Car Cargo Roof Boxes—A Lifesaver for a Big Family

By Wendy J. Reed, from The Page Garage

Editor’s Note: The Page Garage is a new NMA Blog friend. They will be sending us posts on all concerning the automotive accessories and aftermarket parts. The was founded by two automotive fans and just best friends Pavel and Eugene. Both are real car experts not just because they owned many different cars, but also spent a lot of time servicing and repairing them, searching and replacing car parts and accessories by themselves. At some time they decided to share their knowledge and experience with other car owners from all around the world. Reach out to them on Facebook or Instagram.

Car Cargo Roof Boxes—A Lifesaver for a Big Family

When you have a big family, going on a long trip or taking a vacation can often be a logistical challenge, especially when it comes to stuff. No matter how light you want to pack, you end up with a lot of luggage. A car cargo roof box might just be the ticket.

Each person on the trip has individual needs and will likely bring a variety of different belongings. Even if each member doesn’t bring much, it adds up in the end if everyone brings a suitcase and a backpack. If you try to fit all your luggage in the trunk or inside the car, things may get crushed, and passengers won’t have enough room.

A car cargo roof box might make the trip much easier to haul the load of stuff, especially if you need extra gear for camping, golfing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, etc. A car roof box can make it so much easier to carry more stuff with you without worrying about either the luggage or the people. Is it worth the investment, though? Here are a few reasons to convince you.

Extra Storage Space

The most obvious benefit of owning a rooftop cargo box is the extra storage space it will provide. Roof boxes are especially useful for storing objects that are otherwise light but take up a lot of space.

Credit: Kenzie Kraft

So, if you have tents, sleeping bags, pillows, warm clothes, etc., they can easily be fitted in the roof box, leaving the car trunk for the heavier items. There might also be some things that would not fit in the trunk or inside the car because of greater length, even though they are narrow or light.

Passenger Convenience

Without a car roof box and after the trunk gets filled, the rest of the belongings will somehow need to fit in the leg space or seats. Passengers will be uncomfortable, especially children who might need a bit more wiggle room. With a larger road trip posse, you might not even have any spare seats or extra space for the excess baggage. At this point, the safety of your family and other passengers comes into question.

If any heavy or hard objects are kept inside the car and by any chance, a sharp jerk, bump, or, in the worst-case scenario, an accident occurs, these objects will increase the probability of injury or even a fatality by many times. Hiking sticks, ski poles, umbrellas, metal water bottles, folding prams, etc. are examples of such objects.

Even if a person escapes injury, being hit by that object may hurt them. Such luggage should be stored in a separate space. By having a car roof box, you actually get that extra space, plus the trunk to distribute your luggage. 

Safety of Belongings

Not all kinds of luggage are safe in the car trunk or leg space and would be better placed on top of the car where people and other shifting objects will not injure them. Also, a car roof box is weather-proof and can better protect delicate objects from water, dust, bumps, and scratches than when kept in any other part of the car.

Protection of Luggage

Besides keeping the luggage damage-free, there is another kind of security to look out for, and that is from theft and burglary. Thieves often tend to target the trunk and inside of the car when they want to steal from a car. A car roof box is far too much trouble for a potential thief.

Since the box is on top of the car, the locking mechanism is more out of reach than the rest of the car. Also, it is harder for a thief to stay discreet because it is on top of the car. The same is true if they try to uninstall the box altogether. It would make too much noise or not possible at all if the box is permanently attached.

Ease of Retrieval

When you are traveling with a large family, there are bound to be many breaks, especially when traveling with children. During those breaks, you will need to retrieve some of the things you packed to use them. You may need food, water, paper towels, a change of clothes, or any number of other things. It is best to keep them nearby.

If you fill-up the most accessible spaces with things you do not need right away or need infrequently, you will have to keep rummaging through stuff to get to the essential ones. A car roof box is the best place to keep such things that are less needed or needed later on so that you can have the necessary objects at hand in the trunk or inside the car.

Preservation of Car Interiors

Keeping hard or sharp objects inside the car can also damage the car interiors. This happens mostly on bumpy roads when objects keep hitting their surroundings. Often, if you keep liquids in the car, they may bump and spill all over, wetting the inside of the car.

It makes far more sense to use the car roof box to store the objects that could damage the furnished car interiors since most car roof boxes are made of polymeric materials reinforced with metal parts that can easily take such bumps. You can also use it to store the solid objects so that you can keep liquids in the trunk securely. 

How to Choose the Right Car Cargo Roof Box?

You have to consider several factors when you buy your car roof box. Size is obviously the first one. One thing to remember is that going only by volume will not give you a proper idea of the box’s capacity.

Different people have different luggage needs. Accordingly, you have to choose a box with the right length, width, and height. You can choose from long and short roof boxes, narrow, medium-width, full-width boxes, and various heights. The shape also matters as it will affect the aerodynamics of the car.

The quality of the box also depends on the material. Thick, UV-resistant plastic material is the most durable against the forces it has to bear. The locking system of the box must be convenient to use, possibly manageable by one person. But a single lock system can be risky, so you must look for a quick lock system.

The struts used determine how the lid stays open. There is also the dual side opening system, which is especially suitable for larger boxes. Also, check how the box attaches to the car rack. It may be by U-bolts (which take longer to install) or claw grips (which mount quickly).

Credit: SaiKrishna Saketh Yellapragada

Things to Consider Before Buying Car Cargo Roof Boxes

If you buy car roof boxes in the store, you can quickly test them out right there. But if you buy them online, you need to remember a couple of things to consider:

  • Will the box have sufficient hatch clearance if you have a car with a rear door?
  • What is the shape of the box? The more streamlined, the less wind resistance you will experience while driving.
  • Ensure that the car’s total height with the addition of the box can clear tunnels and low slung bridges.
  • Make sure that the car racks and the box fit your car. You might need T-track adaptors to install the box.

The best advice, though, don’t skimp on the quality of your roof box. A low-cost one will likely not last and result in more expenses due to damages in the long run.

Credit: Steven Striegel

What to Remember When You Install Car Cargo Roof Boxes?

Here are some things to consider after installation:

  • Make sure the box is locked and securely fitted onto its rack before taking off every time.
  • Always pack the heavier and bulkier items in the middle to prevent weight imbalance in the car.
  • Don’t load the box over its weight capacity.
  • When the box is mounted, stay alert and cautious when driving on roads with height restrictions.
  • If you take off the box, ensure that it stays dry and cool in storage.

Final Thoughts

Car cargo roof boxes make life much easier for people who travel a lot with their large families. When a person invests wisely in the right roof box and uses it carefully, they get the most out of their money.

While there are a few cons of having a cargo roof box, the pros far outweigh them, especially for large families with more significant baggage needs. In brief, having a roof box installed makes it much more convenient for families to go on the road without worrying about their stuff.

Wendy J. Reed is a professional journalist and Digital marketing consultant. He has been working on many challenging writing projects for over five years. The automotive niche has always been among his favorite topics. His current content project is a top-quality automotive guide website.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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One Response to “Car Cargo Roof Boxes—A Lifesaver for a Big Family”

  1. joeallen says:

    And with SUVs being so much taller, life becomes much more difficult for short people to access the rooftop. These boxes really attract the wind on windy and wet days and can cause handling problems. Not to mention that parking garages become off limits.