HELP!!! newbie Just purchased first RTT

#1
Hello everyone. I just purchased a tepui autana xl ruggedized for my family of 4 . Wife and I and two small girls . I have a 2015 ram 1500 crew cab with ARE z series camper shell and Yakima racks. I am kinda concerned about a weight issue. I see alot ov people put these on the camper shells all the time however the rating for shell is only 300lb and yakima 150. Am I missing something. My RTT weighs approx 250 and family combined apprx 500lbs will this mess my cMper shell up? Should I purchase a custom roof rack? If so what do you recommend? I really would really like to keep shell if possible . What are your thoughts/ opinions ?
 

rickc

Adventurer
#2
This will be an interesting read. On another thread, I wrote about my concerns about weight, weight distribution and GVWR. As you've already noted, lots of people put a lot of weight up top. Many will also state "never had a problem" but this doesn't mean it's right or safe. You have already assessed your set-up identified the weakest link. My ARE CX HD that has an internal frame that connects to two load bars through the canopy and it's rated for 550lbs dynamic. I chose this because it was the strongest system with the highest load rating I could find for a canopy. I'm surprised you were able to get a rating from ARE for a regular top as most of the canopy manufacturers don't tell. My guess is that the 300lb you quote is the total dynamic load for your topper but the Yakima bars are only 75lb each (very typical), totaling 150lb dynamic, on pavement, x 0.75 for off road, so 113lb in the dirt. The 250lb RTT is already over the pavement rating and over twice the off road rating.

I have no doubt that there are safety factors built in to the load ratings and some other considerations. It would not surprise me that with your current set-up, your canopy roof may start to show cracks in the gelcoat where the racks are mounted. How many clamps per side holding the canopy down? If only two, I'd definitely add a third. I would suggest adding a third load bar, taking the dynamic, pavement bar rating up to 225lb; still not 250lb but getting closer.

I just peeked at Yakima's website and a truck bed setup with two bars; rated for 165lbs, "weight limit" (whatever this means) and under the suggested "basecamp" use it recommends only small and medium RTTs; a typical medium RTT is around 150-160lbs.

Good luck.
 
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#3
You can get additional cross bars, or better (ie. AluCab ones) cross bars to improve that limiting factor. Some folks have also designed & built interior structures to support their canopy roofs (similar to what rickc described as being in his ARE canopy).

All in all, I think the simplest, and likely cheapest solution is to get a rack that attaches at your bedsides and wraps around and over the canopy, and then mount the tent to that rack. Such racks are very common with contractors and should be easy to find.

 
#4
All in all, I think the simplest, and likely cheapest solution is to get a rack that attaches at your bedsides and wraps around and over the canopy, and then mount the tent to that rack. Such racks are very common with contractors and should be easy to find.

These won't work with most newer higher end caps. There is a lip on the sides that goes down over the bedsides so they look integrated. They don't sit flat on the top.
 
#7
I have went to a local fab shop and will be having a frame made for it. I will post pictures when finished . Thanks for all the info. I just dont believe I am going to risk it.
 

rickc

Adventurer
#8
semperfi61036: here's a link to some images of my ARE CX HD. They may be helpful. Note that the internal frame is made of sections of extruded aluminum and that the four risers to teh cross bars go through the roof so that there is no load on the canopy roof. Good luck and post pics!

 
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