Hauling Gear Into Your Pop-Up Camper? Install A Roof Rack First!
Have you had any problems hauling big gear into your pop-up camper or your car? The easiest solution to the problem campers like us frequently face is a pop-up camper roof rack.
If you’re a fan (okay, or a reader) of my blog, you know very well that I’m an avid camper and I’ve been doing it for decades now. Oftentimes, I’d stumble upon trails leading to pristine lakes and rivers and I just can’t contain my desire to tread through the peaceful waters with a kayak.
Sometimes, when I take my family to campgrounds on nearby lakes, I get so disappointed by the lack of boat or kayak rentals of the facility. How will you not be disappointed when there’s a perfectly good lake standing in front of you, and you can’t even make use of it?
My incapacity to bring my own kayak boat isn’t the only problem for me. Cycling through trails and off-the-beaten paths are also more convenient than hiking, prompting me to bring my old mountain bike. But the question is: how can I transport them? Will they fit on my pop-up camper?
That’s when it hit me. I have to bring my own boat and bike to camping apparently through my trailer tent. So I did that, I brought my two small kayaks and a mountain bike, and I stuffed them on my camper. Oh, what hassle! It’s hard to fit all of them, and they’re too bouncy.
So my pro camper friend told me that the only solution for carrying big gear like boats, bikes, skis, and other cargoes would be a pop-up camper roof rack and of course, separate bike racks and kayak cradles for mounting the gear.
What Is A Pop-Up Camper Roof Rack?
Essentially, a pop-up camper roof rack is a set of heavy-duty steel crossbars attached on the top of the camper’s roof for transporting skis, bikes, kayaks, and other cargo within a recommended weight.
A Few Things To Consider When Installing A Roof Rack
Installing a roof rack over your pop up camper will take time and effort. Also, you need to consider a few things first before purchasing.
Types of Pop-Up Camper Roof Racks
Essentially, there are two types of roof racks for pop-up campers, racks for roofs with rails and for roofs lacking rails.
1. Roof racks for raised or flattened roof rails
I do hope your pop-up camper has roof rails though I haven’t seen one with a raised roof rail, perhaps newer models have. If your camper’s roof have rails, you won’t need to drill holes because some roof racks provide interface hardwares and other mounting options for this kind of roof.
2. Roof racks for roofs without rails
Most pop-up camper roof racks are meant for trailers without rails. This will require drilling of holes and permanent racks.
There are many pop-up camper roof rack choices out there, leaving you overwhelmed and confused as to what to choose.
Below are two of my suggested tried and tested pop-up camper roof racks.
Tried and Tested Roof Racks
The SportRack Camp Trailer Rack System comes with two square adjustable crossbars, hooks, locks, and all mounting hardware that are ready for installation.
The heavy-duty telescopic bars are long enough (adjusts from 79" to 88”) to fit any camp trailer roofs and hold up to 200 lbs or 90 kg. Also, the mounting legs are also adjustable.
What I love about this rack system is it gives you the option to mount the legs directly on the camper’s roof or through an interface hardware.
If your camper has roof tracks, the system’s track mount hardware will allow you to slide the leg on the end of the track easily. All you need to do is to drill holes for mounting the leg directly on top of the camper if your camper has no interface. Very convenient!
Here’s a detailed video of the entire rack system.
So the Yakima Round Crossbars are made from made from vinyl coated galvanized steel which is very durable, it stayed with me for six years. The crossbars are non-adjustable so they sell 48", 66", 78" and 86" widths. Measure your camper’s roof and choose the one the width size that is right for your camper. However, the q-towers, end caps, and locks used for attaching the crossbars are sold separately.
What I like about this product is that the key-locked adjustable q-towers hold the crossbars to the roof’s side rails firmly in place and the round crossbars are lightweight but extremely durable. Also, the rack has a 165 lbs capacity.
Apparently, since we only have two types of roof racks for pop-up campers, you should choose one that best fits your roof type and also take into consideration the things we mentioned earlier for you to contemplate on when installing a roof rack.
May you finally get that long-awaited roof rack installed and get the best out of your every camping experience!