What could I need a pair of universal roof bars for? Virtually anything! Mounting roof racks on your car guarantees immeasurable versatility and practicality but above all a good dose of additional space.
It is the ideal solution for thousands of people including vacationing families, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, DIY enthusiasts, cyclists and more. Basically, a set of universal roof bars allows you to carry more things, which is very useful when you decide to buy more than you thought at Ikea! Whether it’s multiple luggage or baby equipment in a roof box, bikes, surfboards, or ladders, a couple of car bars can handle it. But it doesn’t stop there, how about that chest of drawers you were looking at? Or that old mattress in the shack that you have to take to the landfill? There are hundreds of everyday scenarios in which universal roof bars can come in handy and can negate the need to rent a van or disturb that friend who owns a huge station wagon. Basically, this solution allows you to carry more, freeing up space for you and your family inside the cabin, but let’s get to the sore points.
How much does a set of universal roof bars cost?
Universal roof rack sets start at around € 60 / € 80 and can go up to € 300 / 350. Why such a price difference?
A number of factors influence the costs, which are very variable as you can see, for example the material of construction, steel or aluminum, the type or style of the roof rack and of course the brand. Roof racks made of aluminum or carbon fiber tend to be more expensive than steel. Roof bars with an aerodynamic profile will be more expensive. The roof bars THULE, Mont Blanc or Whispbar will cost more and are perceived as the premium brands in the industry. So first of all start to understand which brand and material you want to orient yourself on, also based on the budget at your disposal.
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Is there a Single Type of Roof Rack that can Fit any Car?
No, unfortunately not. You can’t just buy the cheapest first set of universal roof bars you see, there are several types for different cars. Fortunately, it’s not quantum science!
So you might ask yourself: how do I know what kind of roof rack I need?
There are 4 main types of car bars which differ in the way they attach to the car. Different cars require methods. You just have to figure out which of these is yours.
Roof bars for cars with raised handrails.
- It is the type of universal roof rack most commonly found on station wagons and SUVs.
- Raised roof rails run from front to back. T
- hese raised rails are fitted by the automaker and are often supplied as an option or are standard on some models.
- They are known as roof rails as they are lifted off the roof of the car leaving a free space between the roof and the rail, unlike roof rails with no space.
Universal roof bars for cars with roof rails
Again, more commonly fitted to station wagons, this handrail is a more modern take on the raised handrail.
They tend to be the most common ones on cars starting around 2006 and are flush with the car roof meaning there is no gap between the roof and the track. They are among the most important pieces of car accessories.
Universal roof bars for cars with fixing points.
The attachment points can be found on any body type, sedan, tailgate, station wagon or minivan. A “fixed point” is a designated point on the roof of a car or inside the door jamb, designed specifically for mounting on a roof rack.
There are usually 4 of them and they are usually hidden under a small plastic cover or hood on the roof. There are several models of “fixed point” and in some cases the actual mount point can be quite difficult to find.
Universal roof bars for cars without rails or fixing points
If your car does not have any of the features mentioned above, then it will need a ‘Door Jamb’ type roof rack. As the name suggests, this type of car roof rail clamp attaches to car door jambs (the jamb is the part of the roof that you can see when the door is open)
Once you understand which type of universal roof bars are suitable for your car, remember to consider what has been said about costs before proceeding with the purchase.
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