The art of optimising your roof rack’s carrying capacity

Joshua GraceNews

Balancing rocks sculpture with text at bottom reading "Optimising your roof rack"

Roof racks are excellent space savers. Gas bottles, firewood, swags and fuel are just a few examples of the type of gear you no longer will have to carry in your vehicle.

The issue is that some enthusiasts are not aware of the fact that just simply putting these items on your roof rack and restraining them isn’t the end of it. Wind noise, poor vehicle handling and decreased fuel economy are just the start of what could be a vast array of problems you may encounter.

Firstly, you need to make sure that the weight is distributed according to the centre of gravity of your vehicle. Placing all your fuel to the rear of the car will imbalance the vehicle and could have an effect on your steering and performance off-road.

You will also need to ensure that your load is not over the limit of your vehicle. These days, roof racks can carry more than what the vehicles roof is rated to, so taking caution when transporting heavy items such as fuel and gas bottles is key.

Ensuring that the load is restrained correctly and securely will also go a long way to optimizing your roof rack’s carrying capacity. There are many restraining options on the market and it is a wise decision to invest in quality Australian gear. If your load is secured too far forward, your vehicle will compress heavily and dive under braking and too far back, and the steering will become light and unresponsive.

If travelling light is not an option, make sure you get your hands on some form of wind deflector. These are a valuable investment and are generally provided free of charge. No one wants to deal with increased drag, decreased fuel range and generally a noisy roof rack. Stay safe and pack right, it is worth it in the long run!