Tech Tip: Choosing a Roof Rack

By Frank Twarog

Land Rover Owners tend to use their vehicles for transportation of things other than just themselves. Whether it be for work or recreation, there are many items that are too large to fit inside of the vehicle itself.Rovers North is proud to offer our customers a wide variety of roof rack options whose uses are only limited by the owner's imagination.Customers may choose from a selection offered by Land Rover, Brownchurch and even custom manufactured stainless steel roof racks by Rovers North.

In order for someone to decide which rack is appropriate for them first requires some thought into what their rack's primary use will be, such as transportation of lumber, bicycles, luggage, kayaks or a tent. The second important factor is how much weight will be put up there. Many racks are limited to 100 lbs. of total weight, while other have been crafted to carry greater amounts.

Itis important to remember that any additional weight put above the passenger compartment will adversely affect a vehicle's handling characteristics. If you are planning to carry anything more than the rack and a few pieces of luggage you may want to consider some type of suspension upgrade. The addition of anti sway bar kits, OME suspension or Bilstein gas pressurized shock absorbers will help to decrease the degree of body roll that is associated with overloading the stock suspension. Initially, think about any height restrictions you might have such as a garage or low overhang. Many racks are designed to be easily removed by one person, while others may require the help of a few friends.

LandRover offers several genuine parts solutions. Their most versatile is the Thule line. These racks consist of two bars that run the width of the vehicle and, in many cases, are able to be locked to the gutter. In addition, the "spread", or distance between the bars, is variable.Thule offers many different carrying options that can be fitted to these bars including ski and bicycle carriers, canoe, kayak and sailboard fittings and even aerodynamic boxes that can increase storage space by up to 22 cubic feet.

In addition, Land Rover offers several "basket" style racks that are specifically designed for all types of Land Rover models. Many styles even incorporate ladders that allow the owner to access the rack itself. One way to expand the versatility of these roof racks is to carry along a set of bungee cords or netting to keep luggage or spare tyres from moving about.

RoversNorth also provides Brownchurch basket racks for owners of all Land Rovers. Similar to genuine racks, these often include brackets for auxiliary lighting and are offered in variable sizes. Many are available in either a black nylon coated finish or as unpainted galvanized steel.

Finally, Rovers North offers customized stainless steel roof racks for those owners who have specific needs that no other rack can address. From a basic platform for the professional photographer to a completely lockable system for overseas travel, these racks are unlimited in variety. In addition, the materials used assure that they will stand up to years of rugged use. A wide selection of lighting and carrying options are available, so please contact us for a rack to accommodate your individual needs.

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