Roof rack tips and tricks
Roof rack tips and tips
Installing a roof rack is arguabley one of the best upgrade you can do with your car. It allows you to carry a lot of stuff as it significantly increase storage space. Especially if you own a mini cooper, as is has limited space, the idea of installing a roof rack should seriously be considered. Here are a handful of tips and tricks to consider when using a roof rack. Let’s dive in!
🔧 Proper installation
Installing a roof rack sounds like it would be a simple job, but it shouldn't be rushed. Improper installation could result in anything from messing up your paint to completely alling off at high speeds. Therefore it is worth reading the official guides that come with your roof rack. The roof of every car is not the same, different shapes require different racks. While selecting the rack, triple check it will your roof correctly.
For the modern Mini Cooper (3 & 5 door), we suggest the following items as we know they are perfectly suitable for the vehicle:
- Roof bars: Thule 711300 roof bars
- Roofbar fitting kit: Thule 1366 rapid fitting kit & Thule 754 foot pack
- Short roof adapter (for the 3 door model): Thule 774 short roof adapter
📏 Adjust specific height
Once you you have mounted the roof rack on the top of your vehicle, next comes the stuff that you will carry on it. For instance, if you are planning to transport a bike try to adjust the height of the bike in a way that woudn't collide with garage’s roofs, bridges, trees or even wires. If you think your bike would be too tall when mounted traditionally (with both wheels on), consider removing the front wheel and storing it elswhere so that your bike is leant forwards at an angle. The height of luggage other than bikes should also be adjusted suitably where possible.
If you are transporting bikes, we recommend the following bike carrier for your roof rack: Thule ProRide 598
⚖️ Maintain balance
When you are packing the stuff on the roof rack, try to put heavy items in the center and on the bottom layer. This will keep the center of gravity of your car as low as possible and help you maintain balance. The weight of the items should be also evenly distributed to ensure safe driving, espcially in taller vehicles (e.g. SUVs). Weight concentrated on the front or at the back will push your vehicle forward every time you apply brakes. On the other hand, concentrating it at the back can result in an imprecise steering.
An ideal roof box that is a perfect balance of weight, size and affordability is the Thule Ocean 200
✔️ Manage accessibility
While putting things onto your roof rack, bear in mind the things you need the most (or first) are easily accessible so that you don’t have to struggle with heavy items every time you try to get to your luggage. It seems obvious, but keeping heavy items below the lighter will make it much easier to access them.
✔️ Consider the weight
The weight of the roof rack and it's contents matters a lot. When you are mounting the stuff on the roof rack, the weight of the roof rack itself (e.g. bars, clamps) must be also considered and it should all equal less than the recommended maximum weight of your car's roof and the roof rack specification. Keeping the weight as low as possible also contributes to increased fuel efficiency as it offers less resistance to the car to move forward, but it's understandably not always possible.
🔒 Lock the roof rack
There are security locks in every roof rack. Once you are done with packing or unloading, lock the roof rack to make your rides safer. Luckily this is a mandatory feature on almost all roof rack fixtures and roof boxes.
✔️ Seek help
If the items you are packing and putting on the roof rack asre heavy, simply seek help from someone! This will make your work easier, help you do it quicker and will help prevent accidental damage to your car or luggage.
✔️ Remove the roof rack
We suggest removing your roof racks when not in use. If you are not carrying any extra luggage along, it is better to uninstall the roof rack and drive without it as it causes adverse effects to the fuel economy. Furthermore, an empty roof rack makes noises which can be disturbing while travelling - especially in some of the more basic models - therefore removing it is recommended.
💦 Lubricate the bolts
You can apply grease onto the nuts and bolts when installing a roof rack on your vehicle. This will help you to remove the rack easily when you are not using it, along with preventing your bolts from seizing up and/or rusting. The most popular lubricant we reccomend is simply some WD-40
🚙 Follow speed limits
Some roof racks will suggest a maximum speed limit that you should travel at, although most of these are usually over the maximum legal road limits. Be sure to follow them whenever you are diving with the roof rack on, otherwise you may end up either damaging your car, the roof rack or the roof rack mounting.
Interested in Mini Coopers and attaching roof racks? Check out our other blog posts!