If you've just bought a new roof basket for your car and are about to load it up for the first time, here are some suggestions you'll probably find useful.
Ensure your load is evenly dispersed across the whole roof basket
When placing your belongings in the basket, you should ensure that they are spread evenly across the surface. For example, if you're putting three suitcases on it, you should not place them all towards the front, side or rear of the basket but should put one at the back, one in the centre and one near the front of the vehicle. This is particularly important if your items are very heavy.
If you put a lot of heavy items at the back of the basket, you may find it harder to drive your vehicle up inclines, as these items will pull your vehicle backwards. Similarly, putting too many heavy objects at the front of the basket may slow you down when you're trying to reverse. Lastly, placing heavy items on one side of the basket may result in your car tipping to that side when you take sharp turns. It could also result in the tyres on that side losing pressure faster than the tyres on the other side. By spreading the load evenly, you can ensure the items in the basket do not adversely affect your road journeys or the air pressure in your tyres.
Do a test run before heading off with your full basket
Before you set off for your first real road journey with your fully loaded roof basket, you should do a test run by taking a short drive up and down a local street with your belongings in tow on the roof. It can take a while to work out the best way to strap your items onto the basket in a way that will keep them immobile, no matter what speed you travel at or what manoeuvres you make. The first time you do this, you might not tighten the straps enough or you might put the straps too close to one end of, for example, your suitcase. In either situation, the item might slide out of the straps and fall off the basket if you brake too abruptly or go around a corner.
By securing a few items that are not too valuable to the basket and going for a quick drive on a quiet road (i.e. a road where you won't cause an accident if your basket's contents fall off) and doing some braking and turns during this drive, you should be able to determine if your basket-strapping skills need some work, as you'll hear or see the items sliding around if you've done this task incorrectly.