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Tips for tying down luggage this summer

Can't fit all your suitcases in the boot? Check out our tips for safely loading luggage on the roof of your vehicle this summer.

Don't do it alone

Hoisting heavy objects onto the roof of your vehicle can be a tricky task. Having a helping hand will make loading and tying down oversized objects to the roof of your vehicle a lot safer and easier.

Roof Racks

Roof racks are the best place to start when it comes to strapping luggage to your roof. You can purchase inflatable roof racks if you use them less frequently or for short trips, but solid roof racks will give you a much more stable base to tie any larger luggage to, like kayaks.

Roof Boxes

Roof boxes are good for caring outdoor equipment, especially items that are small and may slip about or come loose under a net. The boxes close fully and lock all of the contents inside.

Check your roof rack's max weight

Before you start loading, be sure to check the manufacturer's recommended max weight for your roof racks. Overloading them may cause the load to dent your vehicle and may also lead to engine damage.

Invest in heavy duty straps

Having heavy duty, professional straps will help ensure your load is strapped down more securely.

Loading without a roof rack

If you don’t have a roof rack, you’ll have to be extra careful when strapping any oversized items to your roof.

  • Before you start stacking your luggage, lay down a towel or blanket to protect your roof
  • Secure straps through the doors rather than the windows
  • If there are hooks to your straps, attach them together inside the car.

If your load extends off your vehicle

Warning devices must be tied to any luggage extending too far off you vehicle. If your load extends more than one metre to the front or rear, or more than 200 millimetres to the left or right side, you will need to attach warning flags to the end of your load.

  • During the day, you must use a clean white, or fluorescent red, orange or yellow flag, at least 400 millimetres long by 300 millimetres wide
  • During the hours of darkness, the flags (or hazard panels) can be attached but lights must also be attached to the load. These lights must be at the rear and facing towards the rear, coloured red (if the load extends sideways or to the rear).