Your family enjoys experiencing the outdoors or taking scenic road trip vacations. The next thoughts are that you have more things you need to haul on the vacation than you have space in the SUV or minivan. You’ll need a vehicle rack of some kind. Will it be a roof rack, hitch rack, trunk rack or spare tire rack? And, what about a carrier for loose items? There is a choice of cargo boxes, cargo carriers and cargo bags to carry loose items and make more room available for the family inside the vehicle.
The vehicle needs more storage space for all the stuff the family needs for that next outdoor adventure. All of this is fairly straightforward to accomplish with the help of a reputable service to help you install a system. And, you’ll probably end up using a system from one of the more reputable brands in the industry such as Thule vehicle rack and cargo systems or the Yakima vehicle rack and cargo systems. All of this you can discuss with your local service provider.
What I’d like to review are the challenges of getting your garage storage spaces to work well and make packing for that adventure weekend getaway or family vacation that much easier to do. Let’s take a look at how you might want to design and strategize your garage storage to work well with vehicle storage packing needs.
This is one of the go to items when looking to find a method of hauling bikes, skis & snowboards, stand-up paddle boards are more for a fun and active getaway. Many SUVs today come with half racks as a standard feature. By adding cross bars, this easily converts the half rails to a full roof rack which can now mount a wide variety of options such as cargo carriers or boxes, bikes, skis or snowboards and much more.
During the off season, storing the cross-bar accessories in the overhead platform areas of the garage makes the most sense. And, if you’re off to an adventure often throughout the year, some slatwall storage basket options are available to easily store, access and swap or switch out accessories.
If you’re using your roof rack for bikes, consider a hydraulic lift storage system bike rack to lower bikes directly onto the roof rack directly from their storage location in the garage. These overhead storage systems can also accommodate a canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboards which lower watercrafts directly onto the roof rack of the vehicle making packing quick, easy and efficient preparation for that adventure weekend away.
For those who need a more portable rack system to carry a couple of bikes, the trunk rack is fairly universal and can mount onto many types of car trunks. They’re easily removable so it can be used for a single trip from time to time. One of the drawbacks is that people can’t get into the trunk from the back of the car. They may need to use the fold down seats to reach into items stored in the trunk.
It’s easier to get a bike onto a trunk rack than a roof rack system. Between trips, use the hydraulic overhead bike rack or wall mount racks to store the bikes. In addition, a space on the overhead platform to store the trunk rack itself is the likely spot for this portable vehicle rack.
Hitch racks are attached to the hitch of the vehicle. They’re sturdier and they are typically used to transport and secure mountain bikes, skis or snowboards. Many people keep the hitch in place until the end of the season. They can carry up to 5 bikes so they are great for a family of bikes. And, the bikes can be secured or locked to the rack. When driving, the bikes don’t bump or jostle because they can be fixed into place.
Combine the hitch rack with an overhead hydraulic bike storage rack in the garage or any number of wall mounted rack systems to make it convenient to mount bikes onto the back of the vehicle before the start of any trip.
Some vehicles have a spare tire mounted on the back of the vehicle. If that’s the case, the spare-tire rack works similarly to the trunk rack. It typically carries a couple of bikes, wake boards or skis and while the spare-tire rack is removable, many people keep the rack in place. These racks don’t lock the bikes in place but because they sit behind the spare tire, the vehicle is protected from moving bicycle tires or handles.
Wall mounted storage options or overhead storage racks with hydraulic lifts would both work with this type of vehicle rack.
Basket Style Cargo Carriers
With a full rail roof rack, basket style cargo carriers can be mounted to help secure a large amount of camping or other gear to the top of the vehicle. There are also hitch style basket carriers to carry bikes or wakeboards and other gear safely and securely.
Some of the hitch carriers can fold up when not in use so that they are out of the way when not carrying items. During the off season, keep it in the overhead space of the garage for re-mounting the following season. Bikes, skis, wake boards and other sporting equipment can be stored on wall-mounted racks or overhead hydraulic lifts which makes it easier to pack.
Sometimes, people combine a cargo bag with the carrier basket so smaller items are easily secured within the bag and to the vehicle. Some bags are designed for the roof rack or a carrier basket intended for the roof of the vehicle. Many others are designed for the hitch style basket carriers. These make the most sense as the soft bag doesn’t protect the belongings within from dings and dents of fast flying debris. Situated behind the vehicle, the bag is minimally exposed to flying debris and anything which might cause dings to the belongings and sports gear contained within.
As long as your gear is clean and dry after each trip, the cargo bags make for a great way to store all the sports accessories in a single space. Carve out a space on the overhead storage platform of the garage for the bag and the full gear. If you have multiple outdoor past times with just as much gear, get a separate cargo bag for each type of outdoor adventure and you’ll be pre-packed for any adventure.
If you have multiple cargo bags each packed with its own adventure, you may also find an overhead sling system helpful in lifting them up and away or easily lowering them directly onto the basket carrier making for quick packing or preparation for any vacation.
Pick the correct cargo bag to pack onto the hitch style basket carrier and you can have a different adventure every weekend of the summer.
Personal floatation devices, paddles and even the kids’ toys are smaller items that are not secured individually to the roof rack. Instead, a cargo box for the roof of the vehicle allows everyone in the family to just throw items into it and everything can be locked inside the cargo box for safety.
When the trip is done, smelly wet gear can be removed and the whole box is easily cleaned with a garden hose and some environmentally friendly soap. Then, leave the box open to dry for a short while to dry under the sun before driving it into the garage.
The best way to store a Thule or Yakima cargo box is with an overhead storage sling operated on a pulley as a hydraulic or manual lift. So, when your cargo box is clean, dry and ready to store, drive your vehicle under the overhead sling. Strap the cargo box into the sling and unhitch it from the vehicle’s roof rack system. With the single push of a button, your hydraulic cargo box sling will be lifted up and into the overhead area of the garage.
When you’re ready for your next trip, drive your vehicle directly under the cargo box sling and use the hydraulic switch to lower the Thule or Yakima directly onto the roof rack of your vehicle. Secure the cargo box and then unhook the overhead sling mechanism. Storing and mounting a large awkwardly shaped cargo box can be a breeze with the right garage storage system.
Match Your Garage Storage System to Your Vehicle Rack & Cargo System
Make the packing and unpacking of your family’s road trip vacation a breeze. Or, get on your way to a different and exciting outdoor weekend adventure every weekend in minutes with the right garage storage system to match your vehicle rack system including carriers, cargo boxes and bags.
The right storage system can help you spend less of your time packing and more time enjoying the outdoors and time with your family or friends. Get a complimentary in-home consultation to get a strategic garage storage system custom designed for your road trip vacation and outdoor adventure lifestyles.