What to look for in your new van roof rack

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For the modern professional and fleet manager, choosing the best van roof rack from the wide selection available can be daunting. So, what are the key characteristics to look out for in a quality roof rack? Rhino Products, Europe’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicle accessories, explores the important features.

Strength and functionality

Roof racks on commercial vans must be robust and durable. At the same time, a large carrying capacity is essential for any working environment. Being exposed to the rigours of the road and the outdoors, means that this equipment also needs to be corrosion resistant.

To ensure maximum service life for roof racks, thorough durability testing needs to be carried out. This begins early in the design process, in-house engineers should utilise advanced analytical software to identify and eliminate any potential weaknesses. Physical prototypes are then created and tested to destruction to ensure maximum strength in all areas. Continual improvement also needs to be carried out on existing designs too. This approach delivers highly robust roof racks with leading load carrying capacities.

In some cases, this is even taken a step further. For example, Rhino’s AluminiumRack is independently crash tested to 20G at Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK – twice the industry standard city crash test of 10G. Its anodised aluminium alloy construction ensures durability and an innate resistance to corrosion, delivering a long service life.

Roof racks must also be highly functional. Choosing a suitable roof rack in this regard will help improve the working environment for van users. Rhino ensures the usability of its roof racks thanks to a full width durable steel roller attached to composite stub axles, which allows for easy loading and unloading at the rear.

Aesthetics and aerodynamics

Compared to past designs, modern vans are starting to look more like passenger cars. Sleek lines and sharp details are becoming standard across all manufacturers – often influenced by efforts to streamline exteriors for improved aerodynamics. Therefore, modern roof racks need to match this design philosophy.

The AluminiumRack is designed to be sleek and smooth, seamlessly integrating with the aesthetics of modern vans. Innovative features such as polymer composite nose cones improve aerodynamics and reduce wind noise while driving.

By selecting a roof rack with an aesthetic that closely matches the van, users improve the looks of a vehicle while also maximising aerodynamic efficiency.

Optimum fit

Making sure a roof rack is optimised for the van model, wheelbase and height is imperative. A poorly fitted roof rack will not only look odd but offer reduced usability and safety. Choosing an optimised design will also help ease fitting.

Rhino has designed the AluminiumRack to fit a wide selection of the most popular commercial vans in France, covering major brands such as Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Volkswagen and Ford. A compatibility tool and comparison tables on the Rhino Products website allows customers to check that their van is supported and select the optimum rack.

Bespoke installation kits tailored to each model and wheelbase deliver a perfect fit. Each kit includes instructions, all necessary parts and two Allen keys – with two ladders and two 10mm/13mm spanners (depending on the rack) required to complete fitment.

Designed for efficiency

Improving fuel efficiency is a goal of all van fleets. Additionally, to help minimise environmental impact, many van fleets are going electric. Whether fully electric, hybrid or combustion only – choosing a roof rack which has reduced weight and good aerodynamic properties helps to maximise range and fuel efficiency.

Rhino Products van roof racks have been carefully developed and optimised with particular attention to functionality, weight, aerodynamics and durability, ensuring that professionals and fleet managers can boost their productivity while maintaining vehicle efficiency.