So you’ve decided that your vehicle just doesn’t have enough room and you need a roof rack. Car roof racks are a great option for hauling more gear and carrying accessories like bikes, kayaks, skis, snowboard, and anything that will fit in a roof box. When looking for a car roof rack for your vehicle, there are many things to consider. The first thing you’ll need to find out is the style of roof on your vehicle.
This step is crucial to getting a proper fit for you car roof rack. Generally, there are 4 main styles of vehicle roofs that can accommodate car roof racks; Factory Crossbars, Raised Rails, Smooth Roof with Rain Gutters, and Smooth Roof without Rain Gutters. Each style of roof has a rack system specifically designed to carry the various rack accessories.
Your vehicle may already have crossbars install won’t there won’t be any need to purchase a car roof rack system. Crossbars come in several shapes and sizes, however, factory crossbars are usually oval (to reduce wind noise). Make sure to purchase compatible accessories with your roof rack system.
Some vehicles are equipped with side rails that run the length of the roof. Rails can either be raised (gap between rail and roof) or flush with the roof.
Smooth Roof with Rain Gutters
This style of roof requires mounts that attach to directly to the rain gutter. Rain gutters are found on the edge of the roof and provide a surface for a car roof rack to mount on.
Smooth Roof without Rain Gutters
This is the more common style of roofs found on vehicles. These car roof racks attach with custom fit hooks that grab on to the outside edge of the roof.