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Roof Rails vs Roof Racks: What's The Difference?

A great off roading adventure requires preparation. That means packing all the gear you’ll need to tackle the terrain and the elements, from extra fuel to camping supplies, from to firewood to an off road roof rack mounted on top of your vehicle. With plenty you haul along, you might need extra storage outside your truck or Jeep. That’s where a roof rack or roof rail system comes in. Which one is best to fit your needs? Follow this guide to find out.

Roof Rails vs. Roof Racks: Definitions
As a starting point for deciding what type of rooftop storage will work best for your vehicle, you’ll need to know a couple of terms. Here are definitions of roof rails and roof racks, the foundation on which you’ll build your storage system. Find quality versions of either one from a trusted vendor of clearance off road accessories.


• Roof Rails: Roof rails run from the front of your car to the back. They can be elevated a few inches away from the roof or mounted flush against the roof. Roof rails are a relatively common factory-installed feature on trucks and SUVs. They’re less common on smaller vehicles, such as sedans.

• Roof Racks: A roof rack is the piece that will actually hold your gear. Roof racks can go from a couple of cross bars attached to roof rails, to a full platform with additional pieces and accessories. The best type of roof rack for you will depend on what you want to store.

For off roadinga roof rack will be the right choice for many drivers. Roof rails provide a nice starting point to be able to mount additional elements to your roof, but rails with a few attached cross bars might not provide the security and stability needed for off road driving.

Benefits of a Roof Rack
Like roof top tents for jeeps, a quality roof rack can make the difference between a smooth off road adventure and one with more bumps in the road. Consider the benefits of a roof rack when you’re making storage decisions.

• Roof Racks Are Secure: Whether you’re looking at a set of cross bars or a full platform, roof racks offer more security for your items. The more surface area you have, the more opportunity you’ll have to hold your cargo in place. 
• Roof Racks Work With Accessories: You can attach all sorts of accessories to a platform roof rack. Bring along toys with a kayak holder or a bike rack. Keep your gear dry with a cargo box. Or, hold everything in place with a sturdy cargo net.
• Roof Racks Hold More Than Gear: Roof racks can also hold essential equipment. Look for a model with mounting options for LED truck lights if you’ll be driving at night or in rainy conditions. 

A well-constructed roof rack expands your storage area and gives you a place to mount important gear. Be sure to select a rack that fits your vehicle.

When you’re ready to head off the beaten path for an off road excursion, look for a trusted vendor of off road parts for the best selection and quality.



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