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I know, silly question of the day. When carrying a load on a roof rack, do I put the load (cargo bag in this case) on the actual roof and just attach it to the roof rack, or do I put the bag on the actual cross bars themselves, and secure it?

I've always used a hitch carrier when carrying loads, so this is my first attempt at using the roof. I always assumed you put the load on the actual rack itself, and not the roof. However, I purchased a cargo bag and the instructions and picture state to put the bag on the roof, and just secure to the cross rails and rack.

Which is it? Thanks much.
 

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10 Optima LX, 07 Rondo EX, 89 Chevy C1500
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Most cargo bags I've seen sit on the roof between the rails and cross bars and are strapped to them, and the straps are designed to be used this way. Go by the instructions, and you'll be fine.

In some cases the bags may be too long to fit between the cross rails, in which case I've seen people remove the rear cross rail and only secure the bag to the front and sides without any problems.
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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Only roof rack I've ever used it was definitely bags on the rack itself. I'd be worried about damage to the paintwork if the bags or whatever were directly on the roof. It would be difficult to wrap the bags in protective plastic if they were on the roof, I think.

Keep load below maximum rating, and remember maximum stress is under braking, so secure the rear of the rack if there is any type of extension arm for this purpose.
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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as Cuda mentions, put anything on the roof where you have to reach over your head, and you will me sliding it around. If putting it directly on the roof, that mean scratches to the paint. Later on it will mean fading/bubbling/rusting of the paint.

Put it on the roof racks or get a cargo carrier that attaches to the roof racks if you plan on doings this more often.

These types, but if you look locally second hand, you will find something cheaper

Thule Australia » Products » Roof Boxes

Cargo Carriers » Products » Thule Australia
 

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08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
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I carry camping gear on my 2006 EX about 20 times a year. I place a towel on the roof to prevent scratches and then place my items directly on the roof and secure them with bunjee cords... Have never had a loose load and have never had any scratches on the paint..
 
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