Family Road Trip - How to Pack a Roof Box For Your Next Road Trip [12 Tips]

How to Pack a Roof Box For Your Next Road Trip [12 Essential Tips]

Are you getting ready for your next family road trip? Like most people, you’ll probably be packing your car with all sorts of things – clothes, food, camping gear, and more. But what about your luggage? 

If you’re traveling with a lot of stuff, it can be challenging to fit it all into your car. One solution is to use a roof box. 

A roof box can give you extra storage space for your belongings, and it’s a great way to keep them safe and secure while on the road. This article will share tips on how to pack a roof box for your next road trip!

As Amazon Associates, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases made on this page.

12 Tips on How to Pack a Roof Box

When packing for a road trip, it’s important to ensure everything is secure. One way to do that is by using a roof box. Here are some tips on how to pack a roof box:

1. Know Your Roof Box Weight Limits

FRT - Roof Box Weight Limits

Make sure you know the weight limit of your roof box before loading it up because every roof box has a maximum weight they’re safe for. Typically, this weight ranges from 50kg to 75kg, depending on the size of your box. 

Most companies that manufacture these items place this information in plain view. If you’re having trouble determining the weight limit for your roof box, look inside an owner’s manual.

It’s important to adhere to these weight limits, as overloading a roof box can cause it to become unstable. This could lead to the box becoming detached from your car while driving, potentially causing an accident. 

Not only is this dangerous, but it can also damage your vehicle and the roof box itself.

2. Pack The Heaviest Things In The Car First

It might seem common sense, but it’s still a good idea to pack the heaviest items in the car first, even if you use a roof box. This is because the car has a greater weight limit than the roof box. 

So packing the heaviest items in the car will ensure that the lightweight items can be stored in the roof box.

Remember, your car can handle the extra load, but your roof box has its limitation. Keeping an eye on the weight limit for your roof box will ensure the stability of your car when moving.

3. Pack Longer Items In A Roof Box Cargo Carrier

Roof boxes are available in many different sizes, so choose one large enough to fit all of your long items.

If you’re traveling with items like skis and snowboards, it’s a good idea to pack them in a roof box cargo carrier. This will keep them safe and secure while you’re on the road.

Many large roof boxes in the market, like Thule Pulse Alpine or Thule Motion, can easily accommodate 3-4 skis and 5-7 snowboards.

4. Put Your Suitcases In Your Roof Box Storage

FRT - Suitcases in your Roof Box

Many roof boxes feature a special section on top specifically designed to store luggage. This can be a great way to keep your suitcases safe and secure while on the road. Plus, it can free up space in your car for other items.

If you’re traveling with a lot of luggage, choose the right roof box for carrying suitcases. This type of roof box is generally medium to high-profile, with a slightly taller dimension to accommodate a few larger suitcases.

In addition, they are designed to do the packing and unpacking much easier and keep your belongings safe and secure.

5. Distribute The Weight Evenly

When packing your roof box, it’s important to distribute the weight evenly. This will help ensure a smooth and quiet ride and prevent any items from sliding around. 

The best way to do this is by putting the heaviest items in the center of the roof box and balancing everything out as much as possible.

This might take a little time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. Not only will your items be more secure, but you’ll also avoid any unpleasant noises while on the road.

6. Make Sure Your Roof Box Is Properly Secured

It’s important to ensure that your box and roof bars are fitted correctly and securely before hitting the open road. Check out our article about the best position for the roof box on a car.

The two most common mounting systems for roof boxes are u-shaped bolts and power click mounts, and your manual should include fitting instructions.

If you’re unsure how to fit your roof box, watch the video below.

7. Take Advantage Of Any Straps Or Holders

If your roof box comes with straps or holders, be sure to use them. This will help keep your items in place while you’re driving. In addition, it will help prevent the roof box from shifting around and becoming unstable. 

If your roof box doesn’t come with straps or holders, you can use bungee cords to secure it in place. Just be sure to tie them down tightly, so they don’t come loose while you’re on the road.

8. Wrap Things In Plastic

When packing your roof box, wrapping items in plastic is a good idea. This will help keep them dry and protected from the elements. In addition, it can help prevent them from getting scratched or damaged while you’re driving.

There are a few different ways to do this. You can use large garbage bags, which are cheap and easy to find, or purchase special packing blankets or sheets designed for this purpose.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to cover everything in plastic, so it’s well-protected.

9. Keep The Locking System Clear

The locking system is a very important component of the storage box. It needs to be sturdy and secure to feel confident about leaving your belongings in it.

When you pack your items into the box, you must ensure that your belongings don’t block or obstruct the locking system when closed. 

When you don’t ensure the locking system is clear, your storage box may spring up as you drive down the road. 

So make sure that everything is packed neatly and that there is plenty of clearance around the locking system so it can do its job properly.

10. Get Somebody To Help You Load

Rooftop cargo boxes can be difficult to load from standing on the ground, so it’s best to get somebody to help you. One person can hand you the luggage while you stand on the floor of the backseat. 

You could also use a ladder or other tool to help you reach the top, giving you greater control and spending more time organizing your storage box for the best load.

You might want to read this article about whether lifting boxes cause back pain.

11. Tie Down The Box For Extra Caution

As an extra precaution, you can tie down your rooftop box with straps or bungee cords. This will give you peace of mind that the box is securely attached to your roof.

The box should be reliably secured, but if you want that added protection, don’t hesitate to throw some straps across it after you have loaded everything in.

Make sure to use quality straps or cords that can withstand the weight of the box and whatever you put inside it. And don’t forget to check the tension now and then, especially if you’re on a long road trip. 

You don’t want your belongings flying all over the highway in a sudden gust of wind.

12. Finally, Drive Safely

Now that you have all your items packed safely in your roof box, it’s time to hit the open road.

But before you do, be sure to take a few minutes to drive around and get used to the extra weight. It may feel a bit different at first, but with a little practice, you should be able to handle it like a pro.

And most importantly, remember to drive safely. The last thing you want is an accident because you weren’t paying attention to the road. So take your time, be patient, and enjoy the ride.


Now that you know how to pack your roof box for a road trip, all that’s left is to hit the open road. Take advantage of our tips for packing a roof box cargo carrier – it will make your life much easier. 

And be sure to drive safely to avoid any accidents on your trips. Enjoy your journey, and happy travels!

download your free road trip checklist click here button

© Family Road Trip 2024

Similar Posts