Different Types of Roof Racks & How To Decide Which One is Best?

Different Types of Roof Racks

Different Types of Roof Racks & How To Decide Which One is Best?

Different Types of Roof Racks – Common misconception is that the plastic strips running front-to-back on many modern cars are a rain gutter that can easily be attached. This is not a rain gutter for rack purposes. This is the rack version of a “Naked Roof” vehicle. The most common fitting solution for this type of roof is a clip fit.

Different Types of Roof Racks

Naked/Bare Roofs

Clip Fit roof racks attach to cars without pre-installed attachment points. These cars are sometimes called “Naked Roof” and “Bare Roof”.

Clip fits need two components. The tower is universal while the clip, or fit kit, adapts the tower for specific vehicles. To ensure a perfect fit, these fits need to be measured precisely.

A custom permanent installation is the second option for roofs that are bare. This can be done using either fixed or track mounts. These permanent Ford Transit Custom Roof Rack offer more flexibility and are less expensive than clip-fit rack systems.

Side Rails – Flush & Raised

Many SUVs, wagons, and crossovers come with side rails that are installed from the factory. They run from front to back on the roof. These are usually strong attachment points that can be used to support roof rack systems, but not always.

Raised side rails elevate the roof so that a tower can fit all around it. There are many sizes of raised rails available. Not every tower will fit every rail.

Flush Siderails

Flush side rails are placed directly against the roof. They typically have pin holes or channels for towers to fit in. This type of side rail is fairly new, but it’s becoming more popular.

Factory Track and Fixed Point

Many cars come with roof rack mounting points. Some cars have tracks. These enable for quick and easy installation of base towers.

Examples of cars with fixed mounting points are the Honda Element and many Mazda models. There are also some Subaru and BMW sedans.

Rain gutter racks

Roof Rack towers for rain gutter roofs attach to the exposed gutters (or drip rails) that were common on most cars through the 80’s.

These can be found on certain Jeep/SUVs as well as larger cargo/commercial vans. Rain gutter racks are a classic item that has been around for many decades. Used options are plentiful and easily affordable.

Truck Canopy & Camper Tops

There are two options available for vehicles with camper or canopies roof racks. The first option is artificial side mount rain gutter brackets. These are attached on the sides of the camper/canopy to allow for a raingutter tower.

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