roof mounted bike rack - bumpy roads and long term use

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by steamboatscott, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. steamboatscott

    steamboatscott New Member

    Jun 12, 2016
    I'm about to pull the trigger on a permanent mount roof bike rack for my PUP. I've read nearly every thread on this topic, this forum and others, but I would like to hear from others on your experience with longevity of these roof racks, especially those of you who leave the highway for those bumpy forest service and BLM roads like me, which I haven't found covered already.

    I want to protect my bikes, which are fairly expensive full suspension setups, while also looking out for my PUP's roof. I'm assuming that the bikes bouncing on the cross bars could create more stress where the rack attaches to the roof on the bumpier roads that I frequent versus the typical blacktop user.

    I'd also love to hear what brands everyone has used. It looks like Forest River is installing the ProRac brand permanent roof mount option on their Sports Enthusiast series, while my dealer (Roberts Sales) has used SportRack (now owned by Thule), and others prefer the Swagman Roamer. The SportRack supports 200 lbs while the other two only 150 lbs. 150 isn't quite enough for 4 bikes @ 34 lbs each and 4 nice holders like the Thule Sidearm. Yet I don't understand why the SportRack claims higher weight support when they all look roughly the same. Finally, the SportRack attaches at the roof sidewall whereas the others screw into to the 1.5" pine frame inside the sidewall.

    Finally, I might want to put a kayak and/or canoe on top. Seems like 36" is the cross bar spread recommended by major manufacturers like Thule and Yakima, but I'd love to hear everyone's experience carrying these toys on top of a roof rack on your PUP.

    Decisions, decisions...

    Thanks in advance!

    ...and no I don't want to do a hitch mounted or tow vehicle roof rack option. Trying to decrease weight on the TV, and even the fork-mount version of the ProRac that installs on the PUP's tongue doesn't give me enough reduction.
  2. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    Hi! Glad to see you over here! [:D]
  3. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    Something to consider if it is a possibility for you; I have always preferred the rack on the tow vehicle. Once the trailer is parked, the tow vehicle can be driven to a trail head. It also can make set up easier because you don't have to unload bikes before setting up camp.
  4. EricB

    EricB New Member

    Sep 11, 2016
    I'm thinking about different options for myself as well. I don't want the TV roof mounted or tongue option like yourself. I'm really only seeing doing a permanent PUP roof mounted option with a stand up carrier like this:

    With having 2 kids that don't really like to help set up yet and have the attention span of a gnat, I really don't think unloading the bikes first from roof is a bad option. Gets them out and about quicker and would allow for less hassle setting up.
    I do have my hesitation about drilling through the roof, but I have learned that it will take a good deal of weight already when crawling around on it, but also know that where ever I do end up drilling will be getting sealed very well both during and after installation.
    Just my 2 cents.
  5. jenmenke

    jenmenke New Member

    Sep 11, 2017
    I'm currently researching this and am wondering what you ended up doing? Roof mount? Or no.

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