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Are Car Roof Luggage Bags Safe?

Are roof luggage bags legal?

Absolutely legal to carry luggage on your roof as long as its properly secured. In fact, you can put anything on the roof as long as you properly secure it.

Every car has two rooftop weight limits. These are the dynamic rating and the static rating. The static rating refers to how much the car can hold when it is not in motion (static). The dynamic rating refers to what how much the car can (and should) carry when it is in motion. Contrary to what you think, the dynamic rating is not that much. On the average, most trucks, cars, and SUVs you see on the road have a limit of just 165 pounds. Different automobiles have different dynamic ratings.

In America, different states have different vehicle and traffic laws so if you are going out of your state, you will do well to make yourself familiar with laws of the states you are visiting. Only 15 American states have laws on improperly secured loads. However, in all 50 states, if things drop from your vehicle, you have broken the law. The penalty may range from a small fine to a huge fine or even a jail term in some cases.

In Canada, there isn’t a specific federal law that directly addresses luggage bags on car rooftops. However, there are general regulations and safety considerations that you should be aware of when transporting items on your car’s roof.

easy storage

There might be regional or provincial regulations that you should be aware of. It’s recommended to check with your local transportation authority or law enforcement for any updated or region-specific laws related to transporting items on car rooftops.

European countries are not as vast, so there are fewer pickups and more small cars, so there are stricter regulations for roof transport and loads. The following applies to the load limits: The vehicle and the load together may not be wider than 2.5 m and not higher than 4 m. Up to a height of 2.5 m, the load must not protrude from the front of the vehicle, otherwise the following applies: the load overhang at the front must not exceed 0.5 m.

And some countries have law restrictions related to it.

For instance, in Denmark, a vehicle with or without a load must not be wider than 2.55 meters, longer than 12 meters or higher than 4 meters. The weight of the vehicle, including people, luggage and other loads, must not exceed the permitted total weight specified in the vehicle registration document. Loads that protrude more than 1 meter from the front or rear end of the vehicle or more than 15 centimeters to the side must be marked. In the case of non-commercial freight transport, this can be done in daylight with a bright cloth or a flag.

In France, The load must not protrude at the front and may protrude a maximum of 3 meters to the rear; if it is more than 1 meter, it must be marked with a reflective device (with a red light at night!). The load may only protrude from the side if it does not exceed a total width of 2.5 meters.

Is it safe while driving?

Roof bags are generally safe to use during the normal driving process, as long as they are properly installed and within the weight limits recommended by the manufacturer and your vehicle’s roof rack capacity. However, it is important to consider the following safety precautions:

Secure installation: Ensure that the roof bag is securely attached to the roof rack or crossbars of your vehicle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use any provided straps or fasteners to secure the bag tightly. Check the attachment points regularly during travel to ensure they remain secure.

Weight distribution: Properly distribute the weight of the load inside the roof bag to maintain the balance and stability of the vehicle. Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and does not exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer and your vehicle’s roof rack capacity. Overloading the roof bag can affect the handling and stability of the vehicle, potentially compromising safety.

Height clearance: Take into consideration the increased height of your vehicle with the roof bag installed. Be mindful of low-clearance areas such as bridges, tunnels, or parking structures to avoid potential collisions or damages.

Reduced aerodynamics: Keep in mind that the roof bag may affect the aerodynamics of your vehicle, causing increased wind resistance and potentially impacting fuel efficiency. Adjust your driving accordingly, especially at higher speeds, and be aware of any changes in handling or stability.

Regular inspections: Periodically check the roof bag and its attachments during stops or before embarking on long journeys. Ensure that everything remains secure and that there are no signs of loosening or damage.

It’s important to note that adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds or heavy rain, can affect the performance and safety of the roof bag. Exercise caution and consider removing the roof bag or adjusting your driving in such conditions to ensure safe travel.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines provided with the specific roof bag you are using to ensure safe and proper usage during the form process.

Factors impacting safety

There is no set speed limit when traveling with a roof box, but it is recommended to never exceed 90 miles per hour. With higher speeds comes a bigger change in a vehicle’s road holdings, which can be compromised when your car reaches top speeds with additional cargo on top.

A speed limit is the maximum legal speed you can travel on a road under ideal conditions. You may drive slower than the speed limit, as long as you don’t impede the normal movement of traffic, but it is illegal to drive any faster. By law you must drive slower where signs indicate a school zone speed limit or work zone speed limit is in effect, and/or if conditions such as road construction or bad weather make the posted speed unsafe. 

Secure the bag with 8 built-in straps

Here are some installation method to keep safe when using a luggage bag:

  • Clean car’s rooftop. Place the carrier on a clean roof and (preferably) on a Protective Mat.
  • Insert the top strap on roofbag car top carrier. Find the bag with the label Top Strap and open it. Slide the top strap left-to-right under the 2 front strap guides located at the top of the carrier.
  • Place roofbag carrier on the car with the logo facing the back. The side of the carrier without zipper should be facing the front of the car and RoofBag logo should be facing the back of the car to keep the aerodynamic shape.
  • Place carrier on car’s rooftop – leave 8 inches in front. Front of carrier should be at least 8 inches behind front edge of roof, to minimize wind noise and improve gas mileage.
  • Open zipper and fill the carrier while sitting on the car. Flip up the corners of the zipper flap to facilitate opening and turning corners. Open zipper and fill carrier while it’s on top of the car since the carrier may get too heavy to lift once it’s full.
  • Load the carrier as full as possible. A fuller bag provides a smoother ride. Place more items toward the rear to preserve the bag’s wedge shape. Cushion hard or sharp objects to avoid fabric damage.
  • Close zipper completely. Close the zipper completely until the two zipper pullers meet at the back. Make sure you leave no open gap between the zipper pullers or rain may enter your carrier.
  • Fasten straps. Fasten the straps as described on the links below and then adjust the length by pulling the free ends of the straps. Straps should be snug but not over-tight. Tuck the free ends under the straps, to avoid strap flapping.

Are roof bags safe for the property?

For better waterproof performance,TIROL roof bag come with waterproof zipper and excellent welded seam seal technology, make sure you put down waterproof protective cover after zip up the zipper.

Preventing theft of a roof luggage bag can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk:

Lock the roof bag: Some roof bags come with built-in locking mechanisms or provide options to use padlocks or combination locks. Utilize these features to secure the zippers or fasteners of the bag. This can act as a deterrent and make it more difficult for potential thieves to access the contents.

Park in well-lit and secure areas: Whenever possible, park your vehicle in well-lit and secure areas, such as monitored parking lots or garages. Avoid parking in secluded or high-crime areas, as these may increase the chances of theft.

waterproof

Use a security cable or lock: Consider using a security cable or lock to secure the roof bag to the roof rack or crossbars. These cables or locks can help prevent opportunistic theft by making it more difficult for thieves to remove the entire bag from the vehicle.

Remove valuables or high-risk items: Do not leave valuable or high-risk items unattended in the roof bag. If possible, bring these items with you or store them in the trunk or interior of the vehicle. Leaving expensive or attractive items visible in the roof bag can increase the likelihood of theft.

Keep the bag out of sight: When parking, try to position your vehicle in a way that the roof bag is not immediately visible or easily accessible to potential thieves. This may involve parking near a wall or another vehicle that obstructs the view of the roof bag.

Stay vigilant: Always remain aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your vehicle, especially if you have valuable items stored in the roof bag. Report any suspicious activity to authorities if you notice someone tampering with the bag or acting suspiciously around your vehicle.

While these measures can help reduce the risk of theft, it’s important to remember that determined thieves may still attempt to steal a roof bag or its contents. It’s essential to evaluate the security measures based on your specific circumstances and the level of risk in your area.

The lifespan of a roof bag can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the materials used, the frequency of use, the care and maintenance provided, and the conditions in which it is used. On average, a well-made and properly maintained roof bag can last for several years.

If the roof bag is made from high-quality and durable materials, such as waterproof nylon or PVC-coated polyester, it can withstand regular use and exposure to various weather conditions. Reinforced seams and heavy-duty zippers also contribute to the longevity of the bag.

Proper care and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of a roof bag. This includes cleaning the bag after each use, ensuring it is completely dry before storing it, and inspecting it regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Promptly addressing any issues, such as repairing small tears or replacing worn-out straps, can help prevent further damage and prolong the lifespan of the bag.

However, it’s important to note that the lifespan of a roof bag can be affected by factors such as exposure to extreme temperatures, prolonged exposure to sunlight, abrasive contact with roof racks or crossbars, and overloading beyond the weight capacity recommended by the manufacturer. These factors can contribute to wear and tear and may shorten the lifespan of the bag.

To ensure the maximum lifespan of a roof bag, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding weight limits, installation, and maintenance. Additionally, purchasing a roof bag from a reputable brand that offers a warranty can provide some assurance of its durability and longevity.

Will a roof bag scratch my car?

TIROL’s roof bags are equipped with a standard accessory bag, a non-slip mat, 6 door hooks and a storage bag. The anti-slip mat makes it difficult to move the luggage on the roof, reducing the danger during driving. At the same time, the anti-slip mat also protects the roof.

If you accidentally scratch the roof:

To fix car roof scratches, you can follow these steps:

Clean the area: Start by cleaning the scratched area of the car roof. Use a mild soap or car wash solution and water to remove any dirt, debris, or residues. Dry the area thoroughly before proceeding.

Assess the depth of the scratch: Carefully examine the scratch to determine its depth. If it is a shallow surface scratch or scuff, it may be possible to fix it with a simple DIY approach. However, if the scratch is deep, extends through the paint layers, or involves structural damage, it may require professional repair.

Use a scratch repair kit: For minor surface scratches, you can try using a scratch repair kit that includes a polishing compound. Follow the instructions provided with the kit. Generally, you’ll need to apply the compound to a clean microfiber cloth and gently rub it onto the scratched area in a circular motion. Continue until the scratch becomes less visible or disappears. Polish the area with a clean cloth afterward.

Apply touch-up paint: If the scratch has gone through the paint layers, you may need to apply touch-up paint to restore the color and protect the exposed metal or primer. Clean the area again and ensure it is dry. Use a touch-up paint pen or brush, following the manufacturer’s instructions, to carefully apply the paint to the scratch. Allow it to dry completely between coats if multiple layers are needed. Finish by applying a clear coat or protective sealant.

Seek professional help if needed: If the scratch is deep, extensive, or you are unable to achieve satisfactory results with DIY methods, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from an auto body shop or a professional detailer. They have the expertise and tools to properly repair and repaint the affected area.

Keep in mind that the effectiveness of DIY methods may vary depending on the severity and type of scratch. It’s always best to consult with a professional if you are unsure or if the damage is significant.

Can I put a roof luggage bag on the panoramic sunroof?

Cargo bags were designed to go on top of a car with a flat, metal roof. Depending on how much weight you put on it, placing a cargo bag directly on your car’s sunroof is a bad idea.

On average, most vehicles without sunroofs can handle a maximum weight between 165 lbs to 180 lbs on the rooftop, depending on the type of car. But not for the car with a sunroof. So, how much weight can a sunroof hold?

There is no specific guideline on how much weight you can put on it. From a structural load perspective, you would probably be fine. But, many are against it. A car sunroof is a thick reinforced glass designed to be part of the load-bearing body of the car. It can take a lot of punishment in a rollover or crush. When there is added weight from a cargo bag, it can affect the rails and alignment, damaging the roof mechanism.

In addition, it creates unnecessary stress on the hinges and seals of your sunroof, which may cause it to break or leak in the future.

If you are driving on undulated roads, one hard bump could cause any heavy object in your cargo bag to come crashing down on the moonroof, shattering it. It’s tempered glass. Once it fails, it fails big time. Normally by raining down glass chunks on your head. Sunroof replacement is very expensive. I’m talking about a few thousands dollar to replace it.

Can I use a roof luggage bag without a roof rack?

Luggage bag can be used withour a roof rack.

You just need to place the cargo bag on top of your vehicle’s roof and then run the straps on top of the bag. You will take one end of the strap, open your car door, and run it to the opposite side of the vehicle. You then open the opposing car door and clip the straps together. Lastly, you will tighten the strap for a secure hold.

Here are a few tips might make using a car-top luggage bag without a roof rack easier:

(1) Don’t over-tighten straps, or you could tear the carrier

(2) Install the luggage bag following the manufacturer’s instructions

(3) Install the carrier with the opening away from the wind to the rear of the vehicle

(4) Always follow the roof capacity guidelines from your vehicle’s manufacturer

(5) Use a step stool to make it easier to reach the top of your vehicle

(6) Load the carrier after it’s on the roof

(7) Unload the carrier while it’s on the roof

(8) Use a helper if you can

Tirol rooftop storage bag is the right size for most cars, trucks, SUVs and RVs, and a roof rack is not required. Specific installation steps can be guided to view our category page.
Tirol has two best-selling roof bags, 15 cubic feet and 20 cubic feet. Both bags are universal car bags, suitable for all kinds of cars, and whether they are equipped with luggage bars.
At the same time, we are also equipped with an installation manual, so there is no need to worry about installation problems.

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