If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a family with children and pets, or a business owner who needs extra storage space, a roof box is a great investment for your vehicle. It provides a safe and secure way to transport your belongings and offers additional storage options. But with so many types of roof boxes available on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know to make an informed buying decision.
1. What is a roof box?
A roof box is an additional storage space that mounts on the roof of your vehicle. It allows you to carry bulky items such as camping gear, sports equipment, luggage, and much more. Roof boxes come in various shapes and sizes to fit any vehicle make and model.
2. Benefits of using a roof box
The benefits of using a roof box are numerous. They offer additional storage options and allow you to bring more belongings with you on your trips. Roof boxes also provide protection against weather conditions and theft, especially if you have valuable items inside. They can also help distribute weight evenly, making your car safer to drive.
3. Types of roof boxes
There are two main types of roof boxes: hard shell and soft shell. Hard shell roof boxes are made of durable materials such as fiberglass, ABS plastic, or aluminum. They offer better protection against weather conditions and are more secure than soft shell roof boxes. Soft shell roof boxes are made of fabric and are less expensive than hard shell roof boxes. They are easier to store when not in use and are more flexible when it comes to packing.
4. Hard shell vs. soft shell roof boxes
Choosing between a hard shell and soft shell roof box depends on your specific needs. If you’re planning to transport fragile or valuable items, a hard shell roof box is the better option. It provides better protection against weather conditions and theft. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t plan on transporting valuable items, a soft shell roof box is a good alternative.
5. Materials used in roof boxes
Roof boxes are made of different materials, including fiberglass, ABS plastic, aluminum, and fabric. Fiberglass roof boxes are the most durable and long-lasting but also the most expensive. ABS plastic roof boxes are lightweight and affordable but not as durable as fiberglass. Aluminum roof boxes are strong and durable but heavy and expensive. Fabric roof boxes are the most affordable and lightweight option, but they don’t offer as much protection against weather conditions or theft.
6. Weight limit and weight distribution
Before buying a roof box, it’s important to check the weight limit of your car’s roof. Overloading your roof with a heavy roof box and belongings can cause damage to your car and put you at risk of an accident. It’s also important to distribute the weight evenly in the roof box to ensure safe driving conditions.
7. Measuring for fit
Measuring your car’s roof and the roof box’s dimensions is essential to ensure a proper fit. Most roof boxes come in universal sizes, but it’s still important to measure to avoid any surprises. Measuring for fit also ensures the roof box doesn’t interfere with your car’s antennas, sunroof, or any other features.
8. Installation and removal
Installing and removing a roof box can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ask for help if needed. Most roof boxes come with mounting systems that attach to the car’s roof rack or directly to the roof. Removing the roof box after use is also important to avoid any damage to your car’s roof.
9. Securing belongings in a roof box
Properly securing your belongings in a roof box is essential to avoid damage or loss during transportation. It’s important to use tie-down straps or cargo nets to secure items inside the roof box. Distributing weight evenly and packing items tightly also ensures safety during transportation.
10. Aerodynamic design and noise level
Choosing a roof box with an aerodynamic design can help reduce wind resistance and noise. Aerodynamic roof boxes are more expensive than traditional ones, but they offer better gas mileage and a quieter ride.
11. Legality and restrictions
Before buying a roof box, it’s important to check your state’s regulations on roof boxes. Some states have specific requirements for roof boxes, including weight limits and height restrictions. It’s also important to check if your car insurance covers roof box accidents and theft.
12. Weather impact and storage options
Roof boxes can be affected by extreme weather conditions, including high winds and heavy rain. It’s important to choose a roof box that offers weather protection and is waterproof. It’s also important to consider storage options when not in use, as prolonged exposure to weather conditions can damage the roof box.
13. Roof box vs. rack vs. trailer
Choosing between a roof box, rack, or trailer depends on your specific needs. Roof boxes are great for transporting small to medium-sized items, while racks are better for bikes, kayaks, and other large items. Trailers are the best option for transporting heavy items and large quantities of goods.
14. Accessories for a roof box
There are several accessories available for roof boxes, including tie-down straps, cargo nets, and locks. Choosing the right accessories for your roof box depends on your specific needs and the items you plan to transport.
15. Maintenance, repair, and replacement
Maintaining your roof box is essential to ensure it lasts for many years. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent damage from weather conditions and keep the roof box in good condition. If the roof box is damaged, it’s important to repair or replace it to avoid any safety risks during transportation.
Choosing the right roof box for your needs depends on several factors, including the type of items you plan to transport, the size of your car, and your budget. Hard shell roof boxes offer better protection, while soft shell roof boxes are more affordable. Proper installation and maintenance are essential for safe transportation, and accessories can help secure your belongings and improve functionality.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the weight limit of a roof box?
The weight limit of a roof box varies depending on the make and model. It’s important to check your car’s roof weight limit and the roof box’s weight limit before making a purchase.
2. How do I know if a roof box will fit my car?
To ensure a proper fit, it’s essential to measure your car’s roof and the roof box’s dimensions. While most roof boxes come in universal sizes, it’s still important to measure to avoid any surprises.
3. Can a roof box be used with a sunroof?
It depends on the type of roof box and the position of your sunroof. Before using a roof box with a sunroof, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions and your car’s manual.
4. Are roof boxes difficult to install and remove?
Installing and removing a roof box can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. It’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ask for help if needed.
5. Can a roof box affect my car’s gas mileage?
Yes, a roof box can affect your car’s gas mileage due to increased wind resistance. Choosing a roof box with an aerodynamic design can help reduce wind resistance and improve gas mileage.