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Thread: Roof racks aint all the same... What is best?

  1. #1
    Patrol Freak
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    Roof racks aint all the same... What is best?

    So, I was wondering what everyone thinks are the best features on their roof racks. I know that it is horses for courses, and some people don't really care at all, but there are some things that just make sense, and make for a better roof rack experience. What are they?

    eg. quite a few years ago, my work truck was fitted with a Brand name steel roof rack that was made of square box section. Good quality, but two things annoyed me about it. It hummed louder than a church choir at full voice and ropes did not slide around it nicely when tying down loads. Since then, I have only ever bought a rack made of tubular top sections where ropes are likely to be used, and because I tend to tie things down as opposed to using ratchet straps.

    I also like a rack that has a mesh deck as I throw firewood up there all the time. Not everyone might do this, but it is bloody handy for me with a wagon. The down-side is that mesh is slightly noisier when on the highway.

    Of recent times I have also decided that I want to tie down a kayak on the rack, and that changes quite a few of the design concepts that I had previously wanted. I now need something like the 'tradies' rack, but with a few tweaks.

    As a result, my current DIY project is to make an alloy rack that is pretty much a tradies rack, with a mesh floor, but that has a spot at the front for a solar panel that fits across the width of the rack. The panel (should get a 120W in there) will sit flush or just below flush, most of the time, but the trailing edge will be able to adjust up so it can act at a wind deflector when the rack is loaded with anything other than a kayak, and or when I need it to better face the sun when I am camped up. This will limit my load area to a little over 3/4 of the rack's overall length, but it should be enough,... I think.

    So what are the features in a rack that are the most valuable for you, or that should at least be considered in a purchase? Is it simply price? Or is it certain features that may be worth it for the additional cost?
    Had a beaut GU with 6.5 Chev TD, but sold the soul and now driving a 79 series dual cab. Yes, a Tojo on the Patrol Forum! Also having fun trying to build the ultimate Expedition Grade storage box.
    www.openskytouring.com

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    Expert Patrol-Guy's Avatar
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    Well I don't like to see a question go unanswered,

    You have pretty much answered your own question. People have differing requirements and its hard to pinpoint what exactly are the "most important" features. For me I suppose would have to be reliability. I paid, what I would call, quite a lot of dollars for an ARB rack recently. I wanted to keep the weight down so I chose an aluminium rack. I also wanted mesh flooring to give better holding ability. I could have chosen a much less expensive rack but I felt the testing and materials used in the ARB racks were far superior to others available and thus it gave me greater confidence when relying on the rack strength when needed most.

    I didn't want to find myself a million k's from civilisation with a damaged. I started a thread about the ARB rack and a few respond with valuable info that helped me decided on the ARB job.

    I don't think you can go past the brand name products because of the behind the scenes testing that goes on to ensure their product is the best it can be. The hard part is parting out with the dollars. . . .

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    Dribble Master Clunk's Avatar
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    Me, I went for the Rhino rack option, 3 heavy duty bars and an 1800x1200mm aluminium tray......... most important for me was to be able to have something that could be removed and installed easily by myself. Secondly was versatility, being that I can use just the bars or if required fit the cage as well for tent & camping gear etc.


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    Patrol Guru cgm's Avatar
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    I really like to have a mesh floor like Patrol-Guy mentioned as you can hook a decent quality occy strap and fix and tighten things anywhere on the rack. You have the flexibility to put the strap through any gap in the mesh and easily hook it off wherever you need to even if there is a lot of strap left over. Recently I've compromised on a mesh roof basket, which was mostly a cost related thing, but at least I can still use the mesh to strap things down easily. I probably would have gone with Rhino bars like clunk with the option of a basket, but the cost got me for now. (My recent basket is on a very simple/cheap home made angle bar on each side, but this is not on a Patrol either)
    Thanks, Cameron
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    Dribble Master Clunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgm View Post
    I really like to have a mesh floor like Patrol-Guy mentioned as you can hook a decent quality occy strap and fix and tighten things anywhere on the rack. You have the flexibility to put the strap through any gap in the mesh and easily hook it off wherever you need to even if there is a lot of strap left over. Recently I've compromised on a mesh roof basket, which was mostly a cost related thing, but at least I can still use the mesh to strap things down easily. I probably would have gone with Rhino bars like clunk with the option of a basket, but the cost got me for now. (My recent basket is on a very simple/cheap home made angle bar on each side, but this is not on a Patrol either)
    Forgot to mention I picked mine up 2nd hand for 1/4 the price for new


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  10. #6
    Patrol Guru cgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunk View Post
    Forgot to mention I picked mine up 2nd hand for 1/4 the price for new
    Puuurrrfect. Then, definitely the way to go because the quality of the Rhino stuff is excellent.
    Thanks, Cameron
    No Patrol now - Just good memories!

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    Patrol God threedogs's Avatar
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    I built my own but its supported on 3 Rhino aero bars,
    Rhino may already have a system for tying down a Kayak
    My rack is flat with provision for light bar and a light when at camp,
    Chinese ARB copies are ok but re spray or coat before fitting and plug any holes with silicon
    are rust forms very easily
    Last edited by threedogs; 29th June 2014 at 06:09 AM.
    04 ST 3lt auto, not enough Mods to keep me happy, but getting there

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    Patrol God bigguwesty's Avatar
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    When buying I think the old saying you get what you pay for still rings true here.;
    I see prank names equipment (mainly Arb) take a beating time and time again and still going..
    Father in-law has a steel Arb rack nearly 15 years old and the powder coating is just startingbto lift between the pads..

    My brother bought a cheap alloy on and he bent the rear pipe. He 80kg...
    I've also seen countless threads where cheap racks are filling with water and rusting internally???
    Weird the Arb rack is sealed 100% but anywho.....

    So to me if you want the reassurance that the gear is gunna last, simply pay for the quality...

    Or build your own..
    Cheers
    Kallen Westbrook

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    The ones rusting inside were ironman ones so not cheap ones

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    Hardcore 04OFF's Avatar
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    Be aware that the "total" recommended weight for the roof of your patrol is only 100kg, (this includes the weight of the roof rack), many racks are 50kg+ all by themselves empty, so I went with one of the lightest full length racks I could find, it only weighs 35kg, so actually gives me the biggest payload of 65kg.

    Something to keep in mind.
    <a href=http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j320/02ard/PatrolcomAvatar-1-1.jpg target=_blank>http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j3...Avatar-1-1.jpg</a>

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