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Old 06-12-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Roof mounted bike rack and bumpy roads

I'm about to pull the trigger on a roof-mounted bike rack for my PUP. But first, I would like to hear from others on your experience with longevity, especially those of you who leave the highway for those bumpy forest service and BLM roads like me.

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 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.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:26 PM   #2
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Steamboatscot,

Do a search for "Pup roof top racks", there's some good ideas there.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Goff View Post
Steamboatscot,

Do a search for "Pup roof top racks", there's some good ideas there.
Thank you. I've read pretty much every post on this topic, this forum and the others. Looking for specific perspective driving these down bumpy roads, not paved blacktop. Also the pros/cons of each brand.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:30 AM   #4
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Hello,

We use the prorac 4 bike. ProRac Proformance Bike Rack | Tent Trailer Bike Rack |

We also have a lot of money tied up in FS mtn bikes. With 4 on there, I'm maxed at about 130lbs. The rack specs 150lbs max. I really like the rack, though. I have it on our classic 625D PUP. It holds the bikes by the forks. I have used it several times over the past year on all kinds of roads. But more towards your point, It does a great job on the bumpy, dirt and fire roads. Very little side to side motion. The only thing that is a bit of a PITA is the strap system. It is a bit time consuming to load and unload, but it does a great job holding them down and still on highways and off road. I'm going to start looking into a quicker strap system this summer.

Anyway, as for now, it is a small inconvenience compared to attaching the rack to the roof. I didn't want to put any holes in the roof. Don't want to give Mother Nature any more of a chance to make the roof leak.

If you choose to attach to the roof and use upright mounts, just use some sort of extra strap system to help miminze the lateral motion, and you should be good to go. Good luck.

Mark
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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We use the prorac 4 bike.
Thanks Mark. Great to hear your real world perspective on backwoods roads.

Unfortunately the tongue mount ProRac doesn't provide enough tow vehicle weight reduction to be worth the $ or PITA on loading/unloading for me. I'm looking at the permanent roof-mount options to place almost all weight on the PUP's axle.
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:34 PM   #6
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I hear you. It is a bit of work strappi ng them. I did speak with a guy a year ago at the dirt rag mtn bike fest in PA. He had roof rack. Yakima bars and a mix of Thule and Yakima upright holders. The ones on the down tube. I asked about side to side motion. He used a few extra straps. I didn't ask about off road ability. But he did say the straps made all the difference in movement. That's probably your best bet. Good luck. Post some pics when you have it all set up. I love looking at bikes. Ok, that sounded wired. But there is a beauty in a sweet bike. Later.
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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Hey f5moab, if you see this, can you PM me directly? I've not received much insight to my question of long term use on bumpy roads. Hoping you have more perspective from there in Moab.
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #8
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Bike racks

Personally, I'd stay away from top mounted racks. Especially if you have to penetrate the roof for hardware mounting. Spend that money for a professional fabricator to weld a good solid bumper w/2" reciever to your rig to carry your bike rack. I did just that.

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Old 08-13-2016, 07:56 PM   #9
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Back of PUP bounces way too much on the forest roads I travel to put $10k of bikes on there. I would at least mount the roof rack over or just forward of axle for less jiggle...although I still worry about these things being designed for the pavement & full hookups crowd and not doing my roof well on bumpy gravel roads.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:28 PM   #10
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If I was to weld a bike rack to the rear, I would weld it to the frame. That rear bumper, at least on mine, is not that sturdy; heck I'm afraid to step on it.
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