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Best Roof Racks - how to choose one for your car.

Posted by jason stevens on

Best Roof Rack Guide

Types of roof racks and how to choose the best one for you!

There are five different types of roof racks: 

      1. Fixed point or pre-threaded, rooftop features threaded mounting points pre-installed on the vehicle’s roof. Sometimes hard to identify, fixed-point rack mounts may be concealed under small covers or rubber moldings.
      2. Flush rail, different from a raised rail, these bars have no gap between the bar and the roof of your car and use footings that sit on or clamp to the side rails of your car
      3. Naked or Bare, roof racks have special feet design to attach to vehicles that have no side rails or pre-threaded attachment points. 
      4. Raised rail, similar to the flush rail, these rails differ in that they have space between the rail and the roof of the car for your roof rack to clamp on to.

A roof rack is a vital car installation that you absolutely must get if you are fond of traveling. Without a roof rack, you’ll find yourself unable to carry the gear and baggage that you absolutely need when on a trip. A car without a roof rack certainly makes for a very uncomfortable journey.

When choosing a roof rack, you’ll need to ask yourself two important questions:

What type of car do I drive?

What do I intend to carry on the rack?

The type of car and the items you wish to carry will determine the dimensions of the roof rack to be installed and also the type of accessories you need to have attached to the roof rack.

It’s important to remember that not all roof racks come pre-assembled. In fact, most roof rack installers recommend that you choose all the components of the roof racks separately and then have them assembled. This is to make sure that you select a roof rack that is perfect for your car.

At Motherload Roof Racks, we have pre-assembled roof racks and stand-alone crossbars, roof feet, hook kits, raised rails and a host of roof rack accessories with us. Take a look at our favorite: the Inno xs201 or choose a roof rack that’s best suited for your car.

Tips to choose the best roof rack that’s perfect for your car

For the ideal roof rack, you’ll need to:

Check whether your car is compatible with a roof rack

The way a car is designed makes a difference when it comes to purchasing and installation of a roof rack. For starters, some cars come with factory installed side rails. If these are present, you’ll need to select a rack that can be installed using the side rails as a base for the roof rack. If it’s a car that doesn’t have side rails, then you can install the roof rack directly on to the roof of the car.

Some cars come with an attached roof rack or a similar installation, making it extremely difficult to install a roof rack. Your car roof may be of a design that is incompatible with a roof rack or your car may be too tiny to bear the weight of the roof rack. You’ll need to keep all these considerations in mind before making a purchase.

To understand whether your car is compatible with a roof rack or not, check the manufacturer’s handbook that you get with your car kit. It’ll have all the information you need. You can also contact the team at Motherload Roof Racks for advice.

Select the crossbar that’s right for your car

You have two options when it comes to roof rack crossbars:


Steel crossbars are extremely durable and are perfect for transporting heavy items. These crossbars are usually galvanized and then coated with weather-proof plastic to keep them rust-free. Steel is a budget-friendly option for your crossbar.

However, although a great option, steel crossbars tend to be very heavy for the car, resulting in drag while traveling.


If you’re looking for a light-weight and fuel efficient crossbar, then those made by aluminum are your best choice. They are highly durable and long-lasting and are better than steel for roof racks.

But, when compared to steel, aluminum crossbars are extremely expensive. This said, they are worth their weight in gold in the long run.

You can also check the manufacturer’s handbook to see which type of crossbar is recommended for your vehicle. This will ensure that you select a crossbar that is compatible with your car. By doing this you can keep your car and yourself safe. If you need advice on selecting a crossbar that’s ideal for your car, speak to the team at Motherload Roof Racks. Our team of experienced staff is more than happy to help you.

Install rack feet for cars with curved roofs

The roofs of flat cars make for an easy roof rack installation and you don’t need to worry too much about additional installations on the car roof to make it more roof-rack friendly. However, with curved car roofs, the problems of attaching a roof rack arise.

This is where rack feet come into play. Some roof rack manufacturers also sell rack feet and adapter kits that are designed for specific models of cars. Again, you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s handbook to pick the right foot size for your rack feet.

Choose accessories that are compatible with the items you intend to carry

From bike racks to cargo carrier boxes, there are multiple accessories that you can have installed on your roof rack. These installations will help you carry absolutely everything from bicycles to skate boards to kayaks.

Have the roof rack assembled by a licensed installer

To ensure that your roof rack is attached securely to your car roof, it’s best to bring your vehicle to a licensed installer. At Motherload Roof Racks, we can help you select the perfect roof rack for your car and install the rack for you.

Feel free to reach out to us for more information. We look forward to helping you with your requirements.

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