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Any roof rack recommendations that are easily removable when not in use? The communal subterranean garage at my place has really low hanging pipes so I'll have to mount outside and remove before parking again. Will only be loading <100 lbs like a kayak at most. Also not ready to drill rails into my hardtop yet.

Really liking the low profile and minimal look on the Smittybilt Defender, but it's only for 4-drs because the side gutter mounting brackets won't reach forward far enough to be placed on the gutters of a 2-dr (the doors on a 2-dr start farther forward than the rear doors on a 4-dr).

I'm thinking if I just buy the separate mounting kit, I can find a generic basket but most mfg don't make baskets 4.5' wide.

Thoughts?
 

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Reconsider drilling the rails - can easily patch it up if you really change your mind, but it's an easy install and with care and silicone, will be leak free.
 

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I haven't seen one, but is there an option that is as small as/placed in the same area as the Defender, but mounts to the tub/bumper instead of to the hardtop? Something that 'floats', and could be used for hard or soft tops...
 

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Any roof rack recommendations that are easily removable when not in use? The communal subterranean garage at my place has really low hanging pipes so I'll have to mount outside and remove before parking again. Will only be loading <100 lbs like a kayak at most. Also not ready to drill rails into my hardtop yet.

Really liking the low profile and minimal look on the Smittybilt Defender, but it's only for 4-drs because the side gutter mounting brackets won't reach forward far enough to be placed on the gutters of a 2-dr (the doors on a 2-dr start farther forward than the rear doors on a 4-dr).

I'm thinking if I just buy the separate mounting kit, I can find a generic basket but most mfg don't make baskets 4.5' wide.

Thoughts?
Interested to see if you find a generic basket that will work. I do have a 4 door but I'm not keen on spending almost $500 for the smittybilt basket. I ordered the brackets and hope to do like you mentioned and find another basket I could make work. Seems I read recently where someone did the same but I cant find the post now ofcourse. I really like the design of the brackets not having to drill into my top and doesnt conflict with removing the freedom panels. Obviously not as heavy duty as other options but I dont plan on throwing alot of weight up there anyway.
 

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I have the Sherpa rack kit from Rugged Ridge. They make it for 2DR too. The "kit" version comes with the cross bars. Two bolts and two hand screws, and you can remove the rack. The only things left on the Jeep are the rear mounting brackets, which are hardly noticeable (mounted to the frame), and the integrated light bar.
You can even remove your freedom panels without touching the rack, and the rack tilts back for messing with the rest of the top. I like mine a lot!
 

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I used a basket from one of those trailer hitch carriers. I fit perfectly, and was able to get it low without thouching the top. Bit of drilling, self tapping screws
 

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How did you mount it? I have one of those hitch baskets sitting on my shelf in a box. Now that you mentioned it, I'm sure it's wide enough....not as long though. I'll have to pull it out. Luv to see pics of yours mounted.
 

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Yakima rail system may work

I'm running a 42" long Yakima rail kit on the hard top. Requires drilling a minimum of six 1/4" holes per rail.
With the caps on the feet, the total height above the roof line is 1-1/2". Takes about 3 minutes to pull off the cross bars, which are keyed the same as the Rocket Box.

Not a solution for heavy loads, but I'm comfortable up to about 150llbs static load.
Amazon.com: Yakima 42-Inch Hardtop Track Kit: Sports & Outdoors

Hth,



 

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I currently have this one for when I need to put simple stuff on top:



I've had the feet for probably over 15 years and as I've said in other threads, they've been used on 5 or so different cars over the years. All I did was get wider bars for the JK and call it done. It takes a minute or 2 to install and I think is better than the ones that just go to the gutter, as the feet distribute the weight better.

Another option if you are top down/off for any duration are some "roll bar mounts" that I saw a guy use with a Yakima basket. I think they were specifically for a TJ, but he had his on a JK, so I don't know why it wouldn't work.

Full disclosure, this won't be used much longer as I'm going to most likely get a Congo rack from kargomaster as we're going to try out the roof top tent action. But I'll be keeping this one either for use on yet another vehicle, or back to the Jeep at some point.
 

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Can't you just use something like this Thule unit: https://www.etrailer.com/multi-prod...rangler&hunter=roof&roofkit=1,3,7,Q&manuf=TRS

And then just use any old $100 or less roof basket on sale at Walmart? No drilling, whole thing should come off easily, and its less than half the price of something like the rugged ridge sherpa (although the sherpa is likely nicer and stronger).
This could work but reasons I don't like it....it relies entirely on the gutters which moves the whole unit forward and covers the freedom panels more and those feet sit up pretty high at 5 inches...add a basket on top of that for another 4-6" and its not really a low profile look anymore.
 

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I have the Bestop Highrock Overhead rack. Works great but I heard it is no longer made? Maybe you can find a vendor with one on the shelf. It has 2 rails that bolt over the sides of the tub and then cross bars slide into them. It's totally removable.

 

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I have Yakima rails as well with the rain gutter feet. I use it to mount 2 kayaks which are only about 40 lbs each so it feels pretty solid and I've never had any problems. I have a 4 door though which gives me some more room to space out the rails, it looks like you only have a 2 door so it may not be ideal for you - the rails would have to both be further forward and pretty close together.
 

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I currently have this one for when I need to put simple stuff on top:



I've had the feet for probably over 15 years and as I've said in other threads, they've been used on 5 or so different cars over the years. All I did was get wider bars for the JK and call it done. It takes a minute or 2 to install and I think is better than the ones that just go to the gutter, as the feet distribute the weight better.

Another option if you are top down/off for any duration are some "roll bar mounts" that I saw a guy use with a Yakima basket. I think they were specifically for a TJ, but he had his on a JK, so I don't know why it wouldn't work.

Full disclosure, this won't be used much longer as I'm going to most likely get a Congo rack from kargomaster as we're going to try out the roof top tent action. But I'll be keeping this one either for use on yet another vehicle, or back to the Jeep at some point.
Which rack is this? & Which size bar are you using?
 

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Semi related topic... I cant find the rack for a JK that mounts partly by using the rear window hinge bolts. I've seen a pic from the rear, but now I can not find it anywhere.
 

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Don't be afraid of installing a track system, it's fairly simple.

The Yakima system works great, easy install, easy on and off, sturdy enough for a sport rack.
 

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Which rack is this? & Which size bar are you using?
I'm pretty sure they are the 58" wide bars. They are just the standard Yakima round bars. The basket is again just the simple Yakima one with nothing special. The feet are WAY old like I said and I'm sure no longer available. I've seen the have an updated design, though, that I'm sure would work.
 

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I have the Bestop Highrock Overhead rack. Works great but I heard it is no longer made? Maybe you can find a vendor with one on the shelf. It has 2 rails that bolt over the sides of the tub and then cross bars slide into them. It's totally removable.

This is exactly the kind of 'floating' rack I was asking about earlier in the thread. Too bad it's no longer available.
 
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