Roof Racks DIY

FAQ

How do I know which roof racks fit my car?

Simply use our fit guide to find roof racks that fir your car. Click here to use the fit guide.

 

Do I need to have my own tools to install roof racks?

In most cases, you do not need your own tools. Roof rack kits usually come with the needed tools and instructions. A limited number of Rhino-Rack and Yakima roof racks and platforms do not come with all the needed tools. The needed tools are listed in the product instructions, which you can find in “downloadable info” on the product page. You can also contact us to find out if additional tools are needed.

 

I have bought a new car and want to use the roof racks from my old car on the new one, will they fit?

In order to determine what parts of your existing roof racks you can use on your new car, use our Fit my Car application. First put in the details of your old car, find the roof rack set in the selection and see what parts are used in it. Using the side filters will help you narrow down the options. Next, put in the details of your new car and choose a roof rack set that you would like to have. Compare the parts that are used in each roof rack set.

 

Will the roof racks work with my sunroof? 

In many cases, the roof racks are compatible with the sunroof version of your car. You should check the roof rack fit kit instruction if there is an “important note” for information about the roof rack and sunroof compatibility. We strongly recommend caution when operating the sunroof, especially when the roof racks are installed for the first time. Be aware that the load on the roof racks may affect the sunroof operation.

 

I lost a piece of my product (for example bike carrier), how do I know what parts I need?

You can find your product in our site either by reaching on the search bar or navigating through the categories and filters. Once you find your product, open it on the page. Most of the products on the site have PDF´s in the “downloadable info” where you can find spare parts sheets and instructions that usually list the spare parts.

 

How much weight can I put on my roof racks?

The load rating of the roof racks varies based on the vehicle and type of roof racks you have. The load rating varies from 25kg up to 150kg. These load ratings are based on dynamic weight, meaning that your roof racks can handle the nominated load when you are driving 110km/h. If you are using your vehicle off-road, the load rating will be less than what is listed. For specific off-road load ratings, contact us. When the vehicle is stationed, roof racks can handle more than the nominated rating. This is how some cars are able to handle a rooftop tent and 2 adults at the same time. You should refer to your vehicle user manual for stationary load rating.

 

How can roof racks be in installed?

Roof racks attach in different ways depending on the vehicle. Roof racks can be installed by attaching the bars on existing factory fitted solid or raised roof rails, using factory fixed points or clamping around the door frame. In some cases, drilling in the roof is required in order to attach roof racks.

 

  • Solid roof rails, also known as integrated rails are moulded according to the shape of the roof. They run on each side of the vehicle on top of the front and back doors. Solid roof rails are slightly raised from the roof. They do not have a gap between the rail and the roof.
  • Raised roof rails run on each side of the vehicle on top of the front and back doors. These rails have a gap between the roof and the rail. This is the difference between a solid roof rail and a raised roof rail.
  • Factory fixed points are pre-existing mounting points on the roof. Typically, there is a small cover on each corner of the roof. Under the covers, there are screw holes where the roof rack fitting attaches to.
  • Clamping around the door frame is an installation option that is used when the vehicle does not have solid,- or raised roof rails or fixed points. There is a rubber pad that sits on the roof and a protected (either rubber pads or rubber coating) clamps that hook around the door frame.
  • Drilling in the roof is used when there are no other mounting options available, or when the roof rack load rating needs to be increased. Approximately 98% of cars have a listed roof rack option available. In order to attach roof rails on the remaining 2% of cars, you can either drill and pop rivet a permanent base or a track on the roof. In most cases attaching a permanent base or a track also increases the load rating as the attachment is solid and stable.  

 

Are roof racks noisy?

Generally no. Modern roof racks are very aerodynamic and don´t generally generate drag or noise. However, sometimes when the aerodynamics of the vehicle is altered, that can create a small whistling noise. In most cases, this can be solved by moving the front bar slightly back or forward. If you are using older style square bars or square trade/heavy duty bars, these can create whistling noise.

 

Can I remove the roof rack when I´m not using them?

 Yes. Roof racks can be removed regardless of the way they attach. If you have attached a permanent base or track with pop rivets, this cannot be removed. However, you can still remove the roof racks from the base or track.

 

How do I tie down my load?

In order to tie down your load properly, first, make sure you have proper straps. We advise against using bungee straps as they flex and can make your load come loose. Normal cam buckle or ratchet straps are advised. When you tie down your load, make sure your strap goes underneath the bar, over the load and again underneath the bar and over the load. Make sure that the straps are tight. When carrying anything long, such as a SUP or a kayak, we strongly advise using another set of straps on the bow and stern in order to stabilise your load. Also, when carrying something long, remember to attach a red warning flag at the back of the load.

 

Can I take my car to an automatic car wash with roof racks on?

 No. You cannot take your car with roof racks on through an automotive washing station! Remove the roof racks before taking the car through a washing station.

 

Can I get replacement parts for my roof racks and accessories?

Yes. We have a large selection of spare parts available. You can see spare parts that are available for your item in the "Official Spare Parts, Accessories & Add On´s"  as well as on "Downloadable info" on the product page. If your spare part is not available, please e-mail us with the heading “RRDIY Spare Part” and we will get the part for you.

 

I want to buy a roof box, will I still fit in car parks?

If you have an SUV or a 4WD, you will most likely not fit in car parks with a roof box on your car. Lower cars, such as hatchbacks and sedans might fit, depending on the height of the car park, height of your car and size of the roof box. The first thing to do when installing a roof box is to measure the roof box height on your car and write yourself a reminder of the height. You can measure the height with a level and a pole. Alternatively, most auto shops will help you measure for free.

 

Will I get leaks in my vehicle when roof racks are installed?

No. When roof racks are properly installed according to the instructions, there will be no leaking in the vehicle.

 

Will the roof racks scratch or damage my car?

If you make sure to clean the dirt and dust off the surface of your car as well as on the attachments on the roof racks before installation, you will not get any scratches. Make sure that the roof racks are installed in the right position as instructed. Also, make sure you do not exceed the load rating of the roof racks, attach your accessories and tie down your load properly. If one of the previous is not done properly, you may cause damage to your car. 

 

How to choose a product:

How do I choose a bike carrier?

When choosing a bike carrier, you should first determine how many bikes you want to carry and how frequently. If you are an occasional rider and take 1-3 bikes to the park every now and then, you might want to look at the basic and easy options. When used and stored properly, these bike carriers will last you for years.

If you ride often and take your bikes to races and events, you might want to choose a premium bike carrier as they are lockable, less harmful on the bike frame during transport and have additional features. These bike carriers are more rigid and can handle frequent use for years.

The second question is, where do you want to carry the bikes? Bikes can be carried on the roof, on a towbar or hitch, on the boot, on a spare wheel and on a ute tailgate.

If you want to carry the bikes on the roof, you should ask yourself “Will I need to carry anything else on the roof racks” to determine if the bikes will take all the space on your roof racks or will they leave enough space to carry for example a roof box at the same time. There are two different categories of roof mounted bike carriers; wheel on and wheel off. A wheel on bike carriers attaches on the frame of the bike and the wheels or only on front and back wheels. These are the most popular types of roof mounted bike carriers, as people mostly prefer to keep all the wheels on. Wheel off bike carriers requires you to remove the front wheel and attach the fork on the bike carrier and strapping the back wheel. This way the bikes are easier to put on as you don´t need to lift the bikes as high as on the wheel on bike carriers. This is especially handy with large SUV´s.

If you have a towbar, you can install bike carriers easily on the towball or in the square hitch. When installing on the towbar, you have the options of having a “Hang On” or a platform style bike carrier. A hang on bike carrier is one where the bikes are hanging on top of 2 arms. The bike carriers come in non-lockable as well as fully lockable versions and they can carry between 2-5 bikes. The other option is installing a platform style bike carrier. These bike carriers are very rigid and provide the easiest way possible to carry the bikes. With these bike carriers, you can carry between 1-4 bikes. The platform style bike carriers are the recommended option when carrying carbon frame bikes. Some of the platform style bike carriers also have integrated tail lights. On other towbar mounted bike carriers, you need an additional number plate holder so cars behind you can see your tail lights and you where you can mount the number plate on.

Boot mounted bike carriers allow you to carry 2-3 bikes. These bike carriers attach on a hatchback, sedan or SUV boots using rubber-coated metal hooks. They are ideal when you don´t have roof racks or a towbar. Note that even though these bike carriers attach on multiple vehicles, they are not universal! Products pdf´s usually list recommended vehicles where you can use the bike carriers.

Spare wheel mounted bike carriers are a great option to carry your bikes. You can carry up to 2 bikes on a spare wheel mounted bike carrier. They are easy to use, take very little space and allow you to fully utilise other vehicle accessories, such as roof rack at the same time.

Tailgate mounted bike carriers allow you to carry 1-4 bikes. Same as having a spare wheel bike carrier, you can fully utilise other vehicle accessories such as roof racks or a towbar when carrying bikes on a tailgate. The bike carrier is not, in fact, a carrier, but a pad. Therefore you can get multiple benefits out of your tailgate pad, such as carrying surfboards, timber and other long things. This makes the tailgate pad the most versatile bike carrier option. 

 

How do I choose roof racks?

When buying roof racks, in most cases you can choose between different brands, bar shape, colour and style. People use different selection criteria’s for roof racks, but here are a few criteria’s that you should consider.

1. Load rating:

Before deciding, you should ensure that the roof racks you are buying can be used for the purpose that you need them for. Perhaps the most important thing is the load rating. Different brands can have different load ratings on their roof racks for the same car. Make sure that you are getting the ones that are strong enough to carry your load.

2. Bar style:

All vehicles have recommended bar lengths that suit the size and shape of the vehicle.  There are 2 different bar styles, through and flush. Through bars are the ones that hang beyond the foot pack on the side of the car. This style is the more practical option out of the two, giving you maximum bar capacity. These bars are ideal if you need to carry multiple things next to each another.

The other option is flush bars. These bars curve towards the centre of the vehicle from the foot packs. They give the vehicle a sportier look compared to the through bars. While these bars are more stylish, they are less practical as the bars are shorter. These bars are ideal when you want to carry only a few things on your vehicle and want to have the better look.

3. Bar profile:

There are three different bar profiles, retro square bars, trade/heavy duty bars and oval/wing shape aero bars. Square bars are the old-style bars, which are super for carrying a load with tie downs. These bars do not have an accessory channel on top of the bars, which are required to attach most bike carriers, kayak cradles and other accessories.

Trade/heavy duty bars are ideal for carrying ladders, timber, pipes and other heavy material. These bars have the most tie down and accessories available. These accessories are also the strongest ones. The thick rubber on top of the bars can withstand heavy loads and gives a nice grip.

The oval/wing shape bars are ideal for attaching leisure accessories and carriers. These bars are aerodynamic, having essentially no wind noise. These bars are mostly used to carry bikes, surfboards, kayaks, roof boxes and baskets.

4. Colour:

When choosing a colour, pay attention to the colour of the trimmings around the doors and the roof rail, bike carries you wish to attach, the colour of a roof box that you like, or any other equipment you are planning to use.

5. Brand:

At the end of the day, all roof racks have one job, stay on the car and carry your load. However, there are differences between brands. Roof racks are compatible with accessories from different brands. You can have Rhino-Rack roof racks, Thule bike carrier and Yakima kayak cradles, which will all work well with each other. Even if you are not loyal to a specific brand, you should think what accessories you may have in the future. If you are looking to buy Thule bike carriers, but haven´t chosen the roof racks yet, one key advantage in sticking with the same brand with your roof racks is that you have the keys matched between your roof racks and accessories. Different brands also have different terms for warranty. For example, Thule roof racks have a 5-year warranty, while Whispbar offers a limited lifetime warranty.

If you have any more questions about how to choose roof racks, don't hesitate to contact us.


How do I choose a roof box?

Roof boxes vary between 300-630 litres in capacity and 160-230 in length. As there is a wide range of options, these following steps will help you narrow down the best options for you. Using the side filters in our roof box category page will help you narrow down your options.

1. Load Rating:

Roof boxes are categorised in 2 different load ratings, 50kg and 75kg. The 50kg roof boxes are also smaller in volume than 75kg rated ones. If you think your load will never exceed 50kg, you can look at the options in this range. If you think you need a stronger roof box, you should look at options in the 75kg range.

2. Size:

Roof boxes vary between 280-630 litres in volume. Roof boxes that are rated 50kg, vary between 280-430 litres in volume, while the 75kg rated roof boxes vary between 300-630 litres. If you are carrying skies, depending on the model you can carry between 3-7 sets of skies in one roof box.

3. Shape:

As different roof box models can have the same load rating volume, they also vary in shape. Some roof boxes are long and narrow, making them ideal for carrying a load next to the roof box. Some roof boxes are short and wide, making them ideal for smaller cars so the boot does not interfere with the roof box. Some roof boxes are long, wide and slim (in height) making them ideal for carrying skies. These roof boxes will also give you a better change to fit in car parks, as they are not too high. Lastly, some roof boxes are a mix of these, not too long, not too short, and not too wide, not too narrow. These roof boxes can be used for a wide range of needs. You can find the shape of each roof box in the product features.

4. Features:

Most of the roof boxes have a dual-side locking mechanism, meaning that they open on both sides. One key feature is that there are differences in installation mechanisms between brands. While Thule and Rhino-Rack use essentially the same type of claws to attach on roof racks, Yakima has their own attachment mechanism and Whispbar has their own. See the product videos in the product page for installation demonstration. Other features to take into consideration are locking mechanism and roof rack compatibility. Product features in the product page will show you what roof racks the roof box can be used with.

5. Colour:

Different brands offer different colour options for their roof boxes. There is also variation in colour options between different models in the same brand. Using the side filters in roof box category will show you what colour options are available once you have chosen the preferred roof box model.

6. Brand:

When it comes to brand, some brands simply offer a few different roof boxes, while some offer a huge range of options. There is also variation in the duration of warranty and availability of spare parts. Most well-known brands have spare parts easily available in their instructions, while some brands do not display the spare parts to the general public. 

 

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