A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Size Roof Box for Your Vehicle
Roof boxes are a popular addition to vehicles, providing extra storage space for gear and luggage, especially during road trips or vacations. Choosing the right size roof box for your vehicle is crucial to ensure it fits properly, meets your storage needs, and enhances your travels. This comprehensive guide will take you through the key considerations to help you choose the perfect roof box for your vehicle.
What Size Cargo Box Do I Need?
The first step in choosing the right size roof box is to understand your vehicle’s roof specifications. Consult your car’s manual or check with the manufacturer to determine the weight capacity, length, and width of your vehicle’s roof.
Once you know these measurements, you can measure the available roof space to determine the maximum size of the roof box that will fit your vehicle. It’s essential to ensure that you choose a roof box that fits your vehicle’s specifications and weight capacity.
Determine Your Storage Needs
The next step is to determine your storage needs. Consider the number of people traveling, the duration of your trip, and the gear or luggage you need to carry. Roof boxes come in different sizes, typically measured in liters or cubic feet. A roof box with a capacity of 11-15 cubic feet is suitable for carrying luggage or small items. If you need to carry bulkier gear, such as skis, snowboards, or camping equipment, a larger roof box with a capacity of 16-22 cubic feet may be required. A roof box with a capacity of 22-25 cubic feet or more may be needed for larger families or longer trips.
Assess Your Gear and Luggage
Before choosing a roof box, take an inventory of the gear and luggage you need to carry. It’s important to consider the size and weight of the items to ensure that they fit comfortably inside the roof box and don’t exceed the weight capacity of your vehicle. You may also need to consider the shape of the gear, such as long and thin skis or bulky camping equipment when choosing the right size roof box.
Consider the Number of Passengers
Consider the number of people traveling with you when determining your storage needs. If you’re traveling with a large family or group of friends, you may need a larger roof box to accommodate everyone’s gear and luggage. A smaller roof box may be sufficient if traveling alone or with just one other person.
Consider the Trip Duration
The duration of your trip is also a factor to consider when choosing the right size roof box. If you’re planning a short trip, you may need a smaller roof box, while a longer trip may require a larger roof box to accommodate more gear and luggage.
Roof Box Shape and Style
Roof boxes come in different shapes and styles, including short, long, wide, and narrow. The shape and style you choose should depend on your storage needs and the type of gear you need to carry.
Short and Wide Roof Boxes
Short and wide roof boxes are ideal for carrying luggage and camping gear. They are suitable for shorter vehicles with less available roof space. Short and wide roof boxes typically have a lower profile and are more aerodynamic than longer roof boxes, which can improve fuel efficiency.
Long and Narrow Roof Boxes
Long, narrow roof boxes are ideal for carrying skis, snowboards, or other long and thin gear. They are suitable for longer vehicles with more available roof space. Long and narrow roof boxes may have a
higher profile than short and wide roof boxes, which can affect fuel efficiency.
Choosing the Right Style
Apart from the shape of the roof box, you should also consider the style of the roof box. There are two primary styles of roof boxes: hard shell and soft shell. Hard-shell roof boxes are more durable and provide better protection for your gear, while soft-shell roof boxes are lighter and more flexible, making them easier to store and transport. Consider your storage needs, the type of gear you need to carry, and your budget when choosing the right style of the roof box.
Roof Box Security and Mounting
A roof box’s security and mounting system is crucial to ensure that it’s securely attached to your vehicle’s roof and doesn’t pose a safety risk. Different roof boxes come with different mounting systems, so choosing one that’s suitable for your vehicle and easy to install is important.
Common roof box mounting systems include U-bolts, T-track systems, and clamps. U-bolts are the most basic and cost-effective mounting system, but they can be difficult to install and remove. T-track systems are more convenient and allow for quick and easy installation and removal of the roof box. Clamps are the most versatile and can be adjusted to fit different roof bar sizes and shapes.
Some roof boxes come with locking systems that offer extra security to protect your gear from theft. Locking systems can include central locking systems, lockable knobs, or padlock-compatible locking systems.
Maintenance and Care
Proper maintenance and care of your roof box can prolong its lifespan and ensure that it remains in good condition for future trips.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Roof Box
Clean your roof box regularly to remove dirt and debris that may damage its surface. You can use mild soap and water or a specialized cleaning solution for roof boxes. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or brushes that may scratch the surface of the roof box.
Storing Your Roof Box
When not in use, store your roof box in a dry and cool place to prevent damage from weather or other elements. Avoid stacking heavy items on top of the roof box, as this can cause deformation or damage to the roof box.
Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Roof Box
Inspect your roof box regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear. Repair or replace any damaged parts promptly to avoid further damage. When transporting your roof box, ensure it’s properly secured and the weight evenly distributed inside the box.
Conclusion and FAQs
Choosing the right size roof box for your vehicle can enhance your road trip experience by providing extra storage space for your gear and luggage. When selecting a roof box, consider your vehicle and roof space, storage needs, roof box shape and style, and security and mounting system. By following these guidelines and properly maintaining your roof box, you can enjoy your travels with the added convenience of a roof box.
Do I need to choose a roof box that’s the same size as my vehicle?
No, you don’t necessarily need to choose a roof box that’s the same size as your vehicle. However, choosing a roof box that fits your vehicle’s weight capacity and available roof space is important. A larger roof box may be suitable if you need to carry more gear, but it may affect the aerodynamics of your vehicle and increase fuel consumption.
How do I know if a roof box is compatible with my vehicle?
Check your vehicle’s manual or consult with the manufacturer to determine your vehicle’s weight capacity and roof specifications. Measure the available roof space to ensure the roof box fits properly. Different roof boxes come with different mounting systems, so choosing one compatible with your vehicle’s roof bars is important.
Can I use a roof box on a car with a sunroof?
Yes, you can use a roof box on a car with a sunroof, but it’s important to ensure that the roof box doesn’t obstruct the sunroof or interfere with its operation. Consider choosing a shorter roof box or one with a low profile to avoid any issues.
Can I install a roof box on my vehicle myself?
Yes, you can install a roof box on your vehicle, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the roof box is properly secured. If you’re not comfortable installing the roof box yourself, consider having it installed by a professional.
Can I store a roof box on the ground or should it be stored on a rack?
It’s recommended to store your roof box off the ground to prevent damage from moisture, dirt, or other elements. You can store it on a dedicated roof box rack or on a shelf in a garage or storage room. Avoid stacking heavy items on top of the roof box, as this can cause deformation or damage to the roof box.
What size roof box do I need?
Selecting the ideal roof box size involves considering your cargo needs, vehicle dimensions, aerodynamics, and budget. By thoroughly assessing the type of gear you’ll be transporting, ensuring compatibility with your vehicle’s size and roof dimensions, opting for a sleek and fuel-efficient design, and taking into account your budget and usage frequency, you’ll be well-equipped to make the perfect choice for your adventures.