Many vehicles today offer very little cargo space for travel. Sometimes drivers simply want to take items too long for the vehicle such as ladders or skis. When your car doesn’t have enough space, there is a simple answer: a modern rack system from Yakima or Thule. These rooftop rack systems offer several variations to expand your storage. If you prefer, a hitch rack or bike carrier can be installed in the rear. With the right configuration, your car can be equipped for more fun away from home.
Cartop Cargo Racks
Generally a good rack is part of a system that can accommodate more than a single item. Thule and Yakima offer rooftop racks made of galvanized steel. The crossbars are coated with a layer of rubber that prevents scuffing. These are easily mounted with rubberized steel feet and hardware that requires no drilling. They are made with modular accommodations to be able to carry different types of cargo.
Car Racks For Sports, Camping and More
Yakima and Thule racks offer a simple carrying system for all kinds of sport equipment. Kayaks and canoes can be easily and securely fastened to the top. Skis and surfboards can be attached as well. Bicycles can be attached to the top or to special racks for the rear. Yard work and construction is easier with a rack to carry ladders and lumber. Camping trips are easier with a place to carry the tent and other supplies. The rack is perfect for Christmas trees.
Car Rack Options
Vehicles may come outfitted with original factory equipment from the dealer. Most factory roof racks are not designed to carry much weight. If approved for 45 kilos, for instance, the factory rack may be quickly overwhelmed by a full cargo box that weights 20 kilos empty. The Thule and Yakima brands offer systems that can carry up to 75 kilos. Individualized, advanced rack systems can carry more bulk as well as more weight. The racks can be installed to allow more configurations than factory racks. Both Thule and Yakima provide various lengths and styles. They also come with wider bars. This is an improvement over factory racks that provide crossbars that are no wider than the side bars. Thule or Yakima systems can be attached to OEM racks to allow wider load bars.
Car Rack Alternatives
Some vehicles can be equipped with a hitch rack. This supports a simple platform that can be used for extra cargo. Another alternative is the Thule cargo carrier which attaches to the hitch. Hitch-mounted bicycle racks actually support the bike wheels and hold different frame styles more securely. Hitch racks are an alternative to roof racks for those who cannot lift items onto the roof. They may add some weight to the rear, but they are more aerodynamic.
Car Rack Security and Safety
A car rack can be very secure if it is fitted properly to the vehicle. It may experience strong wind drafts due to the roof cargo, but a driver can compensate for this. A proper system with tested straps is far more secure than one that uses rope or clothesline.
Special locks can keep thieves out of your stuff.
In some ways, a car top or rear carrier is safer than cramming your vehicle with miscellaneous items. Large items may block the driver’s view. If the car stops suddenly these items turn into missiles. If the same items are safely stowed in a cargo box, the box may come off the car, but it won’t hurt the occupants.
If you do purchase a car rack, keep in mind that it increases the height of your vehicle. You’ll need to pay more attention to clearance under trees, building overhangs, fast food drive-throughs and bridges. You may need to remove items before driving into a parking garage or your home garage. Likewise, a hitch adds length to your vehicle. This can make parking more difficult.
Adding extra weight can affect performance and handling. When you plan a trip, you may want to drive five to ten miles slower than normal to maintain good gas mileage. This may help with any handling issues as well. These inconveniences are minor compared to the fact that modern rack systems can haul your favorite sports equipment and extra cargo, too. Rack systems offer more fun for everyday life, short distance holidays and long distance travel.
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