What do people know about roof racks?

Ron0z

Active Member
My new (second hand) car has a rhino rack on it. It looks to be a good quality unit. Anyway, at the weekend I had the opportunity to use it. I put a large wooden bookcase on top. It seemed to carry it okay, but I wasn't game to travel more than 80kph. (Sorry to anyone travelling between Canberra and the coast on the weekend). Anyway, I was generally impressed, but the experience made me wonder about what holds the rack to the car. Does anyone know?

The last roof rack I came across was around the mid '80s and it had four brackets (nut and bolt fixing) that hooked under the roof gutter. The gutter in older cars is pretty solid: that's where the roof and sides panels of the car come together and are spot welded and bent upward to catch water from the roof. So, not only does the bend lend itself to adding strength the material is twice as thick as most other parts of the car. It naturally lends itself to supporting loads.

So, are modern roof racks (which are designed for cars with no gutter) held on by a few self-tapping screws? That'd be a damn scary thought.

I do hope car and roof rack manufacturers got together and had a strip of steel welded to the underside of the roof to help mount the rack securely.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
Varies vehicle to vehicle, my 100 series has factory fitted nuts in the roof for rack mounting.
Excellent!

I used to fit car accessories, years ago, and some of the racks were secured using self tappers. They were nothing more than decoration.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
Crappy nutserts in the roof, some cars have a reinforcing panel under them some just the roof skin
 

smitty_r51

Well-Known Member
Some of the Rhino rack track mounts are just 6mm rivets through the skin (that was Tylers issue in the linked video above).

Some of the old school 4x4's (i.e. 70 series) still have proper gutter mounts, most of the rest are load rated between 75 and 100kg (and your roof rack is included in that allowance).

you will get away with more weight on road like the Clyde mountain, you get into strife when you start on dirt roads/corrugations

what is the vehicle?
 

Ron0z

Active Member
It's a Jimny.

The bookcase hung over left and right by about 14in and front and back by about 18in. And there were some dirt roads and potholes in what bitumen there was. I tried to avoid most and took it easy keeping to around 60kph most of the time. There's not much traffic between Braidwood and Cooma. A long trip and everything seems okay, but it got me wondering what holds the thing on.
 

smitty_r51

Well-Known Member
Might be worth a read


general answer seems to be not much!
 

Ron0z

Active Member
A couple of long-winded videos. But with an important message. Thanks to both of you for posting them.
 

LongRoad2Go

Well-Known Member
What do people know about roof racks?

The need for roof racks is something I’ve been contemplating for quite a while. There seems to be two main uses: as a platform to simply attach accessories e.g. lights, awnings, and/or, to carry stuff e.g. fuel, recovery gear, other paraphernalia.

After some consideration (security, stability, reducing already bad brick-like aerodynamics, etc), have opted NOT to install roof racks at all.

YouTube vids are full of people carrying many thousands of dollar’s worth of easily accessible (read: easily stolen) gear on the outside of vehicles – MaxTrax being the typical ones. Not to mention gear that doesn’t like long term exposure to UV radiation.

Raising two questions: Am I carrying too much unnecessary gear? And, is the vehicle actually fit-for-purpose in the first place?

I tend to draw from my Bushwalking days: if the rucksack can’t accommodate everything inside, then either the rucksack isn’t fit-for-purpose, or, am carrying too much unnecessary gear.

The only concession I’ve decide to make is on the winch off canopy: longitudinal T-track rails that use removable eye-bolts. Only to be used infrequently i.e. carrying a kayak/tinnie, firewood, emergency, etc.

The thought of drilling holes in an expensive new vehicle, simply to attached a roof rack or other things, makes me cringe.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
The thought of drilling holes in an expensive new vehicle, simply to attached a roof rack or other things, makes me cringe
Apparently, quite a few (and I discovered recently that my Jimny as well) have studs (ie. bolts) fitted by the manufacturer that provides a secure mount. Secure is one thing, but as others have said load carrying capacity is another issue easily forgotten about.
 
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