10 tips that'll help you master the art of pre-holiday car packing
by Martin Rupf
No more room in the trunk? A Thule roof box is often the ideal solution when space is at a premium in the car or when bulky items such as skis or snowboards need to be transported. Sports equipment and other luggage can be conveniently stowed on the roof. In addition to the roof box, bicycle carriers, water carriers or winter sports carriers are also suitable for transporting sports equipment that does not fit inside your vehicle. Attention: Roof boxes cannot (usually) be mounted directly on the vehicle, but require a compatible load carrier which, depending on the vehicle model, is attached to the roof railing, fixed point, rain gutter or the T-slot profile.
Before you buy a roof box, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to stow? What storage space do you need?
- Can your car carry a roof box?
- How big and heavy may the roof box be, depending on the vehicle type?
- Where are you going with the roof box?
- How easy should the operation of my roof box be? (e.g. practical quick-release fasteners and central locking systems)
- Which roof box type suits you? (rigid or foldable)
Cabriolets, sports cars and small cars are often not approved for high roof loads or cannot carry a roof box from a design point of view. As a rule, you will find all the information you need in the manual of your vehicle. Roof box and carrier weights should be included in the calculation as a matter of urgency.
With us you can buy both rigid and foldable roof boxes cheaply. If space in the garage is limited, a foldable roof box is a good choice. It can be stored in a space-saving manner when not in use. Foldable boxes are less robust and have to be assembled and disassembled before and after use, but this is done easily and quickly. Before purchasing, you should measure the width and length of all items to be transported, including their carriers, as well as the available space.
Securing the load in the box (for example with vehicle belts) is essential for a safe journey. Heavy items should be stowed in the middle and bottom of the box. In the front part of the roof box, soft pieces of luggage should be taken care of if possible. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the permissible roof load is not exceeded when transporting loads on the vehicle roof. The corresponding value can be found in the vehicle registration document.
Ideally, you should have two to three helpers to assist with the professional installation. Many tips for the correct installation of each model can also be found on the brand pages of the manufacturers, some even with roof box configurators.
Some additional tips:
- The sides of the roof box should not protrude beyond the vehicle roof.
- Maintain the maximum speed recommended by the roof box manufacturer (usually 130km/h)
- Pay attention to the transport height when driving (especially in multi-storey car parks or garages).