Installation Time: Afternoon
February 20, 2015
Surco Safari Rack - a viable storage solution for your Jeep!
No drilling, or modifications to the hardtop, or the Jeep itself.
Plenty of additional cargo space (short people better pack a step stool though.)
Made in USA
The Safari Basket assembly is pretty straightforward – just pay close attention to the directions.
Seems VERY durable - I've successfully "branch tested" it on numerous jaunts through the Ozark & Ouachita National Forests. If there's a low hanging limb - I always seem to find it. The basket remains undamaged, and securely mounted.
On our 2 Door anyway, mounting/aligning it took a bit longer than I thought it would. It took a lot of effort to get the front brackets to seat deeply enough in the rain gutter/lip of the Freedom Top panels to get them lined up correctly. Maybe the gutters on the JKU Hardtop are slightly different? We got it on, it just seem to take a lot more effort than it should have.
It sits up several inches higher than it needs to, unless the goal was to have the flat of the hardtop used for flat storage under the basket. That actually works, btw - I've hauled plywood (placing a mover's blanket on the paint job), then tying the wood to the light bar brackets in the front & to the basket in the back. See the branch testing note above. Surco really could've redesigned the mounts to bring the basket down a good 3-4 inches.
Wind Noise... Wranglers are not aerodynamic to begin with, and placing metal bars, trays or cages on top of them results in all manner of wind noise, buffeting, etc. I was already dealing with the noise for the giant light bar mounted right in the path of air coming over the top of the windscreen, so this isn't a biggie for me. You just get used to turning the volume on the stereo up louder. A fairing/wind deflector on the front would help immensely with wind noise (and even boost MPG) – it doesn’t look like Surco has one available – I may either adapt a Yakima one, or make my own.
In summary, the basket design bolts together solidly, does no permanent damage or modification to the Jeep, and gives you much needed cargo space. It may not be something you’d want or need on a daily basis – but combined with a big cargo bag, it’s a great way to make your Jeep Wrangler capable of hauling all your gear for long trips.