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Thread: African Outback roof-rack time?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Gresham, Oregon
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    559

    Default African Outback roof-rack time?

    I really do need a roof rack. I'm out of storage already. But I need the lowest profile rack I can get so it will fit in my garage and I want something lightweight.

    The AO from Slee seems to fit the bill the best. I thinking of going with a half rack, since it can be shipped directly to my house instead of by freight and will be significantly cheaper. And then maybe a half rail to go with it.

    Any thoughts on this model and brand? Plans are to store most of my 2.5 gallon fuel cans up top for trips to get them out of the rear cargo area, as well as a low profile storage box, probably my solar panels and maybe some other things if there's still room left over.
    Brian McCamish
    In Search of History Expeditions
    Gresham, Oregon
    1995 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80 (new expedition rig)
    1989 Toyota 4x4 truck w/SAS (retired expedition rig)
    www.brian894x4.com (Homepage)
    Our Land Cruiser FZJ80 Main Page
    In Search of History Page
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    El Paso Texas
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    1,799
    As you may know I did research on roof racks and everybody would tell me not to get one because i was going to loose gas miles per gallon, well they were correct, however I need the roof rack and I have used in the past to do some trips, i have installed my nato gas containers and some other things, it has made life alot easier, getting up there it is not a problem for me.
    now you are considering the half rack and I have the ARB Half Rack, I almost sold it and actually placed and order for a 3/4 rack because I felt the need for more space, however it was in back order so I just decided to cancell the order and keep the half rack!

    Put more thought on how much space you need and you may or may not consider going with the 3/4 roof rack; as for the AO I think they are very low profile and light weight, and they seem to have alot of accsesories for them I like them, however i decided on the ARB just because of looks and reliability!
    1997-Lexus-LX-450-Hankook Maximum Traction 34"x12.5"x16"

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Forest Falls, CA
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    Ask Boston Mangler he has a AO rack.

    Personally.. I would go straight for a 3/4 rack. If your already running out of space inside the truck, the rack will eventually get filled too. You dont want to have to buy it twice later down the road. We are running a full length rack and fill it almost every single trip.

    Remember firewood, water, fuel etc. all good for up on the rack.
    Dave & Yoshi
    The Adventure Duo
    2003 Sportsmobile EB 7.3 PSD
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    The Nanny State
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    5,751
    Sensitivity to the mileage loss lead me to design & build this rack. Walking on it was necessary (race viewing platform), as was being able to hold bikes up there. It also mounts a rear facing dust/fog amber and has provision to mount a rear air deflector to blow the dust off the rear window(s). The deflector didn't get made b4 I took it to Baja for the 1k in '02. Once mounted to the '91 I hope to get around to that and the planned string of LED's mounted to the underside for camp lighting.

    The perimeter frame is 1-1/8" x .065" wall square tube with 3/4" ply sitting on 1/8" tabs welded to the insides of each opening. Each of the ply pieces is mitered ~4" long on the hypotenuse at all 4 corners to allow tie-down access to the frame. When not loaded it presented a fairly low profile to the wind, and it was deliberately set close enough to the roof to act in semi-safari top fashion.

    The rust monster evident in the pic claimed this truck shortly after this pic was taken. I plan to redesign the attachment points and install the rack on the '91 Sub.
    I used to swerve around my hallucinations, now I drive right through them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gresham, Oregon
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    559
    All good points. Thanks for the info.

    The full size rack is definately nice. The flip up sun roof is definately a nifty feature.

    However, including half rail, the cost difference of the full size rack ($1065) and half rack ($650) is pretty significant at $400. Also, with the full size rack, I'm not sure how I would get it home from the local freight house.

    I still have other mods that I need to do, such as finish my locker install, sliders, rear tire carrier, etc, so there's definately budget limitations. $400 would go a long way to those other mods.

    The full size AO is 31" longer than the half size. That's 18 square feet of space on the half size with an additional 11 square feet on the full size rack.
    I really don't think I'm going to need the additional space since I don't like carrying that much stuff up high.

    I'm hoping with the rack completely empty, it should fit in the garage.

    What I would like to do it basically move the black storage box and fuel cans in this picture up on the roof.

    http://www.brian894x4.com/images/Exp...nterior046.jpg

    Then probably use the rest of the space for stuff like camp chairs, tent, etc. I really like low center of gravity, so I won't be loading too much up there.
    Brian McCamish
    In Search of History Expeditions
    Gresham, Oregon
    1995 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80 (new expedition rig)
    1989 Toyota 4x4 truck w/SAS (retired expedition rig)
    www.brian894x4.com (Homepage)
    Our Land Cruiser FZJ80 Main Page
    In Search of History Page
    Abandoned & Active Railroads of the NW Page

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Tucson, more or less.
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    2,363
    Brian, my early experience with a half-size African Outback rack has been positive. It seems very well-made and very strong for its weight. The numerous slots for attachments are great. The modular nature is versatile.

    I cannot say I think it's as strong as a (much heavier) steel rack such as the Conferr I used for years. In fact I know it's not: After a good deal of careless walking around on top I have very slightly bent the crossbars. But 46 pounds versus 105 makes a big difference in your CG.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    629
    My brother has an AO and it is sweet. They are super stout. My step dad pulled into a low parking garage with it and and it just compressed the suspension and scrapped the paint. I would get one if I had a cruiser. By the way, you 80 is looking great.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ft Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    446
    I have had a full length ARB which was REALLY heavy, I think about 110 lbs or so and did not like it due to the weight and that it was terrible as far affecting gas milage.

    I now have an INTI made in Venezuela which is about 80 or so lbs. It seems to not affect the milage as bad, until I put 4 Hella 4000 up there.

    As far as low profile, the 1/2 AO rack would be the ticket, plus it's modular!

    You asked how to get the full length rack home from the freight house... put it on the roof!!!!!!!!! Just my .02...
    Darryl & Vasi

    2014 Toyota 4-Runner
    1997 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ 80 CE
    1979 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ 40


    Previous Vehicles
    1974 FJ 55
    1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88
    1986 FJ 60
    1990 Toyota PU
    1999 4-Runner
    1997 FZJ 80
    1997 FZJ 80 40th
    2006 Dodge Ram 2500
    2007 Toyota 4-Runner
    2012 Land Rover LR4
    1987 M416
    2007 Kimberly Kamper

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Forest Falls, CA
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    8,489
    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt Grunt
    I now have an INTI made in Venezuela which is about 80 or so lbs. .. I put 4 Hella 4000 up there.
    Howd you fit 4000's up there? Got pics? We have a Inti and run 500's.
    Sorry for the hi-jack.
    Dave & Yoshi
    The Adventure Duo
    2003 Sportsmobile EB 7.3 PSD
    1997 Landcruiser 80 Series Collectors Edition
    2005 Suzuki DRZ400s
    Tread Lightly! Trainer | Manufacturer of the Trasharoo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ft Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    446
    SOCAL, I built a new light bar / protector to fit the bigger lights... 6" lights just seem funny up there so I went with the 4000's. Plus back in the day of full size pick ups with 44's, I always wanted a big chrome "ROLL BAR" with at least one hundred lights on it!!! So that carried over a little bit... Thankfully I grew out of the chrome phase.....

    sorry for the continuance of the hi-jack.....
    Darryl & Vasi

    2014 Toyota 4-Runner
    1997 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ 80 CE
    1979 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ 40


    Previous Vehicles
    1974 FJ 55
    1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88
    1986 FJ 60
    1990 Toyota PU
    1999 4-Runner
    1997 FZJ 80
    1997 FZJ 80 40th
    2006 Dodge Ram 2500
    2007 Toyota 4-Runner
    2012 Land Rover LR4
    1987 M416
    2007 Kimberly Kamper

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