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Discussion Starter #1
While I’ve loved the rackless FJ, no matter how efficiently I pack, between a wife and two growing kids we're constantly running out of space. So I’ve been researching racks and I’m stuck.

I’ve narrowed it down to Frontrunner, Rhino Rack, and Prinsu based on reading all the posts here.

Primarily using the rack for recovery gear, spare fluids, storage, and occasional skis. Also plan to attach a Batwing awning or similar. No plans for a rooftop tent, and need to use the hitch for bikes.

Want to keep it low profile, preferably lower than the factory rack. Not going to DIY or customize so the Frontrunner and Rhino are most appealing, but I like the look of the Prinsu as it hugs the roof. Also don’t want to be adding excess weight up top, so the lighter the rack, the better.

Frontrunner is local to me in SoCal so that’s a plus, but not a deal breaker.

All advice welcome...


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This topic comes up from time to time. Here is a recent thread that might be helpful:


Also a link in this thread to my Prinsu roofrack thread. I own the Prinsu Rack and will say that it is better for a DIY mindset who wants to figure out how to best make it work for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This topic comes up from time to time. Here is a recent thread that might be helpful:


Also a link in this thread to my Prinsu roofrack thread. I own the Prinsu Rack and will say that it is better for a DIY mindset who wants to figure out how to best make it work for them.
I had read through that one, and had me leaning towards Frontrunner. However, the most recent post in the Prinsu thread was from 2018 and mentioned there were some design changes so wondering if things got better, worse, or the same.

I followed along with the various fairings, mounts, spacers, and wind noise discussions on the Prinsu.


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Five years after installation, I'm 100% satisfied with my Prinsu. One of the biggest advantages is the incredible flexibility of the 80/20 T-slot extrusions used as crossbars, with the huge selection of brackets, clamps, hardware, etc. Truly a high-tech erector set, with everything fabricated from high-quality anodized aluminum. Assemble everything with stainless fasteners, and it will be corrosion free for decades. For a light-duty setup, you can use only 1" X 1" crossbars. For added stiffness and load capacity, you can use 1" X 2" crossbars, or any combination thereof. I use the 1" X 2" crossbars where the RTT attaches, with 1" X 1" crossbars at all the remaining locations. I used crossbars 51" wide, 1" wider than "standard", to better compliment the width of my Maggiolina Extreme RTT.

After 2 FJ Summits and many, many miles of assorted off-roading with hard-shell RTT mounted, nothing has loosened, shifted, or corroded.

Every example of a welded-steel rack I've seen has eventually shown rust, regardless of manufacturer.
 

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I have the baja rack and love it so far. It's a lower profile than stock. It's a full size rack. I have a batwing awning on mine as well as a shower room. Fairly light. Just came back from a trip with the highlift jack, 10ga of water and 6gal of fuel on it along with my awning and shower room. As far as wind noise it is very quiet I really dont notice a difference from reckless. They sell mounts for awnings. As far as rust goes. I know bajarack stands behind their racks.


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"As far as rust goes. I know bajarack stands behind their racks."

Possibly, but you are responsible for the costs of crating and shipping the rack back to Bajarack, and return shipping back to you. This could be 50% of the cost of a new rack.

With "modular" aluminum racks line Prinsu and Frontrunner, there will never be a rust problem, and individual sections of the rack can be replaced if they are ever damaged.
 

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I have the same issue as you, family of four here and never enough room inside of the FJ.

Before I talk about the rack, just wanted to remind you to make sure you use up all the little nooks and crannies that you can find in your truck, I've stashed 2L Nelgene bottles to the side of the backseats near the floor, there's work lights stuffed in where the factory jack is, there's an ammo can with a bottle jack under the hood, there's a snatch strap under the driver seat and a pair of shackles and a small jump starter under the passenger seat, there's also molle panels on the back of both front seats with pouches on both, there's visor storage, a bigger center console (Tuffy Box), and even more molle pouches attached in the back to the fold down table and baskets (springtail), on the side on the center console (orangeboxx), and on the ceiling in the trunk (refinedcycle), etc...

BUT, even with all the above storage ideas, I went with the Front Runner Rack. I personally think it's totally worth the price. Dont have to worry about rust since it's aluminum and it cuts down on some weight. I've stored all sorts of stuff up there for trips, but most recently my roof system consists of my permanently mounted 100w solar panel, a pair of maxtrax, and 4 wolf packs with the lightest stuff I have (bedding, sleeping bags, etc) to keep the weight off the roof. I also have two ARB awnings mounted on it as well (one on the rear and one on the passenger side).

If you're in the OC area, you're more than welcome to swing by and take a look at it. Just PM if you're interested.
 

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I have a Frontrunner Slimline 2 on my 2014 Tacoma and my wife has a full length Prinsu on her 2014 FJ.

they are very similar in function and versatility, but I must say that I think the Frontrunner is heavier duty, but the Prinsu is much more affordable.

Both are very nice and huge improvements over theOEM FJ rack
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the advice, looks like Frontrunner will best meet my needs. Now to find a group buy


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Discussion Starter #15
I have the same issue as you, family of four here and never enough room inside of the FJ.

Before I talk about the rack, just wanted to remind you to make sure you use up all the little nooks and crannies that you can find in your truck, I've stashed 2L Nelgene bottles to the side of the backseats near the floor, there's work lights stuffed in where the factory jack is, there's an ammo can with a bottle jack under the hood, there's a snatch strap under the driver seat and a pair of shackles and a small jump starter under the passenger seat, there's also molle panels on the back of both front seats with pouches on both, there's visor storage, a bigger center console (Tuffy Box), and even more molle pouches attached in the back to the fold down table and baskets (springtail), on the side on the center console (orangeboxx), and on the ceiling in the trunk (refinedcycle), etc...

BUT, even with all the above storage ideas, I went with the Front Runner Rack. I personally think it's totally worth the price. Dont have to worry about rust since it's aluminum and it cuts down on some weight. I've stored all sorts of stuff up there for trips, but most recently my roof system consists of my permanently mounted 100w solar panel, a pair of maxtrax, and 4 wolf packs with the lightest stuff I have (bedding, sleeping bags, etc) to keep the weight off the roof. I also have two ARB awnings mounted on it as well (one on the rear and one on the passenger side).

If you're in the OC area, you're more than welcome to swing by and take a look at it. Just PM if you're interested.
Love this setup, and while I don’t have as many extreme storage needs, I will definitely use this for reference as to what’s possible.


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I got the Frontrunner during this past Black Friday sale (20% off), I really like it but some of the bolts are rusting so I'm going to replace them with stainless steel fasteners.
 

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I got the Frontrunner during this past Black Friday sale (20% off), I really like it but some of the bolts are rusting so I'm going to replace them with stainless steel fasteners.
That's weird, the mounting bolts from Front Runner should have been stainless steel to begin with. I think the black painted bolts are steel though and the paint should be protecting them. I don't at all doubt that yours are rusting, totally sucks that they are.

I know my corner cap pieces are corroding a little, and I know someone else that had theirs rusted but I believe they said that Front Runner warrantied it for them, and if not, Front Runner will be more than happy to sell you replacements at least.
 

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totally agree: replace all of the rusting fasteners with stainless steel ASAP

their rust will spread to the other carbon steel parts nearby if left as is

If you have powder coating peeling off of a steel roof rack frame (or trailer hitch, or aftermarket bumper, etc.), that's what aftermarket powder coat does: it peels off in sheets because so few powder coaters actually follow the proper procedure to control bonding to the substrate. In that case, if the steel is now badly corroded, remove, sandblast, treat the surface with a phosphate wash, apply a high quality primer and top coat over that with any quality brush on paint, which will bond to the steel far better than poorly applied powder coat ever will.
 
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