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Can I Ship My Vehicle With A Roof Rack?

What's in this article?
  1. You Need Roof Racks From Time To Time
  2. Permanent Or Temporally Installation
  3. Your Car’s Roof Type Will Determine The Type Of A Roof Rack You Need To Install
  4. Roof Racks For Bare Roof Vehicles
  5. Roof Racks For Raised Rail Roofs Or Factory Installed Flush
  6. Roof Racks From Factory Installed Tracks
Roof Racks For Bare Roof Vehicles

Shipping your vehicle with a roof rack is possible, but there are two things here. If the roof rack is removable, it can easily be fitted in the back seat of your car which won’t cost you extra cash. But, if it’s detachable, there will be additional costs on top of the shipping charges. Since the vehicle will take-up more space in the truck, we calculate the extra height and charge accordingly. When contacting a shipping transporter, it's important you inform them about your vehicles roof rack type. Otherwise, you will end up incurring costs you hadn’t budgeted for. Knowing your car’s roof rack type will help you plan your budget accurately. Here is everything you need to know about car roof racks.

You need roof racks from time to time

Roof racks are designed for both commercial and personal vehicles. Having a roof rack enables you to carry a wide range of items on top of vans, cars, trucks etc. while personal roof racks are mostly used to carry bikes, sporting gear, and other holiday paraphernalia, racks on commercial vehicles carry more weighty items such as ladders, load of boards, sheets of plywood, etc. The roof racks for commercial vehicles are, therefore, sturdier than those for personal vehicles. Basically, roof racks come in different deigns and sizes to suit the vehicle and use.

Permanent or temporally installation

As aforementioned, vehicle roof racks can either be temporarily installed or a permanent installation

Although many roof racks designs require permanent installation, there are still many options of roof racks that can be lifted on and off the vehicle. Typically, such designs are for personal vehicles. When buying a roof rack, therefore, know if the rack allows temporal installation or vice versa. If your need to transport stuff is temporally, then, there is no need of buying a roof rack that is designed for permanent installation. As mentioned earlier, transporting a vehicle with irremovable roof racks comes at an extra cost.

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Your car’s roof type will determine the type of a roof rack you need to install.

Roof racks for bare roof vehicles

The tower style of roof rack is normally used for roofs without roof gutters. The towers attach to the roof using a kit from the roof rack manufacturer. Then, the cross bars are attached and accessories mounted to the crossbars. This option will also work well with a car that doesn’t have a factory roof rack installed. Most sedans from BMW, Mazda, and Tesla have fixed factory roof racks. But it’s not so obvious to spot these points since they are usually concealed by a little strip or plastic door. The bare roof vehicles like Toyota corolla will mount inside the cars door jams

Bare roofed cars require a specialized fit kit to clamp the door frames and hold the bars in place. This roof rack style is the most popular for personal vehicles since it fits almost all cars and it’s also completely removable which makes it easier when time comes to ship the car.

Roof Racks From Factory Installed Tracks

Roof racks for raised rail roofs or factory installed flush

This option is the best fit for vehicles that have rails running from the front to the back.

Some manufacturers install roof racks that either lack crossbars or fall short on functionality. In general, factory installed roof racks come with either a continuous side rail or a raised side rail.

If your car has raised rails, your towers won’t need other parts to mount. However, flush rails require a kit to fit to your vehicle. There are various aftermarket racks designed to suit different factory installed roof rack designs. While the cross-road tracks will work well with raised rails, the grab system will work well the factory installed flush.

Roof racks from factory installed tracks

This option is best for vehicles that have tracks (aftermarket or factory) running from the front to the back

Tracks on a vehicle are usually similar to fixed points where the rack mounts. The only difference is that the bar-spread is adjustable on a track-mounted system. Tracks vary in width and depth thus each vehicle requires a specific fitting kit to mount the tower to the roof.

Since vehicle roofs are shaped and sized differently, you may need to buy the load bars and supportive attachments separately. You may also need to purchase additional accessories depending on the items you intend to carry on your roof rack. Also, enquire to know if the roof rack design you’re purchasing will require parament installation or temporal.

For more information or inquiries, don’t hesitate e to contact us for expert advice.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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