It’s all good having your new shiny roof box attached to your car with everything you need for your trip, but you should only keep it attached to the roof as long as you are actively using it.
When you’re not using your cargo box, it should be taken off your vehicle roof safely with a step and stored away correctly.
Roof boxes are generally big and bulky, therefore it’s not suitable to store them inside your home. It’s just inconvenient to be transporting them in and out of your house, plus, the problem of storage comes up.
You need a fair bit of space in your home, which most homeowners probably don’t have. Even then, clearing an adequate bit of space on the floor is not recommended as you want your roof box off the ground where possible. You’ll want to avoid any chance of damage, and by having it lying on the floor around your home, you run the risk of someone standing or falling over it.
The best conditions for storing a car roof box is to have it somewhere out of sight to avoid theft, off the ground to avoid any potential damage and inside to avoid any exposure to the elements.
Here are the most common ways to store a vehicle roof box, including the pros and cons for each method, with what we recommend as the perfect storage solution for your new big box.
How to Store A Roof Box
In A Garage
A garage is the most common space used to store a roof box. A shed or hut could also be used, though it requires a lot of space, which most people’s sheds don’t have with all the tools, etc. lying around.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garage that you can park your car in, then not only do you gain the benefits security-wise of having your car parked off the street, you also have the most secure and practical place for storing your roof cargo box.
As mentioned further up, ideally, you want the box off the ground and in a garage. This is even more important as typically you’re always stepping about your garage for tools, doing jobs etc.
If you have a garage with a high enough ceiling and have the resources, the best solution is to purchase and install a car roof box hoist on the ceiling.
These lifts are simple to install to the ceiling or a metal girder, with any reputable purchase coming with all the installation parts and brackets you need to screw it in easily.
If you don’t have the money for one, then you can also build one on the cheap yourself, though do be careful as safety is an issue when having such a large and heavy weight suspended in the air.
Hoists can also save you some back-lifting trouble as well as provide a storage solution. If you have a lot of equipment inside your cargo box running up the overall weight, a hoist will allow you to lift the roof box off the roof of your car by yourself safely.
Shelf or Wall Hook
Continuing on the garage storage theme, if for whatever reason you don’t want to install a hoist, then there are other, more basic solutions to get your cargo off the ground.
Building or using an existing shelf is also an option. This is probably less common though due to the larger dimensions of standard roof boxes. It would need to be a very large and strong shelf to be able to support one of these cargo holders.
A wall hook or a mount is a more common option than using a shelf amongst roof box owners storing it in their own garage.
Mounting it to the wall is relatively simple to do with the installation of a few mounting brackets and hooks. There are lots of mounting brackets out there that can comfortably handle the weight of a roof box and other heavy things such as bikes, kayaks etc.
The only thing that makes using a wall mount or hooks an issue is the actual lifting of the box yourself. It is a heavy lift and may require an extra helping hand to get it off the ground and mounted.
Overall a garage is the best solution for storing a roof box as it offers protection, security, and generally has the right amount of space and is the most practical if you can also park your car in it. If you don’t have a garage, then you could always use a friend’s if possible, or, if you have a garden shed with enough room, that could be an ok alternative.
Not everyone has the luxury of storing their car cargo box in a garage, therefore, another storage solution needs to be found at your property, with the outdoor space being another, less common option.
We would advise that you do not leave it lying outside as this leaves it open to theft, bad weather, UV rays and general damage. But in saying that, it might be the only other storage option you have available, so there are a few things you want to do if you do have to store it outside.
The first thing you want to do with your roof box if stored outside is to make sure it’s covered up and out of sight. Instead of having it lying on the ground, elevate it if possible, even sit it on a plank of wood if necessary. Then, cover it up with a tarp or something similar that is waterproof to protect it from the elements and conceal it from strangers and animals.
Every decent cargo box on the market has a locking mechanism and uses a key to keep it locked and secure when not in use. You obviously want to ensure that it’s locked up when left unsupervised outside, but also make sure the keys provided are kept in a safe and out of sight location.
If you do opt for an outdoor storage solution, then make sure it’s kept away from any paths where the risk of someone stepping on and damaging it is much higher. Another reason to keep it away from any paths is that you want to avoid drawing any attention to it and want to make it as inaccessible as possible to strangers. One way to eliminate these worries is by using your back garden for storage rather than the front.
Leaving It On The Car Roof
If none of the suggestions above are an option, then the last resort should be to leave your cargo box attached to the roof of your car. If there is no way of storing it anywhere else, including inside your home or at a friend’s house, then, unfortunately, you will just need to leave it attached.
You obviously can leave your storage box on your roof, and it will eliminate the need to mount and dismount it, but the whole point of this article was to suggest that you should not keep it on your vehicle roof as there are certain disadvantages to this.
Here are the disadvantages of keeping your roof box attached to your car when not in use:
- Affects fuel mileage, running up costs
- Encourages theft when parked and unattended
- Constant exposure to bad weather and UV light
- Adds extra height
- Long-term pressure on the roof could leave damage
Storing a roof box correctly is a major concern for first-time buyers, and to be honest, it should be. If you can’t store it out of sight in a safe, secure and waterproof space, then you’re probably asking for trouble. The best solution is a garage with a hoist setup, as this turns mounting/dismounting into a simple 1-man job and acts as an excellent storage solution. This won’t be an option for every roof top box owner though, so consider what space you have available or can make available for storing it. If you would prefer something that is foldable and has easy storage, then we would recommend looking into a roof bag instead.