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Old 05-24-2020, 02:09 PM #1
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Is a roof rack necessary for a rooftop tent?

I'm looking into the Tepui Hybox which measures 84"L x 55"W. Aftermarket roof racks (like the Sherpa Matterhorn) measure 92"L.

If the the tent pretty much covers all of the length of the rack, would I really need to spend another $1000+ for a rack? Are there brackets that would mount directly to the factory rails to mount the tent instead of mounting on a rack?
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:56 PM #2
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You might need to look into weight limits on your factory rails before you consider sleeping on them. I'm not familiar with 09, but i know on my 11 the factory rails are really only designed to handle the weight of one person even when you aren't moving. I went with Rhinoracks pioneer platform rack and their "backbone" rails. That combo supports 700+ lbs static and over 200lbs while driving.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:00 PM #3
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The roofs on our 'runners aren't exactly up to the task of handling much weight. After I pulled a headliner from a junkyard 'runner to grab a few items, I noticed that there is literally just a small "c" shaped piece of metal that works as a doubler for the factory racks mounting hardware ( riv-nuts).

I was ready to get a Sherpa rack system for my Tepui RTT but after seeing how flimsily our roofs are, there's no way I'm climbing my 235# body on top of the stock roof. I honestly wouldn't feel safe hauling the RTT up there, even though some do it. The stock cross bars will barely hold the weight of the tent by itself, no way they're going to support a person inside of the tent. Even with an aftermarket rack system spreading out the weight a bit, it's still only being supported by a thin piece of sheet metal. There needs to be a physical tie-in between the factory rack "doubler" and the side of the roof skin where it curves downwards on the sides of the upper body.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:58 PM #4
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@benjamin247

Given what was posted earlier about structural strength maybe I need to revisit my setup but I thought I would post some pics of what I did to mount my RTT.

I didn't want a basket style roof rack so I used square tubing for the small mounts on the roof rails as well as the cross bars. I wanted it as close to the roof top as possible to keep the center of gravity lower.

So far so good. I've been on bumpy forest service roads and highway speeds without any movement of the custom mounts, however, the front end of the RTT catches enough wind which flexes the actual 4Runner roof; this results in a bit of bounce from the front end of the RTT.

I'm in the process of extending the rails to install another mount further up front to spread the load.

To answer your question if you 'need' a roof rack, well, it depends on the mounting system of the RTT. My RTT mounting system requires enough clearance underneath it to get nuts on the bolts that hang down below the cross bars. If your RTT has a mounting system directly over the rails you may be able to skip a rack, basket or cross bars altogether.
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Is a roof rack necessary for a rooftop tent?-4run-jpg  Is a roof rack necessary for a rooftop tent?-4run-b-jpg  Is a roof rack necessary for a rooftop tent?-4run-c-jpg 
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:59 PM #5
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Legit set up Whakeen!!!
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:19 AM #6
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@Whakeen I like that! ����

Hmm...I wonder if adding a crossbar with a wind deflector to the front end of the roof would lessen wind from getting under your RTT?
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:07 PM #7
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Edwin562. Thanks!

@benjamin247 . I've considered adding a windscreen under the front of the RTT but if it didn't work and the RTT was still moving up and down a bit the windscreen could damage the 4Runner roof. I did also look up the Tepui Hybox but can't find an image of the underside so I can't give any perspective on mounting designs.

For me I feel that extending the roof rails is the solution (partially based on cost). Now if I can only find a cheap set!

I did recently see someone post how they used L-Track to replace the roof rails and extend the usable area. Had I known about L-Track years ago I would have gone this route for mounting the RTT.

Let me know if you buy a tent and I'd be happy to give my 2 cents on mounting options as I've spent way too much time thinking about mine.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:22 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whakeen View Post

Let me know if you buy a tent and I'd be happy to give my 2 cents on mounting options as I've spent way too much time thinking about mine.
I'm keen for those 2 cents! Looking to pick up a soft shell tent in the next few weeks and would love to know it's secure up there.

I currently have crossbars on standard rails (not sure of the load rating yet).
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:39 PM #9
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@derek rosť , so you have OEM rails. Do you also have OEM crossbars? If yes, I wouldn't recommend mounting an RTT on the OEM crossbars. They definitely are not strong enough to support it. FULL DISCLOSURE: i'm not an engineer. I can only speak for what has worked for me so please take that into consideration.

@benjamin247 , I don't want to hijack this thread so let me know if you prefer us to PM or start a new thread.

Last edited by Whakeen; 05-25-2020 at 01:58 PM. Reason: adding relevant info
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:13 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yota275 View Post
You might need to look into weight limits on your factory rails before you consider sleeping on them. I'm not familiar with 09, but i know on my 11 the factory rails are really only designed to handle the weight of one person even when you aren't moving. I went with Rhinoracks pioneer platform rack and their "backbone" rails. That combo supports 700+ lbs static and over 200lbs while driving.
nice suggest
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:47 PM #11
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@Whakeen had a look this morning and pretty sure I'm OEM all round. Time to look into some other options!
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:00 PM #12
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longer channel stock with feet has worked well for some.
I think if you look up cheap roof racks or something on this forum you will see lots of options...
while stock cross bars are only rated at like 160 pounds, I can tell you I have far exceeded that, safe ? but drove form oregon to alaska with a ton of weight in my rack mounted to stock cross bars. Yet I have 3 cross bars on extended factory rails ( you can also see this in the cheap roof rack thread)
the little rubber cross bars that sit directly on the roof can take about as much weight as 3 alaskan mosquitoes each

( our mosquitoes are big and should have tail #'s and landing lights )
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:54 PM #13
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You don't need an entire rack, but you will most likely need some cross bars that are stronger than OEM. You need some feet like the ones I have below, and they bolt to the factory channels in the roof. Then you can connect some 1x2 extruded aluminum to the feet to act as cross bars. Much like what I have in the second picture, but without the side rails.


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Old 05-27-2020, 01:00 AM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whakeen View Post
@benjamin247 , I don't want to hijack this thread so let me know if you prefer us to PM or start a new thread.
All good continuing discussions here. Iíll take all the info I can get.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:28 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MStudt View Post
You don't need an entire rack, but you will most likely need some cross bars that are strong than OEM. You need some feet like the ones I have below, and they bolt to the factor channels in the roof. Then you can connect some 1x2 extruded aluminum to the feet to act as cross bars. Much like what I have in the second picture, but without the side rails.



nice feet...you buy someplace ? Where
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