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Can a rooftop carrier go through a carwash?

can a rooftop carrier go through a car wash

Can a rooftop carrier go through a carwash?

We sometimes get asked this clarification when customers are using our rooftop carrier rentals. We believe this tip is important to note for those going on or returning from a road trip. 

Quick Feedback on Rooftop carriers and Car Washes

Overall, most rooftop carrier manufacturers don’t recommend you keep your rooftop carrier on your roof when going through a car wash for several reasons. For all rooftop carriers and rooftop bags we rent, we don’t recommend you keep them on your car’s roof if you need to clean your car either.

Here’s Why Rooftop carriers and Car Washes are a Terrible Idea

Below are a few reasons why leaving a rooftop carrier on your car during a car wash is a bad idea.

  1. The rooftop cargo box could become stuck in the car washing equipment causing the carwash to break down in turning leading to a costly day at the carwash for you. 
  2. The rooftop carrier could hit the top of the carwash structure as you pull into the washing area causing damage to the rooftop carrier leading to a broken rooftop carrier for you. 
  3. The soap and excessive water could get inside your rooftop carrier potentially damaging your items inside the rooftop box.

When in doubt, check the rooftop carrier manufacturer’s installation instructions for specific advice for the rooftop carrier on your car. Each manufacturer such as Thule, Yakima or Rightline may have additional tips or advice on this topic. 

Though if in doubt, remove the rooftop carrier prior to heading into a car wash. Removing while a bit more work is a cheaper alternative in the long run. 

Other Rooftop Carrier Resources to Help on Your Rooftop Carrier Adventure

Want to read more rooftop carrier pro tips and tricks? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Selecting a Rooftop Carrier to learn more

Feel free to email us with questions, we are glad to help. 


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