Moving: The Dos and Don’ts of Tying Things to Your Car Roof

A car driving on a busy highway with several bikes stored on a rack on the back and a hard-shell storage case on a top rack.

Moving your child to college can be an emotional rollercoaster, and packing up their belongings is no small feat. One solution? Utilize the car roof to transport extra items! But before you start loading up, read through the dos and don’ts of tying things to your car roof to ensure a smooth and safe journey.

Do Use the Right Equipment

First and foremost, determine which roof rack is right for the kinds of items you’ll carry. Different racks cater to various needs, from luggage carriers to bike racks. Investing in a sturdy roof rack that suits your specific requirements ensures the safety and security of your cargo during the drive. Additionally, use high-quality ropes or ratchet straps designed to handle the weight and pressure of highway speeds.

Don’t Overload Your Roof

It’s easy to get carried away with packing when space is tight, but overloading your roof can be dangerous. Exceeding the weight limit of your car’s roof rack can lead to vehicle instability, especially at high speeds. Always refer to your vehicle’s manual for the maximum roof load capacity and stick to it. Distribute the weight evenly to avoid putting too much stress on one side, as an unbalanced load can cause handling issues.

Do Properly Secure Your Load

Securing your load is critical for preventing items from shifting or flying off while driving. Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones on top. Use multiple points of contact and cross the straps over the load to create a web-like structure. This method helps distribute the pressure evenly and keeps everything in place.

For added security, consider using a cargo net or tarp to cover your load. A tarp can also provide additional stability and protection against weather elements.

Don’t Forget Aerodynamics

Ignoring aerodynamics can lead to increased fuel consumption and decreased vehicle performance. Pack as low and tight as possible to reduce wind resistance. Avoid items that excessively protrude and disrupt the airflow around your vehicle.

Keeping things tight makes your car more fuel-efficient and minimizes the risk of items becoming loose due to wind pressure. Remember, aerodynamic efficiency is key to a smooth and economical trip.

Moving your child to college is a monumental task, but knowing the dos and don’ts of tying things to your car roof can make the process easier and safer. From selecting the appropriate roof rack to ensuring proper load securing and considering aerodynamics, these tips will help ensure a successful move. By following these guidelines, you’ll not only protect your cargo but also enjoy a more pleasant and efficient journey.

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