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Old 06-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Yakima Racks - Toploader or Sideloader Brackets?

Hi, Forum.

Newbie Wrangler Unlimited Owner here, looking to transfer over my Yakima rack system from my former car (Subaru Outback) to the hardtop of a new 2011 Wrangler Unlimited.

I already have the old-school raingutter/clip towers, and so I need to install the Yakima raingutter brackets. But the question is whether to get the "Sideloader" type that mounts on near the top of the side (in the space above the window and the top edge) or the "Toploader" type that mounts on the top surface (between the top's longitudinal ridges, I assume).

I have installed these brackets on pickup shells before, and both designs work very well. But I'm concerned because those were heavy-duty (THICK!) fiberglass shells, and the Wrangler hardtop is much thinner (is it plastic, or some sort of epoxy?). I don't want to compromise the integrity of the top by drilling through the mounting holes for my raingutter brackets, and I don't want to unduly strain the top by mounting the Yakima towers and bars (and potentially up to about 100 lbs of canoes/kayaks) on it.

So that brings me back to the dilemma: mount the brackets on the side or on the top? I have seen pictures of both set-ups in these forums, and the Yakima site recommends both equally. And so I prevail upon the wisdom of my more-experienced fellow Jeepers for advice about which way to go.

Thanks for reading, and (if possible) thanks for your ideas.

Sincerely,
David in Oregon

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Old 06-21-2011, 05:30 AM   #2
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I had the same situation as you. Don't install any rain gutter mounts. If you go to the Yakima site, they say that the gutter mounts are only good for skis up on the rack as the load limit is about 40 lbs. The gutters are plastic and won't support any weight.

I did this:
Attachment 44133

You have to click on the link to see the picture.

The rack system is a Kargo Master Congo Cage and supports 500 lbs. It is beefy. I bought the Yakima adapter clamps and those are beefy too. The cage mounts to a stock jeep without any drilling or modifications. It does however make using the soft top a PITA. Rack comes off when using the soft top.

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Participate in life....Keep movin'....Go there....JK'n it.........Do it! Jeep #1: Red Rock 08 JK Rubicon 4dr, 6 sp manual, Stock Mud Tires, MyGIG Upgrade, Hard Top, after sale BestTop SunRider Soft Top, Congo Cage Rack, Mopar slush mats Jeep #2 Black 08 JK Rubicon 2dr, 6 sp manual, both tops, some chrome...uggg (my wife's jeep) Jeep #3 White 92 YJ (my son's jeep) A great quote from a good friend: "All hail click clack and master jk'n." Click and clack are my idols!
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:09 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, JK'n.

Yeah, I'm definitely going to avoid doing anything with the hardtop's plastic raingutters (though I have seen a couple JKs on the road with racks mounted to them).

But what I'm contemplating is metal brackets that drill into the hardtop to simulate raingutters for purpose of mounting Yakima towers. I'm not sure whether to mount the brackets on the side of the hardtop (above the window, near the top edge) or on the top surface (out near the outside edges). I've seen it done both ways, but am not sure which is most secure and most safe for the top itself.

Looked at your attached pic, and I really like your set-up. I saw a similar rig with a "Gobi" brand rack. I know that what I'm planning isn't nearly as beefy as that. But I'm trying to figure out a way to use the Yakima rack equipment that I already have. I won't do it if it risks damaging my top. But if I can get away with it to transport relatively light loads, then that's where I'll go.

Again, thanks for your response and your ideas. I appreciate it. Very nice Rubicon you've got there!

Sincerely,
David
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsammond View Post
Thanks for the reply, JK'n.

Yeah, I'm definitely going to avoid doing anything with the hardtop's plastic raingutters (though I have seen a couple JKs on the road with racks mounted to them).

But what I'm contemplating is metal brackets that drill into the hardtop to simulate raingutters for purpose of mounting Yakima towers. I'm not sure whether to mount the brackets on the side of the hardtop (above the window, near the top edge) or on the top surface (out near the outside edges). I've seen it done both ways, but am not sure which is most secure and most safe for the top itself.

Looked at your attached pic, and I really like your set-up. I saw a similar rig with a "Gobi" brand rack. I know that what I'm planning isn't nearly as beefy as that. But I'm trying to figure out a way to use the Yakima rack equipment that I already have. I won't do it if it risks damaging my top. But if I can get away with it to transport relatively light loads, then that's where I'll go.

Again, thanks for your response and your ideas. I appreciate it. Very nice Rubicon you've got there!

Sincerely,
David
The load limit is why I referred to the Yakima web site.

I have seen installations that use the hard top for support. I think the Yakima uses only the rear portion of the hard top so the two bars will be offset to the rear. Be sure and check that out. I was pretty leery about using the plastic top for support of any load, even only two kayaks. I have 4 yaks so it was just out of the realm of solutions.

I am using all of my Yakima appliances for my yaks. The Yakima bars that I had for my caravan are just the right length for the jeep. They were slightly over-sized for the caravan. I have since added two sets of powderhounds for the skis. So the only thing that didn't come over from the caravan was the short risers that mounted to the existing rack on it. Kargo Master makes adapters for their rack to accept Yakima bars. The rest was easy.
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Participate in life....Keep movin'....Go there....JK'n it.........Do it! Jeep #1: Red Rock 08 JK Rubicon 4dr, 6 sp manual, Stock Mud Tires, MyGIG Upgrade, Hard Top, after sale BestTop SunRider Soft Top, Congo Cage Rack, Mopar slush mats Jeep #2 Black 08 JK Rubicon 2dr, 6 sp manual, both tops, some chrome...uggg (my wife's jeep) Jeep #3 White 92 YJ (my son's jeep) A great quote from a good friend: "All hail click clack and master jk'n." Click and clack are my idols!
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