If you need some extra storage space in your RV, then a roof rack is a great way to store extra gear or equipment. However, they also come with some drawbacks. Is an RV roof rack really necessary? Can it damage the roof of your vehicle?
What are the benefits and disadvantages of an RV roof rack? In this article, we will look at RV roof racks and tell you everything you need to know about this popular accessory for RVs! Let’s begin by taking a closer look at RV roof racks themselves.
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What Are RV Roof Racks Used For?
RV roof racks are used to carry all sorts of things on top of your RV. You can use them to store items such as haul camping supplies, bikes, kayaks, skis, snowboards, surfboards, and even ATVs.
The list goes on and on. They make transporting these items easier than ever before.
They are especially useful if you have a long trip planned and want to bring along more stuff than what you could fit inside your RV.
Types Of RV Roof Racks
There are a few different types of roof racks available for RVs, but they can be broadly broken down into two categories.
Side Rail Racks
These are generally not factory installed and are further divided into being either raised or flush rail racks. Raised side rail racks leave a gap between the tail and roof, whereas flushed side rails have a neater line and silhouette as they fit right against the trailer roof.
Fixed Point Roof Rack Installation
Roof racks installed in this manner are permanent. It is advised that RV owners do not fix these types of racks themselves unless they are experts, as they’re difficult to install.
If installed incorrectly, it can cause all types of problems, such as roof leaks. If your RV doesn’t already have this type of installation, and you are considering it, take it to a garage to get it fitted correctly.
What To Look For In An RV Roof Rack
When shopping for an RV roof rack, there are several factors that you should consider. Here are just a few:
- 1. Size – How big do you want your roof rack to be? The best size for you will depend on what you are planning to carry.
- 2. Weight – How much weight does your roof rack support? This is important because if you plan to tow your RV with your car, you don’t want your roof rack to weigh too much.
- 3. Style – There are many styles available, from simple to complex designs. Some people like simple ones, while others love elaborate designs.
- 4. Material – Your roof rack will be exposed to some harsh conditions as you drive through all types of weather, so it needs to hold up against the elements and protect the items it contains.
- 5. Durability – Does your roof rack last longer than other models?
- 6. Price – How much will you pay for your roof rack? Although there are some lower-priced roof racks that will perform very well, especially short term, you usually get what you pay for when it comes to accessories.
Advantages Of An RV Roof Rack
The main advantage offered by an RV roof rack is the additional space. You will no longer need to worry about fitting bulky equipment into your RV and can take more items with you as you travel.
This is especially handy during longer vacations or any when you might be further from cities and amenities. A roof rack can also be a great option if you like activity-based hobbies, as it can hold all of your bulky sports gear.
Disadvantages Of An RV Roof Mounted Rack
While roof racks come with many advantages, they also have their disadvantages. Here’s a list of them:
- 1. Damage To Vehicle – Roof racks can damage vehicles by scratching the paintwork, causing rusting, and creating dents. They can also scratch the roof itself, leading to water leaks.
- 2. Safety Concerns – Roof racks can pose safety concerns, particularly if the rack is not designed properly. For example, if the rack is not securely attached to the vehicle, it could fall off during an accident. The same applies if the rack is not properly secured to prevent theft.
- 3. Weight – Roof racks add weight to the vehicle, making it harder to maneuver. Roof racks may also affect the handling of the vehicle, depending on how heavy they are. This additional weight can also cause a reduction in fuel efficiency.
- 4. Cost – Roof racks can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the model you choose. Some of them require professional installation, which adds to the overall price.
- 5. Noise Level – Roof racks can make a lot of noise when driving. For some drivers, this can be a great distraction.
- 6. Can Be Dangerous – Roof racks can be dangerous because they can tip over if the load becomes too heavy.
- 7. May Cause Problems With Insurance Companies – Roof racks can cause insurance companies to deny claims for damages caused by accidents involving roof-mounted racks.
- 9. May Affect Your Warranty – Roof racks can affect your warranty if they were improperly installed. Although it’s tempting to do it yourself, it’s always best to get the experts involved.
- 10. Can Make Parking Difficult – Roof racks can make parking difficult, especially if they block other parts of the vehicle. You will also need to be aware of the extra height added to your RV and take this into account when driving under bridges or tree canopies.
An RV roof rack can be a great purchase if you need additional storage space. However, they have a lot of drawbacks also, so they may not be worth the investment if extra storage isn’t essential.
Make sure you get any racks installed correctly and are aware of other issues, such as an increase in fuel costs and safety concerns.