While most people get their roof racks installed at the local auto-garage, it is not too difficult to do it yourself especially if you are used to doing things around the house and are handy with a spanner, wrench or screwdriver. Read on to see how easy it is to install a roof rack on your vehicle – even it is bare roofed.
Even if your vehicle is bare roofed and does not have a factory installed rack, all you need is the rack itself, a fit kit, a foot pack, and crossbars that's it. While the installation process itself is easy, depending on the vehicle, there are only slight variations to the installation process.
Tip: If yours is a small 2-door vehicle, ask for the short-roof adapter. These will increase the roof rack’s carrying capacity and also increase the gap between crossbars so that they are adequately spaced and ensure better weight distribution.
A 'Fit kit' is a custom-designed kit that ensures the best fit for your particular vehicle brand and model. It usually consists of a 4 strong clamps that fasten to the edges of your vehicle roof along with pads that contour to your vehicle’s roof.
The foot packs have four 'feet' and the Podium-style foot packs are most popular. Once these feet are fitted to the roof of your vehicle, you connect the fit kit meant for your particular vehicle and attach the rack’s crossbars.
You vehicle might either have a factory-installed roof rack mount locations or, it might have raised roof rails. In either of these two cases, the roof rack installation process is slightly different.
Installation of a roof rack:
First-off, there are several different types of roof racks e.g. Bike roof racks, Kayak roof racks and so forth. Let us see how each of these is installed.
The Bike Roof Rack: A roof-mounted bike racks come in two pieces, the roof rack and the actual bike rack. The bike rack is fitted to the roof rack and it holds the bike in place. If you have two bikes to carry, you buy two bike racks.
Tip: Buy a lock along with each Custom Roof Rack.
The Kayak Roof Racks
You're in luck if you have a vehicle that is shorter in height because lifting a Kayak over your head to place it on top of your vehicle requires quite a bit of physic and strength.
Tip: If you are short or your vehicle is over 5.5' in height, you might want to buy a 1.5' tall and sufficiently broad stool. You will need it when loading and offloading your kayaks.
Tip: Before you buy a Kayak carrier, measure the roof of your vehicle's roof – length and width. You want to be sure the Kayaks are going to fit the roof with only a feet or so jutting out at the front and rear. The Kayak carrier too has to be sufficiently long so as to accommodate the Kayaks. Also remember to buy straps to hold the Kayaks in place. For one or two Kayaks, shorter straps should be okay but also consider the Kayak's width, length and depth when selecting your straps and bar spread.
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