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How to Install and Remove Your Roof Racks

June 13, 2023
How to Install and Remove Your Roof Racks

Preparing for an epic 4x4 adventure entails more than packing the bare necessities. It's all about transforming your trusted vehicle into a capable, versatile beast ready to conquer any terrain. And if you want to maximise the potential of your vehicle, there's one essential upgrade you shouldn't overlook: 4x4 roof racks and bars.

Intrigued? We're sure you are! This guide will help you understand more about roof racks, their benefits, uses, installation process, and the various types and features that are available.

What is a Roof Rack?

A roof rack is a set of bars that are mounted on the roof of a vehicle to carry bulky items such as luggage, bicycles, kayaks, and even furniture. Investing in a roof rack can provide many advantages, including increased storage space and improved fuel efficiency.

Roof Rack Pre-Installation

You need to consider careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and efficient setup. By taking the time to adequately prepare, you can reduce potential setbacks and enjoy a stress-free installation process.

1. Gather the Necessary Tools

To get started, gather the following tools and materials to streamline your installation:

Vehicle Manual: The instruction manual for your vehicle is a useful tool for learning about its specifications, weight limits, and any specific guidelines or restrictions about roof rack installation. Always refer to the manual for precise and vehicle-specific instructions.

Roof Rack Kit: Choose the right roof rack kit for your vehicle based on its type, size, and intended use. Crossbars, towers, and mounting hardware are typically included in kits. Check that the kit you choose is compatible with the make and model of your vehicle.

Tape Measure: Accurate measurements are essential for ensuring proper roof rack positioning and stability. Measure the distance between mounting points with a tape measure to determine the width and length of your rack.

Screwdriver or Allen Key Set: Most roof racks require the installation of a screwdriver or an Allen key set. Ensure that you have the proper size and type of tool for the hardware included with your roof rack kit.

Cleaning Supplies: Thoroughly clean the vehicle's roof surface before installing your roof rack. To remove dirt, debris, and any old adhesive residues - gather a bucket, mild detergent, a sponge, and a microfibre cloth.

2. Observe Safety Precautions for a Secure Installation

Roof rack installation calls for working at heights and with heavy objects. It’s necessary to prioritise safety to protect yourself, your vehicle, and others. Here are some important safety precautions to remember:

Use a Stable and Level Work Area: Install your roof rack in a safe and level area, such as a garage or an open space. Avoid sloping or uneven surfaces that might undermine stability during installation.

Seek Assistance: During the installation, seek assistance from a friend or family member. Having an extra set of hands not only simplifies the process, but it also improves safety by providing stability and support.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques: Roof rack components can be heavy, so avoid strain or injury by using proper lifting techniques. Bend at the knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your leg muscles.

Protect the Vehicle's Finish: To prevent scratches or damage to your vehicle's finish, consider placing a protective blanket or towel on the roof surface while working. Alternatively, use painter's tape to create a protective barrier.

Selecting the Right Roof Rack

Choosing the best rack for your vehicle is an important step in making the most of your adventure. The right rack can open up new possibilities and improve your overall experience. Here's how you can do it:

1. Examine Your Vehicle Type

Before delving into the world of roof racks, consider your vehicle type. Because different racks are designed to fit specific vehicles.

2. Identify Your Desired Functionality

Roof racks come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate a variety of needs and activities. Consider your desired functionality as well as the types of adventures you seek:

Crossbars: Most roof rack systems are built around crossbars. They serve as a platform for various accessories such as cargo boxes, bike racks, ski racks, and more.

Cargo Boxes: If you need extra storage space for camping equipment, luggage, or sporting equipment, consider purchasing a cargo box. These weatherproof enclosures provide plenty of space and easy access to your belongings.

Bike Carriers: Cyclists will appreciate the convenience of a roof-mounted bike carrier. These racks securely hold your bikes, keeping them safe and freeing up interior space for passengers or other gear.

Kayak/Canoe Mounts: Kayak or canoe mounts are essential for water sport enthusiasts. These specialised racks securely hold your watercraft, making it easy to transport to your favourite paddling spots.

3. Budget

While price should not be the only deciding factor, it’s important to create a budget that meets your needs. Roof rack systems cost different amounts depending on their quality, brand, and features.

Measuring and Positioning

Accurate measurements must be taken during roof rack installation. Here's why they're important:

  • Ensure Proper Fit: By precisely measuring the distance between mounting points on your vehicle's roof, you can choose the appropriate width and length for your roof rack system. This ensures a snug and secure fit while travelling, minimising any potential movement or vibrations.
  • Weight Distribution and Load Capacity: Accurate measurements allow you to evenly distribute your cargo's weight across the roof rack. This promotes stability, balance, and a safer driving experience. Overloading one side or exceeding the recommended load capacity can cause vehicle instability and damage.

Attaching the Roof Rack

Once you've determined the ideal placement, it’s time to attach the roof rack to your vehicle. Follow these steps:

  1. Align the brackets with the predetermined measurements and place them on the roof in the desired position.

  2. Secure the brackets to the roof rails or designated mounting points with an Allen key set or socket set. Assemble them securely, as this will provide stability for your roof rack.

  3. Attach the crossbars to the brackets once the brackets are securely in place. Align the bars parallel to the vehicle's sides, making sure they're centred and evenly spaced.

  4. Use the screws included with the roof rack kit to secure the crossbars. Check that they’re properly tightened, but avoid over tightening as this may cause damage to your vehicle.

Test the Stability

Don't forget to test the stability of your roof rack before loading anything onto it. Give it a gentle shake to make sure it doesn't move or wobble too much. If you notice any inconsistencies, double-check the installation and make any necessary changes.

Removing Your Roof Racks

Now that you've successfully installed your roof racks and utilised them to their full potential, it’s time to take them off. Here's a quick guide on removing your roof racks:

  1. Remove any roof rack accessories or attachments, such as bike racks or cargo boxes. This makes the removal process simpler and safer.

  2. Remove the crossbars from the brackets by unscrewing them. Set them aside in a secure location, making sure they stay together and are not damaged.

  3. Remove the screws securing the brackets to the roof rails or designated mounting points. To keep the screws organised and prevent loss, place them in a container or bag.

  4. Lift the brackets off the roof gently, being careful not to scratch or damage the vehicle's surface.

Best Off Road Roof Racks & Bars We Recommend


Crossbars are the backbone of any roof rack system. They provide a secure base for attaching various accessories such as cargo carriers, bike racks, and kayak carriers. Choose crossbars that are easy to install, durable, and compatible with your vehicle's roof.


Roof Rack Basket Cargo & Luggage Carrier

Adding a basket cargo carrier to your roof rack is a great way to increase storage space when driving off-road. The available carriers come in two sizes (111 cm and 123 cm) to fit a variety of loads. By using them, you will be able to transport bulkier items, camping gear, and luggage, maximising your vehicle's storage capacity.


Motorbike Carrier Rack

A motorcycle carrier rack is a game changer for motorcycle enthusiasts. These specially designed racks securely hold your bike during transportation, allowing you to take your two-wheeled companion with you wherever your off-road adventure takes you.


Waterproof Luggage Carrier

Unpredictable weather is always a factor to consider when going off-road. Purchasing a waterproof luggage carrier ensures that your belongings remain dry and safe even during heavy rain or snowfall.


Tow Bar Roof Rack Canoe/Kayak Carrier

A tow bar roof rack canoe/kayak carrier is a must-have accessory for water sports enthusiasts. These carriers secure your watercraft to the roof of your vehicle, making it easy to transport to your favourite lakes, rivers, or coastal destinations.


Soft Roof Racks

Are you one of those whose vehicles lack permanent roof rails or crossbars? We’ve got a solution for you! These racks are intended to be mounted and removed without the use of tools. They have scratch-resistant, impact-resistant EVA foam padding that protects the roof of your vehicle while also providing a secure attachment point for various accessories.


Tow Bar Hitch

If you own a Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, or Isuzu D-Max, a tow bar hitch is an excellent addition to your off-road gear. This hitch allows you to attach accessories such as bike racks, cargo carriers, or trailers to your vehicle, expanding its capabilities and cargo capacity. Make sure to get hitches that are specifically designed to fit the model of your vehicle.


Upgrade Your Off-Road Adventures with the Ultimate Roof Rack - Shop Now at Everything Caravan & Camping!

A well-equipped off-road roof rack system can vastly improve your outdoor experiences. There is a roof rack accessory to suit your needs, whether you need extra storage space, want to transport your motorcycle or kayak, or simply need anchor points for securing gear. Consider the above-mentioned standout features and select the ones that best suit your off-road lifestyle.

Remember that investing in high-quality roof rack equipment protects and secures your belongings while also adding convenience to your off-road adventures. So, load up, hit the trails, and make the most of your off-road adventures with these excellent roof rack options from Everything Caravan & Camping!

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