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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was not a lot of information on this product so I figured I'd take some pix and post a review with first impressions.

My usage scenario:
I use my Jeep for hunting and fishing. One of the challenges is when hunting out of the vehicle (like upland hunting) we tend to grab the guns, walk 4 or 5 miles in a loop back to the vehicle, then drive to a new spot, repeating this process 4 or 5 times in a day. Stowing and retrieving the guns is a big consideration - I want them to be safe & secure, but also readily available because sometimes you drive up on a covey of quail and want to get after them quickly.

After considering scabbards of various sorts I decided they take up too much of the precious cargo space in the Jeep. While researching fridge slide-outs, I stumbled upon this product which I think was designed by a forum member (Jscherb) and then licensed to MorRyde for production. I bought it from Retrofit Offroad (link here)

For $200 I figured I'd give it a try. There is also a $700 one from Grabars that locks, but I just need it as temporary storage while hunting, so the extra $500 for locking wasn't worth it to me.

Installation
The install took me about 45 minutes and most of that time was because the instructions suck and the tiny thumbail pictures don't help. I ended up with a bunch of extra nuts and for the life of me cannot figure out why they were included.

The top hinges mount to existing rivnuts in the roll bar - you just have to cut a tiny slit to insert the M8 screw through the cover and secure it to the rivnut




Then you clamp the support bracket to the trailing arms of the roll cage with U-bolts. Holding everything in place while doing this solo was a bit tricky, and figuring out the orientation of these clamps took me a while since I had a bunch of extra hardware and as I said, the instructions aren't very good.




Other than figuring out how to orient these clamps, the only other tricky part was making sure everything was level, then holding it in place while tightening down the U-bolts.

One comment about these U-bolts (and the kit in general). It's a genius idea and works really well, but the kit looks like it is put together with very generic hardware that wasn't customized for this specific application. Most of it is riveted together or held with machine screws and nyloc nuts. It has a strong "DIY" vibe to it, but that doesn't really put me off. But if you are an OCD person that spends thousands to have "the best" then this might not be for you.





The one thing I found very disappointing is the plastic spacers and 4" of excess material hanging out the back of the U-bolts. Why not cut them and thread them? I'd pay $25 or $50 more for the kit if it included black hardware that was cut to fit . Now I will probably be threading these the rest of the way and cutting them off, then painting them with black Krylon Fusion paint.



Overall I'm very happy with the way this operates. At first I installed a set of QuickFist "weapon clamps" but then discovered that they really don't work well with any of the guns I would typically want to carry. So I replaced them with regular "medium" QuickFist clamps for the stocks and mini Quick Fist clamps for the barrels and it works like a charm. I will probably replace the nyloc nuts with some wing nuts so that I can easily reconfigure it based on what I want to carry. All my mounting hardware is marine grade stainless, but I may swap it out with nitride coated fasteners to have a darker color.







When closed, there is plenty of clearance for even "thick" items - these two guns only take up about 1/2 the available overhead clearance





For those of you wondering whether a pump shotgun with 28" barrel will fit sideways in the rack, I'm happy to say "Yes, just barely"





I'm not sure if it was shortened (narrowed) to avoid interference at the rear. (I can't see how it would) but the rack doesn't take full advantage of the available space in a hard top immediately behind it. My guess is that this is in order to accommodate a soft top, but its disappointing for me, since I'm losing about 5" of potential space (which would effectively increase the storage area by about 30%).

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Video of it in operation:

 

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Very nice writeup and video. As for extending the threads on the ubolts, I bet those are rolled threads and the base material diameter will be too small to get good threads by running a die along. A simple alternative would be all thread and a sleeve of black hose for the u shape. Or, you could begin with quarter inch rod and die thread each end. I'm also something of a purist, but I believe I'd go for the all thread idea and a length of fuel hose, then convince myself it looked grand. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very nice writeup and video. As for extending the threads on the ubolts, I bet those are rolled threads and the base material diameter will be too small to get good threads by running a die along. A simple alternative would be all thread and a sleeve of black hose for the u shape. Or, you could begin with quarter inch rod and die thread each end. I'm also something of a purist, but I believe I'd go for the all thread idea and a length of fuel hose, then convince myself it looked grand. :D


You’re right, the shank portion didn’t have enough thickness for good threads, but I went ahead and ran a 3/18-16 die over it and used some Nyloc nuts. I was able torque them down plenty tight without stripping so I think the threads will hold. Not ideal but if they fail I’ll probably fall back on your idea of using threaded rod bent into a U and then cover with some 3/8” ID fuel line.

Amazing how much cleaner it looks now




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Sbsyncro, thank you for the review. I have been eyeing that system lately.
You covered what I was curious about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excellent write up. I bet you could easily fab a small rearward extension to increase the capacity.
Thanks. If only I had a sheet metal brake a mig/tig welder, and a powder coating oven... :D
 

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Great review! I wonder why it is that most all manufacturers FAIL hugely when it comes to instructions? Seems to be the most common complaint in every review I read. It doesn't matter if it's Jeep accessories or kayak accessories! I suspect whoever writes them has a hand in the design and doesn't see it from a first time installer. I agree on your assessment of the hardware as well! Couldn't cost that much more to source or powder coat the fasteners.

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I looked but must have missed it..... What is the weight limit? I read that people put spare water jugs up there (I think it read 2 1/2 gallon jugs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I looked but must have missed it..... What is the weight limit? I read that people put spare water jugs up there (I think it read 2 1/2 gallon jugs).


I don’t recall seeing a weight limit. Judging by what I see, i wouldn’t worry until it got over about 40 lbs or so. I considered strapping my bottle jack and lug wrench up there but the thought of them turning into 70mph missiles to the back of the head in the event of an accident put me off the idea.


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I know @jscherb has a 2 or 2.5g rotopax on his with a couple MOLLE bags or at least that's what he shown in the past. Logically, the weakest link in the system is the plastic retainers that hold the folding bar. Maybe put some mini quick fists there and really increase load capacity?
 
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I like the Grenadeacorp Concealed Storage better because that thing uses giant bars and screams that something is up there.


I agree though, all instructions from nearly every manufacturer are sub par.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I like the Grenadeacorp Concealed Storage better because that thing uses giant bars and screams that something is up there.

Honestly with the dark tint on my rear windows you’d be hard pressed to notice it, even when staring into the windows with your hands cupped to your temples. The side bags help, I suppose.

To the average person it probably looks like “regular Jeep stuff”.

That being said I would not leave my car parked for 4 hours in a parking lot at night with guns up there. But I wouldn’t do that with the $700 ones either.

The only time this will be carrying firearms is while I’m actively hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Posting a quick follow up to this rack after a couple of hunting trips and about 2,500 miles driven with it empty, semi-loaded with MOLLE pouches, and fully loaded with 2 long guns and ammo pouches.

Still very happy with the function of this unit - other Jeep owners always give it a "whoa, thats cool!" reaction.

However, the price point at which this is sold does definitely involve some trade-offs in build quality. The rack, when fully loaded squeaks pretty badly when going over uneven terrain. This appears to be caused by one corner of the rack making direct contact with the rear bar. There is a cut-out, but the clearance is insufficient, so the bar that swings up to support the rear of the shelf is rubbing against the cut-out. (here's a picture of the cut-out as viewed from below):



I'm still really happy with it, but as with the installation, it requires a bit of tweaking to make it "just right".
 
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