Roof RackThe Jeep

Choosing The Best Roof Rack for a 2018 4 door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK Rubicon

Finding the right roof rack was hard. Jeep Wranglers come ready to do almost everything except for install a roof top tent like the RoofNest I picked. I will walk you through my decision process.

The cheaper cage style racks

First I looked into the cheaper cage style racks. There are several out there. Most bolt onto the Jeep in the front and the bumper brackets. I found some downsides to most of these that turned me off of them.

  • Not sufficient ratings for weight. The RoofNest I purchased weighs 145lbs and I want to easily put another 400 pounds of people in there so a 300lb rated roof rack would not be adequate.
  • Many reports of cheaper metal that rusts. I live in Utah where we get snow and salt on the roads and needed something that would hold up to winter driving.
  • Some require new bumpers or drilling.

Racks that clip on rain gutter of roof

I remain skeptical of of racks that rely on the rain gutter above the windows. I did find one company that I almost went with because their racks had additional supports to disperse weight across the roof. SMS Parts.

  • Relies on gutter of roof. On a JK roof like mine the rian gutter is only over the 2 windows. This would have held my tent really far forward over hanging the windshield.
  • Great weight rating. 850 lbs would have been great for a RoofTop tent.
  • If you have a Jeep Wrangler JL they are one of the few companies that already make a rack for it.

GOBI Roof Rack

I finally decided to go with the more expensive Gobi cage style rack. It seemed like it met all of my requirements and was worth the extra money.

  • 12-16 week lead time. This was my biggest issue. I couldn't wait so long I would miss the entire summer.
  • Customer service. - I tried calling to see about rushing one but ould not get a hold of them. They did call back after I had already received my other rack.
  • Great reviews for product quality.
  • No drilling

After looking at all these racks I updated my requirements.

  • Drilling – I still was looking for one that did not require drilling but was willing to drill the roof to get the right rack. If I found one that didn’t require drilling it would be easier to remove rack for top removal or to sell the vehicle.
  • I decided if and when I sell the Jeep that I will sell it with the rack installed. There are enough buyers that also want racks I decided resale options of a drilled roof were not a deal breaker.
  • Since I am renting out my Jeep I am not concerned with being able to remove the top. My RoofNest roof top tent also takes up almost my entire roof so I would basically still have a “roof” overhead with the top off.
  • Minimum 600lbs weight rating
  • High quality metal that would not rust
  • Wanted to be able to add lights in future (Needed a crossbar in front of tent)

Front Runner Outfitters Slimline II - The Winner

I decided to go with the Front Runner Outfitters Slimline II and have been extrememly happy with the quality, customer service, look and function of this rack.

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