moving a mattress

when moving a mattress using a small suv with a top rack,
how can a person move a queen sized mattress
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ou can never be too safe when something is riding on top of a car. I would use ratchet straps as well as rope to make it secure. It really depends on how far you are going and what type of roads you will be on(interstate highway or back road).  It is imperative that you have a couple of tie lines going from the front bumper over the top to the rear bumper. You do not want any air to get under the boxspring and try to lift it from the front. Don't use any bungee cords, too much strain when used alone. You may also want to consider putting the boxspring in a "mattress bag" to keep it clean. Seal the plastic bag with packing tape.
Use a U-haul.

It is illegal to have anything hanging off your vehicle on the width.  You might be able to get away with it by bending it a little and tying it down over the top rack, if you're not going far.  Theory also states that you're allowed to have it vertical so it doesn't stick out over the sides, but good luck getting that to stay.
Tie it down through the front windows and then cross the string from the drivers window to the rear passenger window, over the top and back through both rear windows. Now, cross that string over the top and through the passenger front window. Keep criss crossing until it feels solid.

For extra security, you can run a string the long way (back to front) a few times over and under the mattress and then tie that to the criss-crossing string and back around the ends of the rails.
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If you have a box spring put that on top of the mattress so you're not the guy with half the mattress folded up sticking into the sky, freaking out everyone on the highway.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Hire a van, otherwise you're going to end up with a damaged back and a ticket from the cops!
Here's relevant California law:

Vehicle Code
Division 15, Chapter 2
Section 35111

35111.  No passenger vehicle shall be operated on any highway with any load carried thereon extending beyond the line of the fenders on its left side or more than six inches beyond the line of the fenders on its right side.
Amended Ch. 120, Stats. 1961. Effective September 15, 1961.

The average queen mattress is 60" wide, less than the maximum vehicle width.  So, the size of the vehicle is the limiting factor.

Nissan Armada: 78.8" w
Nissan Pathfinder: 65.5" w

You may be able to get it to comply with the law.  Keep in mind that your tie-down equipment cannot extend more than 3" from the sides of the vehicle.

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