When you have too much equipment for the rear storage area of your vehicle or the things you want to store or carry are dirty and not suitable for the inside then there is a different solution, the roof rack.
Roof racks have been around for a long time and they are available for almost all vehicles. There are many different designs for the roof rack. The most basic design is a two bar set up which allows the user to carry long items such as surf boards, skis or long storage boxes. The larger more complex roof rack is a full length frame like structure with a mesh like or solid base running the full length of the vehicle, or even even extending over the bonnet.
The majority of roof racks fit to the vehicle via attachments to rails or grooves running along the roof or along side of the roof.
The main precautions when using a roof rack is that of proper security of the fittings and the issue of the load weight and distribution. A heavily laden roof rack will cause a large change in the vehicle’s centre of gravity thus making a roll over more likely. Also, a constant use of a heavily laden roof rack will cause damage to the roof rack and cause stress to the pillars of the vehicle. Weight distribution is also an important factor, even if the roof rack is loaded correctly the placement of the load will affect the handling and braking distances of the vehicle.
A solution to the stress to the vehicles pillars is addressed by one type of Land Rover roof rack. The roof rack uses struts on each corner which extend down to strong points on the body so as to help with weight distribution along the roof rails, or gutters on a Land Rover Defender.