Lots of people will want to fit as much as they can on the roof, we have lots of experience in helping you achieve this. You can find some tips and examples to show how much you can fit on your roof bars. You also need to consider your vehicle - never exceed the loading limit for your car (check the handbook) or the roof bars you go for. You'll need to be guided by the lower of the roof and roof bar loading limit if they vary.
Your load should never stick out any further than the widest point of your vehicle (excluding the wing mirrors).
Tips for fitting as much as you can on your roof bars
- always go for T track aluminium bars (also known as Wingbars, or Whispbars) – you can use the full length of the roof bar, unlike steel bars. The examples below are all using aluminium T-track bars
- consider going for the longest bars you can get for your vehicle
- go for longer 'through' bars, rather than flush ended bars
- ‘Top and tail’ roof mounting bike carriers to take up less space
- always use T track fittings to mount your roof box or accessory, these are usually either included or available as an optional extra - this will allow you to use the full length of your roof bar
- remember that the roof bar fittings inside the roof box are usually around 10cm in from the edge of the box, if you slide the box as far as you can to one side it can even overhang the end of your roof bar to give you extra space
- if you are carrying kayaks consider stacking them or carrying them on their side
- it is usually more space efficient to go for a longer box and put skis inside the box rather than going for a separate ski carrier if you have lots of luggage
Some common examples:
110cm aluminium T-track bars
- 2 x bike carriers and a thin roof box up to 60cm wide – this may be tight!
- 4 x roof mounting bike carriers
118/120cm aluminium T-track bars
- 2 x bike carriers and a roof box max 70cm
- 1 x bike carrier and a roof box max 90cm
- 4 or 5 roof mounting bike carriers
127cm aluminium T-track bars
- 2 x bike carriers and a roof box up to 75cm wide
- 4 or 5 x roof mounting bike carriers
135cm aluminium T-track bars
- 2 x bike carriers and a roof box up to 85cm wide
- up to 5 x roof mounting bike carriers
- a roof box up to around 75cm wide (e.g. Kamei Delphin 470) + a 4 pair ski carrier (e.g Atera Nova 4)
Flush ended bars (e.g. Yakima Aero-X, Cruz Fuse or Thule Edge)
The usable space on these bars will be limited by the distance between the feet of these roof bars, sometimes it will only be long enough to fit 2 x roof mounted bike carriers OR a medium width roof box. If you need to carry lots of stuff go for the ‘through bars’ option instead.
Longer Thule Professional or SlideBars
If you do need bars that are longer then the recommended length it is usually possible to use a longer 'SlideBar' or 'Professional Bar' if you go for Thule bars. The design of this bar allows you to replace the standard bar with a longer slide bar but make sure your bars and/or load do not protrude any further than the wing mirrors.
If you're not sure how you are going to carry all your gear please get in touch with us with details on your car and what you need to carry, hopefully we can come up with a few suggestions for you.
Can I use bars that are longer than you recommend?
Most of our roof bars attach to the foot pack using slots on the underside of the bar. These slots only go in so far so it's not always possible to use longer bars because you won't be able to push the feet close enough together to fit the mountings on your roof. It is sometimes possible to use bars that are slightly longer than the recommended length. Just contact us with details of your car and also the bars you were interested in and we can look into this for you.
Thule 'ProBars' and 'SlideBars' are slightly different. It is possible to go for longer bars with these bars because the slots on these bars run the full length of the underside of the bars. These bars are available in a range of different lengths, up to 162cm for the SlideBars or 200cm for the ProBars. The only thing to bear in mind is that your load and/or bars should not protrude further than the widest point of your car (excluding the wing mirrors).