Can You Drive With Empty Rooftop Carrier?

Every roof cargo box has its maximum weight capacity. So you have to make sure that you are not loading too much load in the box. 

If you load items in the box more than its capacity, then it can damage your roof box or the roof of your car.

But if you are not loading anything in the box and your box is full empty, but you still want to keep the box on the roof of your vehicle, there some questions rise like can you drive with an empty roof cargo box, is it safe or not?

No. Driving with an empty roof box is not safe at all. If you want to know more details, then you can read this article. Here we are describing why driving with an empty box is not safe.

Basics

The first reason you should remove the box from your vehicle’s roof after using it is roof boxes increase your car’s drag, and the drag increases your fuel economy. Like the roof boxes that are fully loaded with stuff, the empty roof box still affects your vehicle’s mileage. So if you want to lessen your fuel economy and want to get good mileage, you have to remove the box from your vehicle’s roof every time after using it.

TopRoofBox

Most of the roof cargo boxes of the market are easy to install and remove. So you do not have to do so many things to remove the box when it is not in use. Moreover, removing a box can save you a lot of money by increasing your vehicle’s mileage because having anything weighted down on top of your car will cause you to use more gas or diesel to operate your vehicle.

Weights of roof racks are not so much to increase your fuel economy. Moreover, often these are permanently attached to the vehicle, so you can’t remove them. The roof racks may have some small impact on your fuel economy, but these are not so noticeable at all.

What About a Spare Tire in Your Carrier?

Many people claim they’ve read the recommendation of placing a spare tire in the roof box when it isn’t being used. But this technique is useful in reducing the noise of an empty box because empty roof boxes often make Whistling noises when you are driving. So putting something heavy such as a spare tire can help you to reduce that annoying noise while driving. Moreover, placing a spare tire in the roof box is also recommended so that your roof box does not stay so light.

So removing the roof box from the roof of your car is far better than leaving it with a spare tire inside the box. It also makes the look of your vehicle aesthetically pleasing, especially if you don’t like the shape and color of your roof box.

Some Practical Suggestions

But still, if you want to drive with an empty roof box, we are recommending you to make sure that all of the bolts are tight enough to keep the box secured with the roof of your car. Moreover, you have to make sure that your roof box is fully closed so that water cannot leak into it and damage the box’s interior.

rooftop bag carrier

These suggestions are for roof boxes only. Because roof boxes are hard and you can’t fold them. But roof bags are super easy to install and remove. They are flimsy and lightweight. Even they are very easy to store. Storing a roof bag does not require so much space. You can fold a roof bag and store it anywhere you want. Because of being so light, these roof bags does not create so much difference in the fuel economy as roof boxes.

But after all, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about empty roof cargo carriers. By doing this, you will not have to worry about what you did – if it was right or not, and you can rest easy.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

Best Seller Rooftop Cargo Boxes:

SaleBestseller No. 1
SportRack Vista XL Rear Opening Cargo Box
  • 18 cubic foot (510 L) internal cargo capacity
  • Made from durable UV-resistant ABS material
  • Rear opening for easy access away from traffic
  • Tool-free mounting hardware for easy installation and removal
  • Includes key and lock to secure contents in the box, and the box to your rack
Bestseller No. 2
Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium
  • Functional rooftop cargo box provides 14 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Rugged and durable design keep contents protected
  • FastGrip quick-mount system assembles in minutes
  • Passenger-side opening for easy loading and unloading
  • Central Locking system provides maximum safety
Bestseller No. 3
Heavy Duty Hard Shell Roof Top Mount Car Storage Travel Luggage Box Cargo Carrier with Security...
  • ▶️ This roof top storage box is universal fit for mounting to max 13 inches wide cross bar, please check the dimension before purchase.
  • ▶️ The package comes with [1] 53 inches length storage box, [2] security lock key, and [4] heavy duty tool free installation mounting brackets.
  • ▶️ It is constructed of rugged, impact-resistant ABS material to ensure a long lasting life in outdoor conditions. More, it can open from the side and stay open till you close it with the strong support arm.
  • ▶️ Opens on the passenger side to 14 inches wide to store bulky items from the side and stays open till you close it, and it is very easy to install without any tool required to assembly.
  • ▶️ Overall Dimensions: 53" L x 34" W x 15" H | Capacity: 11 Cubic Feet and up to 110 LBS
Bestseller No. 4
SportRack Horizon Cargo Box (Alpine, 11 Cubic Feet)
308 Reviews
SportRack Horizon Cargo Box (Alpine, 11 Cubic Feet)
  • 11 cubic foot (311 L) cargo capacity
  • Made from rugged, impact resistant ABS material
  • Narrow and long profile is ideal for skis/snowboards and leaves room on your roof rack to mount other accessories
  • Passenger side opening for easy loading and unloading away from traffic
  • Easy to install or remove using the quick release attachment kit
Bestseller No. 5
Thule Force XT Rooftop Cargo Box, Sport
  • A versatile roof-mounted cargo box for everyday use
  • Narrow design leaves space for other gear such as bikes, kayaks, skis, and more while providing 11 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Designed to fit a wide range of vehicles; works with most factory and aftermarket roof racks
  • Quick and tool-free PowerClick mounting system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted - takes less than 5 minutes to install
  • Dual-side opening for easy access to all areas of the box, from either side of the vehicle
Bestseller No. 6
JEGS Rooftop Cargo Carrier for Car Storage - Large Roof Rack Cargo Carrier - Heavy Duty Waterproof...
  • Secure & protect your gear in this 18 cubic ft. HDPE plastic hard shell vehicle cargo carrier; high-capacity interior dimensions 57 L x 38 1/2 W x 17 3/4 H inches; aerodynamic design for fuel efficiency
  • Waterproof storage for your luggage with a four corner locking system, front latch, and weather-tight seal for ultimate car rooftop protection and security
  • Easy & convenient loading and unloading from either side of the car make for smooth travel and hassle-free storage
  • No tools required, easy assembly and installation. All mounting hardware and simple instructions are included to get you safely on the road quickly
  • Made in USA, limited lifetime guarantee. The JEGS car top carrier’s high-quality construction and performance give you peace of mind
Bestseller No. 7
Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, XXL , Black
  • Oversized roof-mounted cargo box provides 22 cubic feet of additional packing space
  • Designed for optimal space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit
  • Quick-mount system "clicks" when roof box is secure and properly mounted
  • Dual-side opening for quick access from either side of the car
  • Easy to open and close with grip-friendly handles and supporting lid-lifters
Bestseller No. 8
TUFFIOM 14.85 Cubic Feet Rooftop Cargo Box w/ Keys, Hard Shell Waterproof Travel Roof Storage Cargo...
  • DUAL-SIDE OPENING FOR EASY ACCESS: Dual-side opening design allows you to open it from either the driver side or the passenger side, which brings more convenience for loading and unloading.
  • FAIR CAPACITY: With 14.85 cubic feet maximum storage capacity and 150lbs loading capacity, the roof cargo carrier can allow for more space in your car. What’s more, its streamlined design will reduce drag and noise during driving.
  • LOCKING SYSTEM FOR SAFETY: It is designed with locks on both sides and comes with keys for protecting your valuables. And the stiffeners at the bottom of the roof cargo box strengthen its stability.
  • EASY TO INSTALL: It is simple in structure and light in weight (approximately 24.25lbs). It won’t be difficult for you to lift it and install it to your car. And it can work with most vehicles with crossbars, such as car, suv, van, etc.
  • QUALITY MATERIAL FOR DURABILITY & BETTER PROTECTION: Made from ABS material for long-lasting use. And it can protect your luggage or equipment from being exposed to sun, rain or dust. And it is protected with 3-Year Warranty. Any problem, please feel free to contact us.
SaleBestseller No. 9
FIVKLEMNZ 21 Cubic Car Roof Bag Cargo Carrier, Waterproof Rooftop Cargo Carrier with Anti-Slip Mat +...
  • 【Most Safe Design】: For security reasons, we use 10 reinforced adjustable straps to keep the cargo carrier in place. In addition, equipped with free anti-slip mat to keep the cargo bag stay in place even in high speed road or bump road, no slip, no scratch to your car.
  • 【Large Storage Space】: FIVKLEMNZ roof bag (52 x 40 x 17 inches) was designed to solve the problem of limited storage space in the car. 21 cubic feet rooftop cargo bag allows you to hold 6-8 suitcases, travel luggage case, tents, sleeping bags and more. Free up inside vehicle space for more comfortable on the way.
  • 【Easy to Install】:FIVKLEMNZ rooftop cargo carrier fits for any car, truck, or SUV. If there is not roof side rails on your car, it can be quickly and easily installed to roof rack in minutes with 6 door hooks.
  • 【100% Waterproof】: Made of 700D Oxford cloth, Fivklemnz roof bag adopts a genuine waterproof zipper, used in extreme weather and is protected with a double flap. All seams are heat welded and stitched to ensure they are watertight. 100% waterproof and rainproof under extreme weather.
  • 【100% Refund or Replacement】:7x24 online customer support, ask us anything at any time. Backed by 30 days money-back guarantee and 12 months limited warranty.
Bestseller No. 10
DNA MOTORING PT-ZTL-8166-BK Car Roof Top Mount Travel Storage Box Luggage Carrier w/Lock with Cross...
  • CONSTRUCTION: Constructed of Rugged, Impact-Resistant ABS Material with Black Texture Finish for Durability
  • OVERALL DIMENSION: 53" L x 34" W x 15" H; Opens to 14" Wide to Store Bulky Items
  • CAPACITY: 110 lbs and 11 cu. ft.
  • STRENGTH: With Strong Support Arm, Opens from the Side and Stays Open Til you Close It
  • NOTE: Attaches to Vehicles with Cross Bars Only

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Last Update : 2022-05-21