How To Attach Cargo Carrier To Roof Rack On Your Car

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Written By Scott Angel

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A roof rack cargo carrier is a useful tool that can carry items such as lumber, ladders and other heavy objects. The roof rack installation process for the carrier is not difficult if you follow the instruction manual. However, it may be necessary to contact an expert when there are complicated instructions or problems with how the rack was installed originally.

The weather is getting warmer and you know what that means? Time to take your car out for a spin! If you have a roof rack, then we are about to show how easy it is to install, attach and remove a car roof rack cargo carrier.

There are many reasons why people decide to buy a car roof rack cargo carrier. The most common reason is that they want an easy way of transporting their bikes or other sporting equipment. Regardless of the reason, this article will provide step by step details on how to attach cargo carrier to roof rack and how to remove it when needed!

What you need to install the rooftop cargo carrier

  • A car roof rack cargo carrier
  • The right type of attachment for your brand of vehicle. For example, if you have a Nissan that has an adjustable ball joint system then you will need the universal adapter or either the fork mount style (if it is available) in order to attach the cargo carrier to your car with ease!
  • Straps, ratchets or bungee cords to secure the cargo carrier
  • A level surface to place your car roof rack on. This will ensure that you don’t have any stability issues while driving around!

Find the right roof rack for your vehicle

When choosing a cargo carrier, it is important to consider how much weight the roof rack can support. Most carriers are built to carry up to 200 pounds of weight, with some able to hold more than double that amount. The vehicle’s rooftop must be capable of supporting the weight of the cargo carrier, too.

The first thing you will need to do is make sure that your car rooftop carriers attachment matches the types of roof top carrier you are installing it on. If for some reason, a specific brand is not available then an adapter kit can be purchased separately so that they will work with whatever style attachment is needed! You may also want to purchase these if your vehicle has a long cargo rack that may not be able to hold as much weight that is needed in your camping gear.

Then, find the right type of cargo carrier is it?

  • Stylish and spacious roof-mounted cargo box
  • Versatile roof-mounted cargo box
  • roof-mounted cargo box
  • Roof-mounted cargo carriers

Further, check the type of materials it built in the roof-mounted cargo box. A “Stylish and spacious” roof-mounted cargo boxes will make your car look more refined, while a versatile one will help you carry a lot of different loads.

There are two different types of cargo carriers, the one that hangs from your roof rack and others that sit on top of it. You will need to make sure you know what type of carrier is best for your needs!

Be aware that many vehicles have a weight limit in place so be careful when loading up with heavy items or driving too fast!

Determine the size of your roof rack

Next you will want to decide how many feet of the roof rack you will need. If your vehicle has room on it, this should be a pretty easy decision for you! The problem is that not all vehicles have space so in these cases an adapter kit can be purchased separately and then they’ll work with whatever style attachment is needed!

  • You also need to measure how far out on the roof rack you want your carrier. Keep in mind that it will be farther away from the vehicle if you have a larger one and this may cause problems when accessing items while driving.
  • You should also think about how much weight you are going to be putting onto the carrier, again keeping in mind of how far away it is from the vehicle.
  • You’ll want to take a measurement of your roof rack and then cut off any excess length with tin snips before drilling holes in for brackets. If you need help, there are helpful tutorials on how to do this!

Determine the best position for cargo carrier on roof rack

Further, You should determine the position for the cargo carrier on rooftop of the car . To do this, you will need to measure the distance between the roof rack and car.

  • Positioning a carrier too close to your vehicle may be problematic when loading up items as it is more difficult to access them while driving.
  • You should also think about how much weight you are going to be putting onto the carrier, again, to ensure that it will be able to carry the load.
  • It is also important to consider how you want your items packed and stacked before deciding on position of cargo carrier.

We suggest considering these things when picking a location for the cargo carrier attachment point:

  • Distance from vehicle roof rack
  • Weight limit of car rooftop cargo carrier
  • How you want your items packed and stacked

Attach cargo carrier on top of the roof rack

In this step, you should ensure that the cargo carrier is within reach and make sure you have all of your tools handy.

You will need at least two people if possible in this step as well as a sturdy pipe or tube to use as a guide for the cargo carrier attachment.

It is typically recommended to install the cargo carrier on the driver’s side of a car, so as not to impede visibility.

Using your open-end wrench, loosen one bolt on each side of the roof rack and then tighten it by hand so that it is able to move easily up and down.

After making sure that you have loosened and adjusted all necessary nuts or bolts, use one person to hold up the roof rack from below while another person tugs firmly at it until they hear a loud click noise.

Once you have heard the sound of a solid attachment, use your open end wrench to tighten all bolts securely and then re-tighten them by hand just as before.

If you are planning on using more than one cargo carrier at a time, attach the second to match up with the first, following previous steps.

Make sure that you have done the same for all cargo carriers or else your load may become unstable!

Once finished, tighten any loose bolts and then move on to attaching straps.

Attach cross bars to roof rack

To secure cargo carrier more firmly, you will need to attach the cross bars.

The first step is to find an open part of your roof rack, preferably one that’s close to where you plan on attaching the cargo carrier. First, use a wrench and tighten any bolts if they are loose enough for stability purposes before installing straps (if not already installed).

Strap may be threaded through the cross bars, around cargo carrier to tighten them securely.

Refer back to previous steps if you’re not sure how.

If you need to remove your cargo carrier, please refer back to these steps in reverse order.

Secure cargo by tightening straps around it 

If your roof rack does not have side rails or any open spaces for attaching straps, we recommend using a bolt-based system such as Yakima’s AngleFinder and TrackRacks instead of strap systems.

Frequently Asked Questions on how to attach cargo carrier to roof rack

Are roof cargo boxes universal?

No. Car roof boxes are designed to fit specific car models and roof rack systems, so it’s important to select a kit that is compatible with both your vehicle and the type of roof racks you have installed on top of your vehicle.

We recommend starting by measuring the width or length of your trunk opening for a rough estimate as how much feet of space you have to work with.

Can you use a roof rack without crossbars?

No, you need crossbars in order to attach a roof rack cargo bag.

Will Roof Racks, Bars and Boxes Damage My Car?

There are a lot of reasons why you would want to use a roof rack, but one concern that many people have is how it will affect their car. Will the weight from the racks and bars damage my paint job? Or what if they scrape against something else on your vehicle’s exterior when driving around corners or over bumps in the road?

The good news is that properly installed roof racks, bars and boxes will not damage your car.

Do You Need Roof Bars for a Roof Box?

What you need to attach your roof box onto the top of a vehicle will depend on how much weight it can carry, how many straps are needed and what size is required.

A typical rack system with four-inch bars has brackets that clamp around the crossbars at either end. With some models, these brackets have threaded bolts which go through the crossbars. With these, you need to measure how far apart your brackets are before ordering as they come in different widths and lengths.

This type of bracket system will require at least two straps across the back for securing the load – one strap on either side that loops around a roof bar near its end point, then another strap threaded through the other strap near its end point.

With a three-inch bar type, you’ll need two straps that attach to your roof bars at either end of the top tube – one around each side about halfway up from where it attaches to your vehicle’s bodywork.

Can I install roof rails myself?

Yes, but it’s not for the faint of heart. You can do this yourself, and will need a few tools that you’ll likely already have around your home like an adjustable wrench or pliers. The instructions are specific to installing a Yakima rack system in place on top of a Honda Civic.

After the initial installation, you’ll need to take care of removing it for winter and then installing it again in the spring. If this sounds like too much work, there are professionals who can do this install on your behalf rather quickly with as little effort from you as possible!

What Is the best car roof top box carrier?

Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier is our top pick. It is designed for modern cars and SUVs, so you can use it on vehicles such as Toyota Highlander or Honda CR-V with no issues whatsoever. This roof rack cargo carrier has a weight capacity of 165 pounds and installs quickly without any drilling necessary.

One of the things that make it stand out is how easy it is to remove and install this cargo carrier. Another thing we like about it is how you can lock your gear onto the rack with ease, so there’s no chance for theft or damage.

Final Thoughts

Choose between a roof rack cargo carrier, or an aftermarket accessory to attach your roof box on top you car. don’t forget to install quality cargo carrier that is built in durable material.

Once you’ve chosen the right style of carrier for your needs there are several ways to connect it securely and safely to your vehicle.

The safest way is with L-brackets that fit into pre-existing holes in the vehicle’s bodywork (factory parts), but if these aren’t present you can use cable ties which will also be secure enough as long as they’re fitted tightly around corners where the straps cross each other so that they don’t come loose easily.

Finally, we recommend using nylon zip ties when attaching any carriers without either factory fittings or cables; this method requires drilling two small holes through metal uprights near the front or rear of your vehicle to secure them.

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