What Is A Roof Box – Beginner’s Guide
Roof boxes come in handy as an additional trunk for your car if you need to carry more people and items. Even if your vehicle is big enough, there is always that item that you just can’t leave behind. If you are going on an adventure, a camping trip, or just travelling, you will need a lot of items.
And if you are an enthusiastic camper or adventurer, you will know that the fun increases with more items. You also have more fun if there more people with you on your journey. If you are going on a staycation, you may run into space problems with your vehicle.
In this case, you may need a roof box to help increase your space storage options. When it comes to roof boxes, there are several options in the market. There are a lot of brands that specialize in making them. However, before we get into product and brands, we need to know what it means.
What Is A Roof Box?
A roof box is a large cargo carrier that can be fixed or mounted on the rooftop of a vehicle. Roof boxes are products that are designed primarily to provide additional storage options for your vehicle.
With the roof box on your car, you can be able to transport sports bags, sleeping bags, pop-up tents, and other large items. Roof boxes are big enough to handle most gear that you will need on your trip.
Many roof boxes are shaped so that they can handle items with unusual or awkward shapes.
What Is The Importance Of A Roof Box?
A roof box is a remarkable box that is made from metal. It is meant to help vehicle owners have extra storage spaces. This way, they can move more items from the car cabin to the cargo box.
With the box, you can handle more items or gear. This means more fun and enjoyment on your trip. A roof box is a good option for your car because they help you store secondary items.
Whereas primary items (items that you need fast access to) are stored in the car trunk. This means that if you need any item very fast, you can easily go to your car trunk and get them.
The roof box helps you store secondary items that you may not need until your trip ends. With a roof box, you are organized on your trip. You don’t have to pull over in a busy expressway and start rummaging for your baby’s toy or your hair clipper.
Cars that have over-filled cabins can become safety hazards also. If your store your luggage in the roof box, this will keep the car cabin clear. This means that you can see the rear side of the vehicle by using the mirror.
Attaching Roof Boxes To Your Vehicle
If you bought a roof box for your car, you would need to mount it safely on the roof. Many roof boxes come with special installation parts and components.
You do not just purchase a roof box and proceed to mount it on your vehicle. If you need to purchase a roof box, you will need to buy a roof rack mounting system.
When you buy your roof rack, then you should be ready to use a roof box. But before installing your roof box, you will need to check the roof box mounting system.
This mounting system should be compatible with the roof rack mounting system on your vehicle. When it comes to mounting systems for roof boxes, there are two common types. They are the power click and the U bolt systems.
The Power Click Roof Box Mounting System
This is the quickest mounting system in terms of installation. It can be installed completely within five minutes or less.
It comes with “claw” grips that have been pre-installed for the bars of the roof rack. This is a common system used by many roof boxes from Thule and so on.
The U Bolt Mounting Roof Box System
This is a mounting system that has U-shaped bolts. The bolts are meant to fit around the cross-pieces that come with the roof bars. This method usually takes about 10 minutes to complete.
The roof box has screw caps that are used to fasten the U-bolts. Many roof boxes that work with a U-bolt mounting system are very versatile. They are compatible with all sorts of roof bars.
An Important Tip When Attaching Your Roof Box
Roof boxes are solid products that can be dangerous if not fitted according to proper instructions. This is why you should take all the time you need to properly install the product.
Ensure that you have attached the joints properly. Once attached, the roof box should be tight and nice. If you are removing the roof box, be sure to store all lost accessories and attachments.
These and other accessories can be stored right inside the cargo box. You may also get experts to help you install the cargo roof boxes. Using experts will give you the reassurance that you need to keep your mind at rest.
Choosing A Roof Box: What Are Some Of The Factors To Consider?
Depending on your vehicle, there are several factors that you can put into consideration when buying a product. While buying a roof box may be down to what you like, you may still consider the following factors:
If you are a lone wolf looking to run away to somewhere in the woods or mountains, then you may need a lower-capacity roof box.
However, this is a different story if you are travelling with your family on a two-week vacation.
This means that you will need the biggest ever roof box that you can find. Also, if you are also travelling with a bike in your vehicle, you may want to consider a roof box with half size.
This gives you enough space on the other side to easily fit a bike carrier on the roof of the vehicle.
Roof Box Materials
This is another important factor to consider when purchasing your roof boxes. The performance of the roof box will be affected by its build material.
Materials like thinner plastic used for roof boxes means that they are cheap. These types of roof boxes will easily vibrate due to the wind during movement. This will usually cause more noise.
Another downside of these cheap roof boxes is that they are not durable. They are usually inferior to stronger roof boxes that are made with metal or stronger plastics. The simple logic to use in this case means that more expensive roof boxes come with durable materials.
A majority of the quality roof boxes out there are produced from remarkable materials. They are meant to be strong and resistant to scratch. Such roof boxes are made from steel, aluminium, or ABS materials.
Many roof box materials are protected from Ultraviolet rays. This UV protection helps to prevent brittleness or cracking of the roof cargo box sometime in the future.
Roof Box Mounting /Fitting Systems
Roof boxes can be mounted in various ways. This means that if you were in the market for one, you will need to check to see how they are mounted.
Check the mounting system to see how the roof box will be able to work with the roof rack in your vehicle. This will be a lot easier when you understand the type of roof rack mounting system that you have.
If you are the type that does not like doing mundane tasks, there is a choice for you. There the quick-release mounting systems such as the power click systems.
Type Of Roof Box Opening: One Side Or Both Sides?
Roof box openings are very important when transporting your gear and items. These openings make it a lot easier for the driver to easily reach their tools.
For instance, if you have a roof cargo box that offers just a single opening at the side, you have one choice. You only get access to your gear from one direction. Also, this means that you can still load up the roof cargo box from one side.
However, you can also opt for roof boxes with dual hinges or openings. This means that you can access the interior of the roof box from both sides.
Also, you can load and remove your gear from any side of the vehicle.
Fuel Economy: Can A Roof Box Help You Burn More Fuel?
A roof box on the roof of your car causes a significant aerodynamic change. This means that it alters the flow of air around your vehicle during movement.
Due to the additional surface area caused by the roof box, there is significant air resistance. This resistance to the flow of air is known as a drag. This affects the flow of air around the vehicle, especially around the roof.
This means that you will be forced to use more fuel as you struggle to move the car. In addition, the gear inside the box and the roof box contribute to the weight of the vehicle. The weight causes additional drag.
This means that your vehicle will have to make its engine work extra hard to compensate for the drag. The engine of the vehicle will have to work more to keep up with the speed of the vehicle.
And then, if there are family and friends in your vehicle, what does this mean? Does it mean that I will pay a visit to the gas station more often than normal?
The answer to the question is no. You will not be visiting gas stations regularly. Of course, a roof box on your vehicle will make your engines work harder. This is due to the additional space occupied and the weight of the roof box.
However, many roof box manufacturers have remarked that this will not affect the fuel level of the vehicle.
Of course, considering the physics of the situation, you are bound to use more fuel. However, when it was properly estimated, it was discovered that you only get to use just 5% of your fuel. This figure is hardly noticeable. This means that you will not be stopping regularly to fill up your tank.
Roof boxes come with designs that enhance their efficiency when it comes to the flow of air. They are usually designed with their fronts tapered ergonomically.
This means that it comes with a sharp front end that enables it to cut through any oncoming air.
Also, roof boxes are meant to be lightweight. Many of them are engineered with treated materials that offer the dual purpose of strength and lightweight.
One way that you could struggle with your fuel levels with your roof box, is if they contain extremely heavy gear.
Therefore, if your roof box has just some equipment for camping or roof bags, there is no problem. Transporting light items with your roof box have no impact on your fuel consumption.
Now that you have been clued in based on roof boxes, you can now confidently hit the market to choose a good product.
Best Roof Boxes in The Market
1. Yakima Skybox Aerodynamic Rooftop Cargo
If you are looking for a remarkable roof box that ticks all the right boxes, then this is a good product for you. This roof box is from a known name in the roof box industry, Yakima.
It comes with a glossy black finish. The roof box has been shaped aerodynamically to improve the flow of air.
The versatility of this vehicle’s rooftop cargo box means that you can use it for various vehicles. This Yakima skybox works perfectly for SUVs, Wagons, and cars.
Carbonite is the material that has been used to develop this product. This means that you get a dual function of lightweight and a robust outer shell.
The product weighs 64 pounds and has a dimension of 93 (inches) by 38 (inches) by 14 (inches).
The roof box has been shaped elaborately to balance comfortably on your roof. This means that once it is fastened, it holds still for the duration of the trip.
The box comes with a good security feature that is ensured by the Super Latch. This helps you to secure the lid of the box to its base. With this function, you are guaranteed the safety of your gear.
It also supports opening at both sides to allow you access to the roof box from any side of your vehicle. Also, you get a tapered design that has been engineered to reduce any hatch interference.
One of the highlights of the skybox from Yakima is its ease of assembly. You do not have to go look for tools to install or remove the box from your vehicle.
For additional safety and security of your gear, this box comes included with SKS Locks.
Finally, this is a sizeable roof box as it can contain gear meant for 3 campers. You can easily fit in your skis and snowboards.
Even better is its size variants; this cargo box can be picked up as a 12, 16, 18, or 21 cubic feet cargo box.
2. Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Another remarkable and excellent roof box in the market is the Thule Motion XT rooftop cargo carrier. This is an aesthetically pleasing roof box that has been engineered for performance.
The aerodynamic shape and curves of the roof box perfectly complement its glossy black finish. The Thule Motion is an innovative cargo box that has been conceived by the Swedish rooftop box makers o enhance the fun of your trip. The box is available in two colour variants: Titan and black.
The box has been made from a plastic material and works to keep water and weather elements out of the box. This is a very versatile roof cargo box that works with all types of vehicles.
The Thule Motion is a proud camping box from Sweden. It features a secure slide lock system that is used to securely lock the lid of the cargo box.
The cargo box has been designed in such a way that it does not obstruct your rear trunk access. This is because it has been designed to be mounted in a forward position when on the roof of your vehicle.
The roof box comes with an opening on both sides. This means that you can conveniently access your gear from both sides. You can also easily store items from any side of the vehicle.
The Thule Motion XT rooftop cargo carrier comes with remarkable user-friendliness that will enhance the user experience. It can be mounted easily on your vehicle. A power click feature lets you know that it has been secured in position.
The Thule Motion XT rooftop cargo carrier is famously offered in various size variants. The aerodynamic feature has been enhanced in all size variants. Whether you choose the XXL, XL, or L, you get the same aerodynamic curve. However, the various size variants have been optimized for different vehicle sizes.
3. Thule Pulse Cargo Box
Another great option for a remarkable roof box for your vehicle is the Thule Pulse Cargo box. This is another innovative roof cargo carrier from Thule.
The Swedish cargo box maker is one of the leading brands when it comes to roof box products.
For the Thule Pulse Cargo box, you get two size variants of Alpine (11 cubic feet) and Medium (14 cubic feet).
It comes in a metallic black finish that gives it its smooth exterior appearance. The plastic external shell has been engineered for performance while also retaining its aesthetics and style.
This is a roof cargo carrier that is compatible with different roof rack crossbar styles. With the Thule Pulse Cargo box, any roof rack crossbar will be enough. The cargo box can be used with your factory crossbars, round crossbars, aero-style crossbars, and square crossbars.
Whether you choose the 11 or 14 cubic feet cargo volume, you get a weight limit of about 110 pounds.
This is a cargo box that allows you to store multiple skis and snowboards for your camping trip.
The Thule Pulse Cargo Box is indeed a remarkable hard shell roof box that provides you with extra space to store your gear.
A great benefit of this cargo box is its economical blend of style, convenience, and design. The roof box has been optimized to provide consumers with an affordable option.
This means that you will not have to break the bank to access a quality product from Thule.
The box is made from the treated ABS thermoplastic material that offers complete protection to your gear and items.
The external plastic hard shell is meant to protect your items from theft and elements of the weather.
Thanks to the attached Easy-Grip knob function, the Thule Pulse Cargo box can be easily mounted onto any roof.
The Easy-Grip function makes it possible for the cargo box to be mounted without the use of tools.
This is a nice rooftop box to have if you prefer a product that perfectly blends aesthetics and engineering.
4. Sportrack Vista XL Cargo Box SR
The SportRack Vista XL Cargo box SR is another remarkable roof box product in the market. This product comes with a functional design that enhances its aerodynamics.
The first feature of this SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box is its durable UV construction. Featured in a metallic finish, the external hard shell helps you keep your items safe and secure.
This is a roof box that provides you with an additional 18 cubic feet of space to store your item and gear.
You can transport more gear while also providing enough space in the cabin for more passengers.
This is a durable Vista XL cargo box that allows you to enjoy your trip. The ABS-engineered plastic hard shell is used to enhance the durability of the roof box.
This same material comes with UV protection to protect the items in the box from the sun’s rays.
Unlike most other cargo boxes in this list, the SportRack Vista XL Cargo box SR comes with a rear opening.
This means that it can only be loaded and unloaded effectively from the rear side.
The mounting process does not need any tool. This means that the SportRack Vista XL Cargo box SR is perfect for DIYers. If
you like to get handy, you will find it very easy and interesting to install.
This roof box comes with keys and a lock included to enhance its security and safety features. The box has been adapted for easy mounting by using the right hardware.