Whether you are headed to the nearest camping site for the weekend, or planning to explore multiple cities with family, packing the travel gear and luggage is one of the difficult tasks. It may not seem as challenging when you think about it, but it becomes a daunting task when you get down to it. Roof racks are one of the best car accessories to transport luggage and other travel gear comfortably.
If you are a beginner in camping, then it’s better to start by attaching a universal roof rack to your vehicle. The actual challenge that lies ahead is packing and storing all the luggage evenly on the roof rack platform. Many beginner campers make the common mistake of piling up the travel gear on the roof rack in an odd manner and starting their journey. They do not realize that it jeopardizes the overall safety of the passengers and the vehicle. If you are guilty of committing the same mistake in the past, this article will help you avoid it the next time. So, here are the five ways that can help you pack the roof rack effectively for your future camping adventures.
1. Organize the Camping and Travel Gear.
The first and foremost thing to do before you even load a bag of snacks in the vehicle is to organize all the luggage and travel gear you have packed. Analyze the entire storage space of your car, including the rear boot and the roof rack. Never start loading the items of your luggage randomly. Take your time and plan which items can fit conveniently and which ones require special attention. Make sure to separate the perishable food items and other fragile luggage so you can pack them last. Organizing before packing is vital because any loose items placed oddly may injure the passengers while in motion.
2. Pack Heavy Items in the Front.
You can get halfway through the challenge of packing by following this way. Always start with the heavy items and load them up on the roof rack platform’s front side and not on the rear side. Most vehicles are heavy at the back due to the rear overhang, spare wheel, etc. As a result, placing heavy cargo items on the front side of the roof rack distributes the weight evenly on the rear and front axles. Examples of some of the heavy items required for camping include an additional spare wheel, camping stove, jerry can, etc. Packing heavy items first also act as a solid foundation to stack lighter luggage on top of it.
3. Keep the Load Low.
Here’s another crucial measure to consider while packing the roof rack to ensure maximum safety. Do not pile up things on the roof rack, increasing the height of the vehicle. Driving on uphill roads, in and out of parking lots, and even drive-ins may become difficult with the additional height on top. Distribute and arrange the luggage evenly to avoid such a situation. Keep the height of the vehicle in mind and drive accordingly. If you are carrying any sports gear on the roof rack, it’s better to place any additional travel gear in the car’s boot.
4. Place Items According to Accessibility.
Positioning the items according to the accessibility is another way to pack the roof rack effectively while traveling. Remember, suitcases are not an ideal option for camping. Instead, go with duffle bags to pack clothes so you can easily accommodate them either in the boot or on the roof rack. Always place the items that you do not need or access during the journey at the bottom.
The items that you will need along the way or immediately after reaching the camping site should be on the top so that it is easy to access without having to move other items. Place the camping gear and duffle bags on the rear side of the roof rack platform so that you can quickly grab them by stepping on the rear step of the vehicle.
5. Keep the Load Light
Both the roof and roof rack of your car has a specific load capacity. The safest way is not to exceed the roof or roof rack’s maximum load capacity. While going off-roading, you need to be mindful of the load on top and stick to easy routes when passing through obstacles. Evaluate the need for all the items that you and your family have packed for the camping trip.
Eliminate any unnecessary items to make sure you do not exceed the roof rack’s maximum load capacity. Also, remember, weight affects your gas mileage as well. Heavier vehicles require more energy to move, therefore reducing the overall gas mileage.
Once you have successfully packed the roof rack platform, make sure to click a picture of the arrangement. The image may help you pack easily during the return journey and the next time as well. Secure the gear placed on the roof rack with the help of ropes or straps. If you are installing a roof rack for the first time, make sure that you do not exceed your car’s load capacity rating. It’s better to drop the tire pressure a little to absorb the bumps while driving through ridges with the top load.