When it comes to road trips and extended adventures, a roof box can be a game changer for storage capacity and organization. However, the position of the roof box on your car plays a crucial role in aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, and overall vehicle stability. This article will explore the best position for a roof box and provide alternative recommendations to help you optimize its placement on your car.
Table of Contents
Best Roof Box Position
The best position for a roof cargo box is at the central point of the crossbars, with the narrowest end of the box facing the front of the car. Positioning the roof box in the center of the car ensures even weight distribution, which helps maintain balance and improve handling. It prevents strain on one side of your car and minimizes the risk of damaging the roof or crossbars.
In some cases, you might want to position your roof box slightly to the left or right of the central point. This can still be a safe option as long as the weight distribution remains even. Keep in mind that placing the roof box too far forward may raise the center of gravity, which could lead to instability while driving.
Another factor to consider when positioning the roof box is the type of cargo you are carrying. For example, if you are carrying skis or snowboards, you may want a roof box specifically designed for those items. A roof box for skis and snowboards will provide the necessary space and security for your gear. It is essential to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions to ensure a proper fit and secure installation.
Additionally, make sure to position the roof box far towards the rear of your car when possible. This arrangement helps reduce wind resistance and improves gas mileage. Furthermore, it allows easier access to your vehicle’s trunk or hatchback and minimizes the risk of blocking the driver’s view through the rearview mirror.
In conclusion, position the cargo box with safety, efficiency, and practicality in mind. A well-fitted and properly positioned roof box will ensure better driving experience, optimal cargo storage, and protection for your equipment during long trips and adventures.
Image Source: Thule
Other Recommended Roof Box Positions
In this section, we will explore various rooftop cargo box positions that offer different advantages depending on your needs and preferences.
The front position places the roof box close to the front of the car. This is ideal for better weight distribution between the front and rear axles, enhancing vehicle balance and stability while on the road. It also improves aerodynamics by placing the roof box in the windshield airflow, subsequently increasing fuel efficiency.
The rear position places the roof box towards the far back of the car. This setup helps in reducing the wind resistance and drag experienced while driving. It provides an increased level of stability, and can also leave space on the roof for additional equipment, such as a bike rack or kayak carrier.
Similar to the off-center position, a one-sided position places cargo boxes on one side of the car. This leaves the other side of the roof available for additional cargo carriers, like bike racks or kayak holders, making it a smart choice for those traveling with various types of equipment.
For those who have more than one roof box or other rooftop storage solutions, a side-by-side arrangement can be used. This configuration maximizes storage space on top of the car while maintaining balance and stability. It is essential to ensure even weight distribution and secure attachments for a safe journey.
Tandem placement refers to mounting two roof boxes on your car, placed end-to-end. This setup can potentially provide extra storage capacity for longer items, as it extends the storage surface across the entire length of the roof. Nonetheless, ensure that the roof boxes are safely and securely attached to avoid mishaps while driving.
Angle placement positions the roof box at an angle on the roof of your car. This can help in optimizing wind resistance and reducing drag, as the slanted position tends to deflect air currents more effectively. It also provides a visually appealing look and can be done in tandem with other cargo carriers on the roof. Adequate weight distribution and secure attachments remain crucial.
Roof Box Placement Tips
The central point of the crossbars provides the best position for a roof cargo box, ensuring an even weight distribution and enhancing vehicle handling. This position offers the most balance for your car and contributes to a safe driving experience. Make sure to follow the roof box balance guidelines for the optimal alignment and safety.
Ease of Access
If you find it necessary to position the roof cargo box slightly to the left or right of the central point, that’s also acceptable, as it may offer easier access to the contents stored inside in the passenger side. Depending on the box size and the height of your vehicle, you may need to consider a box that is easier to load and unload, like a roof cargo box designed for suitcases.
Roof Box Size and Shape
Wide roof boxes usually fit centrally on the roof, while medium or narrow boxes can be positioned to one side. It’s essential to consider the dimensions of your rooftop carriers and how it will affect your vehicle’s balance, access, and overall performance. The size and shape of the box can also impact its compatibility with particular roof rack systems.
Roof Rack Compatibility
With the cargo box’s aerodynamics in mind, position the narrowest end of the box facing the front of the vehicle. This alignment helps reduce air resistance and wind noise while maintaining fuel efficiency. Balanced and optimally placed roof boxes contribute to a better driving experience, especially in varying weather conditions and at higher speeds.
Roof Box Installation: Best Practices
Installing a roof box on your car can provide you with additional storage space for travel. Following best practices for roof box installation is crucial for safety, stability, and efficiency. This section covers roof box setup instructions, alignment, and installation best practices.
Before you start the installation, consult the manufacturer’s instructions and properly assess the compatibility of your car’s roof bars with the roof box. Some roof boxes come with universal mounting hardware, while other designs require specific fittings compatible with the roof rack system.
When aligning the roof box on your car, position the narrowest end of the box, typically the front end, facing forwards. This aerodynamic design helps to minimize wind resistance and maintain fuel efficiency during your journey. The center of the roof box should ideally be placed on the crossbars’ central point. However, slight adjustments can be made to the left or right of this position if necessary. Ensure the roof box is securely fastened and tightened to avoid any accidental detachment.
The roof box’s weight distribution is essential for stability and safety when driving. Load heavier items at the bottom and closer to the center of the box, while lighter items can be placed on top or towards the edges. This will help keep the vehicle’s center of gravity low and minimize any impact on vehicle dynamics.
It is crucial to follow the weight limitations for both the roof box and your car’s roof bars or racks. Overloading can put stress on the roof structure, leading to potential damage or adverse effects on vehicle handling.
Some key points to consider while installing a roof box are:
- Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for installation guidelines.
- Ensure compatibility between your car’s roof bars and the roof box.
- Position the roof box aerodynamically, with the narrowest end facing forwards.
- Balance the load within the roof box for optimum stability and safety.
By adhering to these best practices, you can enjoy a safe, secure, and efficient roof box installation on your car.
Carriers in All Price Ranges
If you’re shopping around for rooftop carriers, you’ll notice they are now available in a lot of designs, sizes, and price ranges, which means everyone should be able to find one that perfectly suits their needs.
If you’re curious about some of the best rooftop carriers on the market, consider the following products:
- Best Rooftop Carrier Box - SportRack Rooftop Carrier Box
- Best Rooftop Carrier Bag - RoofBag Waterproof Rooftop Carrier Bag
Our Recommended Rooftop Carriers
Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. RoofBag Waterproof Rooftop Carrier Bag
Made by the RoofBag Company, this high-quality rooftop bag fits all vehicles with or without roof racks. They come in two main sizes: a size 11, which fits small and large vehicles; and a size 15, which fits vans, SUVs, and full-sized sedans.
It is installed via water-repellant straps that are super-strong and long-lasting, and it is easy to install, regardless of the type of vehicle you own.
Weighing a mere 8 pounds, the RoofBag carrier is a steal at around $70 and is both fire-resistant and easy to store away when you’re not using it. It is quiet thanks to its aerodynamic design, and it can help you save a lot of money at the gas pumps. It is also surprisingly large and can handle everything from suitcases to snowboards with ease.
2. STDY Rooftop Cargo Bag
Providing a full 20 cubic feet of extra space, this top-notch carrier bag is waterproof, durable, and simple to install. You can use it to store sleeping bags, luggage, and even accessories for your vehicle.
Priced reasonably at roughly $60, the STDY carrier bag has a unique aerodynamic design and comes in a lightweight 8.7-pound size. It even has a storage bag you can put it in whenever you aren’t using it.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, but need a high-quality, waterproof cargo carrier, this rooftop bag is for you. It is designed to be easier on your gas mileage and even protects your belongings when it’s pouring down rain outside. Perfect for all types of trips and vacation outings.
3. Asani Rooftop Carrier Bag
In a 15-cubic-foot design, the Asani rooftop carrier bag can accommodate sedans, vans, SUVs, and even pickup trucks. Since it’s a soft bag-type carrier, it is flexible enough to hold items of various sizes and shapes, and it is super-easy to install.
It is also low-maintenance and even folds down to the size of a tablet, making it easy to store it away when it isn’t being used.
To make things even better, Asani offers a lifetime warranty on this carrier, meaning you can buy it with confidence every time. In addition, at a price of around $62, you can purchase this excellent carrier bag without breaking the bank. It is the perfect addition for your next vacation or day trip.
4. RoofPax Rooftop Cargo Carrier Bag
With a convenient 19-cubic-foot design, the RoofPax carrier bag is 100% waterproof and made out of military-grade materials that will keep it working great for many years to come.
You can attach the carrier whether you have a roof rack or not, and it fits vehicles of all sizes and designs. It is also one of the most reasonably priced cargo carriers on the market and costs under $120.
If your zippers or buckles ever break or tear – even decades from now – the manufacturer will replace them for free. At night, the logo on the bag will glow so it is easily seen, and it even comes with a total of 10 straps to make sure you are able to install it nice and tight.
5. Thule Pulse Rooftop Carrier
The Pulse rooftop carrier box is great whether it is mounted central or to one side, and its hard-shell design is sturdy and aerodynamically made.
It is available in 11-, 14-, and 16-cubic-foot sizes and comes with a fast-grip quick-mount system that makes it super easy to install. It comes with a key for extra safety and security, and you can load and unload the carrier conveniently on the passenger side.
Built to last and to accommodate up to 110 pounds of belongings, the Pulse rooftop carrier can hold up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards. Thanks to its aerodynamic design, it also makes for a smooth and quiet ride, and it can withstand the elements with ease.
6. SportRack Rooftop Carrier Box
Thanks to its sturdy materials and its aerodynamic design, this rooftop carrier box is both efficient and stylish. You can install and remove it quickly and easily, and it fits the majority of roof rack systems.
It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is available in three different sizes. It also opens on the passenger side for safety when installing or removing skis or snowboards, and its locks will make certain that your belongings are safe at all times.
It is also a carrier that provides a smooth and quiet ride, making it a convenient product to own for your next outing or vacation.