A roof basket, commonly known as a roof rack, refers to a set of bars firmly secured to the roof of a motor car. These bars are primarily used for extra storage. The term can also denote an actual metal basket mounted on a roof rack used to store various gear. Since a roof basket and roof rack serve the same purpose, we shall use the terms interchangeably throughout this post.
Now, the idea of a roof rack may not appeal to many car owners, particularly those who use their automobiles exclusively for commuter or leisure purposes. That’s mainly because a roof basket can alter a vehicle’s aesthetic appeal significantly. And like most vehicle modifications, the cost of installing a roof rack can be quite exorbitant.
But as you shall find, installing a roof basket comes with more advantages than drawbacks. That’s especially true for utility vehicle users.
Read on for everything you need to know before installing a roof basket. Some of the areas the post shall cover include the benefits of installing a roof rack, installation tips, and other implications of having a roof basket on your UTE.
Why Should You Consider Installing A Roof Basket?
There are numerous advantages of installing UTE roof racks. The most notable benefit is that a roof basket on your utility vehicle serves as extra storage space. You can utilize the space to carry all manner of bulky items, including your camping gear, sporting equipment, bicycles and motorcycles, canoes, and kayaks, to mention but a few.
This can be a significant advantage, particularly when going on a long road trip. With ample storage space atop your UTE, you won’t have to worry about paying extra transport money to have your otherwise bulky travel equipment shipped to your various travel destinations. Lighter and more delicate luggage can go in your UTE’s internal cargo area.
The only precaution is to check the weather conditions to ensure that anything carried on top of your roof basket doesn’t risk getting damaged.
For instance, too much rain may drench your camping clothing. When transporting such a dress in your UTE roof basket, you’ll need to cover the rack with high-quality waterproof material. Similarly, items like kayaks and canoes may catch a lot of wind. To carry these items on a roof rack effectively, experts recommend strapping them down to the frame using solid strapping materials.
Also, remember that roof racks are infamous for failing during high-speed drives. When this happens, the items may fall off and get damaged, possibly ruining your vacation. The best way to avoid these unpleasant surprises is by ensuring the items transported on a roof basket are firmly strapped onto the rack and the car’s body through the vehicle’s door.
The following are additional benefits of a roof basket, besides offering extra storage space;
1. A roof basket allows you to optimize passenger space
Even if you’re cruising in a reasonably large UTE, there’s a limit to the number of passengers you can carry in your car. And that capacity reduces even further when you have your camping supplies stashed inside the car.
By transporting these items on your roof basket, you subsequently create room for more passengers.
This is a significant benefit when planning an all-family vacation. It’s ultimately cheaper than hiring a larger UTE to accommodate every family member.
2. A roof basket allows you to transport things you shouldn’t carry inside the car
There are numerous things considered either unsafe or uncomfortable traveling inside a car. That’s due to the toxic chemicals they emit, foul odor, or flammability risks.
Examples include petrol, diesel, LPG bottles, and portable toilets.
Incidentally, all these things are essential to a successful vacation. So, your best bet is to transport them in the roof basket.
3. A roof basket adds curb appeal to your UTE
You may not be considering selling or renting out your utility vehicle anytime soon. But if you do, you’ll realize just how much value a roof basket adds to your UTE.
As we already indicated, a roof basket is technically a vehicle modification. The extra conveniences offered by such modifications are usually a key factor when selling or renting a car.
Other factors held constant; you’ll be able to sell or rent out your UTE at a slightly higher amount if it had a roof basket.
How to Choose the Right Roof Racks
There are several factors to consider while shopping for UTE roof racks. The first is the type of roof rack.
Automobile roof racks fall into the following categories, depending on your UTE;
a) Rain Gutter
A rain gutter is typical in older roof racks, where the rack was typically mounted directly to the rain gutter surrounding the roofline.
b) Naked/Bare Roof
A naked roof involves installing a roof rack by attaching hooks to the top of the vehicle’s door frames.
c) Side Rails
These roof racks are factory-installed side rails that run from the front to the back of a vehicle’s roof. They could either be flushed (sitting directly against the roof) or raised (elevated off the roof to install a tower around it).
Another critical consideration when choosing a roof rack is to check the loading or unloading mechanism. The easier it is to load items onto the frame, the more desirable the basket is.
It’s also essential to choose a roof basket depending on its weight and strength. The rack should be strong enough to support the weight of the materials you intend to transport in it.
Last but not least, try to choose a roof rack that’s relatively easy to install. Note that most roof rack materials come in separate parts, and you’ll need to do the installation yourself.
Standard roof rack components include;
- Load bars – The two metal crossbars
- Towers or foot packs for supporting the crossbars
- Clips or fit kits for attaching the foot packs onto the vehicle
The installation procedures differ depending on the type of roof your UTE has. For instance, if your vehicle comes with built-in rails or gutters, you’ll need to choose a roof rack with crossbars that can connect seamlessly to these built-in parts.
While installing the basket, it’s also recommended to select a convenient spot. This can be at the center or slightly to the front or back.
Lastly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.
There are numerous benefits of installing a roof basket on your UTE. Remember to choose a roof rack that matches your vehicle’s roof design. And if ever in doubt, get a professional to install the basket to avoid mishaps.