Many hefty pieces of gear are commonly associated with an outdoor adventurous lifestyle. You could have to transport a variety of items from your house to the trailhead, including boots, skis, tents, and backpacks. You may take everything you need for an enjoyable trip without having to pack your car to the brim by installing a rooftop cargo box to your car. This article discusses what you may store in a cargo box and how to determine which box would fit best on your automobile in order to assist you in selecting the appropriate size.
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Step 1: Consider What You Would Like to Keep in a Cargo Box
Cargo boxes are frequently used by outdoor enthusiasts to store items such as tents, sleeping bags, pads, strollers, furniture for camps, skis, ski poles, and boots (hint: store your boots in the car while heading to the slopes to keep them warm). However, they work well for other items as well, such kids’ toys, beach gear, and gardening equipment. Thinking about what you’ll pack in a cargo box will help you narrow down the length, breadth, and height that your equipment requires.
Things that are large in volume but light in weight are suitable for placement on top of roof boxes. Bulky, lightweight goods fit well in roof boxes. Thus, gear like camp chairs, sleeping bags, pads, pillows, and tents are ideal choices.
Longer products need longer roof boxes: The shorter, more compact roof boxes might not be suitable for you if you intend to store long items in your roof box, such skis and snowboards. Most downhill ski and snowboard lengths can fit in most roof boxes just well, but if you have very long skis (such as 210cm cross-country skis), you will need to be very careful about how long the box is going to be. To make sure they fit, measure your skis or other long objects against the interior measurements of roof boxes.
It is preferable to store heavy items inside your car: The majority of cargo boxes have a maximum weight capacity of between 150 and 165 pounds (for precise weight restrictions, check with the box maker). It’s preferable to store particularly heavy items—such as a full cooler, jugs of water, and bins of dry food—inside the car to prevent going over the weight limit. It’s also critical to understand that you cannot always load a roof box to its maximum capacity of 165 pounds, even though that is its stated capacity.
Step 2: Check the Cargo Box Dimensions
It’s a good idea to check more closely at the measurements of different cargo boxes now that you have an idea of what you’ll probably store in one so you can select one that fits exactly what you need to put in it. To get diverse effects, manufacturers blend the cargo box’s length, breadth, and height in different ways.
Most cargo crates have a length of at least six feet. A pair of 180cm skis and most other items of that length will fit well in a 6-foot-long box. You must choose an extra-long box that will suit your skis or other products if they are longer than 180cm (5 ft. 10 in.), such as a long pair of cross-country skis. You could be just OK with a sub-6-foot box if you never intend to haul long stuff.
It should come as no surprise that a broad roof box has more storage space than a narrow one (provided the other dimensions are equal), but it may also leave you without any room for accessories like a bike or kayak rack on the crossbars of your rack. You may need to consider smaller boxes (or broader crossbars) if you wish to be able to mount additional equipment on your roof next to the roof box.
Another obvious method to increase the capacity is to get taller. However, higher boxes could make it impossible for you to drive into some spaces, such as drive-through restaurants, public parking garages, and your own garage. It’s important to consider how much height a cargo box will add to an already tall vehicle and whether it will restrict your travel options.
Step 3: Verify That Your Car Can Fit the Cargo Box
You’ve probably found a few of boxes by now that will accommodate the equipment you wish to store. But make sure the box fits snugly on your automobile before clicking “buy.” This entails determining the hatch clearance and considering the box’s appearance on your car.
When they know they won’t be using their cargo box for a long, some individuals choose to remove it from their car and store it somewhere dry and cold. If you want to do this, be careful to store it somewhere cool and dry—never in the sun or in an area where temperatures might drop or rise sharply. Additionally, avoid storing the box on its side or end since this may cause harm to it. A sensible strategy is to store the box on its base. If you do this, raise the box sufficiently with a pair of 2x4s below it so the mounting hardware is off the ground. Suspension of the box is an additional option; suspension kits are sold by some box makers.