Which Material Offers the Best Durability For Sprinter Roof Racks? 

A sprinter roof rack can be a massive help whether you’re planning a road trip or need more room for storage for your outdoor gear. Roof racks are a must-have accessory for every owner who needs more storage space to carry bulky objects like baggage, bicycles, skis, and kayaks. A roof rack’s primary use is to make your automobile more capable of hauling objects that would otherwise be difficult to fit inside, including strangely shaped things. 

Given how popular roof racks are becoming, we can advise which material provides the best durability for sprinter roof racks. This article will cover everything you need to know about the materials that offer the highest durability for vehicle roof racks. 

Aluminum Vs. Steel Roof Racks 

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If you want to transport more gear and goods on your Sprinter, select the appropriate car roof rack. Steel and aluminum roof racks are two popular choices. There has always been a discussion about whether steel or aluminum should be used in the roof rack sector. Some vouch for steel’s durability and strength, while the touring community emphasizes aluminum’s lighter weight and prolonged resistance to rust. 

Nowadays, distinctions between different types of roof rack materials are less important than they once were. The vehicle’s weight limit determines the maximum load that can be carried on the roof. If your car’s weight restriction has already been achieved, then a stronger roof rack won’t assist. Nonetheless, a car would tow more weight if the roof rack is more robust and lighter. We look at which material offers the best durability for the Sprinter roof rack 


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Aluminum is excellent for off-road vehicles because it helps to reduce total weight while retaining a high degree of strength and practicality. It is the lightest roof rack material on the market for sprinter roof racks, helping you maintain a lower total weight. The mixture of metals used in its production gives it high corrosion resistance. 

Aluminum roof racks are typically easier to handle and install during setup because of their lower weight. Also, the lighter aluminum roof racks have a minimal effect on the vehicle’s handling and suspension. 

However, the increased cost of labor and raw materials means aluminum racks are more expensive. Additionally, aluminum is not as strong, and fatigue can cause it to shatter under excessive pressure. 

We lessen corrosion on metal surfaces by anodizing them. Anodizing creates a thin coating of aluminum oxide protection. The length of the surface protection might range from 10 to 20 years, depending on the anodization layer’s thickness and quality. Anodizing aluminum helps to enhance adhesion and boost corrosion resistance. Since it is an insulating layer, it does not increase strength. 


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Steel roof racks are strong and have a significant weight-bearing capability, so they can support greater loads. They also have a higher intrinsic strength than aluminum and can withstand harsher environments and more oversized loads. Budget-conscious individuals favor steel roof racks over aluminum due to their lower cost. 

To lessen the possibility of corrosion, zinc-plated and powder-coated is used for surface defense. Galvanizing is a very effective way to coat steel, as the end product is corrosion-free and abrasion-resistant. It protects steel, giving it a life expectancy of 50+ years. With the zinc plating procedure applied, it becomes even more robust and long-lasting, making it a practical and affordable roof rack option for your car. The steel is completely protected, so it won’t need upkeep or repairs when scratched, dented, or dented.  

However, if the roof rack is severely damaged, it may rust, appear heavier, and rapidly deplete your car’s original roof rating. Even when nothing is being carried, steel roof racks are substantially heavier than aluminum ones, which may impact the vehicle’s suspension and fuel economy. 

Steel roof racks made of older materials are prone to corrosion and rust. Luckily, more recent steel roof racks with powder coating are rarely prone to rust. A galvanized steel rack is a good option since it requires little to no maintenance over its lifespan and has a fair buying price. The initial cost of galvanizing steel racks is also typically lower than alternative protective coatings. Although it is more expensive initially, the steel’s longer lifespan surpasses the initial cost in terms of durability.  

Head-to-Head Comparison 

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Steel racks are robust, long-lasting, and dependable for the end user. Additional techniques protect most steel racks on the market from rust and environmental factors. You can benefit from a longer-lasting, more robust rack with added protection. 

Although steel is more robust and more durable, aluminum is lighter. Aluminum does not contain iron and will not corrode over time as steel does. It is important to remember that aluminum must undergo the anodizing process before being utilized outside. Since aluminum is pricey, it must be cleaned frequently to eliminate dirt accumulation. 

Consider weight, upkeep, and durability factors when choosing a roof rack. Aluminum is a fantastic alternative if weight is an issue, but it must be maintained sometimes. A more easily maintained steel rack can be the best option when weight is not an issue. Still, the aluminum rack will let you salvage every last kilogram from the load ratings while providing extra corrosion protection, as vehicle roofs come from the factory with ever-reducing load ratings. 

Bottom Line 

The choice of material for your next roof rack depends on your circumstances since there are many possibilities and variants to consider. Compared to earlier times, many distinctions between different types of roof rack materials are less important. Your car’s weight restriction will determine how much you can fit on the roof at its maximum. If your automobile is already over its weight limit, a stronger roof rack won’t help. A vehicle can tow more weight if the roof rack is stronger and lighter. 

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