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Old 01-14-2019, 03:29 PM #1
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Little help between Front Runner or Rhino Rack

So after doing a lot of internet research and utilizing the search function on this site have now narrowed my selection of a full length roof rack to either a Front Runner Slimline II or Rhino Rack Pioneer with the backbone and cannot seem to make up my mind. I like the amount of accessories that both racks seem to be able to accommodate but just cant seem to pick which one I want to buy.

Little info on what I plan on doing with the rack…Carrying SUP’s and Surfboards, Luggage on trips, offroading accessories, and possibly an RTT.

Lastly if there is some other rack out there that I don’t know about that could fit my needs please let me know.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:43 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKRunner View Post
So after doing a lot of internet research and utilizing the search function on this site have now narrowed my selection of a full length roof rack to either a Front Runner Slimline II or Rhino Rack Pioneer with the backbone and cannot seem to make up my mind. I like the amount of accessories that both racks seem to be able to accommodate but just cant seem to pick which one I want to buy.

Little info on what I plan on doing with the rack…Carrying SUP’s and Surfboards, Luggage on trips, offroading accessories, and possibly an RTT.

Lastly if there is some other rack out there that I don’t know about that could fit my needs please let me know.

Thanks in advance.
I was in the same position a few months ago and ended up going with the SSO rack because of the no drill option, it fits all/most frontrunner accessories, it looks better in my opinion, and they are a very good company to work with. Still waiting on fabrication so I cant comment on install yet.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:58 PM #3
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The one benefit of the FR rack IMO is that they have quick disconnects for the RTT. That kicks ass in my mind.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:13 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteBoomer04 View Post
The one benefit of the FR rack IMO is that they have quick disconnects for the RTT. That kicks ass in my mind.
I second this. I was on the fence for the longest time about getting the quick release RTT kit but im glad I did eventually. Taking your tent off/on under a minute is great.

I was on the same boat when I was deciding on a rack but went with FrontRunner. Installation was easy, drilling into the roof was simple, and overall, im very happy with it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:21 PM #5
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Free $0.02

I have the Rhino Rack Pioneer platform, and if I were to choose over again I would prolly go with FrontRunner.
Not that the RR is bad by any means, it's just small things that "I think" Front Runner would be better at.
The Rhino Rack fastener channel rails (crossbars...whatever they are called) go Front to Back, while FrontRunner rails go side to side. The side to side I believe gives more versatility for connection points. The Rhino Rack has channel rails on the edges of the rack, but the bolts to fasten the rack to the roof rails (or I would assume, to the backbone) are also located in this channel, so the 2 channel rails on the outer most part of the rack are almost worthless because the roof connection bolts are in the way, and do not allow anything to slide past them.

Also, RR and FR may have similar amount of accessories as well as similar high cost for those accessories, but it seems to me that FR accessories are easier to find. With that said, some FR accessories can be used on RR, but not all I don't think (I don't think the FR dual jerry can holder will fit the RR).
I don't put a lot on my rack due to wind resistance, but I have put a FrontRunner 15 gallon water tank, a plastic tote and 2 jerry cans up there and it was all good. Thats really all I need so the RR is fine.

It's quiet too.... hardly any change in wind noise.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:41 PM #6
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Thank you. All of the things that that you mentioned are drawing me towards the Front Runner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsAkite View Post
Free $0.02

I have the Rhino Rack Pioneer platform, and if I were to choose over again I would prolly go with FrontRunner.
Not that the RR is bad by any means, it's just small things that "I think" Front Runner would be better at.
The Rhino Rack fastener channel rails (crossbars...whatever they are called) go Front to Back, while FrontRunner rails go side to side. The side to side I believe gives more versatility for connection points. The Rhino Rack has channel rails on the edges of the rack, but the bolts to fasten the rack to the roof rails (or I would assume, to the backbone) are also located in this channel, so the 2 channel rails on the outer most part of the rack are almost worthless because the roof connection bolts are in the way, and do not allow anything to slide past them.

Also, RR and FR may have similar amount of accessories as well as similar high cost for those accessories, but it seems to me that FR accessories are easier to find. With that said, some FR accessories can be used on RR, but not all I don't think (I don't think the FR dual jerry can holder will fit the RR).
I don't put a lot on my rack due to wind resistance, but I have put a FrontRunner 15 gallon water tank, a plastic tote and 2 jerry cans up there and it was all good. Thats really all I need so the RR is fine.

It's quiet too.... hardly any change in wind noise.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:28 PM #7
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The RR with the backbone in a full lenght configuration doesn't have any forward support, so it just hanging there. I'm not sure how it's look and I would not put heavy item there.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:50 PM #8
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Little help between Front Runner or Rhino Rack

I have a front runner slimline II. I love it. There is another option I’ve seen that is very similar to it. Eezi-Awn K9 Roof Racks - Eezi-Awn
I’ve seen it in person and it was sharp. I don’t think it has as many accessories but it doesn’t have a lip.


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Last edited by Doc.SS; 01-14-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:32 PM #9
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Another Frontrunner Slimline II owner

I went thru the same decision process two weeks ago and purchased the Frontrunner and will install this weekend. The SSO rack was my second pick primarily for sleek look but preferred the additional connections at the front of the rack for more security with a RTT. Third option was the K9, but watched a video of a guy who had problems with K9 on youtube and subsequently switched to Frontrunner.

The optional accessories with the Frontrunner are pretty incredible. Good luck whichever way you go.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:33 AM #10
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i currently have a pioneer rack thats mounted to my factory rails. love the rack but if i had to do it over again, i'd get the front runner. i recently realized that the mounting platform running horizontal (left to right) would be better for my needs of mounting things a specific way better than the pioneer platform running vertical (front to back)
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:04 AM #11
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Thanks everyone who responded. Looks like the Front Runner is the way to go. Will hopefully be purchasing next month. The only thing that I am concerned about it the drilling into the roof.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:24 AM #12
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I have been having the same debate. One reason I lean toward the Rhino for my applications is the ability to intergrate with Yakima. Mounting Landing Pad mounts in the outside channels allows super fast attachment and movement of the Yakima bars. This allows me to use all the great Yakima products (I own a lot right now) adjust bar locations for skis, fly rod holder, cargo box, bikes, etc etc. or just pop it off in a couple mins. Also gives me a modular channel system going in both directions since I have the aero aluminum Yakima bars. Overall it is still pretty low profile all added up. In fact when I look at skis, my current set up is a round bar with Yakima clamp style towers on factory rails, this new set will have a lower stack height.

I have used the Landing Pads on the back deck of an Avalanche for years, super easy to remove the rack and panels when I need to use the truck bed.

I can’t find anyone who has done this yet.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:35 AM #13
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Frontrunner

I just installed a 3/4 on my 14 runner. Relatively easy. I was in the same boat as far as trying to choose between racks. Went with the Frontrunner mostly because of the myriad of easy to install accessories. That plus their good reputation.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:08 AM #14
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The accessories ‘thing’ is a huge draw for me as well. Also I am in their area for work a east once a month so could stop by and pick up things if needed.

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I just installed a 3/4 on my 14 runner. Relatively easy. I was in the same boat as far as trying to choose between racks. Went with the Frontrunner mostly because of the myriad of easy to install accessories. That plus their good reputation.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:36 PM #15
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If you want ease of use go with Front Runner, especially if you are mounting a RTT. Easier mounting solutions and more options with accessories given the slats run perpendicular to the truck. Just less of a headache overall. Do some research though, some guys over on the expo portal have experienced the floor of their tent bowing on their Front Runner Slimlines. Looks like the fix is to add an extra slat, but you'll then also raise the mounting point higher which hurts if you are trying to keep everything low profile.

That being said, i've got a Pioneer/Backbone and no issues with it. Just takes a bit more ingenuity mounting things, but if you are handy with minor fabrication skills it's no biggie. You'll need to drill the slats and mount the RTT direct to the platform (I kind of prefer it this way, keeps things very low profile and flush, less wind resistance and harder for thieves to tamper with). If you still have space for anything else to mount you can fab mounts with unistrut spacers, metal strips and quick fists pretty easily.

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