Led Lighting

Auxbeam Blog

It is already April and the Summer is coming. It is a good time for us to go out and have a look at... Roof Racks Buying & Installation Guide

Roof RacksIt is already April and the Summer is coming. It is a good time for us to go out and have a look at the wild in such comfortable weather. Americans love to go camping and climbing mountains or even driving bicycles. While driving out with a lot of stuff, you cannot take so many things only with your two hands. You can consider adding the roof racks to help you pack more things on the roof. Also, the roof top cargo rack can also help you to carry more things if your work needs, such as some vans with van roof racks that can carry more things and will not take the space for the passengers. And here I want to share you a guide on how to choose the SUV or van roof racks for your vehicles and the installation guide.

Different Factory Roof Rails

The roof racks need to be installed on the roof rails. As the roof rails are fixed, you need to choose the roof rack suitable for the roof rails. There are mainly 4 types of factory roof rails that are designed for the vehicles.

Naked/Bare Roof

bare roofMost sedan or crossover cars are designed to streamline model, so the manufacturers will not make the roof rails appeared on the roof top. It is called the Naked Roof or Bare Roof. However, the manufacturers will still leave some place with screws when you really need to add roof rack or roof top cargo rack to carry more things on the roof for some vehicles.


Raised Side Railsraised roof rails

The raised side rails are very common in many SUVs or vans. The structure of these side rails is mostly separated from the roof, with only a few fixed points connected to the roof. It is very convenient to add roof rack to these raised side rails. If you do not want to add the roof racks, you can use cargo rack, ropes and nets to fix simple luggage.

flush roof railsFlush Side Rails

Flush side rails are also common in some new model vehicles. These flush side rails are completely fitted to the roof and typically have a channel or some holes to let the roof rack fit in. The advantage is that after installing the roof racks, the height of flush side rails is lower than that of the raised side rails.

factory track railsFactory Track Rails

Factory track rails are not that common. With the factory track rails, vehicles will still have the streamlined roof. But if you want to install roof racks or roof top cargo rack, it will be easier. Also, the height of installing on the factory track rails can be lower than the flush side rails.

Factors for Choosing Roof Racks


The Roof rack can be mainly separated into 2 sets: roof rack for special vehicles or universal use. If you have more than one vehicles, you’d better choose the universal roof racks as you can just simply reinstall the roof rack from one vehicle to another, which can save some money for purchasing two pairs for special vehicles.

Load Capacity

When purchasing the roof rack or even the roof top cargo rack need to check the load capacity. The load capacity means the maximum load that the roof rack can take. It is suggested that the total weight of the luggage you need to put on the roof rack or the roof top cargo rack need to be less than the fixed load capacity of the load capacity. So, when purchasing the roof racks, check the load capacity first. If you need to put much heavy stuff on the roof, choose the roof racks or top roof cargo racks in higher load capacity.

Prevention of Thievery

For some roof racks, there is also one important factor you can consider before purchasing—anti-theft lock. Some roof racks have the lock that can prevent theft from stealing. As some of the roof racks can be easily installed with some screws, if parking not in the safe place, your roof rack might be easily stolen.

Roof Racks Installation Guide

Naked/Bare Roof

As we mentioned above, if vehicles with the bare roof, no roof rails need roof rack, you can install with the mounting clamps to tighten the roof racks. And there are several steps to install the roof racks with an anti-theft lock on the roof top that has no screws for installing the roof racks.

  1. Use the keys to open the lock and use the Allen Wrench to unscrew the bolts.
  2. Adjust the roof rack distance and unlock the locking bolt
  3. Place the mounting clamps on the locking slot and tighten the bolt 3 laps, but not tighten closely for now.
  4. Add the rubber gasket on the bottom
  5. Adjust the roof rack to ensure that both clips are in the same place.
  6. Then tighten the adjusting bolts and the locking bolt for the clamps, ensure no looseness.
  7. Check whether the roof rack is fixed on the roof firmly. If so, lock the anti-theft cover.

For those vehicles with the installing screws for the roof racks, you can just remove the rubber strip and add some little clips and the buckle base; then install the roof racks.

Bare Roof--Roof Racks Installation

Raised Side Rails

It is really easy to install the roof racks on the raised side rails

  1. Adjust the roof rack installation distance
  2. Tighten up the locking bolt and make the roof rack clamp on the rails
  3. If the roof racks have the anti-theft lock, lock it at the end.

Flush Side Rails

  1. Use the right hook which perfectly fit the side rail
  2. Make the roof rack be vertical to the plastic feet, then tighten the screws with the Allen Wrench. It will be easier to install when pressing the nuts with your finger with behind the plastic feet.
  3. Lock the plastic feet with the key and cover with side cover. Then the roof rack can be easily installed.

Flush side rails--roof racks

Factory Track Rails

When installing the roof rack on the vehicles with factory track rails, you need some buckle bases as well.

  1. Installing the buckle bases right on the place you want to install the roof racks
  2. Screw up the roof rack on the buckle bases you have installed.
  3. Add the locking bolts to ensure the roof racks are firmly installed on the roof top.


The roof racks are very useful equipment for any vehicles. Every vehicle should have a set. While choosing the roof racks, you’d better check your vehicle side rails, the load weight, and whether the roof racks can be anti-theft. Just choose your favorite roof racks and go on a trip in such good weather.

Share this:

Renee editorrenee

I'm an editor of auxbeam lighting.com. Here in this blog, I will introduce some new products that Auxbeam released and I will also tell you something really hot related to the LED lighting.