Roof racks are a huge investment in the scope of van living, but they can be a complete game-changer if you get the right one for you and maximize its use. Before we dove in and made the purchase ourselves, we committed to using our roof rack for other activities, in addition to the storage we’d need it for. When we finally got our Aluminess roof rack (in the double-loop, tight slat style with a ladder), the ideas on how to use it only kept coming to us and nowadays the rooftop space on our van is certainly a multi-functional one. Here are a handful of inventive ways we recommend trying out your roof rack:
Aside from storage, solar power is one of the reasons that folks consider getting a roof rack in the first place. We wanted to continue to maximize the amount of functional space on the roof, so we put our solar system on a hinge that would allow us to lift it almost entirely off the rack when needed.
Naps and overnight camping on top of the van? Yes, please! Whether you’re spending a day at the beach, need some chill time at a trail head after a long hike, or give your friends some sleeping room under the stars, sleeping on the van is one of my favorite uses for the roof rack.
One of our more recent purchases is a marine grill that can attach to metal bars intended for boats. It also happens to work perfectly on the roof rack and is small enough to fit in our under-bed storage. Another one of our favorite activities, and one of the more tasty ones, too!
Yoga + Strength Training
Sometimes you need a good stretch or a physical reset on the road to keep your body feeling good. That’s where the rooftop yoga comes in! Frequently I’ll pop up on the roof (almost anywhere) to get a nice view of wherever we’re at and do some down dogs without worrying about getting too much dirt or gravel on my hands. I also have used resistance bands with the Aluminess ladder for a decent full body strength work out!
Live Music + Concerts
Whether you’re at a street festival or a larger outdoor concert, sitting on the van to catch the next act or groove to some tunes is pretty rad. We’ve been surprised at the number of times we’ve heard live music in the area, climbed up on the roof, and have been able to see the artist playing in the streets somewhere. It’s always something to stop for!
How do you use your roof rack? We’d love to hear your ideas, so leave a message in the comments!
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