The Secret To Safely Storing Things On The Roof Of Your Car Is A Popular Pool Toy

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Large cars often come with sturdy, built-in racks or optional rack attachments to allow them to haul heavy stuff that won't fit inside the trunk or cabin. From metal sheets to mattresses to canoes, as long as you can tie it down to the roof somehow, you can safely haul it short distances. However, while this is an intended feature for any car with a rack, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that hauling heavy objects in this manner can have some unpleasant side effects.

Unless you're driving extremely slowly on completely level ground, odds are good that your oversized load is going to shake, jostle, and smack around on the roof of your car, which can lead to unsightly scratches, denting, or worse. As it turns out, though, there is a way to safely store large objects on your car's roof racks. All it takes is a little extra assistance from one of history's most beloved pool toys.

The power of the noodle

Generally speaking, foam pool noodles have exactly three applications – floating, smacking your friends, and blowing water at your siblings, in that order. However, pool noodles have a secret fourth use, and that is car padding.

Pool noodles are both shock-resistant and spongy, making them excellent at absorbing the impacts from a rickety oversized load on the roof of your car. Just attach a couple of noodles to your car's roof racks with strong duct tape or bungee cords and mount the load on top of them as you normally would. If a full noodle is too long for your car's racks, just cut them down to size with a sturdy pair of scissors. You can also use tape to Frankenstein a couple of smaller noodles together.

The extra padding and height will keep the load from smacking against the roof of your car, and since noodles are designed to get wet, you can safely leave them out for a while to handle any errant elements.

You can get a five-pack of multi-colored pool noodles for $21.49 off of Amazon, or individually at your local big-box retailer. The only real concern with this approach is that brightly-colored noodles may leave some weirdly-colored scuffs on your car, but you can solve that problem by getting a noodle that's the same color as your car. That way, even if the noodles leave a bit of residue from load impacts, you won't be able to see it.