The size of your car can limit its storage capabilities. This can be frustrating, especially if you travel, participate in sporting events like skiing, or have a big family. However, there are some ways to increase the storage room of your vehicle. The optimal storage addition is called a cargo box.
Cargo boxes are primarily large containers for item storage. They come in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles. They are externally installed onto your car by using a roof rack as the medium. Cargo boxes serve as a way to maximize your car’s space.
Cargo boxes are not only important for storage reasons, but they are also important for safety reasons. Trying to stuff large objects into the back of your car can pop the trunk open while the vehicle is moving, creating a potentially dangerous situation for both your items and the road.
Filling your car past its limit can also cause passengers to get hurt. This is a safety hazard. Forget about that ski poking someone in the ribs for the entire ride; if the car swerves, the ski or object can move and cause much more severe damage than mere discomfort.
Another huge reason not to overpack your car with large objects is that it can prevent the driver from seeing what’s happening behind them. This is very dangerous, as it can make driving difficult and cause accidents on the road.
The best way to have all of your needed possessions en route with you is to attach a cargo box to your car’s roof. A cargo box will allow you to comfortably and safely fit more people into your car while giving you room to pack more things simultaneously.
It is an excellent way to maximize the efficiency and space of your vehicle while making your travels more fun and convenient! In this article, you will find out…
- Roof Racks
- Types Of Cargo Boxes
- Shapes & Openings
- Cargo Bags
- Finding The Right Fit
Cargo boxes can be utilized for a multitude of reasons. The first is holidays. When travelling to a vacation destination, you often have to bring adequate items and luggage, especially if you are going with more than one person or your entire family. Cargo boxes allow you to carry clothes, accessories, and necessities that may otherwise not fit in your car.
When going on a vacation or holiday, a cargo box can also be used to carry typically large items. This can include a stroller, a float, sporting goods, and even a suitcase. Many cargo boxes expand large enough to fit entire pieces of luggage inside!
Another reason that many car owners choose to purchase cargo boxes is transporting. If you’re carrying long or heavy cargo, especially if you do it quite frequently, a cargo box is the most cost-efficient and convenient way to do so. Instead of hiring an entire moving truck to move your cargo, you can do it by yourself.
This is especially ideal for people moving into a new house or apartment and needing to carry furniture or appliances from one destination to another by car.
Additionally, cargo boxes are often used for sporting events such as skiing. When going skiing, carrying skis in your car may be difficult or impossible, considering their size. A cargo box allows you to carry skis of all sizes with ease. Cargo boxes can also carry snowboards, camping gear, mountain climbing gear, and other big or heavy sporting goods.
To attach your cargo box to your car, you need a roof rack first. A roof rack made up of a set of bars. These bars are installed in your car. Some vehicles come with a roof rack. Roof racks normally hold sporting goods, canoes, bikes, and cargo boxes.
There are different types of roof racks. Usually, manufacturers that make cargo boxes also make roof racks, so that way, you can purchase a roof rack and a cargo box that is ideal for one another. However, there are a multitude of different roof racks on the market to choose from.
Rain Gutter roof racks are an older kind that is usually found attached to passenger vans. Raised Rail roof racks have two rails on the sides of the vehicle, the vehicle type being a minivan, an SUV, or a wagon. Flush Rails are flush to the roof. Tracks run from the front to the back. Fixed Point roof racks have connection points.
Installing a roof rack onto your car is an easy process. There are only a few steps to follow:
- Count your parts.
- Attach the crossbar system to your car.
- Place the mounting clamps on the rack.
- Put the carrier on the rack and secure it.
Types Of Cargo Boxes
There are a variety of cargo boxes on the current market. Each different kind of cargo box suits a different person or car.
One of the more popular kinds of cargo boxes is made out of a plastic material called ABS. ABS is a rugged and durable plastic that is known to be sturdy and safe. It is also weatherproof, protecting belongings from being exposed to outside contaminants like rain and wind.
ABS is also a UV protectant, which means it protects from the sun. Not only does this protect your belongings from damage, but it also protects the cargo box itself, helping it last longer and endure more.
Although most cargo boxes are made of plastic, some of them have different finishes and exterior styles. Some cargo boxes may be smooth and glossy, others may be matte, and some may be bumpy or textured. Cargo boxes can come in various colours, although the dominant colour for cargo boxes is black.
Cargo boxes also come in different sizes. The size you choose should not only depend on your storage needs but also your car’s measurements. To ensure that a cargo box can fit your car, make sure to compare its online measurements with those of your car’s roof or rack before purchasing.
Most cargo box manufacturer descriptions also include which types of cars can support the box—some will say something like SUVs, larger vehicles, etc. However, many cargo boxes are compatible with different vehicles; it is just important to check.
Shapes & Openings
A cargo box will typically come in two general shapes. Long or short. Long cargo boxes are usually better for holding large equipment like skis or transporting furniture. Short cargo boxes may be better for extra storage or holding looser items like clothes or bags.
The kind you choose should also depend on your car, in this case, not only the type of storage you are looking for.
Sometimes, a smaller cargo box can be harder to reach on the roof of a larger vehicle. So even when a cargo box fits the roof rack, that isn’t a sure-fire sign that it’s the best match. You also want your cargo box to be easy to reach and open. Making sure the sizes aren’t just compatible and relative to each other is important if you want the most convenient possible.
Cargo boxes also differ from one another based on their openings. Some open in the rear and away from traffic, which is great if you are concerned about the safety of you and your items. Some open in the front. Others have dual-ended openings for maximum convenience.
Some cargo boxes open up on the side. Many of them open up on the passenger’s side specifically, allowing the person on the passenger’s side to have immediate access to their belongings.
Cargo boxes can also differ based on their locking mechanisms. Some may lock automatically when pushed; others may lock or open through a button; some may have actual keys, etc.
Another type of cargo container is a cargo bag. Cargo bags typically perform the same function as a cargo box—they maximize your vehicle’s storage while protecting your packed gear. However, cargo boxes have structural and stylistic differences from cargo boxes.
Cargo bags are typically made of cloth. True to its name, the cargo bag replicates a soft bag shape instead of a cargo box that is actually in the form of a hard box. A popular material for cargo bags is rubberized nylon.
This nylon is fabric, but it is thicker than regular fabrics. It usually tends to be waterproof or water-resistant. It can block out the sun, wind, and rain. So even if a cargo bag gets wet, your belongings will remain dry.
Cargo bags are also different because they utilize a flexible skeleton. Cargo boxes are hard and don’t change shape, but cargo bags can bend, twist, and expand. They typically mould to the shape of whatever is in them, and they can also be collapsed and folded up when not in use.
Cargo bags come in handy with very large items and items that are bulky or oddly shaped. Because of a cargo box’s rigid shape, it would be hard to place a large object with a strange shape in it, especially if the object isn’t malleable. A cargo bag’s flexibility allows objects of different shapes and sizes to be placed inside of it.
Cargo bags are also typically cheaper than cargo boxes, meaning that they are great options for people on a budget. When it comes to cargo boxes, most are water and weatherproof, although it’s important to check this before purchasing, especially if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures.
However, when it comes to cargo bags, there are two different types, water-resistant and waterproof. Water-resistant means that the bag can withstand a certain amount of water, but this doesn’t mean that water won’t penetrate through the bag.
If there is very heavy rain or a storm going on, water can seep through the bag. However, waterproof means that the bag is thoroughly protected from water. Even if it rains, no matter how much, no water will seep through.
The difference between these two terms can be a make or break it deal for the buyer, and it is very important to be on the lookout for how your cargo bag interacts with bad weather.
Although cargo bags appear to be more flimsy than cargo boxes on the outside, don’t underestimate their power! Most cargo bags can last for thousands of miles and are just as potent as cargo boxes.
- If you’re worried about installation, most cargo boxes can be self-installed. If you are looking for the easiest cargo box to install on your own, look for a cargo box that is lighter in weight. This will make it easier to lift and take down.
- Most cargo boxes take less than 5 minutes to click on your car’s rack system. However, even cargo boxes with more complex installations can be done with ease as long as you have the patience and time…or maybe an extra helping hand!
- Assembly may also not be everyone’s forte. If you don’t want to assemble your cargo box before installing it, many, if not most, come pre-assembled. All you have to do is pop the cargo box onto the roof, straight out of the box!
- If you’re on the shorter side but plan on installing your cargo box or bag on your own, there are some things to consider. Your arms may not be long enough to lift the cargo box over the roof without some extra leverage. Before installation, you may want to purchase or borrow a short stepping stool so that you can install the cargo box properly.
- If not, a rear opening cargo box may be ideal for you. This kind of cargo box allows you to step up on your bumper to install and detach it from your car. It also allows you to step up on your bumper to access your actual cargo when you need it.
- Another tip for your cargo box is that you can use vacuum suction storage bags to fit more things into your cargo box or bag. If you have any soft or plush items like pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, or purses, you can place them in these storage bags.
- The air is then removed from these storage bags by the suction power of the vacuum, making them flat and compact. This process will not ruin or damage your clothes; it will only make the packing technique airtight. This is a great way to maximize storage room in your cargo box. You can even stack bags on top of one another.
- If you have kids, another thing you can use your cargo box for is a stroller. If your stroller doesn’t fit into your car, you can always place it overhead. Cargo boxes take care of baby equipment too!
- A great maintenance tip for cargo boxes is weatherproof stripping. If for some reason, you find water droplets getting into your cargo box through the opening, you can place some waterproof stripping on the inside.
- This can be purchased for affordable prices at stores. It will keep water from seeping in completely. It is also a good way to fix a cargo box that is worn and torn. You can even use this technique for precautionary measures.
- In addition to the previous maintenance tip, many cargo box manufacturers offer one year or limited lifetime warranties. If you ever experience any problems with your cargo box, contacting the manufacturer or distributor is a great idea.
- They may be able to fix or even replace your cargo box for free or at a low charge. Take advantage of your warranty if you need it! Its there to ensure that your product lasts as long as possible.
Cleaning your cargo box is quite easy. For a quick clean, take some gentle dish soap and a wet paper towel or rag and lightly wipe the surface of your cargo box, removing any dust, dirt, or debris.
For a deeper clean, take off your cargo box or bag from the rack. Then, take your hose and hose off the cargo box. This will remove any dead bugs or debris lying on the surface. Retaking dish soap, grab a bristled cleaning brush and clean the box.
If you are cleaning a bag, use a mild detergent instead, like Woollite. Finally, hose the cargo box or bag off once more. Then, let it dry completely. You can store it away for its next usage or place it back on top of your car.
When cleaning, do not use any products with harsh chemicals. Only use straightforward mild soaps and detergents. Other cleaning products may damage the cargo box’s materials and ruin its surface by wearing it out.
Don’t attempt to place your cargo bag in the washer either. Wash it with the hose and scrubber method as listed above. This method will soak the cargo bag right up and give it a great wash.
Make sure not to go through a car wash with your cargo box or bag attached to your vehicle. In some cases, this can cause potential damage or unwanted changes to your storage box. This may also decrease its life span.
There are a few manufacturers that are very well known for making high-quality cargo boxes for vehicles. Two popular ones are Thule and Yakima.
Thule is a brand created in Sweden to bring the convenient transportation of items to the masses. They make many different products for storage and space, one of their most popular being their variety of cargo boxes.
Thule’s cargo box is spacious, sturdy, weather-resistant, and protective. Their cargo boxes are created with the best technology that ensures maximum safety. They have great locking features and easy opening. Thule also makes products that are user-friendly and easy to assemble or install.
Yakima is another well-loved brand for car accessories. They are a brand that has been creating cargo boxes for 30 years. They are very outdoors and sports-oriented, making their products a great fit for all lovers of sports. Yakima also makes it easy to discover which type of cargo box is best fitted to your car’s size.
These cargo boxes are typically very compact yet spacious at the same time. Their design maximizes their convenience. Yakima cargo boxes are also known for their security systems. They have an SKS locking system that ensures protection over your belongings as well.
Although these two manufacturers are trusted and in demand, there are many other manufacturers to choose from. Each one has a different story, speciality, and price point. Sifting through them and getting to know more about each one will help you decide which kind of cargo box you are looking for.
Finding The Right Fit
Cargo boxes are a fantastic tool that anyone who needs some extra storage space when it comes to their car should be utilised. They make travelling, vacationing, sporting, and going on adventures much more convenient and fun. Saving more space in your car allows you to have more free seats and bring more people!
If you travel quite frequently, have a large family, ski, or need more storage, a cargo box may be the right option for you. Considering all of this information, there are many different kinds of cargo boxes or bags that can suit all of your storage needs.
Finding a cargo box that is the right fit for you and your car can be simple if you know how and where to look. With all of this information on cargo boxes, you are ready to purchase your own.