RV owners often wonder whether they can install a roof rail on their RV.
The answer depends on several factors, such as the type of vehicle, the manufacturer, and the model year.
RVs come in various sizes and shapes. Some are designed to sleep two people, while others can accommodate six or eight passengers.
They also vary in terms of size and shape. For example, some models are longer than others.
A roof rack is a great way to store items on your RV. However, installing a roof rack isn’t always easy.
In fact, it requires special tools and skills. If you don’t want to tinker with your RV, you should consider buying a new one instead.
But suppose you have already purchased a used RV and would like to add extra features. In that case, you may want to think about adding a roof rack to increase its functionality.
While shopping for an RV, check how much space will be available on the roof. This will give you an idea of what kind of roof rack you need to purchase.
You will also need to ensure that there are no obstructions on the roof. Otherwise, you won’t be able to install a roof rack effectively.
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Buying And Installing A Roof Rail
When purchasing a roof rack, you will first need to decide whether you want to buy the kit separately or with the roof itself.
Kits usually include both the base and the rails necessary to attach them.
As long as you have access to your RV’s roof, you shouldn’t encounter any problems installing the parts of the kit.
The best time to install the roof rack is when you’re still planning to use the RV during the summer months.
This way, you can ensure that the sun doesn’t damage your equipment. The next step is to decide which parts of the kit you want to use.
For example, most manufacturers offer different types of roofs. These include round metal roofs; flat steel roofs; and solid rubber roofs for newer models.
You can choose from four essential roof racks: side-by-side, tandem, mid-mount, and rear mount. Side-by-side roof rails require you to install the rack at a 45-degree angle.
Tandem racks are similar to side-by-sides but allow users to open up the gaps between the roof rails.
Finally, mid-mount and rear mounts are more stable options because they have an extended crossbar near the middle.
Once you know what type of rack you want to install, you will need to find out where it can be placed.
There are five ways of attaching a roof rack: over the top, underneath the roof, on top of the trailer hitch, on the tongue, and on top of the tow ball.
Over the top is the safest option. It is ideal for most of today’s vehicles. Other than being the most straightforward method, it is also often the cheapest.
Underneath is another viable option. Although this method is not very popular, it offers better stability than the other methods.
On top of the trailer hitch is the third option. It is recommended only for RVs that have a roof-mounted trap. This allows the user to place the roof rack directly below the hitch.
The tongue is the fourth option and is the easiest method for older trailers. This is because the roof rack attaches directly to the outside of the trailer.
On top of the tow ball is the fifth option. It is not recommended for small trailers or those with low clearance.
If you plan to install a roof rack on your RV, make sure that the vehicle has enough room.
Don’t forget about the length too! Ensure that the roof rack is at a safe height to avoid bumping into things while driving.
As mentioned above, some manufacturers recommend placing the roof rack over the vehicle’s top.
Others suggest that you put it underneath. In either case, make sure that you don’t hit anything.
Install an underneath roof rack after you finish painting and decorating the interior of your RV. This will help prevent water spots from appearing on the roof.
The last thing you would want is to spend hundreds of dollars removing paint stains caused by the roof rack.
Ensure that all the accessories listed on the manufacturer’s website are included. If something is missing, contact them immediately.
They may provide a free replacement or refund. Roof racks come in many styles, sizes, shapes, materials, colors, and price ranges.
Choosing one depends on how much cargo you intend to carry, whether you want a sturdy frame, and if you want to customize it according to your needs.
Racks can range anywhere from $50 to $2,000 or even higher, depending on their size, shape, material, and customization.
Before buying a roof rack, think carefully about what you want to do with it. For instance, do you want to use it as a spare tire carrier, or do you want to load large items?
Do you want to hang bikes inside the vehicle or keep them undercover? Will you use it to transport skis, surfboards, or snowboards?
What kind of weight does it support? How high do you expect the loading heights to go?
Tips For Packing A Motorhome
To pack a motorhome, follow these simple steps:
Store Everything In The Main Compartment
Keep smaller items like sunglasses, maps, and books within reach. Also, store any valuables you intend to take with you.
Use The Most Miniature Containers You Can Find
Some people prefer using plastic buckets instead of plastic bags when packing.
This eliminates the mess created by carrying around plastic bags and makes it easier to clean up afterward.
Pack Heavier Items Towards The Front End Of The Motorhome
Heavy objects such as tools, kitchen appliances, etc., should be kept close to the driver’s seat.
By storing heavy items near the entrance, they won’t cause damage to the tires and other parts of the vehicle.
Make Sure That Airtight Seals Are Used Whenever Possible
This prevents moisture from getting trapped inside the trailer.
Also, when traveling through rainy areas during the winter months, always secure the doors tightly. This will allow water to drain out quickly.
Always Check The Floor Of Your Motorhome Before Leaving For An Extended Trip
You wouldn’t want to discover that some cracks or holes could let in water when you aren’t expecting it.
To do this, get down on your hands and knees and look for any leaks or crevices.
Choose A Reputable Dealer Who Offers Excellent Customer Service
Look for dealers who have been working in the industry for years. Avoid dealers whose vehicles are poorly maintained.
Ask them questions regarding the condition of their trailers. Don’t hesitate to ask for a written estimate on the cost of repairs and maintenance.
Be Careful Not To Overload The Tow Ball Mount
Too much pressure could result in the attachment breaking off. Don’t worry because it only takes a few minutes to replace it if this happens.
However, make sure that you purchase a new tow ball system. They can be pretty pricey, but they offer long-lasting durability.
Remember To Add Extra Padding To Seats While Driving
It helps protect against back injury by pushing the user forward. It also reduces fatigue.
Check The Batteries Every Month Or So
Have they been tested regularly? Over time, batteries lose their capacity. At this point, you may need to invest in a replacement battery.
Avoid Taking Unnecessary Trips Away From Home
The farther away you travel, the more likely you will experience problems. When dealing with a severe issue, call your local dealership.
But, again, it is best to deal with your RV specialist rather than attempt repairs yourself.
Never Leave The Key Fob In The Ignition Unless Absolutely Necessary
Leaving the key fob in place allows thieves to steal a truck with little effort.
In addition, if you lock the door of your motorhome, thieves can still drive it away since the keys remain in the ignition.
Take it upon yourself to park in a crowded area where no one is around.
Keep Your Eyes Open For Potential Hazards
When you’re traveling, try to avoid dangerous roads. Stay alert at all times. If you see something out of the ordinary, slow down right away.
Leave Everything You Don’t Need Behind While Departing
It might seem like a hassle, but it really isn’t. Many people bring unnecessary clothes, toiletries, and even food when they venture on vacation.
All these things take up space and weigh down the vehicle. Removing them saves room and weight, which improves fuel economy.
Avoid Making Purchases At Gas Stations
Gas pumps tend to attract thieves and robbers alike. Instead, it is better to stop at rest stops or campgrounds. These locations offer security due to their remote setting.
Follow The Rules Set Forth By The Department Of Transportation
Make sure you always keep your registration current, especially if you plan on driving across state lines.
Purchase A Suitable Quality Windshield Washer Fluid
This should only take a few minutes to install. It will help prevent damage to your windows and side mirrors during rainy weather conditions.
Use Caution When Driving Through Flooded Areas
Motorhomes are often damaged by rising floodwaters. Try to avoid driving through these zones because it is too risky.
If you must, stay close to the road. Stay off the bridges and overpasses. Once you reach dry land, proceed carefully.
Be Cautious When Renting A Car
Since many rental companies lack mechanics, they don’t want to risk losing any vehicles.
As such, they often charge customers hefty fees to repair damages. Try finding a reliable mechanic before attempting repairs.
Always Wear Seat Belts When Riding In A Vehicle
Seat belts significantly reduce the likelihood of an accident due to collisions. Also, buckle up young children so that they do not have to suffer injuries.
Carry Plenty Of Plastic Bags With You Whenever You Go Shopping
Plastic bags can serve as protection against theft. They can also double as trash cans if needed.
Don’t Forget To Pack A List Of Emergency Contacts
Knowing who to contact will be critical if you get lost or injured while traveling. Store this information inside your phone or wallet.
Pack Extra Batteries When Traveling
Most modern smartphones use lithium-ion batteries. However, there is a chance that you may run out of power before reaching your destination.
Having enough spare batteries ensures that you won’t miss important calls, text messages, emails, and other notifications.
Have A Full Tank Of Gas Before Leaving
Even though most gas stations provide free Wi-Fi access, it may drain your battery faster.
Plus, you may need additional time to find your way back home. Having plenty of gas will allow you to easily navigate unfamiliar roads.
Plan Ahead Of Time When Stopping For The Night
Stop often when traveling. Plan to spend one day per week sleeping in a hotel. This gives you more time to relax after long days of travel.
Keep Track Of Mileage When Driving Your Motorhome
Tracking your mileage is very helpful when planning future trips. Additionally, it gives you a sense of accomplishment once you complete your journey.
Consider Adding A GPS Device To Your Motorhome
Not only does this help you locate destinations, but it also provides navigation assistance. When using a GPS system, make sure to download maps before departure.
Take Breaks Every Once In A While
Being able to stretch your legs will give you energy and focus. Staying seated for extended periods can cause fatigue. Taking frequent breaks keeps you alert and energized.
To conclude, we hope that our guide has been helpful to you.
This article should prove beneficial whether you are just planning to take your first road trip or already have several years under your belt.
We are always happy to answer questions about RVing. Please feel free to ask us anything!