17th Dec 2013

Rack N Road’s Tailored-Fit continued: The Tesla

Sacramento-Tesla-Collage_01

We are seeing more and more Teslas this year, but we don’t mind.  This beautiful electric car has mounting points in the roof which rack manufacturers have not created anything to fit yet.  However, John Bauer, owner and custom-fit expert at Sacramento Rack N Road, has created a mounting kit to work with Yakima’s Whispbar system.  This custom base system allows for use of the factory mounting points (fixed points) without any drilling of the vehicle.  You can see that the rear Whispbar angle is also corrected– rather than following the slope of the roof, the cargo box now sits on a level plane.  Without this feature, the aerodynamics (and looks) of the car would be compromised.

Years of expertise and practical application makes Rack N Road your local experts in tailored-fit solutions.  Contact your local store with questions or e-mail us at outfit@racknroad.com to see if we can suit up your vehicle.

15th Nov 2013

Rack N Road’s Top 10 Winter Accessories

This winter, know that Rack N Road has all the top-selling winter accessories for hitting the slopes.  Whether you are outfitting for the first time or using gear from years past, we have the right accessory for your vehicle in-stock and the knowledge of how to use and install them.
Over the last 20 years of sales and installations, we have found the following list of gear to be invaluable in snow season.  These items will help ensure your skis, snowboards, and family arrive at the mountains safe and sound.  Here is our TOP 10 WINTER ACCESSORIES available at your local Rack N Road store.

1)  Thule Boxter/Hyper - The Boxter cargo box is still available in limited quantities, but our shipments of it’s replacements, the Thule Hypers, will be in-stock by December!  These Thule cargo boxes allow for maximum ski length and strength for short rooflines and hatchbacks.  They are a low-profile and sleek design that is perfect for skis, boards, and all your snowsports accessories and clothing.—>Read more about the Hyper here.

2)  Thule 92726 Pull Top ski rack – Tall car?  No problem!  The Thule Pull Top is a sliding ski rack that will shift off the side of the car when released, making loading and unloading your gear a breeze!  Universal simple mounting hardware and locks make this the easiest choice regardless of your vehicle or crossbar type.

3)  Yakima FatCat 6 ski rack – The Fat Cat 6 is by far the sleekest universal ski rack on the market this year.  Its low profile look and universal hardware ensures it will not only fit your car, but will look good doing it!

4)  Inno RH722 Dual-Angle ski rack for raised rails – This ingenious rack is the perfect solution for vehicles with raised side rails but no crossbars.  It spans the width of the vehicle and has convenient dual-side clamps, allowing for 4 boards or 4-6 pairs of skis while saving you the added expense of crossbars.

5)  Yakima Hitch Ski or Thule Tram hitch mount ski add-on – Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t use your hitch rack!  Thule and Yakima both offer solutions for carrying skis and boards by attaching to one of their hitch-mounted bike racks.  If your roof is impossible to reach, or even if you just don’t have a roof (like a convertible or soft-top) then this is the solution for you.

6)  Thule Tire Chains / K-Summits  – Rack N Road carries Thule tire chains to fit most tire sizes, and we are factory trained on installation techniques and safety regulations.  From passenger cars to SUVs, Thule’s 12mm and 16mm diameter chains are easy to fit and remove, plus offer industry leading traction and safety for winter driving.  If your vehicle isn’t approved for chains, check out the Thule K-Summit line.  K-Summits are specially designed to easily affix to your lug-nuts and prevents any contact with low-clearance vehicles and low-profile tires.

—>Click here to check chain requirements and snow conditions for your state (CA, OR, and WA).

7)  WeatherTech floor/cargo mats – WeatherTech (by MacNeil) offers unparalleled protection for your vehicle’s interior.  These digitally-designed mats fit every contour of your vehicle floor, and offer protection for all seat and cargo areas.  These are special-order items due to their precise fit, but can often be ordered in less than 1 week.

8)  Garage organization: Racor and Boxlift – Winter toys always lead to more winter toys, leaving most garages a cluttered disaster… but look no further than your local Rack N Road for some simple solutions to this common problem.  Racor offers a wide variety of home storage solutions for just about any accessory, and most options are kept in-stock.  The Thule Boxlift not only stores your cargo box, but does all the heavy lifting for you!  This crank operated lift will store cargo boxes or other large items (like kayaks and SUPs) against your ceiling and can be lowered onto the car easily.

9)  Thule travel gear - Thule has luggage, backpacks, laptop cases and more!  Flying this holiday?  These bags are designed to withstand the most aggressive of baggage-handlers, and use high quality wheels and handles to ensure long and easy use.  Driving this holiday?  Thule luggage is also designed with your Thule cargo box in mind, as they fit snugly and make perfect interior organizers for boxes and trunks.  Plus these stylish bags make great gifts!

10)  Used gear and replacement parts – We carry decades worth of replacement parts and adapters to make most any previous generation rack work with your current generation gear.  Whether you need a key or a whole rack system, our extensive collection of used gear and rack components can help you spend less money on your racks and spend more time enjoying the snow.

 

6th Nov 2013

Announcing the new Thule Hyper 612 cargo box

Thule Hyper 3

The new Thule Hyper cargo boxThule Hyper 2

Our first shipments of the new Thule Hyper cargo boxes are arriving soon!  This high performance box is the newest in Thule’s line of aerodynamic boxes, featuring everything we loved about it’s predecessor, the ever popular Boxter, but now includes the AeroNose design used on current models.  The angled base and reinforced construction makes this the perfect cargo box option for skis and boards on small cars, and has the longest interior length capable of fitting most hatchback vehicles.

Check with your local store for order details and availability to reserve yours before winter is upon us!

 

 

26th Oct 2013

Winter Travel and Tire Chain Advisories (CA, OR, and WA States)

 

When traveling this winter, whether for a family holiday celebration or just to hit the slopes, always remember to check road conditions and snow levels before you leave.  Many states have changed their regulations about traction devices and the types of vehicles that need them.  The State Troopers who enforce these may turn vehicles away if they are not properly equipped.

Here are some helpful links to determine pass conditions and chain requirements for this winter season:

CALIFORNIA

DRIVING CONDITIONS

TRACTION REGULATIONS

WASHINGTON

DRIVING CONDITIONS

TRACTION REGULATIONS

OREGON

DRIVING CONDITIONS

TRACTION REGULATIONS

Tire Chain - Easy FitTire Chain - K-SummitTire Chain - XB-16

When it comes to tire chains, safety and ease of use are two important things to consider. Thule tire chains have various options for your safety on the road. There is a tire chain fit for most size rims – even those hard to fit low profile 18”, 19” and 20” rim sizes. We offer Thule Passenger Chains, Thule XG-12 Pro Chains and K-Summit Tire Chains XXL which now fit larger tire sizes. With their advanced chain patterns, each of the tire chain options provide maximum traction when driving through ice and snow. No matter which tire chain is right for your needs, all Thule tire chains offer innovative design for easy installation and release. Whether you want to take a short ski trip to the mountains or leave your tire chains on for the winter, Thule tire chains for cars will provide safety when driving through snow and ice.

To get started CLICK HERE and make sure you know your rim and tire size (the three measurements engraved on the tire)

- See more at: http://www.racknroad.com/category/tire-chains/index.html#sthash.S4SJLTly.dpuf

5th Oct 2013

Rack Safety and Maintenance

With over 25 years of not only selling and installing racks but also using them ourselves, we here at Rack N Road want to share our experience and knowledge to make sure your investments in your car, gear, and racks are protected for years to come.  This guide will cover the basics of rack safety and maintenance learned through practical application and years of practice.

LOCKS

Locks can be added to most rack accessories if they do not come with them.  The lock cylinders for Thule, Yakima, and Inno have codes stamped on them for replacement purposes.  This also allows us to swap out or match locks to a existing number.  Replacement keys, locks, or matching services are at available at any Rack N Road location.

We also carry trailer hitch and trailer locks, bicycle cable locks, and various locking strap systems for securing cargo, kayaks, SUPs, or canoes.  Looking for long-term storage or locking solutions?  Check out www.parkabike.com for our recommended line of bike parking racks.

Tips to remember:

  • The metal tumblers in lock cylinders need periodic lubrication.  We recommend graphite spray.
  • It’s always a good idea to bring some lock de-icer to the mountain with you– snow or freezing rain build-up can jam the lock.  (WD40 can be used in a pinch!)
  • Down to one last key?  Trust us– you’ll lose it at the worst possible time.  Call us with the key code or bring it in the get extras.  Don’t have a key or code?  We have over 200 different rack keys in-stock and can help in a pinch!

STRAPS AND TIE-DOWNS

Straps and tie-downs are critical to protect you vehicle, gear, and passengers.  Most any racktastrophe can be avoided with pure common sense and the proper equipment.  While most accessories, such as bike or kayak racks, come with their own straps, feel free to supplement!  Rack N Road carries straps and tie downs of all shapes and sizes, and can recommend the proper ways of tying loads on your specific car.  Always feel free to visit our stores if you’d like some advice from the pros.

Kayaks, canoes, surfboards, and stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) will almost always require use of bow and stern tie downs.  These long loads are susceptible to lift and inertia, which can cause them to twist or tip in inclement driving conditions.  In general, a load extending past your windshield wipers should be secured front and back.  Many larger vehicles have built-in anchors for such straps.  For smaller vehicles or those without factory tow-hooks we can secure anchor points using Thule’s Hood Loop/Quick Loop or Yakima’s Anchor Strap Kit for under $20.00.  The Bow/Stern ratchet kits from both companies make this process very simple by removing the need for knots and can be tightened or removed in seconds.

There are many other accessories available to make attaching equipment to your roof easy and safe.  Thule or Yakima Load Stops are a great addition to prevent movement of lumber or other home improvement materials and household items.

Tips to remember:

  • Check state laws and regulations when carrying loads exceeding the length of your roof or overall width of your vehicle.  Many states require special tie-downs or markers.
  • Thule and Yakima both recommend and require use of ALL straps provided to maintain warranties on their products.  Check with Rack N Road to see if your specific vehicle has other special requirements or restrictions.
  • Always stay within the limits!!  This includes weight limits of your rack/hitch and speed limits.  If it’s windy or stormy, SLOW DOWN!!
  • Straps can loosen over time, so check them regularly (especially if new).  Replace straps that begin to tear or fray, and keep them dry and inside to protect them from becoming weak.

WEIGHT AND LENGTH RESTRICTIONS AND CAPACITIES

As stated above, many states have differing laws about length, width, or height restrictions.  It is always best to exercise caution.  If a rack or the equipment on it is moving (or even bouncing), it probably needs extra tie-downs or supports.  Here are some common questions we get from our customers:

  • Do I need a red flag on the end of my kayak? —  In most states, any load extending more than 2 feet off the front or rear bumper will require a red flag or strap to ensure it is visible to other drivers.  This is true of lumber, boats, or even furniture.
  • My trailer hitch has a 200 pound tongue capacity.  Why can it only hold 2 bikes?  –  When calculating the forces exerted on a trailer hitch, we must factor in leverage and inertia.  The further a load extends from it’s attachment point (i.e. a trailer hitch or crossbar) the more force it exerts (Force x Distance = Work).  Tongue capacity is a measurement of downward pressure at the hitch, and it does not take into account the length of cargo baskets or hitch mounted bike racks.  The inertia of a bumpy road or speed bumps amplifies this force even further.  Always slow down for uneven road surfaces when carrying any type of load, and contact us for advice on the true load capacity of such carriers.
  • My Kayak/SUP doesn’t have any straps on the front.  Does it still need to be tied down?  –  Yes, it most likely does, especially if your trip involves any freeway speeds.  It may require some ingenuity, but we can figure out a way to tie down just about anything.  If it extends beyond either the front or rear windshield, chances are it needs the tie-downs.

MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP

Without proper maintenance, many racks can rust, seize, or otherwise stop working.  Any moving parts on a rack should be lubricated from time to time, and most racks should be stored inside whenever possible.  Since trailer hitches and most hitch-mounted bike racks are made from steel, rust needs to be controlled before it can spread.  There are many affordable lubricant and rust reformer sprays we can recommend based on the application.

We recommend that racks are inspected and lubricated prior to every use.  Bolts and straps can loosen over time and may need to be re-secured or tightened.  At least twice a year (at the beginning and end of each season) your rack should receive a tune up along with your skis or bikes.  Feel free to bring them to any of our locations for quick inspections, tune-ups, or small replacement parts.

You’ll find that Rack N Road has a full selection of not only best-selling Thule, Yakima, and Inno accessories, but that we also have replacement keys, parts, and straps for most any of their racks.  Using experience, ingenuity, and years of experience, we can provide advice and stellar installation services to ensure a safe and happy trip for your family and your gear.

4th Oct 2013

Rack N Road Custom Racks – The Tailored Fit

Outback_collage_01

For being such a capable and popular car, the new generation Subaru Outback has a horribly limiting factory rack, and we here at Rack N Road have designed a way to transform it into something stronger, more versatile, and with a more sleek and stylish design.

For any 2010 through 2014 Subaru Outback model, we are able to remove the factory rail and crossbar system and tailor-fit a custom track system in its place, allowing for full adjustment of the crossbars and lowering the overall height. This accommodates any aftermarket track mount system, and you see it here with the Yakima Whispbar flush bar.

You can see that it not only looks much sleeker, but that the ability to adjust it makes carrying kayaks and full length cargo boxes convenient and safe. There is no more interference with opening the hatchback. The rack system is quieter than factory because it doesn’t have the bulky plastic base which can add wind noise and vibration under loads. Plus the added benefit of being stronger and better able to support wide loads or multiple sport attachments all at the same time.

This solution is just one of many available from your local experts at Rack N Road.

4th Oct 2013

The Dynamic– Special Edition Thule Cargo Box

The very exclusive Thule Dynamic cargo box will be available this winter (expected the first week of December) for true sports enthusiasts. This roof-mounted 15 cubic foot cargo box has all the great features you’ve come to expect from Thule, plus a beautiful chrome finish that will allow you to carry your gear in style.

The Thule Dynamic is perfect for winter sports as it carries snowboards and skis up to 210cm in length.  Using Thule’s new mounting hardware and pointed nose design, it is a fuel-efficient cargo box that easily mounts on factory or aftermarket crossbar systems.  The chrome not only adds “bling” to your ride, but is a treated finish against UV rays to preserve the looks and integrity for years to come.  You’ll be the envy of the whole mountain on your next winter trip!

Being such an exclusive model, this is only available for pre-order and will be made in very limited quantities.  Contact any Rack N Road store today to reserve yours!

25th Sep 2013

Benefits of Aftermarket VS. Factory Crossbars

Shopping for a new vehicle can be overwhelming… So many decisions and options!  Oftentimes the factory options are much more costly than aftermarket solutions, and most people don’t realize how limiting factory racks can be (until it’s too late).  At Rack N Road, we can help you in making the decision whether factory crossbars will actually suit all your future needs, and we’ll  help you save some money in the process.

FACTORY RACK CROSSBARS                        

Factory crossbars can come in all shapes and sizes, which is one of the biggest downsides– any equipment purchased to fit one system may not fit on the next.  Most dealer racks are very flimsy and are built mostly for aesthetic appeal.  They use large amounts of plastic and cannot support long or unstable loads such as kayaks, canoes or lumber, plus they limit the usable space so only one or two attachments may fit at any given time.

FACTORYRACKsubarubefore2

 

On hatchbacks, such as SUVs or wagons, the factory systems are almost always too close to the hatch and will cause interference when carrying loads.  Many people find that they can’t even use their old cargo boxes or bike racks anymore and still open their back door!

Some factory crossbars are made by Thule for the dealer; in these cases the racks usually have the strength to carry larger loads, but lack the versatility of interchanging accessories or fitting other vehicles.  Replacement parts for these Thule-designed factory racks are hard to come by.  Rack N Road is able to get keys for most of them, but most other parts are proprietary and only available through the dealer (at dealer prices!).

AFTERMARKET THULE OR YAKIMA CROSSBARS

Thule and Yakima both do a great job of making their aftermarket solutions fit a wide range of vehicles.  This ensures that you can not only fit your new vehicle, but that most of the equipment will work on other vehicles for years to come.  Because the shape of the crossbars are standard, any bike, ski, cargo, or kayak racks should always fit, even if you own multiple vehicles or change cars often.

AeroBlade-Edge-on-raised-railsWhispbar-Raised-Rail

Many people choose the factory rack due to it’s aerodynamic shape and aesthetic appeal; however, the new Thule Aeroblade and Yakima Whispbar crossbars offer the same aerodynamics, but with far more functionality and flexibility.  These new crossbars are available to fit factory mounts or rails and can also be used in any of our custom installed solutions.

Custom installed racks are almost always the best possible solution for strength and versatility.  These racks can be positioned on the vehicle to accommodate your gear, sunroof, and hatchback with ease.  Our tailor-fit experts will ensure that your vehicle can fit your family and your toys.  We here at Rack N Road are certified installers of Yakima and Thule equipment, and will use our years of experience to help you select the right choice for you.  Check with us first! You’ll be surprised how much money and time we can save you.

30th Aug 2013

Bicycle Racks

Our range of bicycle racks is easy-to-use and can help you transport your bike(s) to any destination. We bring to you all great brands such as Thule, Yakima, Inno and Kuat. Bicycle racks are the best way to increase your riding time by decreasing your loading time.

Whether you are planning an adventurous weekend or just a casual family outing, we have quality bike racks that will best suit your needs. Enjoy the liberty to choose from a wide range of quality bicycle racks either for the roof or the rear, and order today. They are simple to install and designed to fit most vehicles.

Rack N Road also brings to you an entire range of accessories for bicycle racks like alternative bike adapters, bike travel boxes, hitch extensions and adapters, wheel forks and +2 bike extensions.

There are numerous advantages attached when you purchase bike racks from anyone of our Rack N Road locations. Not only are our bike racks durable, but they are also available at unbeatable prices. With great brands such as Thule and Yakima, our range of bicycle racks bridges the gap between value and performance.

- See more at: http://www.racknroad.com/bicycle-racks.html#sthash.0AFBEUpl.dpuf