Even the owner of a large four wheel drive has wished, at some point; they could just chuck something up on the roof instead of squeezing it into the car. Whether the vehicle is already packed full for a trip away, or you just don’t want to throw muddy gear over your beige interior; you’ll wonder how you ever did without a roof rack.
It starts with a set of roof bars
Roof bars are the basic platform on top of which you can build your roof storage setup, but they’re certainly not useless on their own! Roof bars are best for carrying long items such as ladders, or long pieces of timber from the hardware store. You can also mount a 4WD awning or even a roof top tent straight to roof bars, or carry a gazebo for your camping adventures.
Generally roof bars are available in a variety of lengths to suit different vehicles, but are not vehicle specific. To match a set to your roof, you purchase a fitting kit; which will match the feet of the roof rack to your vehicles mounting points.
Roof bar accessories
By adding a couple of specialised mounts to the bars, you can haul a couple of kayaks down to your favourite riverside spot, and there’s even bike carriers available.
Add a roof basket to carry smaller items
If you’re looking to carry a bunch of smaller items like your tent, gas bottle, esky, camp chairs or suitcases; a roof basket will be needed to store these securely.
A basic basket like this one from Ridge Ryder is made from steel mesh with sides all around; and attaches straight to any set of roof bars with a generic mounting system. You can then place all of your stuff inside and secure your load.
Because a roof basket incorporates steel sides into its construction; you will sacrifice the ability to carry longer items. Also, these are not generally something you can mount an awning onto, thought here may still be a little space left on the edge of the roof bars for you to accomplish this.
Step it up a notch with a modular platform and accessories
A platform tray generally refers to a tray which attaches to your roof bars and has no sides. You can carry your longer items with no obstructions around the front and sides; and you can also secure your smaller items at the same time.
Some models like the ROLA Titan Tray give you the option of bolt on front and side rails to make it more like a basket, which are easily removed to carry longer equipment.
The most exciting thing about modular platforms though; is the range of mounting accessories you can purchase, which also keep your gear easy to access. These include gas bottle mounts, shovel and high lift jack mounts, engineered light bar and awning brackets, jerry can holders and more!
Whether you opt for just a set of roof bars, or you go all out; having the ability to chuck your gear up on the roof will open up a new world of possibilities. Check out what’s available for your vehicle HERE.
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