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Old 12-09-2011, 02:32 AM #1
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Roof Rack Weight rating?

Wondering how much weight can go in the roof rack system. Im making my own safari rack and was going to use the rail that was already installed for the system. The rack im designing is going to come out at 260+lbsw/ plain carbon steel, or i can spend the money and get my mig set up for alum, $300+ plus extra cost in material, and be about 90lbs, 2"x2"x.250" tubing with some sheet in the center for storing stuff up top and its not done yet.. My worry is that im going to be putting to much weight up top and throw off its balance, or put to much weight up top and damage something.

Drawing done in Solid Works

basic drawing. need racks for gas cans and cut outs for staps, etc.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:55 AM #2
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The rack im designing is going to come out at 260+lbsw/ plain carbon steel
As long as you never go off-roading I am sure it will not matter. I am generally against roof-racks, especially when on the trail. Every pound you add on the roof will make you that much more likely to roll over. Body-lifts are also bad in this sense because they alter the center of gravity.

Just my opinion but 260 lbs is a LOT of weight to add to the roof, hell even 100 lbs sounds like a lot to me. Also that weight doesn't even include loading up the roof rack which is the whole point of having on in the first place. By the time you add 75+ lbs worth of gear you could be pushing 350 lbs of extra weight all at roof level.

If it is possible to make it out of aluminum then go that route. I know that can be pricey but it would weigh so much less. I am not sure exactly but I am guessing ~ 1/5 the weight.

Cool drawing by the way
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:06 AM #3
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either steel or aluminum, I think you're design is too stout ... I'm all for overkill, but you could put less half that amount of metal up there and still be killing it .... maybe get some tips from others on what gauge steel or thickness aluminum they used ... you'd be surprised at how strong 1/16" tubing is ... 1/4" thick is crazy heavy and $$$$$
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:24 AM #4
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The full length bajarack weighs 65lbs (from their site) and uses 1" and 1/2" tubing.

260lbs is super heavy. The factory crossbars are only rated for 150lbs, I don't know what the roof is rated for. Bajarack and arb roof racks have a load rating of 300 lbs I believe.

I would look into using thinner and smaller tubing to decrease your weight as much as possible. As already stated, the more weight you put up top the more difficult it will be to drive off road and it will affect your handling in general with that much weight.

Also, using a plastic mesh for the flooring of the rack will decrease your weight, just have crossbars and lay the mesh on top of them.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:45 PM #5
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you will crush your roof trust me! i build roof racks, and have built two different ones for my 4runner, the facotry rails are rated for 165lbs, your rack should weigh no more than 60lbs max if it does its over kill. the one i have now is around 60lbs and if i were to catch it on a limb that was big enough/strong enough, i would rip the rack off the roof before the rack would be damaged. you dont need a floor thats been dimple dyed either. sure its strong, but that is not a structural part of you truck. are you making this rack a full length rack or just a half rack?
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:10 PM #6
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I agree. Your rack is WAY over-designed. I'm also currently designing a roof rack, and mine will only weigh about 35-40 lbs. I'll be using 1.5" diameter tubing with .090" wall thickness. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:12 PM #7
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WAY to heavy.
I would never use a rack that weighed anymore than about 65lbs tops.
If I were you I would copy something like a Baja Rack or buy one off of Craigslist for about $200.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:09 PM #8
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i only used that tube because it was a pre made spec in soilid works and it saved me a lot of time in having to re draw the sizing(prob an good half hour-1hr and i did that drawing here in 30 min..) for the tubes down to say...1x1x.125~ square tube., or just some smaller circle tubing.

the only "off roading" is the dirt road out to where i shoot where it has some soft sand and some rail road tracks to go over where my old danger ranger(not 4x4) got stuck.. I dont plan on doing any real trail, rock climbing or etc.. just dirt/mud roads. Its a work in progress and just need time to go back in and re-work the drawing to smaller specs. at least know i have a better of idea of where i need to design my specs round.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:17 PM #9
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Even if the roof was rated to hold that much weight, do you really want 275lbs on the roof of your presumably lifted SUV, sounds like a good way for your doors to meet the pavement.
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