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Old 07-21-2022, 12:19 AM #1
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Roof Maintenance

Im planning to get a roof rack, but I just want to know how everyone upkeeps their roof? It seems like it'll be harder to wipe down after a car wash since the rack is on there.

Im curious to know what you guys do or would do over with the knowledge you know now.

A) Leave it as is
B) Wrap the roof before putting the rack on
C) I have no time to clean my rig
D) What is a roof?
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Old 07-21-2022, 12:30 AM #2
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Canít help ya, Weíre always in a drought down here in so-cal. Hardly ever wash our cars, just a cultural thing for us. If we visit the coast or the desert where there would be salts/corrosive dust, we hose our rigs down, but thats about it.
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Old 07-21-2022, 12:44 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pull4adv View Post
Im planning to get a roof rack, but I just want to know how everyone upkeeps their roof? It seems like it'll be harder to wipe down after a car wash since the rack is on there.

Im curious to know what you guys do or would do over with the knowledge you know now.

A) Leave it as is
B) Wrap the roof before putting the rack on
C) I have no time to clean my rig
D) What is a roof?
I just got my 4runner 2 months ago coming from a Tacoma. I installed the cheaper Rola basket style roof rack since I use it mostly for camping gear. Last weekend was the first time cleaning the roof with the rack and it was a PITA. And I actually have little room to clean between the rack and the roof but it was still terrible. Worst thing, I have to park under trees at my house and the tree droppings are killing the paint. Need to figure something out soon. For now, I will have to go through the torture of cleaning in between the rack and roof but might opt out and build me a sleeping/drawer platform for the back and just get some crossbars for the roof.Hope to hear some ideas as well.
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Old 07-21-2022, 02:21 AM #4
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I’ve read about this before. If you have one of the flat-top erector set racks it’s time consuming but possible to work between the crossbars. If you have a basket then it’s possible to remove the basket to wash the roof. For racks with a floor, like the Gobi, or to clean under a basket without removing it, I’ve read that folks will use a Swiffer or similar with a microfiber towel.

ETA: have a look HERE.

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Old 07-21-2022, 08:38 AM #5
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Wash it and a good coat of wax/ ceramic coating before putting the rack on, that will help.
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Old 07-21-2022, 09:01 AM #6
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I have LFD cross bars with cargo box on mostly all the time, just easier to keep it up there. I got a quote to put PPF on the entire roof, was about $800 I think. I have PPF on the lower part of my hood and it's been there 10 years with no issues so I was seriously considering doing the roof. I decided to see if I could go without and this is what I do:

long pole with flat wash mit (you can buy these cheap) and wash in between the bars (from the back or side). then rinse and swiffer with shammy or towel on it and dry. then swiffer with microfibre cloth and griots spray wax (spray the wax on the roof between the bars and then wipe). then turn microfibre cloth over and wipe again to buff. seems to work well and the swiffer is nice and low profile with grooves to hook the clothes into to keep it there
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Old 07-22-2022, 06:25 AM #7
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I would think a wrap would be the most protective and least effort exercise.
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Old 07-22-2022, 08:37 AM #8
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My roof is a mess and never gets clean. I definitely need to wrap it in the long term.


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Old 07-22-2022, 10:15 AM #9
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I have a Gobi installed and use one of the wash mits on a pole things, (kind of like a swiffer), to get under it whenever I wash it. I don't worry about drying it other than the edges so that water doesn't drip onto the rest of the clean car.

Every 5,000 miles I check the roof rack bolts, (all allen head bolts going into the roof and all the hardware holding the rack to the mount. I also use this time to inspect and spray a shot of rustoleum over any part that might have any amount of surface rust due to scraping hits etc.

I do this for the bumpers and sliders as well, takes about 15 minutes to check all the stuff I've bolted on and gives good peace of mind. (Set a reminder in the maintenance section of Entune and write down the number and size of all bolts on rack, bumpers and sliders for even more efficient check).


TLDR:

Use a wash stick thing to get mud and dirt out from under the rack, dry the sides of the roof you can reach, don't worry about drying under the rack. The wind will dry it out and you'll never see the water spots.
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Old 07-22-2022, 10:27 AM #10
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I have a gobi rack on my 4Runner, definitely difficult to clean since I can't get my hand under it. I waxed and polished the roof before putting the rack on and have been using a flat microfiber mop to clean the roof, which has been good so far and hasn't scratched the paint. (The mop I've been using is the o-cedar hardwood floor mop)

I did consider wrapping the roof but I plan on keeping the 4Runner long term and wraps eventually need to be replaced. Didn't think it was worth the hassle for me.
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Old 07-22-2022, 12:55 PM #11
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I cleaned the roof really well and had it wrapped before the rack went on.

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Old 07-23-2022, 03:34 PM #12
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I have a full Frontrunner roof rack. I can still access it with some pain to wash it. I do kick myself in the ass for not wrapping it before I put it on. I am still thinking of taking it off and doing it.

Wrap it!!
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Old 07-24-2022, 10:29 AM #13
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wrap it! i wish i had. i remove our prinsu every summer, so thats when i actually wash, polish, seal, and throw an extra coat of wax over the sealer.
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Old 07-24-2022, 11:26 AM #14
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Hmmmm

I am in the process of repainting a gobi I purchased used. Since my runner is emaculate, this was a concern. My solution is: 1. Complete color restoration
2. Ceramic coat.
3. Every two yrs or so, remove the rack, leaving the six base brackets bolt to the roof.

Seems a bit time consuming but I would rather do this that reseal the brackets and roof.
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Old 07-25-2022, 08:58 AM #15
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Leaf blower!!

Works great for tough to get spots as well as drying large vehicles (RVs). Itís also a quick way to preclean the interior before vacuuming.
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