As much as you love your little Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, travelling with it may be a bit difficult. The trunk space isn’t exactly plentiful, and your passengers will take up indoor storage space.
You may benefit from a roof box for your vehicle to make travelling easier. What is the biggest roof boxes you can get? We’ll answer that and all of your questions in this guide to convenient storage vessels for vehicles.
What Does a Roof Box Do?
If you’re on top of your packing skills, you aren’t alone. According to one survey, one-fourth of UK travellers start packing a whole week early (and some diligent travellers in the survey began two weeks before departure).
Even if you’re this prepared, it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra help from a device like a roof box.
A roof box is a large, solid box that attaches to the top of your vehicle.
It provides safe, weather-proof storage for any gear you want to carry. Most travellers like to use their storage boxes for items that aren’t particularly heavy but take up a lot of space — cue sleeping bags, pillows, camping chairs, and tents.
With a roof box, you can make more room for your passengers (pets included).
And, you don’t have to overstack your car and obstruct your view. Instead, have a safe, stress-free trip with this kind of storage device in tow.
Setting Up Your Roof Box
Once you find the right-sized roof box, you’ll need to install it properly.
Unfortunately, you can’t just tie it down with a rope and call it a day.
You’ll need to install a roof rack and fasten your roof box to the rack.
This extra step, though seemingly cumbersome, will ensure that all your belongings make it to your destination (and home) as you intend.
What Is the Biggest Roof Boxes You Can Get?
Roof boxes don’t just come in one size.
There are many different sizes and shapes.
Before you jump into your purchase, you should consider:
- The roof size of your current vehicle
- How much trunk and indoor storage space you currently have
- How much extra storage space you’d like to have
Below, you can explore the different sizes of roof boxes available.
We’ll provide some average specifications, but you’ll likely find different sizes, depending on where you shop:
Half-Width Roof Boxes
Half-width storage boxes are ideal for adventure-seeking travellers. Do you want to bring a surfboard, paddleboard, bike, or scooter with you? If so, you’ll need to ensure your roof box doesn’t take up all the space on your vehicle’s covering.
That’s where a half-width roof box comes into play.
This narrow cargo box lets you attach other items on your roof that won’t quite fit into the box (no matter how hard you try).
Average specifications for a half-width box are:
- Capacity: 220 litres
- Dimensions: 137 × 64 × 39 centimetres
- Weight: 7.2 kg
Wide Roof Boxes
At nearly 100 centimetres wide, a wide storage box doesn’t leave much space for you to attach any other objects.
However, it’s ideal for any family with many belongings to bring along on their travels.
It offers plenty of internal space, meaning you can pack your clothes, camping gear, and anything else you can think of without stuffing your vehicle to the brim.
Average specifications for a wide roof box are:
- Capacity: 510 litres
- Dimensions: 144 × 99 × 48 centimetres
Weight: 12 kg
Short Roof Boxes
Do you have a smaller, more compact car?
You should still be able to benefit from a roof box, even if your vehicle’s covering isn’t very expansive.
A short box is ideal for creating additional storage space without impeding your vision or affecting your driving.
When choosing a short roof box, it’s important to keep the exact dimensions in mind.
Short storage boxes tend to be a little taller to make up for their short length.
However, a taller box may affect your vehicle’s aerodynamics.
As long as you’re aware of this potential nuisance, you won’t have any issues driving to your holiday spot.
Average specifications for a short roof box are:
- Capacity: 510 litres
- Dimensions: 99 × 49 × 159 centimetres
- Weight: 12 kg
Long Roof Boxes
A long roof box will easily fit a long vehicle, like a minivan, SUV, or hatchback.
However, if you have a more compact vehicle, a long storage box may stick off your vehicle and create a safety hazard.
As long as you have the appropriate vehicle to accommodate a long cartop box, this storage device will offer a lot of versatility.
For example, you can use it to pack valuable equipment like snowboards and skis. Some travellers also use it to protect fragile sporting equipment like fishing poles, hockey sticks, and cricket bats.
A long roof box is quite sleek and aerodynamic, meaning you don’t have to worry about a significant decline in your gas mileage.
Average specifications for a long roof box are:
- Capacity: 510 litres
- Dimensions: 252 × 92 × 41 centimetres
- Weight: 24 kg
Small Roof Boxes
Let’s say you’re a minimalist and enjoy travelling lightly.
If you don’t want extra items weighing you down and only need to bring a few essential things, consider a small cartop box.
A small roof box is very inexpensive and less heavy compared to a bigger model. In addition, it’s simple to attach to and remove from your vehicle, so you won’t even need a partner’s assistance to set it up.
And, you can easily store it in your garage when it’s not in use.
Use a small storage box to store small items like toys, clothes, and tools.
Average specifications for a small roof box are:
- Capacity: 255 litres
- Dimensions: 120 × 69 × 43 centimetres
- Weight: 10 kg
Large Roof Boxes
If you’re one of those people who never want to leave anything behind, you’ll likely benefit from a large roof box.
This device provides all of the storage space you’ll need (and more) when you hit the road for weeks at a time.
A large storage box is ideal for families who like to live in luxury while on the go.
You can pack it full with small appliances, toiletries, winter clothes, and several of your favourite pairs of shoes — literally anything you could need or want.
Average specifications for a large roof box are:
- Capacity: 623 litres
- Dimensions: 234 × 97 × 46 centimetres
- Weight: 25 kg
Other Considerations to Make When Choosing a Roof Box
What is the biggest roof boxes you can get?
It is an important consideration to make when choosing the right storage device.
However, it’s not the only thing to account for when preparing for a camping trip.
Here are some other factors to think about when choosing a car storage box:
Roof bars are essential for the installation of any rooftop box.
You’ll need to choose either aluminium or steel bars, depending on your preferences and needs in terms of strength.
Steel is quite robust, but aluminium is much more resistant to corrosion.
Rooftop boxes typically feature materials like fibreglass or sturdy plastic and have various metal reinforcements.
Fibreglass may hold up better against harsh weather conditions, but plastic is much more economical.
The good news is that most rooftop boxes feature material resistant to scratches and the sun’s harsh UV rays, meaning you won’t have to do anything to maintain your product’s finish.
If aesthetics are important to you, you can purposefully look for a roof box with either a matte or glossy finish.
Another consideration to make is that glossy storage boxes are easier to wipe down.
Pit stops on your road trip are inevitable, especially when you have snack lovers and children who require frequent bathroom breaks.
Ensure that all your belongings stay protected with a secure roof box.
Some storage devices come with a padlock system or a built-in lock with a key to prevent thieves from taking off with your items.
If you want everyone in your crew to have easy access, consider a roof box with dual side openings.
Then, no one will have to walk around the opposite side or rely on someone else to fetch an item for them.
Conclusion — Choosing the Right Roof Box for You & Your Family
A high-quality storage box is a sensible investment for any regular car traveller or adventurer who wants extra storage for camping gear.
If you take proper care of yours, it will last for many years without any issues.
It’s essential not to consider only the price when looking for a durable, long-lasting product.
Instead, you should consider what gear you need to carry, the size of your current vehicle, and your preferences for your potential roof box.
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Hi, I am Amy I have two loves in my life camping and writing. When I am not writing for The Expert Camper, I am usually camping. Lake District is one of my favourite spots, but really anywhere in the UK under canvas I am happy.