Do You Need Roof Bars For a Roof Bag? You might be confused as to whether you really need a roof rack on that car before strapping a roof bag on it.
This post attempts to put an end to your question by providing the clarification you need.
Although roof racks are very good when mounting and securely holding the roof bag, it is not a must to have a roof rack for your roof bag. This means if you haven’t already bought a roof bag, you should consider buying roof bags for cars with or without a roof rack.
Usually, roof bags have straps that enable you to secure the bag through the doors making the straps go through the car to the top of the roof bag.
You might still be confused about how you would mount it to your car without any roof rack and trust me there’s nothing to worry about because below I’ll break this post down into steps and tell you everything you need to know on how to install your roof bag to your car roof with any type of roof bag.
Ways you can fasten your roof bag to your car roof without a roof rack
Install using the pass straps through method
This method works on any type of car and any type of roof bag you have.
Depending on the type of roof bag you have, buckle/Slide the straps over your roof bag or under the front strap guide located on top of your roof bag
- Open the front door of your car and run the straps under the roof of your car through one door and hook it on the opposite side
- On the rear end, Slide/buckle another strap over your roof bag and run it under the roof of your car through your back door. hook it on the opposite side
- Check the straps well to make sure it is secured properly.
Install using door hooks
This is another alternative to use. For this to work, your car must have a wide ridge inside the door frame which only about 70% of cars have. If your car doesn’t have it, then consider using the first way.
- Open your car door and clip the hooks on the steel frames inside the door, in most cases this is behind the rubber moulding. If the hooks have straps, make sure the hook is firmly in place when you pull upward on the strap.
- Depending on the type of roof bag you have, buckle/ Slide the straps over your roof bag or under the front strap guide located on top of your roof bag
- For a strapless hook, pass the roof bag straps through it and then buckle it. If the hook has straps then secure the hook straps with the top straps you slide over your roof bag.
- This process should be repeated on the other doors
Tip: make sure that when the door is closed, the hook or strap buckle is not visible and the car can close properly. If not, take it out and install it properly.
How to put roof bags on your car without a roof rack
First and foremost, you need to be aware and follow these steps before installing the roof bag on your car roof
Know your cars rooftop limit
The amounts of gear your roof bag can hold are determined by your cars rooftop load limit. While most vehicles can safely carry 100 pounds, I still recommend you consult your owners Manuel to verify.
Clean the roof of your car
When preparing to install the roof bags, make sure the roof of your car is clean. Wash the roof of your vehicle to remove any dust or dirt particles and this helps minimize the potential for scratches or other damages that can Result from the carrier/roof bag shifting
Use a roof pad/mat
You may also want to consider using a roof mat /pad between the roof and roof bag. This also minimizes scratches and in addition, helps hold the roof bag from sliding forward or backwards on the rooftop.
Never substitute a towel or blanket for this. When installing the roof bag, place the bag on the roof of the vehicle with the zipper of the bag towards the rear of the vehicle, this help reduce the chance of rain getting in.
Load your items before tieing the straps
This should be done before you tie down the straps
When loading, start with the heaviest item by placing it in the middle of the roof bag, then add other loads and distribute them to keep it balanced. Zip the bag making sure the zipper flap is completely down above the zipper
How you can embark on a trip with a roof bag on your car that is not attached to any roof rack
Pack a full bag
Make sure your roof bag is filled or almost filled if possible when embarking on a trip because this will help to prevent wind flapping and noise.
Don’t over tighten the straps
A way to avoid water entering your car when it’s raining is to make sure that the straps are not over tightened because, in some cars, it might deform the door rubber moulding allowing rainwater into the car.
Try loosening the strap a little when driving in the rain. Attach the straps firmly and periodically check it during travel. Some roof bags have built-in straps which allow you to securely hold any excess fabric.
Avoid attaching the strap to any corner visible outside the car when the door is closed or anything not suitable to support a heavy load.
Make sure to tie all the excess straps so they don’t flap in the wind.
Things to consider when buying a roof bag
if you haven’t bought a roof bag yet and you’re in the process, here are a few things you should consider before buying a roof bag.
- What would you store in it: Before buying a roof bag, consider what you would be storing in the roof bag. If all you’ll be storing in it are your luggage or small bags then you should consider buying a small or medium roof bag whereas if you would be carrying larger or abnormally shaped items like surfboards, wakeboards then you should consider getting a larger roof bag.
- Take your vehicle to a professional or use one of many sizing online and get a perfect fit because the cargo roof carriers need to be mounted in such a way that it does not block the trunk lid when open or pass the windshield as not to obstruct the drivers’ vision.
- Some roof rails on vehicles are manufactured purely for aesthetic so before you put any heavy load on it, check your vehicles manual to figure this out before buying a roof bag/cargo bag.
- Make sure it is waterproof: Many roof bags these days are waterproof because this helps prevent rain from entering the bag when driving under the rain.
- Check for the durability of the roof bag.
- Check also whether it can fit into any type of roof rack and if you don’t have one, just the bare roof.
- Make sure to look into roof bags that can be padlocked. This way the roof bag would be secure and safe for when you make pit stops or leave your car.
- And last but not the least, If you’re worried about the roof bag slipping off the car roof, look into roof bags with anti-slip and anti-scratch pads that would hold it securely in place.
Roof racks are so versatile this days and if you still want to go ahead and install a roof rack, below is everything you need to know about a roof rack.
Understanding what roof racks ar
Roof racks are a set of bars put securely on the roof of a vehicle which allows you to carry more stuff while making space for you and your family inside the vehicle.
They can be used for almost anything. It is installed in the car roof for the purpose of fastening hard or soft carriers. They are great and you don’t need to hire a van.
Whether it’s luggage, bikes, ladders, surfboard, chest of drawer, mattress and lot more, a roof rack is an ideal solution.
Some roof racks may include a metal basket while some are specialized for fastening bicycles, fishing gear etc
The price of Roof bars ranges and tend to vary greatly and some factors like the brand, construction material etc are some of the cause
Do roof racks fit any car?
Different cars have different types of the roof so and in this case, you can’t just buy any roof rack you see because it’s cheap or simply borrow from your friend.
So, unfortunately, not just any roof rack will fit your car.
Types of roof racks
There are actually four main types of roof bars and they are different in the way they attach to the car.
The roofs of cars are different and this determines what type of roof rack you’ll need to get.
Roof bars for cars without rails
This is the most common roof type in vehicles today and these are vehicles like cars and trucks which you see today on the roads. They are that type of vehicle without rails.
The type of roof rack needed for this is a door jammed type of roof rack. The roof rack would be clamped to the door jam (which is that area on the door near the roof you see when the door is open)
For cars with raised roof rails
This can be found in the majority of wagons, SUVs, minivans and they are the second common types of roof type. They are often installed by the manufacture and sometimes come as an option.
This type of roof rack is known as raised roof rails because they are raised up from the roof and the rails. You can slip your hand through it and they are opposite when compared to the solid roof rails.
They are very versatile when choosing crossbar placement.
For cars with solid roof rails
For this type of rails, there is no gap between the roof and the rails. These are also versatile when choosing crossbar placement
For cars with fixed points
They are connection points that have been fastened down by the manufacturer on the outer edge of the roof and aren’t distinguishable when not in use
Importance of roof racks
One of the main importance and reasons people go for roof racks is to optimize their storage. To create more room and space to store your lug gages, mattress and almost any heavy load you might want to transport.
The only thing you need to do is pick the right roof rack for your roof and the right roof rack system which solely depends on what you want to carry.
They prevent the interior damage of your vehicle
Carrying heavy loads like kayaks, fishing gear and other heavy things might tear or scratch your vehicle fabric leading to damage. But this can be prevented when you use roof racks because then you can store all this on top of your roof.
Improve the look of your vehicle
A way to do this is by adding roof box/cargo boxes and roof racks is included giving the vehicle a sleek appearance. You don’t have to worry about when you want to change the appearance of your vehicle because a roof rack system can be removed whenever you want and it’s a great way to adorn your vehicle.
It leaves room for fresh air
Just envision the fresh air that will flow through your car when you don’t have to store your entire luggage, fuel or other smelly gears inside your car.
With roof racks, you won’t have to go through any of that. You can just put it securely on the roof rack leaving you with plenty of fresh air inside the vehicle
It doesn’t limit storage options
Normally you would call a pickup van to help move things or try to squeeze them into your car but with a roof rack and other various components, you can make your vehicle versatile.
In no time, you’ll be carrying a heavy load like canoes
Increases comfort of your vehicle
When camping or travelling with many things, a good way to prevent leg cramping and uncomfortable positions through the whole trip is by using a roof rack.
This way you would be comfortable throughout the whole ride.
In this post, we have tried to break down why a roof rack is not necessary when you have a roof bag. We have also gone further in explaining the different ways to strap your bags on the roof of your car without a roof rack among other things.
Have you tried using a roof bag on your car without having to strap it in a roof rack? Let me know how it went.