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Hannibal versus African Outback Roof Rack

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by greynolds, May 28, 2007.

  1. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    Sorry to start yet another roof rack thread, but I've searched and come up with little in the way of comparison between these 2 rather similar racks.

    I'm considering getting either an African Outback or Hannibal rack. My 100 is my daily driver and I would only need the rack a few times or so a year, so the ability to remove the rack / put it on in a reasonable amount of time is important. Taking it off when it isn't needed would obviously be best for fuel economy.

    The consensus from what I've read seems to be that the AO rack is a pain to take off and put on. Otherwise, there don't seem to be any downsides to the AO rack.

    From what I can tell from the few pictures I've found (such as this one), it looks like the Hannibal would be pretty easy to take off / put on as needed. From what I can tell, the mounting rail mounts to the roof then the rack is put onto it and held on with 3 bolts on each side. If this is true, it should be an easy 10-15 minute job to put it on or take it off after the initial installation. Can someone confirm if it's as easy as the pictures suggest?

    AO and Hannibal appear to have pretty similar options available for their racks - both have removable side rails, both have tie down loops that can be put just about anywhere, both have hi-lift and shovel brackets, etc. People seem to prefer the AO racks, but they're similar enough to the Hannibal racks, that it isn't clear to me why one would be strongly prefered over the other.

    As to purchasing them, I'd have to get the AO rack from Slee and believe I could get the Hannibal from Atlantic British (in NY). Since I live in MA, shipping for the Hannibal would probably be a lot less. I've dealt with AB in the past with no complaints and have heard nothing but good things about Slee, so I'm comfortable either way there.

    Opinions are welcome, but keep in mind that ease of taking the rack off when not needed is a high priority.
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  2. Morty

    Morty Regular Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I've said it here before--the AOB rack is a PITA to take on and off. Otherwise, absolutely no complaints.
  3. macneill

    macneill Rollin’ on 33s GOLD Star

    Is the Hannibal AL?
  4. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    Yes, they're very similar to the AO racks. Here's a link to some info on them:

    http://www.hannibalusa.com/roofracks.htm

    I'm hoping that someone who owns one will confirm that they're as easy to remove / install on the 100 series as the pictures (such as http://www.hannibalusa.com/images/roofracks/Toyota-LC-100/2.jpg) would suggest. For my needs, this would be a huge benefit over the AO racks, which seem fine otherwise. It looks like the initial install to get the mounting channels installed is a little bit of work, but after that it shouldn't be too bad, unless I've misread or misinterpreted the pictures. Here's a link to the install instructions for the 100 series:

    http://www.hannibalsafari.com.au/library/pdf/FitmentInstructionsLC100.pdf
  5. dclee

    dclee New Member

    Messages:
    2,352
    Location:
    Left Coast, USA
    Yes, I believe it's AL as well. Nice rack too. I especially like the four feet per side vs. three for the AO rack, and (at least for the 80 Series) the full gutter-length liner to spread the load more evenly. I have heard of spotty quality control on the Hannibals, and their distributors seem to come and go, making customer support difficult, but still, if given the opportunity, I wouldn't turn one down. That said, I own the AO rack.

    Neither is going to be very easy to mount or remove, unless you put a hoist up in your garage. But it's doable with two people, easy with three, a cakewalk with four. However, if your truck is lifted, that's a problem. Better make sure your helpers are tall...
  6. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    5,697
    One of the biggest things that set the AO rack apart from the others is the slots in the top slats and perimeter that allows you to insert nuts and tie downs points anywhere on the rack without drilling.

    From the instructions is looks like Hannibal copied that, but I have never seen one like that in the US.

    The removal is 12 8mm nuts and it can be taken off. than said, the locations on the nuts makes using a socket or gearwrench impossible. So it takes a little time. That advantage is that when removed, the only thing left is the track. From the pictures you referenced it seems to indicate that the Hannibal sits on a "pedestal" and you can remove the nuts above it to remove the rack, but I believe the pedestal will stay.
  7. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    Yeah, those slots are a key feature and I wouldn't be considering the Hannibal if it didn't have them.

    Are you talking about AO or Hannibal? If you're talking about AO, then that doesn't sound as difficult as I've seen described. The inability to use a socket isn't that big a deal if there are only 12 nuts involved. I'm comfortable with removing and installing the rack taking time as long as it's not complicated (as in having to readjust everything each time).

    That's the impression I got - it looks like there are 3 pedestals per side with 1 nut to remove per pedestal.

    Either way, when removing the rack I would typically have either 1 or 2 good sized helpers (I'm 6'1", my helpers are both around 6' and the weight definitely won't be a problem) and I can put the LX-470 into low mode which makes it a lot less of a stretch.
  8. i4c4lo

    i4c4lo New Member

    Messages:
    428
    Greynolds,

    I have the AO and I take it off and on multiple times a year. Other than what Christo said about the 12 nuts, it really is a piece of cake. You can also put the rack on towels and move the rack off the roof so you really don't need a 2nd person to help you. Its light enough that one person can do it.

    I don't have any experience with the Hannibal - I did get to use an ARB and it was too heavy for me and I wouldn't be able to use my rooftop tent on the ARB.

    Hannibal and AO are both good quality racks, I am just partial to the AO :D

    The rail where the AO mounts to is really nice, its makes the mounting and dismounting of the rack a breeze.
  9. Morty

    Morty Regular Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    These guys are making me sound like a granny. I guess PITA is a relative term.

    The AO rack does require the removal of the 12 nuts, which don't easily accommodate a socket, but once those nuts are off it is easy and very light to lift. After the roof comes off, the twelve studs slide out of the rails on either end.

    Putting the rack back on is a little more tricky. You have to slide the 12 studs back into the track and position them just right in order to be able to set the rack back down on top of them and position it properly. In order to do this easily, it takes three people (two to hold the rack up over the roof of the truck, one to move the studs around in order to get proper placement). The actual tower feet do not need readjustment each time the rack comes off of the roof.

    I would say it takes 20 minutes to take the rack off and 30 minutes to put it on.
  10. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    That doesn't sound bad at all. Will be giving the guys at Slee a call later.
  11. dclee

    dclee New Member

    Messages:
    2,352
    Location:
    Left Coast, USA

    It's not even that bad. I just slide all the studs into the track, then get the rack in position. Then I just lift the rack gently at each foot and slide the appropriate studs into position to line up with the mounting holes on each foot. Whole process takes about 15 minutes to put it on, and most of that time is spent tightening bolts since, as others have mentioned, you can't get a socket on them and have to do it the old fashioned way with the open ended wrench.

    One other nice thing about the AO rack is if you have multiple trucks, you can just buy another set of feet (gutter mounts in the case of an 80 or 60) and use the same rack. I switched the rack back and forth between the two trucks with no issues when I had my old 80 Series. Not sure if you can do that with the Hannibal.

  12. Morty

    Morty Regular Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Here's a pic of one of the studs that slides into the rail on the AO. The nuts that secure the rack to the stud are locking nuts.

    Attached Files:

  13. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    Thanks for the picture. When I called Christo to order the rack the other day, we discussed this a bit. He suggested that replacing the nylock nut with a nut and lock washer combination would make taking the rack on and off a lot quicker, which makes a lot of sense. It would also eliminate the need to keep replacing the nylocks as they're usually only good for a few on/off cycles.

    According to Christo, my rack should be shipping yesterday or today and should arrive in Boston sometime mid to late next week. It was significantly cheaper to have it shipped to a depot rather than to my house ($160 versus $300), so I'll be going to pick it up when it arrives. It looks like I can borrow my dad and his pickup, but it would still be worth the savings if I had to rent a pickup and as Christo suggested, I could probably install it at the depot so long as I have the time available.
  14. macneill

    macneill Rollin’ on 33s GOLD Star

    Had mine shipped to a depot out at JFK. My buddy and I installed it in their parking lot. Good time.
  15. Morty

    Morty Regular Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I fully agree with Christo's approach. It takes a lot of turns with an end wrench to get those nylocks off. I think it would be much easier with a standard nut and lockwasher.
  16. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    With assistance from dad (and his pickup truck), I picked the rack up at the depot in Boston this morning and got it installed this afternoon (except for the top rail). The install was somewhat time consuming, but pretty easy.

    After I removed the factory rack, my dad commented that the truck looked a lot better without it (and I think most of us would agree). The rail from the AO rack that stays on the truck all the time was pretty easy to mount and will look fine when the rack isn't installed. We took a trip to the hardware store and got stainless steel lock washers and nuts to replace the nylocks on the studs - that is clearly a big improvement as tightening the nylocks would be pretty time consuming without the ability to use a socket.

    I currently have the rack adjusted about as low as it can go, but am going to have to adjust it up a little higher so I can open the sunroof.

    Without the top rail installed, it's barely higher than the factory rack and fits in the garage with room to spare. With the top rail installed, it may be tight.

    The rack definitely isn't all that heavy, but I would say it is most definitely takes 2 people to put it on the roof or take it off. It's just too bulky to get up that high and maneuver into place for 1 person, IMHO.

    The one thing that I feel AO missed the boat is that the feet that attach to the studs to hold the rack to the rails on the roof should be wider so as to allow room to get a socket wrench in - as it is, it's a bit tight using an open end wrench. This would make the install quite a bit easier. Otherwise, it seems to be a really well designed product.

    I'm very happy with the rack and with my first experience dealing with Slee Offroad. Christo did an excellent job answering my questions before I bought the rack, was available to speak with on the phone when I called to order the rack, and he and his crew got the rack shipped to Boston nice and fast. It left Colorado last Thursday or Friday and was available for pickup Monday morning - it doesn't get much quicker than that.
  17. CrusrDug

    CrusrDug New Member

    Messages:
    653
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    Did you take any before and after pics? How about some detail pics of the feet?
  18. greynolds

    greynolds Regular Member

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Billerica, MA
    I knew that was coming and actually intended to take before/after pics. But I was too excited and forgot to get the camera out - this makes before pictures rather difficult :D. However, after pictures should be doable and I'll try to get to them soon.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  19. dclee

    dclee New Member

    Messages:
    2,352
    Location:
    Left Coast, USA

    BTDT. So eager to get the new toys in play that you forget about pics! :cheers:
  20. CrusrDug

    CrusrDug New Member

    Messages:
    653
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    I feel it too! Sometimes there just isn't time for a camera when your heart is pounding so fast to get that mod completed.

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