Selecting the right car rack usually involves taking cost, security, and convenience into consideration. This is only proper especially if you’ve already spent time and effort, not to mention money, on the equipment you’ll be using for your great outdoor excursions. A car rack lets you haul your equipment securely, giving you the convenience of having more space inside your vehicle for other gear and supplies.
There are some things you have to establish first before getting a car rack. Will you be hauling bikes, camping gear, or skis? You have to consider all the activities you’ll be engaging in to make sure the car rack you’ll be getting can accommodate your equipment. Getting a versatile car rack could save you money, especially if you’ll be adding new gear down the road.
Moreover, you have to consider what car rack to get that would fit your vehicle; that is, whether you have a pickup truck, an SUV, or a sedan. Most car rack manufacturers have guides that help customers find the best rack for their needs.
Whatever type or style of car rack you’ll be buying, there are a few things you should be aware of beforehand to help you decide on the type of car rack to get. Below is a list of things to know about car racks:
Car Racks For Bikes
If you’re a dedicated biker, you have a few options for lugging your bike or bikes with you, such as the following:
1. Spare-tire rack:
Not many modern vehicles have rear spare tires, but there are still a few models that come with one. If you have, for instance, a Jeep Wrangler, this kind of rack can be an inexpensive option for hauling your bikes. It usually carries up to two bikes. Here’s a comparison of different models of spare-tire racks for a Jeep Wrangler at RackHungry.com.
2. Hitch bike rack:
This is mounted on the trailer hitch of your vehicle. It requires minimal lifting and provides quick access to your bikes. It’s easy to use and install, too. However, it extends your vehicle’s length, so maneuvering and backing up with this in place could be tricky.
3. Rooftop bike rack:
Roof racks are a good choice if you don’t have any qualms about lifting your bicycles onto your vehicle’s roof. You also have to watch out for ceilings and low-clearance garages.
4. Trunk rack:
Mounted to your sedan’s trunk, this type of rack secures your bike through a system of straps. A trunk rack is the most cost-effective option for your bikes. It doesn’t need a rack system or a hitch, and it can carry up to three bikes.
5. Truck rack:
Used for a pickup truck, this rack uses various mounts and accessories. The bikes are stowed upright in the truck bed or secured onto a bar or on a protective pad on the tailgate. There are tailgate pads that can accommodate up to seven bicycles.
Car Racks For Camping Gear And Other Cargo
For hauling various camping gear, cargo carriers give you not only a streamlined option but a secure option as well.
Here are a few types of cargo carriers:
6. Hitch cargo carrier:
This is mounted on the back of the vehicle and is especially useful if you have a large cooler or other equipment you need to be able to access with ease. With a hitch cargo carrier, however, the length of your vehicle would increase, and you can’t use it to stow your bikes in the back of the car.
7. Rooftop cargo carrier box:
This type of car rack, which has a hard side, is durable and can carry irregular-shaped items. It can carry several types of gear safely in any weather. However, cargo carriers are more expensive than the other types of car racks.
8. Rooftop cargo carrier bag:
Used mainly to store luggage and other gear, this cargo carrier can be stowed away when not in use. It’s cheaper than a carrier box but not as durable.
Car Racks For Skiing And Snowboarding
You can carry your skis and snowboards on these types of car racks:
9. Cargo box:
This car rack, which also needs a base roof rack, is an enclosed, all-weather container that can hold several pairs of skis and snowboards. It’s versatile and can also carry camping gear and similar supplies.
10. Rooftop ski and snowboard rack:
This rack need a base roof rack on your vehicle. It’s a simple and secure way of carrying your skis and snowboards, and it’s less expensive than a cargo box. Depending on the size, this car rack can hold up to four snowboards or six pairs of skis.
There are many types of car racks out there, and getting one would depend on the type of vehicle you have, your activities, and the equipment you’ll be hauling. It also pays to get a versatile car rack as some types can be expensive.