Just like with most things, the answer is “it depends.” There are a few considerations that you should take into account before deciding whether or not to add both a roof box and bike rack. Let’s explore these factors in more detail below.
Well, Just to get it out of the way: Yes, it is possible to have a roof box and a Bike rack on your roof. If you are a family of 5 and want all 5 bikes on the roof plus a roof box, that might get tricky. But a small roof box and 2 bikes are possible.
Take a look at this photo from JasonR. It proves it’s possible.
What to look for when buying Roof Box and Bike Rack
the load capacity of your roof bars
First, you need to make sure that the combined weight of your roof rack and everything on top does not exceed the maximum load capacity of your roof bars. If you go over, the roof bars can bend and/or break. This is especially important if your vehicle has a sunroof!
To check this: add up all of the items on top – including their weight and how far apart they are from each other (for example, two bikes x 30 pounds+ Roof box 10 pounds ) then compare that with the load capacity of your roof bars.
If yours is a rigid rack or one which doesn’t clamp onto the bars, you’ll need to make sure the bars are strong enough. If they’re not, it can lead to all sorts of problems – including safety issues (the rack could fly off and damage your paint job on another car for example).
If yours is a roof box with straps that go around the top tubes of bikes then load capacity isn’t as much of an issue as the straps take up some room and reduce your overall load capacity.
The distance between each item on top varies depending on what you’re carrying, but something to consider is that if there are two bikes next to each other then they need to be spaced far enough apart so that the rack can fit in-between them properly or next to the two bikes
max weight of the roof of your car
The max weight of the roof of your car is somewhere between 60 and 170 pounds. For the specifics of your car check your car manual.
If your car’s roof is already near its max load, then you might need to get a stronger rack. Don’t take the unnecessary risk that could lead to the car getting damaged.
Also read: What is the easiest Bike rack to use?
Checklist before buying a roof box and Bike rack
There are a couple of things we already talked about but don’t start throwing money around before you have checked the following list.
- Max load weight car (see car Manual)
- Max load weight Roofbar (instructions manual)
- size roof box
- size bike rack.
When checking for the size of the roof box think about what you want to put in the roof box. Is it for skiing equipment, is it more of a weekend holiday thing or do you need to have room for your weekly shop? do your bags fit?
The size of the bike rack depends on how many bikes you want to fit on top. Do check if there are any rules about not being allowed more than two bikes per car in your area!
How to Install a Roof Rack and Roof Box Together
Install Roof bars
first you need to install the roof bars.
when it comes to installing a bike rack and roof box together, you might find that your car requires different parts for each one of these items. Some cars have crossbars running all around which will make things much easier – but not every car has this option available.
If yours doesn’t then take a look at the instructions for your roof box and bike rack. The installation process should be similar but might require some extra parts to get it all to fit together properly – which need to be included in the package you buy.
On top of that, if you have a car with crossbars then there are options where one or both items can connect directly to the crossbars.
The easiest option is to have two separate bars running from your boot lid all the way along and attaching directly to the roof box/ bike rack, but there are options where both items attach at one end of either bar – this will make installation a bit more complicated though as it’s important that they’re installed on opposite sides.
Install Roof box
second, you need to install the roof box. That’s not really hard, you just have to follow a few steps. place the empty roof box on top of the roof bars.
Then you need to tighten the latch on both sides of the box. Not gonna lie that is very easy to do. If you are not that tall, then I would recommend that you get a step ladder if possible. Tighten the latch on both sides and you’re done.
Tools: Step Ladder, Roof Bars, Latch Key
Now it’s time to install the Bikes on the roof of your SUV. You can start this by putting one end on the front bar and then placing it under the latch. Then you repeat that same process with each bike, starting from back to front bars for both bikes.
This is a very simple task once you know how to do it but if someone has never done something like this before it can be a bit tricky. Just take your time. It’s much less frustrating.
The roof box and bike rack installation process is not the hardest task in this world, but it can be a bit overwhelming if you have never done that before.
If you take your time and follow these simple steps then I’m sure that you will have no problems installing them both together or separately on any vehicle!
Make sure to follow the checklist before you start and don’t forget to check the max load weight of both items too! Let us know if we forgot something or you have any questions in the comment section.