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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I missed Sema last fall so I didn't get to see the new Rhino Rack system for the JK. I was hoping to get some feedback from those who have it or have seen it in person. I'm looking at getting a rack that can handle snowboards, surfboards, kayaks, lite luggage etc. I keep the JK in the garage so height is the main concern. I have about 6 3/4" to the header ( if I don't change tire brand in the future). My other items on the wish list is that it's fairly lite, streamlined in the wind and well built. I have looked at Gobi Stealth which is very nice but not quit right for me and maybe a little too tall. The write ups indicate that the Rhino System is rated for 230lbs of cargo or so. The system has many add ons from bike racks to kayak rollers and awnings. It's made from aluminum and composites that they say will not fade or rust. The system is mounted through the hardtop (drilling required) and can be supported in two fashions. One is made by Rhino which I believe they call the Backbone. The system utilizes an interior frame on each side of the jeep that mounts along the hardtop's side windows. The other mounting system is made by Maximus which also mounts through the hardtop then the bracket mounts directly to the roll bars. Based on photos the flat pioneer platform on the backbone system looks super clean and stealth. I read in another forum that it adds about 5" in height if you go with the flat rack rather than the one with the side rails. So, in a long winded way, for those that have seen it or have it, what do you think. Is is well built? Any wind noise? What brackets did you use? I've included a photo of the system that I'm thinking about. Any feedback is appreciated. I searched and have not found many reviews. Thanks again!
 

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I have a frontrunner and it is super strong...not too high, especially if you avoid the side rails. So, pretty stealth. You can hear it at 70mph...but it is a Jeep. You hear the wind at 70. Kleenex box shape...

You should look at it too....it does come in full and part length versions...I have full length.

I have nothing to do with them. Been happy.

See the youtube video where the lifted the JKU off the ground via the rack....they are made for true safari use in Africa, not just simple stuff. Very modular and small shipping to you...they are just very well engineered. I happen to be very impressed by it (had a voyager rack and a baja for rovers...and a hannibal)
 

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I talked to a Rhino Rack vendor (OK4WD) at the Overland Expo East this past October. The Back-Bone system and rack is really impressive. They had the rack on their 4 door wrangler and had all of the attachments on another rack on a Schutt Industries Jeep as well.
The versatility of the optional accessories was awesome, the fact it was aluminum is a plus for rust prevention, and it's low profile for getting into my garage was nice.
There are a couple of things that I didn't like about them though. I'd have to permanently attach it to my hard top with screws and be 100% committed to keeping it on forever. I also swap tops in the summer so I'd be without a rack while the soft top is on. Plus adding lights to it looked difficult, and I'd think would require another hole drilled in the hardtop.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge on the Rhino Rack with the Pioneer Platform. It should be in next week. For those that are interested, most vendors are currently running a 20% off sale on Rhino Rack products until the 25th plus free shipping saving me over $400. I'll let you guys know what I think after installation.
 

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After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge on the Rhino Rack with the Pioneer Platform. It should be in next week. For those that are interested, most vendors are currently running a 20% off sale on Rhino Rack products until the 25th plus free shipping saving me over $400. I'll let you guys know what I think after installation.
Did you consider the AEV roof rack? You didn't mention it and I wondered why?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
SPB, I did look at the AEV, Gobi Stealth and the new LOD rack. It really just came down to personal preference. I debated back and fouth on a system with an external support frame vs one without. They are all good systems with different looks and benefits. Some people don't like drilling into the hardtop while others don't like the external support frame. I really like the look of the AEV and the Rhino Rack with the Pioneer Platform. I decided to go with Rhino mainly because I can still take the hard top off and on in the same amount of time once it's installed. The rack stays with the top. I liked the way the load was distributed along 6 mounts. Four of the mounts are reinforced with the internal Backbone system while the remaining two are above the B pillars. Rhino has a new side rail that you can take on and off easily before trips if you want side rails but don't want the added height daily which is a concern for me with the garage. I like all the accessories like the rollers, awnings etc. I know most roof racks have similar accessories or even the same ones but it seems that Rhino makes a ton of add-ons that will work with this system. Bottom line is that there are a ton of great roof racks for our JK's. Who's to say one is better than another. It really comes down to personal preference, what you intend to do with the rack and looks. I also like the weight and the low profile. Hopefully it won't change my MPG or have wind noise. There's not a lot of posts on this rack so I'll let you know. There's a few you tube videos that helped me make up my mind. A couple from SEMI last year and an install video. We will see. It's supposed to be delivered today.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
SPB, I called the manufacture while doing the install today because I had a question. The guy told me that Rhino makes the AEV rack as well.
 

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Got the Rhino Rack with the Backbone System and Pioneer Tray in and installed it today. The packaging was great, the finish and powder coating looks great and the install was pretty straight forward. I received two sets of directions that contradicted each other. One called for one spacer for each foot and while the other called for cutting the front and middle spacers for the feet in half and two spacers on each rear feet. A call to the manufacturer today clarified that one spacer for the front and middle feet while the rear feet require two. Also, you do have to cut the front and middle spacers in half to allow room for tray hardware. Overall, I think the system is well made, looks stealthy and clean and fits nicely in the garage. I'm very happy with the rack so far. I will update with wind noise, durability and accessories as I go.
 

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Love love love the look of this and the Front Runner. Light weight, does not add much height BUT the lack of soft top option is a such a deal breaker for me.
 

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Norcaljeep,

How long did the install take? Was it difficult? My backbone and pioneer tray will arrive tomorrow. I have an app to have a company do the install, but am wondering if the $300 is better spent on other toys! Thoughts?
 

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The literature I've seen lists a weight limit of 264 lbs. Doesn't sound like enough for a roof top tent. Anyone seen a different load rating for static conditions?

Mike
 

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Sorry, just got the email today that someone posted. The rack was very straight forward to install. Two guys are enough to install. Install took a couple of hours. The rack feels very strong. The Backbone supports the rear portion of the rack while the front portion is supported by a bracket that you install above the B pillar. Dirty Dutchman, you should do the install yourself. Very basic. Also, true that it can't be used with a soft top. As far as the rating, I did see some photos of a couple big guys standing on it during SEMI last year but have not seen any additional documentation in writing that it will support more. I have had it on for a couple of weeks now. No additional wind noise that I can tell and I haven't seen any MPG change. As far as the weight limit, even the Gobi Stealth with the external supports only lists an additional 36lbs load in writing so I think this rack is in the same general ballpark as others. My overall grade for the rack so far is an A. I absolutely love the look. Flows with the lines of the top without being too distracting. Now it's time to buy some rack accessories.
 

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The Gobi and BajaRack, and several others, have separate weight ratings for static and dynamic conditions (i.e. parked vs driving). They list the dynamic rating as 300 lbs, but their static rating is 600 lbs. This is aimed at uses like roof top tents where you only have the higher loads when stopped for the night.

I'm in the market for a rack but want to run a roof top tent. I like the Rhino Rack concept, so I'll wait a bit to see if they are suitable for an RTT. The MBRP rack is very similar in concept, along the lines of the internal supports, and it is plenty strong enough for a tent.

Mike
 
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