how to tie or transport a mattress on car roof racks

How to use car roof racks to transport or tie a mattress?

Last Updated on June 6, 2023

Do you have roof racks on your car? If you find crossbars or roof rails on your vehicle, you can use them to carry a mattress on the car roof. This article tells you what to pay attention to when doing this and offers you some tips and tricks for better results.

Check your vehicle

Before loading a mattress on the car roof, you must know how much weight your car’s roof loading limit is and the roof size of your vehicle. A regular King-size mattress is about 80 inches long and 75 inches wide, so you should ensure it is not too much wider or longer than your car’s roof, especially on small cars.

safely transport a mattress on car roof with roof racks

For example, if you put a king-size mattress on top of a Mini Cooper, it is much bigger than the car roof; consequently, the mattress will generate wind force to make your car hard to control when turning or braking. We recommend using SUVs, Vans, Trucks, or large sedans to transport a mattress. You can follow the tips in another article to learn how to drive with rooftop cargo carriers, and you can apply these tips when steering with a mattress above the car roof.

What roof racks do you have on the car?

You better use high-quality roof racks or crossbars when loading things on the car roof, not only for a mattress. Roof racks are the base of an entire rooftop cargo management system, and they hold all the cargo weight on the car roof; thus, you must invest in high-quality ones, not those cheap universal options

Thule, Yakima, or Rhino-Rack are big names in the roof rack industry, so you can rely on these brands and try their crossbars on your vehicles. If your vehicle has a bare or empty car roof, you can follow an article to find roof racks that work on car roofs without roof rails.

Related Topic: Do you know the relationship between roof rails, crossbars, and car roof racks?

Where is the car antenna?

Does your car have an antenna? Is it a wire antenna or a solid-shaped antenna? Removing the antenna increases the touching area between the mattress and the car roof for better tightening and preventing sliding during transportation if you don’t have roof racks on the car roof.

If you deliver the mattress to nearby locations, you can load it on without disassembling the car antenna, only for short-solid-antenna cars; however, you better use extra straps or ropes to prevent sliding when the mattress is in motion.

If you don’t know how to remove the antenna, you can read the car manual to find the detail and follow the steps to disassemble the antenna within minutes without tools in most cases. If you have no clue about removing the car antenna, you can drive to the local dealer for help and learn for future tries. When using ropes or straps to tie a mattress on a bare car roof, you better cross the ropes to an X-like shape to create better immobilization on the mattress.

If you want to deliver a mattress on a bare car roof, you should know the “wear and tear” phenomenon on the touching area between straps and the car frames because of the friction.

Learn from experts

Is the mattress ready?

Can you find a big plastic bag or cover? If you can, you should package the mattress with it. After warping the plastic bags on it, you must use tape to seal the DIY protection and make it water-resistant because we don’t know what will happen during the trip.

For example, we used our Ford F150 to deliver a mattress in 2019 on a rainy day, and we did not use a plastic cover to protect it; therefore, it got wet and was full of water inside it. Now, we know we didn’t get it well-protected before delivery.

You need help

Moving a mattress is not a solo job, so you better invite or pay for someone to get help when loading the large bedding pad on the roof racks. You may also need a ladder to help you stand higher to put the large bedding pad on the roof racks.

You better put the mattress at the center of the car roof without changing the gravity center of your vehicle to ensure safe driving. Additionally, you must avoid letting the large bedding pad block the front or the rear windshields before going. You can slightly adjust the position of the mattress to make it accurately stay where it should be on the car roof, and you must use enough straps or ropes to tighten it to remain where it should stand.

Before driving out with a mattress on the roof racks, you must test the stability manually. You can push or pull the mattress for at least a minute in different directions to see if it remains where it is. Adding straps or ropes on the weak tightening points is an acceptable strategy to solve position sliding problems.

Ratchet Straps

Have you heard about the Ratchet Straps? These stronger straps are typically for heavy-duty jobs. You can use them to tie a mattress on the roof racks to ensure security and make everything easier.

Ratchet Straps have buckles, hooks, straps, and spring mechanisms to make them easy to use when tightening things on the roof racks, but most people don’t know how to cinch a ratchet strap the first time.

how to tie a mattress on roof racks with Ratchet Straps?

You can follow these steps to use Ratchet Straps on roof racks:

  • find the loose end of the strap
  • insert the free-end (without a hook) into the buckle slot
  • pull the rest through the square hole on the metal buckles
  • turn the ratchet to get the straps ready for use
  • find the hook-ends to clamp on the roof racks
  • tighten the ratchet and firmly attach a mattress to the roof racks
  • lock the ratchet with handles on buckles
  • repeat these steps on other straps

When choosing ratchet straps, you should focus on their loading capacity and length to ensure they are applicable to tying a mattress on the roof racks.

You can use Ratchet Straps to tie many things on roof racks, not only mattresses; consequently, you better choose higher loading capacity ones for general use on regular loading jobs. You better choose long Ratchet Straps to fit most loading assignments because short ones won’t work for large equipment or furniture. However, if you use long ratchet straps to fasten small stuff, you can find the extra straps stay in the air and fly in motion; consequently, you must figure out a way to immobilize the rest straps or make them connected.

Related Topic:

Regular Safety Check

As mentioned above, you must check the tightness during the trip and confirm every strap firmly holds the tension. You can do the check every 10 to 20 minutes, but you cannot do that on the highways; therefore, we don’t recommend driving on the freeways with a mattress on top of your car. If you must use high-speed routes to reach the destinations, you must control the speed and occupy the slower car line.

Safety Concerns

safely transport a mattress on a car roof

Is it safe to use car roof racks to transport a mattress? Most people have concerns on this topic, and it depends. If you do everything right, it is safe to do. However, it is risky and brings deadly accidents with the wrong methods.

What to pay attention to:

  • You better use the right vehicle to deliver a mattress, and we recommend SUVs, Vans, or trucks.
  • You better use high-quality roof racks or crossbars to hold the cargo weight.
  • You better use Ratchet Straps to fasten the mattress to the roof racks.
  • You better drive slowly with large-angle turning and slow braking.
  • You better paste a highlighting sign at the rear of your car when transporting a mattress on the roof racks.
  • You better check the tightening during the trip to avoid unexpected incidents.
  • You better consult the insurance company to acquire advice for driving with a mattress on the roof racks.
  • You better consult the local police station to know what you must obey when transporting things on the car roof.

Related Topic:

Do roof racks damage your car?

Other Options:

We know you want to use roof racks to deliver a mattress on the roads, but there are many things you need to learn and follow to achieve that goal; thus, if you don’t have enough time to learn and do, you can hire specialists for the jobs.

You can hire a Moving Company to do the job with zero risk.

Last Words:

If you want to use car roof racks to transport a mattress to destinations, you should have sturdy crossbars, roof rails, rugged ratchet straps, a plastic bag or cover, a helper, and a suitable vehicle. With these accessories, you can safely tie a mattress on car roof racks and take it to another place.

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