As an avid outdoor enthusiast who has visited almost every nook and corner of the Australian outback on my hardy 4x4 and mini truck, I can tell right off, that without the tow bars and the roof racks, I wouldn't dare step out into the outback. Here then are benefits of installing tow bars and roof racks on your vehicle.
I've got tow bars and I've got roof racks and I've had a car with a monster boot space, roof rails and a towbar with a choice of big heavy Pendle rack and Thule "scissor" rack. My daughter also an outdoor enthusiast – Lord Bess Her Soul, bought a used Passat with money saved from jobs while she was in college.
While she got the vehicle cheaply, the downside was that it had no towbar and only a teeny-weeny miserly boot. But it did have roof rails so I adopted to it my old Chinese square roof bars and some other brand (I don't recollect which), roof bike racks. Now my daughter can put two bikes on the roof and the two skies inside when we're riding as a family.
Apart from my daughter, I've got two boys who are now on 24" and 20" wheels for their bikes – those who tried to fit these kind of bikes into boot space will know what I mean. Try fitting two bikes into a boot space no matter how big along with helmets / camel backs etc. and you'll wish had more space. The old Chinese roof rack/bike rack combo rattles like someone is tearing it apart and it can get pretty disconcerting when riding around town – especially with everyone starring at you wondering if we are a family circus.
After hearing a lot lectures from my wife, I finally decided to let go of the old roof racks and bought myself a brand new Whispbars – State-of-the-art technology, no rattling and moreover, looks awesome. I still remember my neighbour and buddy Benny's face when he saw me fitting the Whispbars. “Damn Allan, did you just buy yourself those shiny Whisbars?” “No, Benny, I stole them” I said while grinning away like a brat who just for his birthday wishes. Actually, Vehicle Accessories the auto shop in Sydney gave me an awesome deal on those and the tow bar.
Benny of course is a roof rack guys and prefers to load his bikes onto the roof. He just puts all 4 racks up, with bit of a faff to get them all facing the right way then he loads everything up. If he has different bikes (like when he's kids wana go too), he slides the wheel trays around. At times I hear him grumbling about low clearance in car parks but then that's only when he goes into the city.
Me, I now have my new Whispbar Roof Racks Sydney on the roof and a towbar. I've already used it twice since I purchased them and the ease of use and lack of worry especially lack of noise convinced me its the best thing done – maybe I should be listening to my wife more often uh? Whether I put the bikes on the roof rack or the bikes on the towbar, its now done in just minutes.
Of course, the Car Roof Racks are lower so easier to load as you're not lifting heavy stuff like canoes and bikes over your head. Also, there's clash between the bike handle bars or pedals. The only downside about tow bars is that they can be left on permanently attached to your vehicle. But guess what? The new Thule tow bars I got are awesome. Putting them on or removing them is like a 3 minute task – seriously no hassle at all.
In any case, whatever questions you might have, the guys at vehicle accessories are knowledgeable and will answer you well. You can also view all their stuff here: http://vehicle-accessories.com.au