I have a 2003 TJ with a soft top and I want to take it camping with my son and some friends but I have no room for cargo!
I'm trying to decide between getting a roof rack or a rear rack to put my gear. I like the idea of a rocket box on top and an adventure rack that sits above the wheel for a cooler so far. However, that will probably cost me about $1000-$1500 to get all the gear.
I am hoping to spend as little as possible so I think I need to choose between the two at least for now.
What are the advantages or disadvantages between the two based on your experience? Which one do you think is most practical?
Roof rack for storage I would think. I have a Space Cadet from Yakima that I use on other cars and it holds a Ton! I also have a trail rack sitting in my garage that I want to install soon but other than a cooler I'm not sure how useful it will be. Good luck and post pics when you pull the trigger
An even cheaper alternative
Depends on your camping trip activities and how much you bring, but for camping trips I have a Hitch rack that I load all the camping gear in. When I get to camp the whole rack comes of so we can go play on the rocks or the sand (depending on the trip). Rated for about 500Lbs and I like it over a roof rack as it doesn't change the center of gravity.
Just another thought
Don't believe in anything you can't break
Very good point! I forgot about that. I only have a few inches to spare through my standard garage door opening. And I only have a 3" lift. Well 4" with the BL.
Most likely your jeep will not fit in your garage with a rack on it...mine doesn't with 3" lift and 33" tires. I am about 1" too tall...I could let the air out of my tires but I am not doing that every time I want in and then air up when I get it out so it sits in the driveway in front of the garage.
That being said....I love having a roof rack because I kayak fish and I need it to haul my kayak. It leaves me plenty of room to strap almost anything up there include tents, tarps, coolers, etc. The only other draw back is that I cannot easily lower the top since the rack is in the way. Not too big of a deal for me since I like taking all the windows out, doors off and still have some shade.
I also have a hitch rack and a front hitch rod holder so when I go fishing I am loaded down pretty heavily.
Standard hitch racks are great for quick trips, but might not cut it for serious trips unless you remove the back seat. Plus they greatly reduce your departure angle unless you go with the style you mentioned that sits over the spare.
Personally I use a trailer because I camp with a family of four & even if I did have a roof rack & hitch rack it most likely still wouldn't have enough room for our gear.
If it were just two or so I might go the roof rack route. You can store more than a hitch rack & the weight is better distributed. Plus you can throw a kayak up there if you wanted. Some even convert to a canopy which looks pretty sweet.
I got my rook rack off of Craigslist for 150 bucks. It came with the safari basket all the brakes and cross bars for a canoe. I love it. I had a rack that went into the 2 inch receiver and it would drag on dirt roads that where humped up in e middle.
Powder Monkey, the departure angle is also a concern for me because the type of camping I will do involves offroading to get to the camp sites.
I was considering replacing my stock rear bumper (upgrade incentive) to a bumper with a hitch mount and renting a cheap u-haul trailer for camping. However, I run into the problem of needing to take my gear with me offroading to get to the camp sites.
I have seen those roof racks that convert to a canopy and think that's awesome! However, very costly to buy one. I can't believe how expensive these roof racks are! I wish I could hire a welder to make one for me for $200.
If you are including trailers, and don't have a ton of money, you could make one out of a inexpensive utility trailer. Some guys I have wheeled with made these. The closer one is just a tent made for a small pick up truck bed. It fit perfect inside his trailer.
Jasonduke5, that would be awesome to find that on Craigslist! Those things are like gold in southern CA. That would be ideal for me to find one on CL.
I set my iPad up to search all over the state I live in. P.A I found it an hour away and went and picked it up. While I was down that way did another search and picked up 5 factory aluminum wheels with Hal's decent 31 10.50 for 100 bucks. Was a good day