Roof bars are extremely useful objects for those who need to load the car but do not have space in the car. However, it is necessary to follow precise rules in fixing. Let’s see which ones.
If you have never used roof bars, you probably have a particularly large car, or you don’t have a large family to travel with. These products, for those who still do not know what it is, are usually fixed to the roof of the car and act as a support for fixing packages, suitcases, sports equipment and any object that could hardly be inserted in the passenger compartment or the trunk. On the market, it is possible to find different types, both for materials and dimensions, each suitable for a different car. To be on the safe side, it is always good to focus on the original kits even if these do not always prove to be the best-selling roof bars due to their high price.
Which roof bars to choose?
Before understanding how to fix your load, you need to buy a pair of roof bars suitable for your needs. The main division we can find is by the material. Usually, they can be steel or aluminium. The former is slightly heavier, and less cared for. However, they have a lower cost, therefore suitable for all users who want to spend as little as possible.
Those in aluminium, on the other hand, are certainly the best choice even if they have a higher cost. Not only are they lighter, thus reducing fuel consumption by the engine that has to shiftless weight, but they are also more aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing.
The second element to take into account before purchasing is the car roof fixing system. The bars can be locked both on the handrails and through fixing points or directly in the passenger compartment. For the first solution, the car must be equipped with handrails from the factory, tracks that you can see on the roof of the car.
These bars are the easiest to fix and do not require any specialized intervention other than reading the instruction manual. Even those with jaws to lock with open doors are one of the most popular solutions, able to adapt to almost any type of car. At the same time, those with specific fixing points are the most complex and may require the intervention of a professional in the sector. So when buying your roof bars, take these factors into account to avoid squandering your money.
If you are ready to go and all that remains to be done is to load the car, it is good to take a moment to evaluate all the rules to follow to secure all the objects that you are going to fix on the roof bars. It would be better to avoid cartoon scenes where parcels, suitcases and those who have more put them away, escape from their housings, causing panic on the street.
First of all, remember that the roof bars can support a total weight of 75 kg, including the weight of the bars themselves. Before proceeding with the loading operations, we, therefore, ask you to weigh all your bags, taking care to put the larger and heavier ones in the luggage rack.
Article 164 of the highway code shows the regulations relating to the arrangement of cargo on vehicles, and you can read it entirely by clicking here. These rules are essential, as are the maximum dimensions of the fully-loaded car which must not be larger than 2.55 meters, higher than 4 meters and longer than 12 meters. The limits of the template shown here can be exceeded in exceptional cases, always remaining within 30 centimetres of the position lights, both front and rear.
Arrange the suitcases
If you load suitcases or packages, the best way is to place them lying flat, with the larger objects underneath and gradually loading the smaller ones on top, like a pyramid. Also try to balance the weight, with heavier objects in the back and lighter ones in the front. If you expect rainfall during the trip, it might be a good idea to cover everything with a plastic sheet, taking care to best tie it to the bars to prevent it from flying away with a gust of wind. Also try not to create folds in which the wind can slip, inflating the cloth, perhaps making sure that the lower flaps go underneath the suitcases that with their weight will hold it in place.
For bicycles, in addition to the roof bars, you need to buy a roof bike rack, these are accessories to be mounted on the bars that hold the bike vertically. You may have to disassemble at least one of the wheels for optimal fixing, therefore carefully consider this possibility if you have to undertake particularly long journeys.
In case of rain, it might be a good idea to put the bike in a special bag to prevent rain from ruining the saddle of the other components. During the trip, it is also recommended to stop often to check that everything is still in its place, checking that the fixing is optimal and there are no loose areas that require intervention.
The same goes for skis, which therefore require additional accessories to be securely fixed to the roof bars. Remember that for the latter, it is necessary to take into account the maximum dimensions established by the highway code, taking care to position the skis so that they do not exceed the allowed limit.