Ford Ranger Roof Racks – Many Options, One Right Choice

Ford Ranger Roof Racks – All You Need To Know

When I was in my teens, I always wondered – “Why don’t car makers build roof racks on every car!?”

This was a time when we were officially “That Camping Family”, with a trip every few months. And one of the major helper in carrying all our stuff was our Ford’s roof rack!

We had a Ford Ranger back then with a very dull looking roof rack (the latest ones look fabulous!), but hey, it was strong as an Ox!

It would carry our entire camping stuff, right from our luggage, the canoe, paddles; I mean one could literally pack their entire house on that rack and it wouldn’t budge a bit.

Coming to the point, if you’re in the market looking for a Ford Ranger Roof Rack, you’ve come at the right place. If you are looking for a Ford Ranger replacement bumper then you need to go to another page on this site though.

These days everyone is into “outdoor activities”. Biking/cycling, skiing, and of course, good ol’ canoeing are just some of the exciting things you can do out there.

Plus, with GPS and other tech advancements, young folk are no longer afraid to brave extreme weathers or terrains all year around.

And in such a time comes the announcement of the Ford Ranger 2019! So if you’re waiting for the new 2019 model, or wish to attach a roof rack to your old Ford Ranger, you must understand the basics. And everything begins with the Roof rack’s foundation.

Ford Ranger Roof Rack – The Foundation

Usually, the rooftop of your Ford is an awesome place to carry all the extra stuff you need without sacrificing passenger space. And thanks to consumer demand, we’ve seen an array of utility spares and accessories to mount on your Ford car.

Today, you can put up fancy roof racks to carry your bikes, skis, snow boards, kayaks, plus any extra stuff you may need for your outdoor trip.

However, the first step…?

Check your current roof-top. Before you can mount a rack, you need to have/fit roof rails and/or attach cross bars to support the roof rack of your choice.

You cannot simply tie your bike to the Ford’s bare roof right now!

So here are the types of roofs usually seen in Ford cars right now…

1. The Normal, Bare Roof

Ford Ranger Roof Racks

Basically this means a bare, ‘empty’ roof. There are no rails, no crossbars, and this is usually the default roof you get from the manufacturer.

2. The Horrendous Looking“Rain Gutter”

Rain gutters roof racks

If your Ford Ranger was manufactured way back in the 80’s, you might have the classic drip rails, or what we used to call “rain gutters”. These were channels built directly on top of the doors to keep rain from dripping on the passenger at every entry/exit.

They looked horrendously ugly, but yep, were extremely user-friendly!

Sadly, no manufacturer stuck to the design, and we don’t get to see these anymore. Even Ford will let you get wet with their newer cars, but oh no, they won’t sacrifice the design anymore!

3. The Roof Rail System

roof rail system for ford trucks

After the year 2000-01, Ford Ranger models were given the option to fit what we call “roof rails” or fixed bars which ran the length of the Ranger.

Ford didn’t usually give this option as a default, but you could get them fitted by demand, or through after-market channels.

Roof rails are simply legs which help secure the rails a few inches atop the roof (leaving about 3-6 inches between the rail and roof).

Next Step – Cross Bars

cross bar roof rack

So once you’ve understood these basics, the foundation of a roof rack system, you can then take the next steps to your roof rack… the cross bars.

Usually, the cross bars from roof rack manufacturers are a standard fit. They are not usuallyvehicle-specific, which is also a huge advantage for the buyer (as the cost is pretty affordable).

Yes, they will vary in their lengths, so be careful you do not attach bars that longer than your roof (albeit a few inches is fine). More and you are inviting bumps!

Many top manufacturers offer a variety of cross bars. Check out Thule’s load bars, Yakima has a lot of variety, and then there’s Whispbar flush bars.

All of these foundational systems are strong, and will support almost everything you plan to carry atop your Ford Ranger.

Ensure proper installation, especially if you’re someone who drives fast. You don’t want your crossbars leaping off the roof when you’re on the freeway!

Final Step – The Roof Rack

ford roof racks

Once last thing to check for before you select a roof rack is, to check the weight limit of the cross bars! It’s typically around 150-10lb, but make sure you check the manual.

This is not only important to avoid damage to the roof, but more importantly – to avoid any injury to you and your family inside!

So once that’s done, you are free to select a roof rack system of your choice!

We’ll end this post by saying one thing – once you figure out the best roof rack system for your Ford pick up truck or car, you won’t believe you ever went “rack less” with the beast.

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