A UTE is designed for carrying your gear, but accessories such as roof racks give your vehicle even more versatility when it comes to managing your haul. Roof racks are great for bigger equipment such as kayaks, paddleboards and bikes.
While the “why” of owning a roof rack may be straightforward – yes, you shouldn’t be that guy tying everything to his roof with rope or a bungy cord -- choosing the right roof rack entails a bit of research.
There are some things you need to take into consideration before choosing a roof rack. First, you need to know how much weight your vehicle’s roof can carry – this is called the load rating. Your vehicle dealer should be able to give you information on this. Some UTEs have different load ratings for stationary, moving and off-road driving. If your roof does not support the roof rack bar’s load rating, you should not overload it.
Second, you also need to find out more about the mounting system. This is largely dependent on the type of roof your UTE has. You can also choose between a fixed option or a removable roof rack.
Other than those two considerations, we’ve put together a list of what you should be looking for in a roof rack for your UTE:
- Functionality – As with buying any accessory, you need to ask yourself what you will use it for. What will you be carrying on your roof rack? Bikes or a cargo box? Knowing what your topside cargo will be means you can start filtering your choices based on the load the roof rack can carry and the bar length you need.
- Durability – Let’s face it, you bought a UTE because you want to take it places. It’s not exactly your city-driving vehicle, is it? Whether you’re back country driving or hauling big loads on long road trips, you know your UTE can handle it. But will your roof rack do the same? Choose racks from manufacturers with a proven track record of quality. Your gear needs to last in different driving conditions as well as your UTE does.
- Weight – The material of the rack will determine its weight. While you should always be on the look out for a roof rack that is strong, one that is heavy isn’t always the best choice. An aluminum rack weighs about 30% less than a steel one but offers even better strength and load carrying capacity if engineered correctly.
- Profile – One of the main concerns for buyers of roof racks is how it will impact petrol mileage and noise. The rule of thumb when it comes to this is: the lower the profile the less the drag, which means less noise and better fuel economy. A low-profile rack also means loading and unloading gear would be easier.
- Accessories – Here’s the fun thing about roof racks – it’s never just a roof rack, accessories can make it multipurpose! If you are looking to carry skis or snowboards, get accessories that are made for these. Rhino-Rack Roof Racks, for instance, offer a wide range of accessories that integrate seamlessly with it from the Pioneer Platform to the Roof Box to the Sunseeker Awning. There’s really an accessory specially made for your needs.
Roof racks are a great accessory to add functionality to your vehicle, increase load carrying capacity and even improve aesthetics.