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Why Do SUVs Have Roof Rails?

Why Do SUVs Have Roof Rails?

You can use roof rails to carry your luggage when planning a long journey with all your family members. 

Why Do SUVs Have Roof Rails? In general, new models of SUVs have roof rails to provide an attachment side to the roof racks and crossbars. You can attach them at the top to hold the excessive load. You can also mount heavy items such as bikes and snowboards on the top roof. Roof rails are fixed in the north to south directions and parallel to the SUV.

You can also transport the bikes and other items that cannot fix in cargo space. You should use a high-quality roof rail that protects your items and top roof.

Why Do SUVs Have Roof Rails?

Roof rails provide extra space on the top of the SUV to support large items. Here are the main benefits of having an SUV with these roof racks.

Easy to install

Do not put a heavy load on it; otherwise, it exerts pressure on the top and forms dents and scratches.

Select the best quality roof rail that prevents rusting. Do not fit other models’ frames on it; otherwise, it can cause damage.

Use high-quality nuts to install it, and mark the holes accurately on the roof before drilling. You can attach them by feet and also remove them easily when they are not in use.

Carry luggage

It uses excessive luggage that is light in weight and gives space to put extra bags for the long trip.

Do not put mattresses and heavy sofas on it because they have more weight that pushes the top inward.

Attach them correctly; otherwise, it cannot bear the weight of your luggage and damage their roof. If you fix the frame correctly, then it can handle a heavy load during the journey.

Lights on the roof rails

Modern roof rails come with the LED lights that give a stylish look. It plays an essential role after sunsets and is helpful when you pass from the thick forest.

It makes your trip beautiful if you want to stay in camp at night. 

They do not come with that lights; some new models have this quality, and it uses low power from fuel but makes your stay comfortable at night.

Aerodynamic looks

They provide an aerodynamic look to the vehicle because they are mounted north to the south, parallel to the SUV.

It also increases the speed and gives a cool touch to the vehicle. Its various designs come in the market according to different models.

You can also choose your favorite designs that are strong and carry heavy luggage. Finally, install the wind deflector that makes them resistant.

These aerodynamic rails are standard in new models and also easy to install

What are the disadvantages of adding roof rails to the SUV?

They have advantages, but if you do not care, then it also has some disadvantages. Therefore proper care is essential to increase their durability.

Tie your luggage correctly and tightly on the frame to avoid any accident.

More fuel consumption

It takes more energy due to the aerodynamic drag force that pushes it backward. Heavy items on it also increase fuel consumption about 3 to 4 times, and it also increases the wind resistance of an SUV.

The box shape also increases the resistance; therefore, use a boat shape frame. Place the lighter-weight items that can improve the fuel economy.

Do not put heavy items on it; otherwise, it is challenging to run, reducing engine efficiency.

More Noise

Use an aerodynamic designs frame that does not produce noise during driving.

You can use a rubber strip that prevents the top from rubbing. If you do not use this rubber strip, it produces noise that loses the nuts.

If you do not fix the strips, then it makes a noise that disturbs you during driving. Air also deflects around the luggage while driving at high speed.

Check the fittings of the frame and tighten them when you put heavy objects on them.


Roof rails are expensive due to the high-quality manufacturing material. In addition, these are designed to carry heavy luggage and other accessories.

Paint on the frame because it protects your vehicle from rusting. This paint is so expensive because it can withstand the water. It can also protect its color from sunlight that fades the frame shade.

Good quality roof rails face air resistance during high speed and also protect your drilling holes from rusting.

Over loading

When you put a heavy load, then the weight of the luggage affects the frame.

The points from which the frame attaches to the roof are called contact points. If you drive at high speed with heavy items puts pressure on these points.

It damages the frame that affects the contact point and scratches form that removes paint from these points. Do not keep heavy furniture on them because it can damage your SUV.

Tent on roof

It is difficult to sleep in the mud when it is raining outside. Top tents contain soft and comfortable mattresses.

It is more durable and protects you from harsh weather such as cold and rain.

Do not overload the tent; otherwise, it will break the mattress and also affects them. You do not need to keep this tent inside the cargo space because it is safe on the top roof.

Difficult to clean

It is difficult to remove dust and dirt from the inner surface. It makes your SUV terrible, and it gives an ugly look.

Some people use long and thin brushes for cleaning purposes. But it damages the edges of the roof and scratches also form on them.

Remove the roof rack and also move out all items from it.

Use warm water to clean it, and before installing, ensure that it is completely dry. Then, lubricate it with oil that prevents vibration and gives shine to your vehicle.


If you use low-quality roof rails, it will not last for a long time. Rusting is a natural process that destroys your metal frame, and it can damage the surface and make them rough.

Rusting is an oxidation process in which air and oxygen react with iron. It mainly occurs when your metal frame comes in contact with the water. It is not easy to clean, and its repair cost is very high.

Therefore keep your metal frame clean with the cleaning agent and dry. Prevent your frame from scratches and apply a protective coating of oils. You can also paint them to prevent metal from rusting. You can also use oil paints to protect their surface from rusting.

Types of SUV roof rails

These are set in the parallel position and mounted in the north to south direction. It contains a solid, flushed side and a fixed roof rail.

C-type frames are also available that rails are in the form of an arc. Their feet are attached to the top of the vehicle.

Solid roof rails 

These are durable, and there is no gap between them and the rails.

Solid frames are the same as the other rails, and these come in a sleek design that is very common. 

Side roof rails

Many SUVs have side rails, and they are present from front to back. These rails give a stylish look and run in a parallel direction.

These are common and have plastic coverings that protect from rubbing. In addition, it contains attachment points for the roof racks that can mount heavy luggage.

Raised roof rails

These look like a tower, and they don’t have space between them.

These are stronger than the flushed side rails. These are slim and smart, and it has same working principle like the previous types.

It contains the kit on which crossbars are attached that provides space for the roof racks. It includes a wide range, but they are specific according to the models.

Flushed side rails

These are fixed against the top of the roof, and these rails have pin holes to fit the tower into the vehicle.

It can provide excessive space for heavy luggage. Its kit contains a vital part; connect the upper side to the fence, and the lower side to the roof.

They give the site for the roof racks and provide stability to the frame.

Fixed point roof rails

Fixed rails do not install easily because these contain the fixed points. However, it covers with metal or plastic and provides stability to the frame.

 You can also install a roof rail and fix roof racks on the attachment points to carry luggage.

Do all SUVs have roof rails?

All SUVs do not have roof rails, but tracks are present that are helpful to install them after drilling. These provide an attachment side to the crossbars where you can place the tent.

Most of the latest models come with roof rail due to customer demand. These factory-fitted parts are durable and provide a better look to your vehicle.

How to install roof rails on an SUV?

Set the screw rails with crossbars and screw them.

Now place it on the top of the vehicle and adjust its position from front to back. You can also measure the distance with the tape and fix it between the centers.

Mark the point on the roof where you want to install them. Always use a drill stop before drilling because it prevents you from any damage. Now drill the points by spring-loaded punch, and paint the holes with automotive paint.

Drill all the holes on the other side with the same method. These paints prevent the holes and the frame from rusting. Use good quality nuts to mount the rack easily and quickly.

Clean the vehicle’s roof with a soft cloth so that tiny particles of metals wipe out easily.

How much weight does the roof rail hold?

It depends on the quality of rails because good quality rails bear heavy weights.

You can put bicycles, surfboards and winter sports on them. Maintain balance during loading of luggage; otherwise, it moves towards one side.

Do not put mattresses on it because this is difficult to control. In addition, some appliances are heavy; therefore, these are illegal to put on the roof rails.

The bed frames, sofas, and large furniture should not transport on them because they can damage your SUVs if they fall.

Do not drive at high speed with heavy luggage because it is against the traffic rules.

Always use strong frames made from metal or strong plastic. Use paints to protect the metal from rusting because they prevent rails from rusting.

Roof rails and roof racks are the same because they have the same function to carry luggage.

These are similar, but their installation method is different. It can carry more weight than cargo space.

These are a standard part of the vehicle that can carry extra items. Roof rack uses if you need more place for oversized items.

If you like solid and lightweight frames, then choose an aluminum frame. Steel frames are also available, but these are heavy for SUVs.

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