount
  • Allen Sports 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
  • TYGER Deluxe Black 3-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack
  • Hollywood Racks F4 Heavy Duty 4-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
  • Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch Receiver
  • Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (1/1/4 and 2-Inch Receiver)
  • Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack
  • Thule Helium Aero Hitch Carrier

Summing up

Owning a bike rack is very beneficial. It can allow you to carry your bicycles anywhere you go with much ease. However, you have to ensure that the bike racks are of the best quality to guarantee easy setup and use. The kind of vehicle you are driving will determine which bike rack you are going to use. Once you have them, make it a point to clean them after each use, check the bike racks regularly for any damage, and secure them with locks. There are many bike rack brands out there in the market today. Brands like Thule, Kuat, Yakima, Allen Sports, and Hollywood are among the top brands.

A Detailed, Comprehensive Best Truck Tent Buying Guide

Rooftop truck tent

Today's world comes with a broad range of fantastic outdoor activities. For instance, camping, which enjoys our core focus today, is one of the prolific outdoor activities that many people find pleasure indulging in today.

Despite its adventurous nature, camping without strategic planning of your stay in a particular area could end up ruining your holiday or weekend leisure desires.  If you wish to make your outdoor stay memorable and worthwhile, you will need to purchase or hire the best camping gears and accessories.

Your comfort and safety while camping should rank among your top priorities. Now, the discovery of truck camper tents is, perhaps, the greatest advancement in the camping area so far. A truck camper tent is a gear that will help you enjoy the delights of adventurous camping in an exclusive, safe and economical way.

If you are a newbie in the camping world, then you must be wondering what we mean by truck camper tents. Well, your patience as we dive in to analyze these great camping gears could lead you to achieve the best camping experience.

What is a truck tent? What are the benefits of using a truck camper tent? What are the critical factors to consider when buying a truck tent? What truck tent models do we recommend?

These are some, among other vital questions, that we seek to answer in this post. Stay tuned.

Rooftop truck tent

What is a truck tent?

If you wouldn't like the experience of sleeping on the ground while camping, then you must have a hint of the definition of truck tents.

Invented in 1990 by Roman Napieraj, the founder of the re-known Napier enterprise, truck tents are camping gears designed to allow you sleep comfortably and conveniently. They eliminate the need to sleep on the uncomfortable and unsafe ground.

Just like the camping tent models made for utilization with roofs and SUVs, a truck camper tent allows you to convert your pickup truck's bed into a comfortable, safe and warm sleeping space.

Most truck tents accommodate 2 to 3 people. However, the available room is dependent on the model and make of your pickup truck.

What makes truck tents worth buying and using?

There is an endless list of reasons why you should go for a truck camper tent. To start with, a truck tent will let you enjoy the pleasure that comes with sleeping outdoors while eliminating the need to lie on the uncomfortable, cold, bug infested and insecure ground. The high-quality models come with the ability to maintain their interiors warm, dry and ventilated in the best way. Therefore, even when it’s raining outside, your truck tent will keep you protected from the harsh weather.

Setting up truck tents is as easy as pie. Therefore, you can manage to set it up in minutes leaving you with more than enough time to explore the surroundings. Also, the fact that it installs on your truck’s bed will save you from running up and down in the search for a campsite.

With the capacity to accommodate 2-3 people, you are bound to save much as compared to paying for accommodation on a camping site.

Even more, a truck tent is easy to store and transport. After your camping adventures are over, you will only need to bring it down, fold it on your truck's bed and carry it to your home store with ease.

What are the different shapes of truck tents available today?

On the market today, you are bound to find a broad range of truck tents with varying shapes. Three shapes are featured in most truck tents. They include dome, A-shaped, and umbrella.

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    A-frame Truck Tents: Also referred to as the wedge truck tent, the A-frame model is common among many camping enthusiasts. It’s regarded as the most basic truck tent shape style on the market today.

    The supporting poles for the A-frame truck tents could be as basic as an upright pole fitted on both ends that integrate with the strong lines that hold the shape in place. Also, the tent can feature two robust, vertical end-to-end poles that combine with a connecting top pole and lines to provide tension, thereby supporting and strengthening the shape. Even more, you can find A-frame truck tents whose guy-lines are there to provide an anchor for the tent while the hoop-type, shock-cord poles facilitate the formation of the shape.

    The prolific A-frame truck tents are built to accommodate 2-3 people. However, you will also find the rare, large A-frame truck tents with the capacity to accommodate up to 6 people.

    Despite the insufficiency of the headroom in most A-frame truck tents to suit tall people, they still provide sufficient room for comfortable sleeping arrangements.

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    Umbrella-shaped truck tents: The umbrella truck tents come with several benefits. They include ample camping gear storage, excellent headroom around the midpoint section, a basic design that only includes one upright pole, a tall and roomy entrance, and because they come with no floors, you will be free to utilize a small camping stove or light a campfire in an Umbrella truck tent. Even more, you won't struggle with achieving the shape of the tent as in the process of staking its bottom securely on your pickup truck bed; the tent will assume its shape automatically.

    Also, umbrella-shaped truck tents come with large windows for viewing your surroundings from within the tent. The windows are usually well-screened against bugs and other invading insects.

    Most families prefer the umbrella-shaped truck camper tents for their spacious nature and versatile design.

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    Dome-shaped truck tents: The excellent and futuristic design in most dome-shaped truck tents allows them to rank highly on the market. Today, we have doom-shaped truck tents with flexible fiberglass, shock-cord poles that not only make them durable but also convenient to utilize.

    The flexible poles provide for extremely versatile shaping as well as easy set-up on any truck bed.

    Majority of the available doom-shaped truck tents come with rain fly, a feature that allows them to feature ultra-lightweight interior walls (some all-mesh), as the rain fly protects the tent from adverse weather conditions.

    Even more, you can choose a doom-shaped truck tent with an interior-tent support or one with a hanging tent-pole frame. An exterior support structure provides sufficient headroom while the interior tent support frame provides adequate wing rooms.

What are the critical factors to consider when buying a truck tent?

Getting the best truck camper tent from the flooded market is not a walk in the park. It’s a process that demands total commitment and care. Below, we look into the critical factors to consider when buying a truck tent. By analyzing the provision of the following features and functions on various truck tents, you should manage to identify the best product for the money. Let’s get to business.

Orange pickup with tent

Truck model and tent size:

On the market today, you will find a broad range of truck camper tents. The most appropriate one for you, among the best options, will be dependent on your vehicle model.

The hatchback truck tents are designed for installation on small SUVs or other vehicles with sufficient cargo space. The hatchback style tents are built to let you convert your vehicle’s cargo space into a comfortable and protected sleeping area.

Also, on the market, you will find tents designed for the large minivans and SUVs, as well as others specifically designed for pickup trucks.

The hatchback style truck tents are relatively easy to install as compared to those designed for large minivans and SUVs.

Even more, you can also find universal truck camper tents that suit installation on most vehicles. The universal models will let you convert the cargo space of any truck, SUV or car into a convenient and comfortable sleeping space. They are common with frequent travelers.

Worth mentioning is that universal truck tents, owing to their flexibility and easy assembly, rank on the higher price end. Therefore, it’s critical to consider your budget before heading out to purchase a universal model.

It's within your powers to buy your most preferred truck camper tent depending on your budget and compatibility with your vehicle.

The size of tent you buy will be dependent on the available cargo space on your car as well as your budget. It's important to consider purchasing a tent that will provide sufficient sleeping room.

Majority of truck and SUV tents come with ample room for 2-3 people. However, you can still find the high-end models that can serve more people. We consider it wise to go for a truck tent that can accommodate as many people while still being compatible with your vehicle and matching your budget prospects.

Seasons:

The season that characterizes the period which you will be camping is a primary factor to consider when buying a truck camper tent.  Tents are classified into two categories depending on the number of seasons that a given truck tent can support.

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    3-season truck tents: These are the most popular truck tents on the market. They feature a lightweight build and suit utilization during the spring, early fall and summer seasons. Among their valuable features is the excellent ventilation through panels. With a 3-season truck tent, you get to enjoy convenient air flow. The ventilation panels are built to block insect infestation. Even more, most 3-season truck tents come with a rain fly that keeps the interior free from moisture during the summer and spring seasons, characterized by rains.

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    4-season truck tents: The ranking of the 4-season truck tents on the higher price end makes them less common.  They are built to offer nothing but excellent services thanks to their sturdy, durable and feature-filled build. We love the ability of 4-season truck tents to withstand heavy snow fall and hard winds thanks to their doom-shaped design. The only drawback associated with most 4-season truck tents is their relatively high warmth during the summer season. This trait is attributed to their minimal ventilation panels as well as the low-lying rain fly.

Poles:

The poles used in your preferred truck tent will determine its stability and support. Also, poles determine the weight of the tent.

It’s more than direct that the more poles a truck camper tent has, the heavier it becomes. Again, the material used in the construction of tent poles will determine its weight.

Most truck tents feature durable, lightweight aluminum or fiberglass construction. Aluminum tent poles are the best if you will be camping in a windy environment, owing to their excellent stability.

Apart from stability, light weight and durability, tent poles should facilitate easy installation. Therefore, it’s wise to go for truck tents with color-coded poles. Again, your preferred truck tent should come with durable clips for improved setup and security.

The number of poles fitted in a given truck tent will depend on its size. The large the tent, the more the poles needed to support its stability.

Price:

Low prices often trick buyers into buying inferior quality products. Therefore, it's wise to always consider the cost of truck tents as the last factor. After identifying all the truck tents that are in line with the discussed factors above, the final step will be considering your budget. Always go for the tent whose price is in line with your budget. Keep in mind that the cheap products are not always the best.  Go for a truck tent whose price reflects its quality in the best way.

So, how should you choose the best truck tent?

Selecting the best truck tent on the market will depend primarily on the discussed factors above. It's always wise to go for a high-quality truck tent model that's compatible with your vehicle.  Below, we include a list of the top 10 best truck tents in 2017. By using the above factors to analyze our choices, you should manage to narrow down to your best suit product with no hassle. These are the truck tents that most campers are using as we prepare this post.

Top 10 Best Truck Tents in 2017

1. Napier Backroadz Truck Tent

2. Rightline Gear 110730 Full-Size Truck Bed Tent 

3. Guide Gear 6-by-6-Foot Compact Truck Tent

4. Napier Backroadz SUV Tent 

5. Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent 

6. ​​​​Sportz Truck Tent Blue/Grey

7. Sportz Link Ground 4 Person Tent

8. DAC Full - Size Truck Tent

9. Sportz Truck Tent III for Full-Size Regular Bed Trucks

10. Sportz Camo Truck Tent 

What are the exclusive design features in the high-quality truck tents?

The features of a given truck tent reflect its quality. There are several design features that you should consider to ensure you go for the best product among the available options.

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    A truck tent with a floorless design allows for easy setup and uninstallation after your camping adventure without having to remove your gear as well as other items from the truck bed. Therefore, a floorless truck tent design is bound to save on your time and energy. 

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    A standard tarp that covers the floor is a valuable element in a truck tent. It will serve you best whenever you need to set up your truck tent on a dirty bed without having to clean it.

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    With protective plastic buckles and heavy duty straps on your truck tent, you can be sure of the easy set up without damaging the tent's material or its finish. 

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    It’s important to go for a truck tent with color-coded poles with pole pockets for easy, quick and accurate setup. 

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    Also, a truck tent made of a water resistant fabric that integrates with tape-sealed seams is bound to last long while serving you in the best way.

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    Furthermore, we recommend truck tents with sky view vent designs, as they provide excellent lighting, ventilation as well as a great view of the stars during the night for an exclusive experience.

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    A truck tent whose design allows it to accommodate 2-3 people should be preferred. However, you can still go for a larger model provided it’s compatible with your vehicle or truck.

Finally, among the critical design features to consider is the construction of a given unit. We recommend truck tents built of high-grade, water resistant materials. Also, a tent that integrates with a rain fly could serve you better in protecting you from adverse weather conditions. Ensure that your preferred truck tent is well-sewn for optimum durability and security.

What are the best tent construction materials?

As mentioned earlier, the material used to construct a given truck tent influences its durability and performance significantly.  It’s therefore wise if not critical to consider the material used in the construction of your preferred truck tent before making a purchase decision.

Some of the best truck tent construction materials include polyester taffeta, premium-grade nylon, and polyester.  Ensure that you purchase a unit whose build material is rip-proof, waterproof, and sturdy enough to withstand adverse weather conditions like snow and the sun’s heat throughout its lifetime.

What are rain flies and awnings? What roles do they play in a truck tent?

Most of the prolific SUV and truck camper tents come with 1-2 fain flies. A rain fly is a feature that’s designed to help in keeping water (especially rain water) from the tent. A rain fly that provides full tent coverage is ideal for use whenever you camp in stormy areas. Full-coverage rain flies also help in keeping the tent interior dry and warm at all times.  On the other hand, rain flies designed for roof coverage allow for excellent lighting and ventilation while still protecting the tent from the rain water.

A rain fly may integrate with an awning to provide you with added storage space. The awning provides the perfect space for keeping boots as well as dirty and wet hiking clothes and gear.

It’s wise to go for a truck tent that comes with an awning or that which is compatible with awnings as you might need to add one as you advance in your camping hobby or profession.

What are mesh panels in a truck tent?

If you are planning to go camping in areas characterized by hot climatic conditions, then you will need to consider purchasing a truck tent with the best ventilation features-mesh panels. A truck tent with 1-2 mesh panels could serve you well in warm climates. However, if you will be going for camping in areas of extreme warmth, then a truck tent with three or more mesh panels could serve you better.

Mesh panels facilitate tent ventilation by allowing cool air to circulate in and out of the tent. Therefore, they help you maintain the interior temperatures cool.

What’s the importance of truck bed liners in a truck tent for campers?

A truck bed liner, as its name suggests is a vehicle accessory built to improve your comfort significantly while you rest on your truck's cargo space. The truck bed liner not only absorbs the occurring shock from the ground while you sleep but also protects you from freezing as a result of the cold metallic body of your truck's cargo space.  Therefore, it's important to equip your truck tent with a comfortable, water-resistant truck bed liner for the ultimate resting comfort and convenience.

What’s the best height and length of a truck bed tent?

The height and length of a truck bed tent can’t be fully specified. These actual tent measurements vary from one tent model to the other.

When selecting the best truck bed tent, it's important to understand your needs first. If you will be camping with your family, then it's wise to go for a cabin-shaped truck tent as it provides sufficient space for more than three people.

The dome-shaped truck bed tents provide ample headroom to suit people with different heights and body sizes.

Therefore, if you are tall and don’t need as much room, then we advise that you go for a dome-shaped truck bed tent.

How should you set up a camper tent on your truck?

After identifying the best fit truck tent for your vehicle and making a purchase, the next step is installing it.

You should start by evaluating all the necessary tools that are required for the installation process. Also, check if the bought tent needs any adjustments of your truck's cargo space. After answering these two critical questions, you should now to set to begin the truck tent installation process.

There are some tents which are designed for installation on the truck bed. Installing the truck bed tents is ultra-easy. You will need to find a level parking ground for your truck. Then, you should proceed to press the parking brake before beginning the process.

You should manage to install a truck bed tent without seeking help. Start by lowering the tailgate and removing all the tent accessories from the package box. You should now be fully set to start installing the tent.

Step 1: With the tent lying flat on the ground, ensure that its front door is at its tailgate while the other end faces the rear end of the cab. Then, attach all the straps to the sides. You should also attach the additional straps to the tailgate.

Step 2: Assemble and insert all the poles to the matching sleeves. Then, slide each pole into a matching pocket.  After assembling the tent, connect each male clip to its matching female clip and attach the clips to the poles. You should also check to ensure that all the straps are not too tight or too loose.

Step 3: Finally, all the accessories that come with the tent should be attached appropriately. Gear lofts, for example, should be mounted to the tent’s ceiling using the featured hooks. Also, a rain fly should be connected to the tent using the featured straps.

Besides following our instruction, it’s critical to read through and understand the manufacturer’s truck tent installation directions for the best results.

Safety tips for using a truck bed tent in the best way

A truck tent could bring out the best in you during a camping adventure. However, you will need to keep in mind several safety tips to ensure that your experience doesn't come with disappointments.

First, it’s important to keep your heating sources away from your tent, unless your tent is fireproof. It could be sad to see your hard-earned tent and camping gear burn as a result of keeping your cooking stove close to the tent. Secondly, it’s crucial not to run your vehicle’s engine while you cook around the truck tent.

Finally, we advise you not to use gas-powered heaters inside or close to your tent.

By adhering to these safety tips, you should manage to keep yourself as well as your tent from harm during your camping time.

What are the common issues associated with truck bed tents? And how should you go about solving them? 

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    Interior darkness: Darkness can be hectic especially when you go for camping in areas with no electric connection. In such cases, we recommend the use of the battery or solar powered lamps to light up your tent.

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    Accumulated rain water on the rain fly: Whenever water, snow or dust collects on the rain fly, the wisest step to take is to retract the rain fly to let the water drain or sweep the dust or snow. Also, you can try to eliminate the accumulated water using a pipe without having to retract it from the tent.

Conclusion!

We have come to the end of this post. We hope that all these pieces of information regarding truck tents will serve you best when searching for a durable and comfortable truck camper tent for utilization on your vehicle cargo space.

Our choices, as presented in the list of the top 10 best truck tents in 2017, include most of the widely-sort truck tents by campers globally. You should manage to find a product that best suits your camping needs and budget.

With a high-quality truck tent, you can now begin to camp in a stylish, comfortable, convenient and safe way. We wish you all the best in your camping adventures!