You’ve got a car full of mates, the boot is packed and your gear is strapped to the roof. You head off on the road for your next adventure. Unfortunately, as soon as you head downhill on off-road terrain, your gear on the roof slides forward and over the window. This will not only be dangerous for you and your passengers but for any other vehicles on the road as well. You can even receive a fine if you have a load that is considered to be in danger of falling off your roof. If it’s not secured correctly, you may even risk losing all your gear.
To avoid getting into this situation, or having to pay a costly fine, it’s important to have the right roof racks and straps appropriately holding your gear down.
Here are a few tips to ensure you get through your next outdoor road trip safely and with all your gear securely on the roof:
First thing first - don’t put too much gear on the roof. It’s important to test if everything is securely in place before you leave. Grab anything that is strapped to the roof and give it a shake. It should be able to remain reasonably still and not move around the car. If it moves, it’s a good sign your straps aren’t on tight enough. While driving, remember to continue to check if the straps are tight enough, as they could stretch during your trip.
USE THE RIGHT STRAPS
If you don’t have the right straps available, it can be tempting to grab a cheap substitute and use that to strap your load to the roof. Some people will use a material such as bungee cords or rope. However, these are both unsafe and risky options.
Bungee cords are very elastic, which will result in your cargo easily slipping and moving. They are also prone to breaking, meaning you could find yourself stranded with no straps. The rope is also unable to have enough tension to efficiently secure a load.
Instead, opt for ratchet straps, which are far stronger and more reliable. These straps will easily be able to be tied to your roof racks.
STRAP DOWN ITEMS CORRECTLY
Sometimes one strap just isn’t enough. It may seem fine while your car is stationary, but you need to remember to factor in speed and wind. Items such as canoes, kayaks and surfboards must be tied down at both the front and back. When travelling at a fast speed, if these items aren’t tied down correctly, they will gain lift and may even rip your roof racks off.
HAVE THE RIGHT ROOF RACKS
To have a completely secure load, it will help to have the right roof racks on your car. There is a range of roof racks to choose from.
One of the best options is the Whispbar
. This roof rack has a sleek, seamless design combined with solid, long-lasting function. It is durable and purpose-built, so you’ll have peace of mind the next time you head out on the road. There are four bar styles to choose from, as well as numerous fitting kits. There is sure to be a roof rack that is right for every car.
range is the perfect 4x4 solution. With an open T-slot channel, it has easy accessory mounting and is very functional with a rubber load strip and airflow diffuser. This range is designed to be tougher and stronger than the rest, and is a must buy before the next time you head off road.
Once you have your items securely tied to the roof, don’t forget that it will add extra height to your vehicle. This is particularly important if you’re going to be driving under bridges or into a car park. To avoid getting stuck under a bridge, or having your gear ripped off the top of your car, remember to account for the extra height.
Yakima has many options available to make sure your next car trip is as safe as possible. Consider purchasing car roof boxes, roof rack baskets or luggage bags before your next trip to help safely secure your gear to the roof of your car.