How to Choose the Right Roof Rack for Your BMW X5 -:Complete Guide

Are you in the market for a roof rack to complete your BMW X5 adventure vehicle? You have come to the right place. With this guide, you will gain the knowledge to find the perfect rack for your needs, so you can hit the road and make more memories with peace of mind.

The roof rack is an essential accessory for any driver who wants to add a little more storage space, whether you’re looking to take larger items on a road trip, haul a bike or kayak, or just make life easier. For BMW X5 owners, however, there are a few additional considerations when it comes to selecting the right roof rack for your vehicle. This guide will provide an overview of the factors you need to consider when deciding on the right roof rack for your BMW X5 car.

We will start by summarizing the different types of roof racks that are available, including why they are useful and how they would most benefit BMW X5 drivers. We will then discuss some key features such as weight capacity and durability that you should consider before making a purchase decision. Finally, we will review some of the best reviewed and recommended roof racks available for BMW X5 owners and compare their features in order to help you decide which one is right for you.

Explanation of what a roof rack is

A roof rack is an essential tool for any traveler. It is a platform or frame mounted on top of a vehicle, like your BMW X5, and secured with specialized hardware that allows various objects such as cargo containers, bicycles, spare tire cover, skis, and kayaks to be safely secured and transported.

A roof rack gives you extra storage space for bulky items that won’t fit inside your vehicle and can also provide better aerodynamics when transporting items that otherwise would be exposed to wind turbulence.

If you are looking to transport sporting equipment or luggage on the top of your X5, it is important to choose the right roof rack. With this guide we will explain the different types of roof racks available and give some tips on what factors should be taken into consideration in choosing a roof rack for your BMW X5.

Importance of having the right roof rack for your BMW X5

Apart from aesthetic considerations, roof racks are essential components in your BMW X5 vehicle. They provide tremendous help when you need to transport items that are too big or too bulky to fit in the interior of your X5. Oftentimes, the items you plan to carry can exceed the carrying capacity of your SUV. The addition of a roof rack can address this problem.

The right roof rack for your BMW X5 vehicle also helps free up more room in the trunk and keeps any objects from slipping and sliding inside as you’re driving. It also serves as a great storage option for oversized items that take up valuable cargo space inside the car.

These lightweight systems are easy to install and accessorize. With various sizes, shapes, and designs available in the market today, it’s important to select one that offers stability as well as sufficient storage capacity for whatever items you may want or need to transport with your BMW X5 vehicle.

Purpose of the guide

This guide is designed to provide you with an overview of the different types of roof racks available for your BMW X5, as well as the various features and benefits they offer. By understanding basic roof rack components and features, you’ll be able to properly choose the right roof rack that suits your BMW X5’s needs and lifestyle. You’ll also be better equipped to install it correctly and safely so you can enjoy your X5, ready for life-on-the-go.

To start off, let’s quickly break down the components of a typical rooftop rack:

  • Crossbar – This bar crosses a vehicle’s roof from side to side, providing mounting points for baskets, rails and accessory mounts. Many vehicles have factory-installed crossbars but these may not provide enough strength or support for large accessories.
  • Side Rails – These attach from the sides of an SUV just below its windows, allowing accessories to be securely installed onto them. Most factory mounted side rails are plastic; however aftermarket side rails come in metal or aluminum varieties allowing heavier items such as bikes or kayaks to be more securely added.
  • Foot Packs – These attach directly onto a vehicle’s roof top with specialized clamps or adhesive pads depending on their design. They are responsible for distributing weight evenly over the entire rooftop area by creating secure attachment points that mount onto canopy roofs or allow permanent installation onto raised roofs without drilling required into metal structures.
  • Basket – A basket is usually made of metal mesh or other mesh fabric, allowing it to hold smaller cargo items that don’t require tie down straps – quite often camping gear like sleeping mats and pillows – while still allowing visibility through the back window of your vehicle.
  • Rack Components – Rack components such as load stops and straps are typically used for keeping larger items securely attached and in place while driving on uneven roads or during severe weather conditions such as rain or wind gusts (especially when travelling long distances).

Considerations Before Choosing a Roof Rack

When choosing a roof rack that is best suited to your BMW X5, there are some important factors to consider. The first, and most important, is the weight capacity of the roof rack. Make sure that you get a model that can support the weight of whatever items you plan on carrying, and keep in mind the total vehicle weight when determining how much gear you can carry. Additionally, make sure the roof rack is compatible with other accessories like crossbars and bike racks so they fit properly onto your vehicle.

If you live in a snowy climate or will often be crossing areas that are prone to snow, look for an aerodynamic design that will help reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency by allowing air to flow overtop smoothly. You’ll also want a model that is weather resistant so it stands up against elements like rain and wind. Finally, make sure the roof rack includes all necessary mounting hardware for easy installation and anti-theft fasteners for added security against theft or tampering when parked or left unattended.

Weight capacity

The weight capacity of your roof rack depends on your BMW X5’s roof type, load bars, and the accessories you choose. Before making your selection, familiarize yourself with the various factors that determine how much weight a roof rack can safely handle.

Roof Type: Your vehicle’s roof type will generally determine which type of roof rack you need. Hard-shell roofs are usually compatible with most universal mount systems while soft-shell roofs require an integrated fit rack system that werks in concert with factory-installed attachment points. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to ascertain the exact load capacity and compatibility requirements of your BMW X5’s roof type before selecting a compatible shelter rack system.

Load Bars: Load bars distribute weight across the top of your BMW X5, allowing it to carry heavier loads safely and securely. The weight limit on load bars is determined by the maximum amount of weight they are rated for – which is based on their length, strength and construction material – so be sure to read product specifications carefully before making your purchase decision.

Accessories: Some aftermarket accessories also add capacity to a shelter or rooftop rack, but again it is important to always check manufacturer’s guidelines for ratings and be aware of any stipulations for safe loading and optimal performance. Depending on what type of accessory you select, additional strength or stability may need to be added in order for either items or cargo boxes sitting above them not exceed the capacity limits set by the manufacturer.

Compatibility with your BMW X5

It is essential to select a roof rack, a bike rack or any other rack that is compatible with your BMW X5. For instance, if you want to install a bike rack, make sure it fits the shape and size of your car’s roof rails. Similarly, for ski racks or surfboard carriers, look for products that are suitable for BMW X5.

You should also select components that fit seamlessly with the custom designed roof racks specially designed for BMW X5 vehicles. The mounting hardware used should be compatible with the existing car roof rails. A quick check at your local BMW dealership in regards to the type of roof rails and cross bars will be beneficial as it will guide you on what rooftop products can be used with your vehicle.

Most importantly, always opt for genuine BMW approved accessories when choosing a roof rack system as they are tested rigorously and are engineered specifically to deliver outstanding performance on your BMW X5 without posing any damage to it. In addition, this system offers excellent mounting stability and lasts for an extended period of time without fading or rusting in adverse weather conditions such as rain or snowfall.

Types of roof racks

When you begin shopping for roof racks for your BMW X5, you’ll want to keep in mind the type of rack best suited for your needs. Some racks attach directly to the roof with clamps and brackets, while others come with a base that fits flush against the roof. Other racks are designed specifically to carry items such as skis, bicycles, snowboards or kayaks.

Clamp-On Racks: Clamp-on racks are attached directly to the vehicle’s rain gutters with heavy-duty clamps that have rubber lining and rubber pads that protect the finish of your car’s paintwork and provide a secure fit.

Bolt-Through Racks: This type of rack requires drilling and is secured through the door frame onto the car’s structural points with large bolts for an extremely secure fit. These are often used on Expedition Vehicles, SUV’s or trucks.

Rail Mounted Racks: These racks mount onto existing flat rails or tracks on your car’s roof and can be adjusted to fit almost any rail configuration without a need for drilling or any additional hardware.

Basket Racks: Basket racks are great for carrying larger than average items such as furniture, boxes, luggage and camping equipment by attaching directly to your BMW x5s vehicle body. They’re ideal for protecting oversized cargo from road debris while keeping it securely accessible while driving.

Typically these types of basket rack will include retractable cross bars and may also include side rails which reduce wind noise and improve stability when loaded up with heavier items such as bikes or kayaks.

When choosing a roof rack for your BMW X5, you should consider different types of racks based on what kind of cargo you plan on transporting. Clamp-on racks attach directly to vehicle rain gutters; Bolt-through require drilling into structural points; Rail mounted adjust fitting almost any rail configuration; Basket often have retractable cross bars/side rails ideal for larger cargo such as furniture & bikes/kayaks.


When shopping for a roof rack for your BMW X5, it’s important to take aerodynamics into account. Increasing the surface area of your BMW’s roof with a roof rack is going to increase drag and reduce fuel efficiency. To help minimize this effect, it’s important to find a roof rack that is as aerodynamically efficient as possible.

To do this, look for racks that are compact and low-profile rather than tall and bulky. This will reduce wind resistance while still providing you with the necessary carrying capacity. Additionally, look for racks that feature streamlined crossbars at the front and rear of the vehicle that sit close to the body profile of the X5; these will also reduce drag.

Ensuring that your roof rack is aerodynamically efficient will help keep fuel costs down while providing you with plenty of cargo carrying power.

Installation and Maintenance of Roof Racks

Installing a roof rack is relatively easy. First, you’ll need to find the appropriate mounting points on your BMW X5 and use straps or brackets to attach the roof rack to this point. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your roof rack; some require drilling holes and will not fit properly without them.

After your roof rack is secure, mounting your accessories should be easier as they just attach to the existing base. Keep in mind that when mounting, these accessories should always be at a proper angle to ensure optimal performance and safety.

It’s also important to note that proper maintenance of your roof rack is essential for both its structural integrity and performance. Depending on the type of surface you drive on, road dirt can quickly get caked up in your setup and prevent it from doing its job effectively. Be sure to check for debris as often as possible and give it a good wipe-down at least once every few months or after you go off-roading. Following these simple maintenance steps will help ensure that your accessories stay secure while you’re driving down the highway or hitting rougher terrain during a weekend camping trip!

Installation process

Installing a roof rack on your BMW X5 is a relatively simple process that can be completed in just a few easy steps.

First, verify that the mounting points are correctly aligned and tightened; check the owner’s manual or consult your local BMW dealer for advice on this step.

Once everything is in place, you can install the roof rack itself. Depending on what type of roof rack you choose, this may require drilling or cutting into your roof, but other types may come pre-assembled and only need to be bolted or snapped into place. If you aren’t sure how to do this step, don’t hesitate to contact your local BMW dealership for assistance.

Finally, load up your rack with whatever supplies and equipment you plan to transport and set off with confidence!

Maintenance and care of roof racks

In order to ensure the long-term performance of your roof rack, regular maintenance and care is recommended. In addition to periodic cleaning, check bolts and screws regularly to ensure they remain tight. Periodic lubrication with a silicone lubricant should also be done in order to protect against corrosion, water and dust intrusion. Weather-stripping should also be checked regularly for any cracks or deterioration of the material that could lead to leaks.

In order to keep your roof rack looking its best and increase longevity, it’s important to cover it when not in use. Sun exposure can cause fading and cracking of the materials if stored unprotected over extended periods of time. Investing in a protective cover specifically designed for your roof rack can help extend its life as well as protect your vehicle from harmful UV rays that can cause damage over time.

Safety precautions

Once you have chosen the perfect roof rack for your BMW X5, you must be sure to observe proper safety protocols to ensure the safe transport of equipment and passengers. Before loading anything onto your rack, it’s important that you secure all equipment in place with appropriate tie-downs and straps. Always use approved methods for tying down objects, never using rope or cord because this can cause the items to become loose during transport.

Do not exceed weight limits on your BMW X5’s roof rack system—consult your vehicle owner’s manual for the maximum capacity of items that can be safely carried on top of your car. Finally, never leave any items unattended on a car rooftop as they may become damaged or pose a safety risk to other drivers or pedestrians when attached to a moving vehicle.


In conclusion, when choosing a roof rack for your BMW X5, there are a few key pieces of information you will need.

First, consider your needs and preferences for the type of roof rack that will work best for you. Do you need to carry heavy items like bicycles or kayaks? Or do you simply need more storage space while traveling?

Second, determine whether or not you will be using any accessories with your rooftop cargo system.

Third, select a roof rack that has been tested and meets the highest standards in terms of performance and safety—BMW recommends only genuine accessories for their Products.

Finally, make sure to read through your owner’s manual before purchasing and installing any equipment on your BMW X5. Following these guidelines will ensure you purchase the perfect roof rack for your specific needs.


How do I know what roof rack will fit my car? 

You can check the manufacturer’s website or consult with a specialist to find the specific roof rack that fits your car.

Can you put a roof rack on a BMW X5?

Yes, you can put a roof rack on a BMW X5, but it needs to be compatible with the model.

What is the weight rating for BMW roof rack? 

The weight rating for BMW roof rack varies depending on the model and design, but it typically ranges from 100 to 220 pounds.

Are roof racks vehicle specific? 

Yes, roof racks are vehicle specific, and the design and specifications vary from car to car.

Does roof rack affect sunroof? 

Yes, the installation of a roof rack may affect the operation of a sunroof, and it is important to check the compatibility before installation.

What is the difference between roof rails and roof racks? 

Roof rails are factory-installed on some vehicles and provide a base for the roof rack, while roof racks are detachable and designed to hold cargo.

What are the different types of roof racks? 

The different types of roof racks include roof-mounted racks, hitch-mounted racks, trunk-mounted racks, and spare tire-mounted racks.

Are roof racks universal fit? 

No, roof racks are not universal fit, and it is important to ensure that the rack you purchase is compatible with your vehicle.

How much weight will my roof rack hold? 

The weight capacity of a roof rack varies depending on the manufacturer, model, and design, but it typically ranges from 100 to 220 pounds.

Are roof racks worth it? 

Yes, roof racks can be a valuable addition to your vehicle if you frequently transport large items, but it is important to choose the right rack and use it properly to avoid damage to your car or cargo.

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