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Old 12-04-2019, 05:19 PM
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JKU roof weight limit

All,

I have looked for hours and read plenty on this, but what is the real deal with what you can and can't get away with on the roof without a roof rack that is mounted to the frame and wind shield? I know in the manual it says the roof is only for environment things like snow, rain...etc...etc. If that were really the case why are their roof racks that mount to the rain gutter

The reason I ask....I want to put an 80 lb or so kayak on top and I just want to put it flat on the roof with like pool noodles or something and strap it on with straps through the windows. Kayak is an Old Town Topwater 120 PDL, 12.5 feel log and about 80 lbs without the seat and drive.

Anyone have thoughts on this....can I do it, don't do it and get a rack....Has anyone else just done this? I really don't want to spend a bunch more on a rack. I was going to tire delete and throw it in the back, but don't think I will be doing that.

P.S. - I tried to talk my wife into a new Gladiator, but that got nixed

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Old 12-04-2019, 05:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by garretd View Post
All,

I have looked for hours and read plenty on this, but what is the real deal with what you can and can't get away with on the roof without a roof rack that is mounted to the frame and wind shield? I know in the manual it says the roof is only for environment things like snow, rain...etc...etc. If that were really the case why are their roof racks that mount to the rain gutter

The reason I ask....I want to put an 80 lb or so kayak on top and I just want to put it flat on the roof with like pool noodles or something and strap it on with straps through the windows. Kayak is an Old Town Topwater 120 PDL, 12.5 feel log and about 80 lbs without the seat and drive.

Anyone have thoughts on this....can I do it, don't do it and get a rack....Has anyone else just done this? I really don't want to spend a bunch more on a rack. I was going to tire delete and throw it in the back, but don't think I will be doing that.

P.S. - I tried to talk my wife into a new Gladiator, but that got nixed

Convince your gladiator that you need a new wife. Simple problem, simpler solution. 80lbs distributed across the roof wouldn't be too bad, but you'd be better putting in a support system to play it safe.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:49 PM   #3
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I just returned from 6 days in Terlingua and Big Bend National Park. It rained, we had 30-40mph winds. We drove roughly 900 miles round trip. About 90-100 miles were on dirt, mud, clay, gravel, big rocks, little rocks, etc. All of that had about 140-150lbs in my gutter mounted roof rack. EAG mounts to the gutter above the passenger door and the hinge mount for the rear window. Last year I traveled with about 70lbs on the roof for two months while in Yellowstone, MT, WY, ID and CO.

FCA does not load test the roof because it is not intended to hold weight... per se. They advise NOT TO add weight but guys like me use do it all the time.

THe question no one has had an answer to is this: Have you ever seen a roof or gutters crack due to weight?

All of this plus a bin of clothing and boots.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:01 PM   #4
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I checked pg 37 of the 2013 JKU Sport.."The hard top is not designed to carry any additional loads such as roof racks, spare tires, building, hunting, or camping supplies, and/or luggage, etc. Also, it was not designed as a structural member of the vehicle, and thus cannot carry any additional loads other than environmental (rain, snow, etc.).
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:27 PM
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I checked pg 37 of the 2013 JKU Sport.."The hard top is not designed to carry any additional loads such as roof racks, spare tires, building, hunting, or camping supplies, and/or luggage, etc. Also, it was not designed as a structural member of the vehicle, and thus cannot carry any additional loads other than environmental (rain, snow, etc.).
And from my original post....

I know in the manual it says the roof is only for environment things like snow, rain...etc...etc.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:29 AM   #6
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Side note. Not all racks are exo. I use a teraflex nebo rack. It attaches through the roof to the sports bar.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:36 AM
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Side note. Not all racks are exo. I use a teraflex nebo rack. It attaches through the roof to the sports bar.
Yeah, I have seen those as well. I prefer not to drill into the top. I have to believe there are tons of people who just put things on the top, no rack and just strap it to the roof. I'm hoping they pipe in on this thread. I also can't find anything on interior supports that might strap to the rollbar that would just support the roof. I might just have to make something to do that and just throw the kayak on the top

I have read a lot of threads about using the rain gutter racks too and I don't get how they can on good conscious sell those knowing the roof does not support load per the owner manual. I have yet to read how the rain gutter broke due to them either, but I'm sure there are stories I just can't find.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by USStrongman View Post

THe question no one has had an answer to is this: Have you ever seen a roof or gutters crack due to weight?
I guess it now comes down to the OP coming back here later, and telling us just how much weight he was able to put up there, before his roof cracked.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:03 AM   #9
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I put some Yakima channels on my hard top, the kind for mounting on a truck bed shell. From there you can mount the Yakima feet and cross bars. With that set up, I’ve carried skis, bikes, camping gear, etc. Stuff that’s bulky but not heavy. I’d think a kayak or canoe would be fine too. But more weight, such as a roof top tent, would require a more robust set up. I had to drill holes through the top, but that’s not been a big deal. No leaks, cracks, etc. So for the OP: the top can take the modest amount of weight you mention. You just need a system for fastening it down.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:27 AM   #10
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
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I've been looking into this system https://www.smsparts.com/shop since i also do not want to drill into my hardtop. Seems to be working well from the info I've seen.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
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Its a riff on Yakima/Thule clamps. Cleaner updates design though.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:27 PM   #13
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I've been looking into this system https://www.smsparts.com/shop since i also do not want to drill into my hardtop. Seems to be working well from the info I've seen.
To each his own I guess, but I’m skeptical that the rain rails on a hard top will reliably support a 100+ lb RTT when wheeling and then another 500 lbs or so of people.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:27 PM   #14
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I've loaded a pretty good amount of lumber straight on the roof of my 2011 and haven't had an issue yet. I would estimate my heaviest load was probably pushing 250-300lbs. I put I think like 4 sheets of plywood and probably 20ish 2x4x8 studs and strapped it all down. It was well distributed due to the plywood but I personally wouldn't have a problem with slapping a kayak straight on the roof. It's a personal choice to take that chance but imho it's a small risk for what you're describing

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Old 12-05-2019, 03:01 PM   #15
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i have stood on the roof with my 265lb fat ass and its fine. would i recommend doing that? not really, but it can handle it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 03:55 PM   #16
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To each his own I guess, but Iím skeptical that the rain rails on a hard top will reliably support a 100+ lb RTT when wheeling and then another 500 lbs or so of people.
Go a different route... but Im here to tell you that after carrying in excess of 70 and as much as 150'ish pounds for a total of more than 4 months of travel in nearly three years... my roof is fine. How many people have you read about having issues with a "cracked" top or "broken" gutters? I am pretty active reader and I have seen ZERO. THere are countless nay-sayers telling everyone NO, without a shred of experience. Only cracks and broken tops I see are people trying to remove their tops by themselves or improperly.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:24 PM
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Thanks for all the input....I think I'm going to go with right on the roof with pool noodles or something like that and straps through the windows. I can always put something between the rollbar and top on the inside for support too.

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