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Carrack Beginner’s Guide

Understanding Carrack Systems

Looking to install a rooftop carrier, ski rack, kayak rack, bike rack or luggage rack to your car’s roof? Not sure where to start? 

Don’t worry. Here is a brief overview of the different types of carrack systems available.  With this carrack basic information, you can begin to understand the different options you need to consider when finding the correct item to attach to your car roof. 

Carrack Option 1: Naked Roof

Carrack option 1 refers to a car roof that has no rail system on it as demonstrated in the illustration. With this car roof option, one can attach items such as roof top carriers, bike racks or ski racks though you have to look hard to find specific options that work. Not every attachment is universal to a naked roof. 

A naked roof is generally the standard way a car will come from the manufacturer. 

Carrack Option 2: Side Rails

Roof option 2 refers to rails on your car roof that run down the sides of the car. One has more attaching options than option 1. Though still not every attachment is universal.  

A person can add side rails to one’s car if they no no rail system as in Option 1. Manufacturers such as Yakima and Thule make side rails that attach to naked roofs if needed.

Additionally, if you have side rails make sure to check whether they are raised a few inches from the roof to allow straps to run through them. Certain car manufacturers such as Lexus make side rails that aren’t raised making attaching items more complicated. 

Carrack Option 3: Cross Rails

Roof option 3 refers to rails that run both down the side of the car and across the car.  This set up in our opinion is the best option as one has the most attachment versatility with this car roof set up.

Some cars do come with cross rails though it is generally not the standard.  

Further, a person can add cross rails to a naked roof (option 1) or side rail roof (option 2). Manufacturers such as Yakima and Thule make cross rail attachments. 

Miscellaneous Important Information:Carrack

Lastly, once you understand the car rack system you have on our automobile, it is wise to review your car’s instruction manuals to see what weight limits exist on your car’s roof and the rail system if any in place.  

The car manufacturer will have restrictions on both situations. Such restrictions can also impact your analysis. Failure to read and follow such car manufacturer instructions can lead to dangerous situations. 

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