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Old 04-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
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To get a roof rack or rear rack?

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?

Thanks!

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Old 04-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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jeezz...you could build a small camping trailer for that.

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Old 04-08-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
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I know! It's ridiculous. It's like $500 for a base rack plus about $300 for a rocket box and the adventure rack is about $300-400.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04
jeezz...you could build a small camping trailer for that.
I thought about that idea of a camping trailer but I don't have a place to store it and I'm not sure if I could make one that could handle the trails.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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Do you take the Jeep off road a lot? Are there trees there?

Most people who offroad here in the PNW do not install roof racks or light bars because the low hanging branches would tear them up.

Roof racks can obviously carry more, and would be ok in the desert or dunes.

It's those darn trees that always messes stuff up on my Jeep. lol
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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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
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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If you do a roof rack make sure your jeep will fit in the garage lol
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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If you do a roof rack make sure your jeep will fit in the garage lol
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.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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I am from San Diego, so most offroading will be desert. I don't have a garage, so that's not an issue.

I think I might start with an adventure rack because I could use that to carry a cooler and most everything can sit on a seat or someone's lap.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theist4JC
I am from San Diego, so most offroading will be desert. I don't have a garage, so that's not an issue.

I think I might start with an adventure rack because I could use that to carry a cooler and most everything can sit on a seat or someone's lap.
And this would be the cheapest solution to start until I can fork out $800 for a wilderness rack.

Anybody using the adventure rack? What's your opinion on it? Is it worth it?
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:13 PM   #11
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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
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:22 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:51 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #17
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Well if you're off-road then I certainly wouldn't recommend the standard hitch rack. I've ran those aground on mild fishing trips.

Roof rack might be your best bet & CL is definitely the best place to find them. They can generally be found for about half the price of what you'd pay new.

However, if a man just had $$$ to burn for a camping safari then I'd recommend something like this...

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #18
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Powder, oh my goodness! That is awesome! Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #19
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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.

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Old 04-08-2012, 06:46 PM   #20
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Just put this on last week.....so far I love it
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theist4JC
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
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:44 PM   #22
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I use the Olympic 4x4's Sierra Rack Utility Racks | Olympic 4X4 Products for over 60 years . The only down side is if you load it up heavy then have someone help you open and close the tailgate so the hinges don't have too much load on them.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #23
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save up and do it right! I don't even have my jeep yet and I am drooling over these...








Check out this thread here and drool for hours (you have to register to see pics)

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