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How To Install Roof Racks On a Car Without Roof Rails

Interested in knowing how to install roof racks on a car without roof rails? Introducing a roof rack on your car can be a tremendous way to improve your depository capacity and transport commodities safely and securely. But what if you don’t have roof rails? Get informed on how best to install a roof rack on a car without roof rails!

What Are Roof Racks and Roof Rails?

The types of roof racks in the market today vary tremendously. However, they can typically be classified into two categories:  roof rails and roof racks.

Roof racks are described as a category of the bar that is usually affixed to car roofs. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used to convey a variety of items, such as luggage, snowboards, or kayaks.

Roof rails are a type of rail that runs parallel to the length of your car. They provide a hoisting surface for racks, and can also be used to affix other accessories, such as sun shades or bike racks.

Some Corresponding And Distinguishing Features Of Roof Racks and Roof Rails:

Roof racks have some distinguishing features with roof rails. 

Roof racks are standalone fixtures that can be installed on any car. Roof rails, on the other hand, are specific to certain models of cars.

Roof racks are basically bars that are affixed to a vehicle’s rooftop. 

Roof rails are described as metal or plastic strips that run parallel to the length of the vehicle’s roof. Roof rails provide a track for the installation of roof racks or other accessories.

The fundamental distinctive factor of roof racks and roof rails is the validity that roof racks are not attached to the car’s body, but roof rails are an integral part of the car’s structure. This implies that these roof racks can be installed on any car, but roof rails are only compatible with certain models.

Secondly, roof racks are more versatile, which propels their ability for hauling a variety of items, while roof rails are designed specifically for carrying skis and some sporting equipment.

Considering their distinctive pros and cons, Roof racks are usually more universal and can be installed on any car. However, roof racks can seem to be dangerous to a car’s paintwork, if the installation is not done properly. Roof rails are usually more expensive than roof racks.

During the process of installing a rooftop carrier system, it is imperative to consider the rack or carrier type you intend to use, the cargo weight you will be carrying, and your vehicle size. Ensure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to guarantee the safe and accurate use of your vehicle rooftop carrier system.

Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box - How To Install Roof Racks On a Car Without Roof Rails

How To Install Roof Racks On a Car Without Roof Rails

The Installation process of roof racks devoid of roof rails can seem a bit complicated, but it’s doable. Here are a few steps to help you get started:

  1. Decide where you want to install your roof rack. The front and rear sides of the vehicle are considered the most familiar spots, but the racks can be installed on the sides as well. However, ensure to calculate the vehicle’s dimensions before choosing a spot.
  2. Spread your rack down on the surface and fabricate it in accordance with the instructions.
  3. Hoist the rack in position and conserve it to the car using the included straps. Be sure to fasten them firmly so your luggage does not bob while in motion.
  4. Always carry out a double-check to ensure your luggage is firmly tightened before hitting the road. 

Pros of Installing Roof Rack Devoid Of Roof Rails

  • The process doesn’t require any unique tools or devices, just a few minutes and some stamina!
  • They’re usually less expensive when compared to roof racks with rails
  • Its installation is simple and can be handled by anyone.

Cons of Installing Roof Racks Devoid Of Rails:

  • They are usually tougher to install than roof racks with rails.
  • They are not always reliable or protected like roof racks with rails.
  • Does not fit perfectly in all cars.

Safety Tips on Installing Roof Racks Devoid Of Rails on a Car

Carrying out an installation of a roof rack on your car without utilizing the pre-installed rails can seem a bit complicated, but with a little technicality and some critical planning, it is achievable. Below are a few safety caps to keep in mind during the installation procedure on your car:

  1. Ensure to select a roof rack that is compatible with your vehicle. There are many different varieties of roof racks attainable on the market, so ensure to carry out your research and choose one that fits your vehicle and your needs.
  2. Always ensure to utilize the appropriate hardware when installing a roof rack. A wrong installation can be hazardous and can result in damage to the vehicle and the roof rack.
  3. Always ensure to firmly tighten all bolts and screws During the process. Free bolts or screws can result in the roof rack becoming loose while driving, thereby resulting in an accident.
  4. Examine the resilience of the roof rack before using it. As soon as it is installed, have a test drive with your vehicle to check for stability while driving.


Your vehicle can be newly purchased or you may have been using it for a while, but devoid of a roof rack. If you haven’t thought about installing a roof rack, this is the time to get started. Installing a roof rack avails you the luxury of hauling extra luggage, and bikes, to mention but a few for all your trips.

Safety is usually considered a major concern as regards roof rack installation. Always ensure to adhere to all safety tips and precautionary measures to avert accidents and damages. With the application of patience and some basic and necessary tools, the process of installing a roof rack on a vehicle without rails can be easily performed.