People across the country travel by road to different places, and many of them rely on a roof rack to carry their luggage. The roof rack is a wonderful system that continues to supply extra space for people, but properly taking care of the roof rack is still a priority for traveling. Even after these many years of use, it's essential to know how to take care of the roof rack, and this guide will help you maintain it.
Read the Instructions Before Installation or Adding Accessories
Every roof rack has an instruction manual to ensure you know all precautions you should take. The manual will inform you on the best way to install and remove the roof rack, and if you plan to add accessories, you should read about the limitations of the rack. The manual will include instructions on taking care of the roof rack and how to preserve it, so even after reading it, you should keep it around in case you need a reference.
Keep the Rack Clean With Non-Corrosive Cleaner
Your roof rack will most likely have dirt and grime from being exposed to the natural elements, so you must keep it clean to prevent it from chipping or rusting. Most roof racks contain metal, so when you clean them, make sure you use a non-corrosive spray that won't wear down the metal. A mixture of vinegar and olive oil is a convenient cleaner that won't harm the metal; it also works well with stainless steel roof racks, such as the products sold by Sherpa Equipment.
Remove the Rack When Not in Use
If you aren't using the rack or don't plan to use it soon, remove it from the vehicle. Like any item you're not using, you don't want to have any unnecessary damage to the rack that is avoidable by placing it somewhere secure and not as out in the open. If you only have a little time in between using the roof rack, place a tarp over it, so it is protected from dirt or precipitation if the vehicle is in an outside area.
Do Not Overpack the Roof Rack
Overpacking is never advisable for any form of storage, and the roof rack is no exception. The roof rack manual will tell you the maximum weight the rack will hold, which is another reason to keep it around. Even a Toyota 4Runner roof rack has limitations and shouldn't have more weight than is recommended.
Excess weight may cause damage to the roof rack and cause the crossbars to bend into the roof of the car, leaving dents if the weight isn't taken off. Use the inside of the vehicle to take some of the weight off the rack.
Having a roof rack comes with the responsibility of maintaining it. These methods and tips will help you properly take care of your roof rack.