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How to pack a car top carrier.

All right! Your vacation has arrived, it's time to hit the road.  Let's pack.  What? Aunt Betty is coming along.  Surprise.  No one can watch Spot the family retriever so he's coming too.  These kinds of situations come up all the time it's best to be prepared and have your good 'ol Piggy Pack car top carrier ready to go.

A little bit of planning helps a lot.  If you have never used your Piggy Pack CTC before, plan on taking some extra time.  Read the instructions first. You'll want to take a few minutes to adjust the straps, position the buckles so they work best for you and your vehicle.

Think about the gear you want to pack.  It's going on the top of your car, so there's going to be some lifting.  Generally, lighter bulky items are best.  Sleeping bags, duffel bags of cloths, soccer balls, tents, sports gear like masks, fins, snorkels, stuff like that.  Heavy objects like filled coolers, horse shoes, pointy things like tent poles should probably go inside the car.  Stuff you'll use along the way, like cameras, maps, munchies should go in the car too.

If you have a luggage rack, know its weight limitation.  If you're loading a car top carrier right on the roof of a sedan without a luggage rack, be aware of the strength of the roof, press it with your hands, don't cave it in, limit your load.  You have to use your best judgment.  Make sure car clips to attach carriers to cars with no luggage rack on on hand.

Most people pack the CTC on the roof of the vehicle.  Position the opening of the bag so you can easily reach it by standing in the door, on the tailgate of the SUV, on the tire, or on the tire step.  Watch your balance, take it easy loading one item at a time.

Some people load their car top bag inside, on the ground or in the garage.  This is fine, however consider the loaded CTC can be heavy and it will most likely take two or more people to lift it on to the roof top.  Don't throw it on the roof and if the bag has handles, make sure they handle the weight you have loaded.

Pack the bag filling out all the space.  Sometimes you can wedge a coat or jacket into a small pocket of space.  You can unroll a sleeping and fold it long and flat.  This can go on the bottom inside the CTC to help protect your roof. If you do have small or hard items, put them in the middle with softer items on the out side to keep them from shifting or rubbing a hole in the CTC.  Car top carrier bags that are packed full, so the material doesn't flap in the wind will last a very long time.  Flapping material, especially if it rubs something hard or sharp will eventually break down and a hole will develop.

After your CTC is closed properly, strap it to the car.  Make sure the straps are securely fastened to the luggage rack and to each other.  Our StrapRight system puts all the stress on the straps and the luggage rack itself.  This is a very secure method.  Other strapping systems attach to the bag itself, stressing the material and seams on the bag.  In any event make sure the straps are snug.  Push hard on the car top carrier and make sure it doesn't move.  Tie off or tuck away any strap ends so they don't flap in the wind.

Finally, test your load the first couple of times you use a CTC.  Test it at highway speeds.  While on your trip, test the straps when ever you stop for gas or to rest.  Sometimes, the load will shift and you may have to tighten or adjust the straps.

Car top carriers also pack will inside of rooftop cargo baskets.  If you want to keep your gear off of the roof top consider this option.

Loading and using a car top carrier is a lot like setting up a tent.  Once you've done it a couple of times, it gets easier and easier.

Have a good trip.  Drive safe.

David Schaefer

Owner  Lakeland Enterprises LLC     Piggy Pack car top carriers.

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