Make the best choice for you.
What should you consider
before plunking down the green and walking out with a new sports rack for your vehicle? The Sports Rack, a nationally known retail and mail-order outfit based in Sacramento, California and specializing only in rack systems for vehicles offers the following hints to "picking the right rack for whatever you pack:"
Contributed By: Michael Hodgson
- Think about the
loads you will be carrying, well beyond your immediate carrying needs. What
about utility loads, luggage, skis, or long loads such as kayaks, sailboards or even lumber. Adjustable wrist straps with no buckle to minimize chaffing on bare hands.
- What type of vehicle
is being outfitted? Is it a tall vehicle (van or sport utility), short
vehicle, old vehicle, new vehicle, leased vehicle? Does it have (or not have) rain gutters, receiver hitch, externally mounted spare tire, factory roof rack? Do you want this rack to fit more than one vehicle?
- Will load carrying
space be a problem in the future? Are there children on the way or will
friends or relatives be traveling with you in the near future? Should you think about a cargo box?
- How often will you
use the rack? Once or twice a year (it might be better to rent a rack) or
on a monthly or weekly basis?
- Will your vehicle be
garaged? Find out if roof line clearance will be a problem with your
vehicle or if the length (i.e. with a suburban) of the vehicle with an added rear rack creates difficulties. If your rack will need to come off, is it easily removable and just as easy to reinstall?
- Think about
security. Will you leave your vehicle unattended for long periods of time
with your recreational gear stowed? How expensive is your gear? People do steal racks too, so how important is it to secure the rack itself to your vehicle?
- Lastly, think
quality and warranty. Are name brands important to you? Ensure that the
rack will not damage your car in any way. Find out how long the warrantee period is.
Michael Hodgson is a an award-winning journalist and author of numerous books including Camping for Dummies, Compass and Map Navigator, and Facing the Extreme. He is a volunteer instructor for the American Red Cross, Nevada County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and was a former mountain guide. Michael is well-known for his sense of humor and eagerness to try anything once in the pursuit of a really good story. His friends remain amazed that he can still walk. He has partnered with his journalist-wife, Therese Iknoian, on four web sites: his own www.AdventureNetwork.com, plus www.GearTrends.com, www.TotalFitnessNetwork.com, and www.SNEWSnet.com