It’s nearly summer holiday time and if you are travelling by car you may be wondering how on earth you are going to squeeze all of your holiday clobber in. If you are, then a roof box could be just the solution you are looking for.
Roof boxes use the valuable roof space of your car, allowing you to carry much more luggage. They make it easier to organise your stuff and you can put items that you will need throughout the journey in your boot where they are easily accessible without having to root around to find them. It also means your passengers can travel more comfortably without having bags squashed in between them and under their feet.
If you are using a roof box it is important that you know how to use them safely. We’ve compiled this post to give you some sound advice and if you follow these pointers you should have hassle free roof box motoring.
A roof box should never be attached directly to the roof of your car. Instead it should be fixed securely to a set of roof bars. Buy sturdy roof bars that are compatible with your car and that will take the weight of your roof box when it is loaded.
Your roof box should be positioned on the roof bars so that the weight is distributed evenly between the two bars. You should also ensure that the sides of the box are in line with the sides of your car and that the base of the box is parallel to the road. This will eliminate any uplift as the wind hits the underside of the box as you drive. If you have a hatchback car also make sure that the box is positioned so that your boot can open fully.
Take care when loading your roof box to distribute the weight evenly throughout. This will ensure that your car handles normally when you are driving. Make sure that items are secured and cannot move around. It is a good idea to use straps to secure any heavier items.
You also need to be aware of the maximum loading weight of your car and the maximum weight that can be safely loaded on your roof. Consult your car manual for this info. Find out the weight of your roof bars and roof box. Then weigh luggage items before you load them into the roof box. Add all these weights together to make sure you haven’t exceeded the roof load capacity.
You need to be aware that your car will handle differently when you have a roof box attached. The extra height of the box will increase wind resistance and make it more sensitive to cross winds. You also need to be aware that you car will need extra head clearance, so keep this in mind if you are driving under low bridges or overhanging branches. The extra weight will also cause your car to brake and corner differently, so adjust your speed accordingly and allow for extra braking distance.
Many people often make the mistake of assuming that their roof box is insured as standard under their existing car policy. This isn’t always the case though and you should check your policy documentation.
If your policy doesn’t include cover for luggage in your roof box it can often be added for an additional premium or you can take out a separate policy for your roof box.
We hope this post has been useful and if you have any roof box tips, questions or have experience driving with one please let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.