It's summer, which means that millions of Americans will soon start packing their cars to go camping, visit the beach or faraway relatives; or to take part in recreational activities like surfing or biking only to find that there's not enough room for all of their stuff. Fortunately, there are many ways to carry that extra gear or cargo on the roof of your vehicle but it's important that you do it safely. Here's all you need to know about securing your stuff before you hit the road.
Use the right equipment for a tie-down job: Ropes and bungee cords are OK for providing extra stability and keeping down loose ends, but it's better to use cam or ratchet straps to secure cargo to your vehicle. Ratchet straps are a little more sturdy and better for larger, heavier items. Go with cam straps if your cargo is lighter, or more fragile and could be damaged by a super tight strap. Both options are budget-friendly and easy to use. Be sure to get the right size and learn how to use the straps properly.
Roof racks: Although you can secure certain cargo or carriers to your car without one, a roof rack is probably a good investment if you plan to regularly transport gear or other items on your roof. If you plan to carry several different types of cargo (kayaks and luggage, for example), be sure to get a rack that can be modified for a variety of uses. Also make sure that the rack you are purchasing has a weight limit compatible with what you would like to be able to haul.
Car top cargo holders: Although they can get pricey, car top carriers are a great option if you simply need more storage space, and you want the convenience of being able to get things in and out quickly, without having to secure them separately each time. Cartop carriers especially hardshell options also have the added benefit of keeping your cargo safe from weather and the elements. When shopping for a car top carrier, consider budget, ease of use, size and durability. Be sure yours is properly installed (by a professional, if necessary) before hitting the road.
Tips and Tricks for Securing Cargo:
- Place cargo on the roof or roof rack so that the weight of the load is evenly distributed.
- Arrange cargo as aerodynamically as possible to prevent it from catching the wind and being lifted off the roof.
- Secure the front and back of your cargo just as well as the sides.
- Take a test drive for a short distance to make sure your cargo is well-secured.
- Attach a red cloth to the end of your cargo if it extends beyond the vehicle.
For all of your auto insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.