Installation Time: Afternoon
October 18, 2018
Good Rack But Only Give It 2.5 Stars Out of 5
Took this rack on Rubicon Trail for it's first off-roading outing, and used it for 8 weeks during in-and-around the town use. 1) ASSEMBLY/ATTACHMENT – This is a time consuming and somewhat of a painful process. 2). QUALITY/DESIGN - Quality is good, not great, but the design is only fair to good depending on your use. Let’s just say it could definitely use some refinements. (a) The back rail, facing the tailgate, is not removable so it inhibits loading/offloading cargo. Whether it’s camping gear or groceries it definitely gets in the way. I found taking it off made it much more effective of a rack. (b) The Hex bolts that attach the rack frame to the Jeep roll bar are threaded from the outside-in, window side to the center cargo area. This leaves little room for maneuvering when placing the rack in your Jeep or taking it out. Note: Teraflex if you reversed this it would be a heck of a lot easier. (c) WHY USE HEX/ALLEN bolts, how about some hand tight knobs for securing the rack in place? After using the Hex bolts for a few weeks on the street I decided to change them out with M6x25mm Male Threaded Knobs I found on Amazon verse the Hex/Allen supplied by Teraflex. The Hex didn’t hold up any better even on the Rubicon Trail. Before we started I changed one side of the Terafles Hex bolts with Grip Knobs I bought so I can compare them side-by-side. They both preformed equally as well/strong but the hand knobs were much easier to put in place. (d) The rack continually loosens from the roll bar attachment. If you’re just driving around town you should be good but every evening while out on the trail I found I had to retighten the rack-frame to the roll bar by ¼ to 3 full turns. This was for both Big Bear and Rubicon. It loosens. (e) The rack makes squeaky noises, not initially but if you use it on the trail or continually on the road then it will start to make noise. I put this to the test loading groceries, Costco purchases, tools and parts purchases and camping gear on trail and found it squeaks because it loosens making parts slide (f) Rack accessories were clearly an after thought. Not part of the original design. If you expect to use a shelf/rack then you’re going to need some way to secure items in place while driving. The most sensible is a cargo net but at the time I purchased and used this rack, if I wanted one I needed to purchase one from another source (i.e. Amazon). Hopefully, Teraflex corrected that. (i) Tie down points are terrible, I purchased a couple different types Ring Eye Bolts made for the type of railing Teraflex used the manufacture the rack. I even tried various combinations of these with metal and plastic snap links and my aftermarket cargo net and no matter what combination I tried it always had attachment points come loose. (j) Cargo bouncing noises. A cloth, neoprene or rubber mat top for the metal shelf would help hold cargo in place and prevent the bang, bang, bang of your around town cargo when going over a speed bump. 3) PERFORMANCE – The weight and size of the rack is good but the 75lb cargo weight limitation is not conducive for carrying camping gear, Jeep parts/tools or even groceries. Case in point: We had to stop by and get bottled water, groceries and other shopping items after spending a day on the trail and hiking with friends. We had the lower cargo area full with our packs, gear, etc so we tried using the top Teraflex rack I installed but we couldn’t put all our items on the shelf. Not because size of our purchases but because weight limits. Needless to say we put the bags on the laps of our passengers in the backseat. Likewise, a 4-person tent, 2 cots, 2 folding chairs and table, all lightweight gear purchased from REI, was more weight than our Teraflex shelf allowed. I could go on but I think I made my points. I’ll be sending this review Teraflex. I hope they’ll be receptive with the feedback and not upset, as I really like their products. In any case the best I can give this rack is 2.5 Stars, which I rounded up to 3.