Crossover, truck, or SUV, the new accessory can be tailored to fit, with numerous add-ons to make it even more practical.
Ford has patented a modular roof rack assembly system that lets you accessorize and customize the size of the rack to your needs. CarBuzz discovered the patent after it was published on March 16 by the USPTO, detailing this modular rack and some of the accessories it may get access to.
Ford specifically details the benefits of a modular rack in being able to accommodate different-sized loads and be fitted to various vehicles. The one-size-fits-all application also reduces costs by making sure it can fit a multitude of Ford vehicles.
The basic premise is simple: an outer frame of four sides houses multiple crossbars. The rack attaches at the front to a mounting system above the windshield, while at the rear, it attaches to what Ford terms a removable roof - suggesting that we may see this first on the Ford Bronco, adding to the more than 160 accessories currently available for the off-roader. One roof rack could also be used for both two- and four-door variants.
In base form, the roof rack would be relatively compact, but its genius lies in the fact that it can be extended. By removing the rear outer frame, extenders to the side rails can be fitted with additional crossbars slotting into these. The rear edge can then be re-attached to complete the longer rack. The various elements of the rails would be fastened mechanically by screws.
Accessories can be added to the roof rack, though, with the most notable one being a side ladder. In place of one of the extensions, a ladder can be fitted that occupies the same space. This would be ideal if you'd used your FordPass points to buy a roof tent for overlanding adventures.
Further accessories - like the tent - could easily be affixed by means of a prescribed T-channel within the side rails. This T-channel could also be used to fit the crossbars but would allow various roof boxes, tents, light bars, and more to simply clip into place. With Ford also developing a system that gets power to the roof rails, the two systems could double up to expand the range of accessories and their abilities.
When not in use, Ford would provide a rubber or plastic channel plug, which fits into the T-channel to close it, preventing water and dirt from getting into it and reducing wind noise whistling through while you drive.
The invention is simple, and the premise even more so. But for outdoor enthusiasts, it's a novel idea that may improve their quality of life.
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