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Old 11-16-2019, 04:29 PM
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JK roof rack threads and reviews

Sorry if this is a silly question, but I have been searching for threads and opinions about roof racks for my 2016 2-door JK Sahara. Are there some specific search terms and tags I should be using? I have also searched for brand names (Surco, Garvin, Smittybilt, etc.), but not much info.

Suggestions are welcome!

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Old 11-16-2019, 04:53 PM   #2
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Hard top or soft top?

The answer is Rhino-Rack.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:59 PM   #3
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One tip would be to use google to search the forum, rather than the integrated search.


Type the below into google and you'll get a bunch of threads to peruse.



roof rack wranglerforum site:www.wranglerforum.com


Although as @akpostal said above, in my brief research (haven't bought one yet), I've been leaning towards a Rhino Rack pioneer platform based system, either the full Rhino setup or the Maximus 3 system which uses the same platform. I had considered buying a used Gobi, but after reading about the weight, the MPG hit, wind noise, etc, etc, I decided to go for something more streamlined and potentially easier to pull the main platform off when not in use, which the Rhino allows.


An exo frame like the Gobi would be needed for a soft top, though even there you have shortcomings with massive wind noise from what I've read.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:33 PM   #4
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I have a Front Runner rack on my 4 door hardtop. I've hauled lots of lumber, plywood, Christmas trees and camping gear without issue. I can get the freedom panels off just like normal, but is time consuming and not ideal if you are looking to remove the hardtop.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by akpostal View Post
Hard top or soft top?
Hard top, and I intend to leave the main roof on permanently. Ideally I do want to be able to still remove the front roof panels.

Am looking at everything, from the Rhino-Rack Vortex RLT600 2-Bar Backbone, to exoskeleton racks, like Smittybilt SRC Roof Rack. The Rhino-rack Pioneer appears to be too big for my 2-dr JK.

I do want avoid drilling into the hard top, which the Garvin Sport Series Track Rack 44012 seems to require, even though I like how it looks.

Some (all?) exoskeleton racks require drilling elsewhere for mounting on the body, so I guess I am OK with that.

Increased wind noise is inevitable, but I want to avoid a big hit to the mpg.
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:04 PM   #6
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If you have the dollars I would go with the Rhino system. You can remove the rails when you do not need them so no noise. It is strong and if you leave the hard top on is the best way to go I think.

I got the Rugged Ridge Sherpa. It does take two holes in the frame which was easy. and you do need to use the original bumper or you may hav eo make some adjustments. I did it with a cordless drill, no need to pull the tire or jack up the vehicle. The frame can be removed though I do not think I will be taking the front piece off. So only on eating MPG and making some noise when needed as long as you got somewhere to store the parts. Cost is about half of the Rhino.
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fastdude View Post
Hard top, and I intend to leave the main roof on permanently. Ideally I do want to be able to still remove the front roof panels.



Am looking at everything, from the Rhino-Rack Vortex RLT600 2-Bar Backbone, to exoskeleton racks, like Smittybilt SRC Roof Rack. The Rhino-rack Pioneer appears to be too big for my 2-dr JK.



I do want avoid drilling into the hard top, which the Garvin Sport Series Track Rack 44012 seems to require, even though I like how it looks.



Some (all?) exoskeleton racks require drilling elsewhere for mounting on the body, so I guess I am OK with that.



Increased wind noise is inevitable, but I want to avoid a big hit to the mpg.

Just I installed a Pioneer type system (Maximus-3) on my JKU and I can report no wind noise from the rack that I could detect at 80 mph.

I too was a bit leery about drilling the hardtop, but itís really not a big deal. I personally would go with the rack you like a not worry about the drilling. Hands down from what I can tell the Pioneer system is top notch and probably the best system for those that donít remove the hardtop.
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:35 PM   #8
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Just I installed a Pioneer type system (Maximus-3) on my JKU and I can report no wind noise from the rack that I could detect at 80 mph.

I too was a bit leery about drilling the hardtop, but itís really not a big deal. I personally would go with the rack you like a not worry about the drilling. Hands down from what I can tell the Pioneer system is top notch and probably the best system for those that donít remove the hardtop.

Few questions for you. How'd you decide between the Rhino Rack vs Maximus 3? Did you get the long or short platform, and if long, how much of a pain is it to remove the freedom panels if you've tried that? Did you mount it per Maximus's instructions (measuring and drilling holes from the outside), or as some others have mentioned on other threads, where they install the internal brackets to the roll bar first and measure/drill off of those points?
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pilothouse51 View Post
I have a Front Runner rack on my 4 door hardtop. I've hauled lots of lumber, plywood, Christmas trees and camping gear without issue. I can get the freedom panels off just like normal, but is time consuming and not ideal if you are looking to remove the hardtop.
+1 for Frontrunner. Love mine!
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DesertRubi View Post
Few questions for you. How'd you decide between the Rhino Rack vs Maximus 3? Did you get the long or short platform, and if long, how much of a pain is it to remove the freedom panels if you've tried that? Did you mount it per Maximus's instructions (measuring and drilling holes from the outside), or as some others have mentioned on other threads, where they install the internal brackets to the roll bar first and measure/drill off of those points?
I like the Maximus-3 rack brackets better, they have a very clean OEM look. I have the long platform and removing and replacing the freedom panels is very tricky. I would definitely put some tape over the body paint above the windshield, you are going to hit it with the panel lever for sure. If a person want to remove the freedom panels very regularly the short rack would be better I would think. I followed the instructions to the letter and had no issues. The Maximus-3 is only for the JKU, they don't have a JK version that I know about.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:32 PM   #11
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gobi user here, i'm not aware of wind noise on mine, had it 4 years now
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:42 AM   #12
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If you want to remove the freedom panels and have a two door, there are not a lot of options. Budget is the biggest issue.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:07 PM   #13
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Teraflex Nebo. Requires drilling. You almost don't know it is there. Cheaper than the Rhino rack system if you don't buy the entire slat kit. Quadratec sells individual slats.

My four door system has been very good.

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