How to Attach a Carrier to an RV Roof

How to Attach a Carrier to an RV Roof
RV carriers make it easy to transport camping gear and equipment, bicycles and luggage. You'll need to choose the appropriate size carrier and follow a few installation steps. Aluminum RV carriers are sturdy, adjustable and mount directly to the preinstalled side rails located on the roof of your RV.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Clean the roof of your RV with an automotive cleaner. Dry with a microfiber cloth. You will continue to work from the roof of your RV.
Step 2
Install the mounting brackets. Measure the length of the roof and align accordingly. Snap the mounting brackets into the side rails that have been preinstalled on the roof by the manufacturer. You will notice that the side rails are raised several inches above the roof of the RV.
Step 3
Install the rack tubing. Plug the rack tubing into the mounting rings. Adjust the mounting brackets to accommodate the placement of the rack tubing. The top bracket (near the front of the RV) could measure 48 to 60 inches depending on the width of your RV. Center the tubing under the mounting rigs and snap it into place at the front of the RV. Do the same for the rear rack tubing. Look for the brackets at the rear of the RV roof on both sides. (You will drill the tubing into place later.)
Step 4
Install side rack tubing. Left and right side tubing will typically measure 90 to 94 inches depending on the size of your RV. In most cases, you must join two pieces to form the complete left rack tubing; the same is true for the right rack tubing. Look for a bracket at the center point between the top left and bottom left brackets as well as the top right and bottom right brackets. Fit each piece of left slanted tubing to form the full left side bracket. Do the same for the right side bracket. Snap into place. Remember, the right side will have one tubing and the left side will have another. Each bracket has double-sided entry, meaning that each bracket will allow tubing to snap into it from the left and right.
Step 5
Drill the rack tubing into place. Screw the base of the bracket so the tubing is secure enough to carry a heavy load. There should be no movement or sliding and the bolt should be drilled in completely.

Tips & Warnings

Organize the parts of your roof rack kit in advance to make the installation process easier.
Climb onto the roof and have an assistant hand you the necessary tools and parts or work from a ladder with a top workstation tool box/tray. Place as many tools and parts as possible onto the tool box/tray to reduce the number of trips up and down the ladder.
Fasten the brackets on the carrier to secure it into place.
Remember, right-side tubing will slant toward the right, and left-side tubing will slant toward the left. Fit so that each tubing connects to form a large square when in place.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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