How to choose and install a cargo box on the roof of the car

How to: optimally place the roof rack and box on the roof of the car

Information especially for those who want to put on the roof: 1) a trunk, 2) box and have some questions: “where to put it, at what distance, forward or backward, where to put the bars and so on and so forth…”.

In order: 1) Placement of the trunk on the roof: The trunk consists of: – arcs, crossbars, sticks, etc., – stops, – installation kits (sometimes) Types of roofs, to install the trunk, Here : Types of trunk mounts for different roofs 1.1) if mounting the trunk in the “regular places” or on the “smooth roof”, then installed in the planned places specified in the instructions;

1.2) if there is a possibility of moving along the roof, then: – the arc – placed over the head, will be heard more than if the front arc is moved a little back, – any trunk is installed in order to place something on it (equipment, cargo, etc.), accordingly determine the place for the crossbars is chosen according to the needs Thule recommends the distance between the front and rear arc minimum 70 cm . The author suggests a distance of 86 to 92 cm between the rails. This range allows most boxes to be mounted with a small margin, for micro-adjustments…

2) Box placement on the car roof The box is installed on the previously installed roof rack. Most boxes have the ability to move along the car, on the previously installed roof rack. Also – in some cases – it is possible to move the box along the car, thus increasing the “degree of freedom” to place the box. 2.1) it is desirable to avoid “pockets” – when the airflow from the windshield gets under the bottom of the box, thereby creating increased load on the units of car (for example, automatic transmission);

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2.2) it is desirable to leave 1.0 – 2.0 cm from the back part of the box to the rear door – trunk in open position. If there is no possibility to move the box forward, most modern cars have a “height limitation of opening” function of the trunk lid. With which it is possible to adjust the distance between the rear of the box and the open trunk lid;

3) Installation of the trunk and the box on it: it is desirable to limit the length of “free overhangs” of the box, that is, to move apart the arcs as much as possible from each other: 3.1) the front arc in the maximum front position on the bottom of the box, 3.2) the rear arc – in the maximum rear position on the bottom of the box, Thus – possible vibrations, vertical oscillations of box’s “ends” are minimized, – most of the boxes have metal amplifiers in the bottom, which prevent the spreading of vibration and “sagging” of the box bottom, distributing the load of the placed things 4) box center positioning on the roof center – along the car longitudinal axis, there are a number of moments the central placement gives: + beautiful appearance, + optimal distribution of the load on the trunk, – it is not very convenient to load things in the box, which is far from the edge – sometimes an important point in using the box, – it is almost impossible to install next to the box anything else – bike mounts, for example

5) Placement of Things Inside the Box Thule recommends placement of things inside the box: 1/4 (front) + 1/2 (middle) + 1/4 (back) However, when placing the heavier things in the box over the arcs, and the rest – evenly, according to recommendations on the proportions 1/4+1/2+1/4 6) Limitations of having a box on the roof of the car 6.1) Maximum Speed – 130 km / h 6.2) Height limitations – the car is higher

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Payload: How to choose a roof box

Luggage boxes have become a real trend, and understandably so: car touring in Russia is on the rise, and in a long journey extra volume would not hurt. If you also decided to equip your car a roomy “backpack,” we are willing to help you with this.

Although car travel is probably the main driving force of the market of car trunks and boxes, it is mistaken to think that the extra luggage volume can be useful only for summertime evacuation of the family to the seaside. In addition to a couple of suitcases in the boxes (especially if we are talking about models with a serious liters and dimensions) perfectly travel snowboards, skis, sleds, and boards, which you have fifteen years to take away from the balcony to the cottage.

Current state of the luggage systems market

Just a few years ago the Russian market of luggage systems – and luggage boxes in particular – was completely different. Foreign brands ruled the ball – in particular the Swedish Mont Blanc and Thule, Italian Menabo and Farad, as well as the Dutch Harpo. But domestic manufacturers, sensing the trend, pulled up very quickly and now we have a whole litter of domestic brands: Atlant, Evrodetal, Nord, Lux, PT Tuning…




By now the Russians have learned to provide quality and other consumer properties, sometimes not inferior to foreign analogs, and the prices of our products look much better – localization does its job. Thus, the box on the roof has now become a much more affordable device than before, and the entire market is essentially divided into two large segments: foreign brands offer boxes for prices ranging from 25,000 to 95,000 rubles, and Russian brands offer them for 10,000 to 30,000 rubles.

Of course, these are somewhat different products. The foreign brands have an established reputation, a variety of advanced functions, and almost flawless quality. Domestic brands have ambitions to conquer the market, simple equipment and desire to get as close to the trendsetters as possible. Realizing that you are choosing a roof box, will be largely guided by personal preferences and considerations, we are not tied to specific brands, we present you a universal set of rules that will help you with your purchase.

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Roof rails, trunk and mounts

The first thing you have to do is to understand on what basis you are going to put your box – that is, decide on the rack (luggage system), which usually consists of two crossbars attached either to the car rails or directly to the body. It is to these crossbars you will need to “dock” the box.


Most of the offered boxes have universal four-bar brackets fixed with eight “wing nuts” (these fit all trunks), but some manufacturers offer their own brackets, which provide quick and easy installation, but they fit only 50-80% of all trunks.

If you already have a rack, match its design with the mounting features of the box you are going to buy, and do not hesitate to consult a salesperson about it. If you do not have a carrier, it makes sense to buy it together with the box – usually manufacturers make these two components perfectly matching sets.

And you should not worry much about the antenna on the roof – in most cases it easily bends along the bottom of the box, which does not interfere with its work.

Volume and shape of the box

Decide what exactly you are going to transport, because the volume of all boxes can be divided into three groups: up to 350 liters, 350-500 liters, over 500 liters. The first group includes those boxes, which are useful only as a small addition to car’s cargo opportunities. If you need a second full-featured luggage rack – for example, in case the regular one is busy on a regular basis – it is better to pay attention to the second group. For the transportation of a large amount of bulk cargo and long vehicles, the third group is suitable.

Speaking of the long boxes, we can not ignore and another division of all the boxes – the form. Traditionally, there are also designated three groups: “short and wide” (small boxes with the shape of the bottom close to the square), “long and wide” and “long and narrow”. The first group is suitable for small cars with a short base, the other two for larger cars.

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So, if we take a certain range of sizes on the market of boxes, it turns out that the “short” boxes are those having a length of 1,200-1,300 mm, and “long” – 1,700-2,200 mm. “Narrow” are those with a width of about 600-750 mm, and “wide” are those from 800 to 940 mm. In addition, a large number of sports models have recently appeared, with the most squat silhouette, so there are two more gradations – “low”, with a height of 300-350 mm and “high” – 400-450 mm.



Length, width, height

When choosing the length of the box, there are two key moments: the problem-free opening of the back door (on wagons and hatchbacks) and the overhang of the front edge of the box over the top edge of the windshield by not more than 300mm. The first point gives you free access to the luggage compartment of the car, and the second guarantees a normal view.

Some manufacturers indicate the maximum length of the long vehicle, which can be transported in the box, but in general, it is worth getting a rule: subtract 50-70 mm from the overall length – you get the maximum length of the transported cargo.

Wide and high box guarantees you more capacity – bulky suitcases will go into it with more probability. But the narrow and low models also have advantages: the narrow box will put on the trunk of an extra mount (or even two) for a bicycle, and a combination of long length with low width and height allows you to get a relatively small increase in fuel consumption after installing the box.

Load capacity

This point is related to the previous two, but can not say that directly – large size box does not always mean its high carrying capacity. At this moment there are two classes of load capacity: 50-55 kg and 70-75 kg. Boxes in the second group have a bottom reinforced with metal plates. Correspondingly, the high load-carrying capacity of the box is not determined by its dimensions, but by the reinforced design of the floor. But the reference point is the following: reinforced bottom should have boxes with the volume over 450 liters.

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