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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
● Snowboards and ski
● 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below are various ways to install roof racks of different models and make.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
● 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
● It makes a whistling noise when driving at a relatively high speed.
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.
● 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
● Not close to description since it may not fit some car model
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.
● It is straightforward to install
● It feels very sturdy and mounts solidly
● No wind or noise problem at speed
● It wears out after some time.
● Only fits chrome side rails models and not altitude or SRT models.
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.
● It has a very sturdy steel
● It resists rust and brutal UV rays
● Makes some whistling noise while at a considerable speed
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.
● 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
● They make loud whistling noises
● The Locking mechanism is very cheap, which makes the item less secure from theft
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.
● Once installed, it doesn't slide around. It stays firm without any movements
● The bars are well-built
● Pretty affordable compared to other products
● 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
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.
● Made of robust and durable steel
● It is super easy to install
● Stays tightened,
● It's a bit noisy
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.
● Ease of installation
● Lightweight and durable aluminum
● Waterproofed and well-coated finish
● Easy to follow instruction manual
● Well- built crossbars
● In most cases, the cross bars may not fit correctly
● The attachment points are plastic instead of metal.
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.
● Easy to assemble
● Well-made gauge steel
● Perfect for vans with gutters
● Affordable compared to other products
● 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.
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.
● Lifetime warranty
● Easy to install
● Well-made crossbars that can hold a lot of items
● The locking covers are made from plastic materials.
● A bit difficult to get the covers to lock in place after installation
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.
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.
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.
Let’s take a glimpse of the components used in constructing a winch:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the winch
Under the hood
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
Under the hood
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.
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:
The process of installing winches will vary from vehicle to vehicle, but the basics will remain quite similar.
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.
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.
Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The benefits of having your truck bed covered are numerous. The benefits of tonneau cover go way deeper than just its aesthetic appeal.
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.
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.
Top quality materials offer the best protection to your truck bed.
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.
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.
The price and warranty of the tonneau covers vary depending on the different features and materials used.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.