1. What are the different types of car roof racks and which one should I choose?
The most common roof type in late model vehicles today is the bare roof and this is the case because most vehicles on the road are cars and trucks and generally those vehicles simply have a bare roof with no factory pre-installed rack.
The next most common roof type is the raised side rails found on the majority of SUVs, wagons and minivans. Raised rails are the stylish factory installed roof attachment that runs from front to back on the outer edges of the vehicle’s roof. Connecting a crossbar system to raised rails is quite simple and does not require a vehicle specific fit kit, just the load bars and foot pack. Raised rails offer the versatility to choose the optimum crossbar placement along the raised sections for a wide variety of loads to be carried.
The newest style of rail design has recently been introduced on many European makes, these rails are flush to the roof without any space between the rail and the roof. There is typically an inconspicuous inner and/or outer groove that allows connection of a cross bar system.
Fixed connection points are factory threaded fasten down points that are typically located on the outer edge of the roof at two points on each side. When not being use to attach a roof rack, there’s very little sign of them. Typically, the connection points are located under a roof trim piece, a removable panel or a flip up panel. Once the threaded points are exposed a custom set of fasteners, bases and rubber boots interface between the vehicle and the foot pack and load bars. The system offers a very clean integrated look while providing a dependable platform for attaching a variety of carriers.
60 years ago rain gutter roof rack attachment was common place and roof rack selection was simple. Today great diversity exists in passenger vehicle roof types. Rain gutters still exists on some late model vehicles but typically they’re only found on full sized cargo or passenger vans and a few 4×4 , such as Jeep Wrangler . The cross bar system is relatively simple and just requires the load bars and gutter foot pack.
2. Why does my rack or crossbar make whistle on the highway and how to get rid of it?
The wind noise we hear from some roof racks is known as Aeolian noise and is produced by wind when it passes over or through objects. If the surface the wind passes over has a consistent shape, the disturbance becomes tonal and at certain frequencies very annoying, especially when the car drives above 70 km/h.
How to reduce it? use a long bungee cord from the dollar store, wrap a few rounds.