Need roof rack advice - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Need roof rack advice

OK, so I am officially an FJ owner!! I found a white 2014 on a used car lot in Los Angeles, flew down from San Jose and drove it home! The prior owner tricked this thing out... I couldn't be more happy with the vehicle. So there is one issue and I have read a lot of the posts about... roof racks. Damn, there is tons of info out there. So many options it is baffling my mind. So here are my needs, driving on snow trips to Tahoe from Santa Cruz, about 4-5 hours with snow boards and stuff about 6 times per year, going camping with a family of three (1 adults one kid and a small dog) a few times per year. I have a Thule box that I want to mount on the rack but I really don't need a hard core rack for adventure traveling. I did see this one I liked a lot due to the price, style and what looks like good functionality... www.prinsudesignstudio.com

Any feedback on this rack or something similar that might fit my needs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:25 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

My $.02, the rack you selected is something along the lines of what I would suggest. There are a few other flat racks available out there too. I have the OEM rack,while I think it does have some visual appeal it really isn't that functional. The tubes are too large for most strap hooks, the raised sides make hauling even a couple sheets of plywood a precarious adventure in creative security.
The lower profile might also help if you with clearance for parking garages or even at home if you have a lift.

Wish I hadn't added the OEM to mine and gone this route.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:29 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

You can also look at the frontrunner slimline 2 and the rhino platform rack both of which are aluminum like the prinsu rack. There is a groupbuy on Tacomaworld right now for the rhino platform rack.

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:05 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

When I buy a new rack for my RTT, I'm buying a BajaRack.

What size tires will fit on my FJ?

The owner's manual for your FJ is right here. <--- This is a link. Many answers to your questions are contained within.

See the relationship between highway speed and MPG here.

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:59 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

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Sea_Lint previously said: View Post
So here are my needs, driving on snow trips to Tahoe from Santa Cruz, about 4-5 hours with snow boards and stuff about 6 times per year, going camping with a family of three (1 adults one kid and a small dog) a few times per year. I have a Thule box that I want to mount on the rack but I really don't need a hard core rack for adventure traveling. I did see this one I liked a lot due to the price, style and what looks like good functionality... www.prinsudesignstudio.com
I helped install one of these on a friend's truck a couple of months back, the individual parts feel light / cheap but the end result is strong enough. The main complaint was getting it straight front to rear, because the entire rack has to be assembled on the truck and you have to leave things loose enough to adjust them while screwing the cross bars in.

My advice: you just spent ~$30K+ on a new truck, don't go cheap on the rack. You'll want more storage up there than the Thule box, and a flat rack won't hold other stuff well. You want a rack with an edge around it to keep things from sliding off, the cargo net will help but ultimately the rack has to hold it in.

Either forget the Thule box and get one of these and a cargo net to throw over it:

ARB Rack - $912
ARB Rack w/ mesh floor - $1023
Baja Rack - $968

Or you can use your Thule box on something like this:

Gobi Ranger - $1495

And attach it to the cross bars. My advice :-). Congrats on the FJ. Good luck!

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:32 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

Jimmy has it right. Go ARB Aluminum full rack with the Mesh floor. Nuthin betta.


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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:58 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

Prinsu is good, slats are similar to Rhino Rack for fastening things to it. I have the Prinsu, it's decent, but the brackets could have been designed with a more FJ friendly angle. Not a big deal, they have slots to adjust for the angularity of the FJ roof line.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:19 AM
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re: Need roof rack advice

While i like the mesh floors of racks which bajarack and arb makes, i don't like the fact that it is not easy to clean the roof. After having the bajarack (no mesh), it is difficult for my short self to reach and clean, the roof had become chalky because we all know the clear coat sucks. The time has come to finally complete my graphite-out as i planned since 2009. I cleaned it off, clayed and used some other product (i forget) to get it back to white and had it wrapped. Now i am not so concerned about the roof not getting much attention in cleaning detail.


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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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re: Need roof rack advice

Thanks Dutch. Not gonna go with the OEM for sure. Seems like too many negatives. Cheers.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:35 PM
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re: Need roof rack advice

Quote:
Sea_Lint previously said: View Post
OK, so I am officially an FJ owner!! I found a white 2014 on a used car lot in Los Angeles, flew down from San Jose and drove it home! The prior owner tricked this thing out... I couldn't be more happy with the vehicle. So there is one issue and I have read a lot of the posts about... roof racks. Damn, there is tons of info out there. So many options it is baffling my mind. So here are my needs, driving on snow trips to Tahoe from Santa Cruz, about 4-5 hours with snow boards and stuff about 6 times per year, going camping with a family of three (1 adults one kid and a small dog) a few times per year. I have a Thule box that I want to mount on the rack but I really don't need a hard core rack for adventure traveling. I did see this one I liked a lot due to the price, style and what looks like good functionality... www.prinsudesignstudio.com

Any feedback on this rack or something similar that might fit my needs would be greatly appreciated.
I've had a Prinsu rack on my '14 FJ for several years, and I am extremely satisfied with the rack design, although the design of the mounting system provided with the rack is unacceptable. I did a pretty meticulous review of ALL the racks available for FJs before finally selecting the Prinsu. I wanted all-aluminum construction to avoid the inevitable rust problems with poorly-applied or scratched powdercoat paint, especially on an iceburg FJ, and one that gave maximum flexibility in attaching accessories and configuring it for special functions.

The real beauty of the Prinsu rack is that it is designed to use 80/20 tee-slot extrusions for the crossmembers. This allows amazing flexibility in constructing all sorts of custom brackets & enclosures for mounting RTTs, fuel and water containers, cargo boxes, solar panels, radio antennas, sleeping platforms, etc, etc.

If you're not familiar with the 80?20 aluminum framing system, imagine a fully-modular, beautifully-finished, industrial duty, all-aluminum man-size Erector set with thousands of different component parts that allow you to very quickly assemble (and disassemble) any kind of structure you can imagine.

Go to www.8020.net and take a look at the system, you'll see what I mean.

I ended up buying only the side rails from Prinsu, and buying an assortment of different width crossmembers from my local 80/20 distributor. I got them a little longer than "stock" to better match the width of a Maggiolina RTT, and used a combination of 1" and 3" wide extrusions to match the RTT's mounting points.

The mounting system supplied with the side rails was, in my opinion, NOT ACCEPTABLE and completely missed Toyota's design intent with the OEM rack mounting system. I designed a completely different mounting system that does not utilize any type of gooped-on sealant. (Unfortunately, I can't divulge the unique design features yet.)

My FJ was not originally equipped with a roof rack, and wind noise, while noticeable, was not objectionable. After installing the rack, I thought wind noise was horrific above 50 MPH. Not being able to compare noise levels against the OEM roof rack I have no point of reference, and I was not able to take decibel readings of actual wind noise levels before I installed the rack.

However, after installing the fairly well streamlined Maggiolina RTT, wind noise was reduced significantly. I'll take some noise level measurements soon and post them here.

The RTT installed:


Showing the flexibility of the 80/20 framing system. This rack for Scepter fuel and water containers could just as easily been mounted to the roof rack If I didn't have the RTT.




Last edited by FJtest; 03-20-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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