Gutter clamp roof rack vs $$$ options

SJWantsADiesel

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Forgive my naivety but other than aesthetics, what is the difference between installing gutter clamps plus a universal roof rack vs the custom $1k+ roof racks (that also clamp to the gutter)?

I am looking at this part from SmittyBilt - HDS-6 and add a bolt on universal rack on top. For now, I just plan on putting a spare tire (steel wheel and 35x12 tire) and a hi-lift jack.
 

SJWantsADiesel

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I might’ve found an answer, at least, for the SmittyBilt mount. The installation instructions say:
“Defender Roof Racks are rated for loads of no more than 150lbs. evenly distributed. When carrying a spare tire, the tire should not exceed 33” diameter”.
That said, still interested in a modular solution that won’t make me drop $1k+ upfront. Thanks! :)
 

SJWantsADiesel

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Have you ever carried a spare on the roof of an 80?

Maybe try loading one onto something the equivalent height before dropping $1k to carry a spare on the roof.
It sucks. Plus, trips to the mall will never be the same!

I definitely do not intend to raise/lower the spare all by myself - if that is what you mean :D My thought process is - the only time I driving it alone is when I am within city limits or the freeway, basically, places where AAA can reach me if I have a flat tire :D Call me a sissy but there is a reason I carry AAA membership. If I am off-road then I am not alone, I have at least one more able bodied person with me and most likely another vehicle.

As for mall excursions, the truck is already banned from entering closed garage/ramps - after I attempted to enter one when I had just gotten the truck and in the process ripped off the roof rack that the PO had rigged together. Fortunately, it was something that was bolted to the factory rails so it was messy to recover but at least did not tear off my roof.

Other options - (1) put the spare in the trunk and eat up all that precious space and earn the wrath of the family and dog that use it from time to time. (2) Spend $2k+ to mount it on a rear swing out arm that installs on a $$$ rear bumper.

In general, roof isn't my favorite place to put the spare either but I don't see any other viable options, in my situation.

Now that I think about it - wondering if the rear split "grocery" doors can be replaced with a single JDM style door?
edit: nvm, saw this: Barn door conversion - https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/barn-door-conversion.10911/
 

SoTexCruiserDoc

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Forgive my naivety but other than aesthetics, what is the difference between installing gutter clamps plus a universal roof rack vs the custom $1k+ roof racks (that also clamp to the gutter)?

I am looking at this part from SmittyBilt - HDS-6 and add a bolt on universal rack on top. For now, I just plan on putting a spare tire (steel wheel and 35x12 tire) and a hi-lift jack.
Trying to follow your goals/intentions/limitations here….

If roof rack intention is primarily to carry a spare and a jack and you’re cash limited: maybe forego the rack altogether and just use a smaller spare in stock location and throw the high lift in the back? A roof rack is a crappy place to carry a spare, unless you need to carry 2 or 3 tires for your trips (doesn’t sound like you do).

I’ve seen some really nice custom arrangements to put 35” tire inside truck bolted to the 3rd row seat holes….but that takes up significant interior room as stated.

Assuming you have a stock rear bumper…there are swing out options for tire which are well less than $1000 and plenty of threads of DIY’ers with nice swing out set ups.

If you have a real bumper on the back, just get a swing out and call it a day.

Pretty much all roof racks have some kind of gutter mount system (unless using stock). The welded crossmember racks are more suited for carrying heavier weight. Pretty much all of them are reasonable for a spare, depending on how you mount/strap it. The bigger, heavier welded racks are only advantageous if you “need” something like that (big carry load routinely) unless you’re building it yourself (saving cost by DIY). Yes, my Bowfin is $1000, but it’s perfect and will do what 90%+ of Cruiser guys need it to do. Easy on and easy off, too.
 

cartercd

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A 35" spare tire on the roof is not doing your center of gravity any good either. Also, in the event of a crash that involves a sudden stop, the tire (with roof rack attached) can become a flying projectile. Wilco Offroad makes a swingout tire carrier that fits in the receiver hitch that might suit your needs, but it seems unnecessarily expensive at over $1,100.

1630977637644.png


Here is a write-up for the $100 DIY version. DIY-Low Cost Swing Down Hitch Mount Spare Tire Rack - https://www.overlandbound.com/forums/threads/diy-low-cost-swing-down-hitch-mount-spare-tire-rack.15415/
 

clx16

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Any JDM conversion will be well over 1k. I think the cheapest options are adding a swing out closer to diy style or hitch mounted. But if you want to just order the gutter mount ladder rack kits for a van at a big box home improvement store those are cheap too and can take some weight. You might want to customize to a lower height but that's just a hacksaw blade away solution.
 
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Yeah, +1 in favour of the swingout rear tyre carrier. Here's the one on my 80, makes things much easier:
1630992794777.png


They even make a hi-lift jack mount for the end plate if you're so inclined (pick stolen elsewhere from MUD):
1630993053180.png


I don't run a roof rack. I am planning to get a side awning fitted one day, but I'll be looking at the "rackless" mounting options to directly attach to the gutter, and I'll probably only attach it when I'm heading out somewhere I'll use it.
 

alia176

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Forgive my naivety but other than aesthetics, what is the difference between installing gutter clamps plus a universal roof rack vs the custom $1k+ roof racks (that also clamp to the gutter)?

I am looking at this part from SmittyBilt - HDS-6 and add a bolt on universal rack on top. For now, I just plan on putting a spare tire (steel wheel and 35x12 tire) and a hi-lift jack.

You're new to this board so if you could fill out your vehicle info + mods, etc on your sig line, might help us guide you better.

As is stands, 285 75 16 tire will easily fit in the stock location and a search will reveal the "stacking washers to raise the tire holder cross member" mod that quite a few of us have done to gain more clearance.

Regarding your question, a $1k+ roof rack maybe using a rail system that uses most of the gutter vs "feet" that quite of the racking company uses. For ex, I'm using Thule gutter feet to support my RTT.
 
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I carried a 33" spare on the roof of my FJ60s for years (Confer roof rack). Like everything, there are advantages / disadvantages. For me, it was much easier to live with than a swing out rear bumper carrier like I have on my 80. How often do you actually use the spare? The swing out is a pain every single time you open the rear tailgate.

For me, the biggest downside to having the spare on the roof was burning more fuel because it was even less aerodynamic.
 

alia176

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I carried a 33" spare on the roof of my FJ60s for years (Confer roof rack). Like everything, there are advantages / disadvantages. For me, it was much easier to live with than a swing out rear bumper carrier like I have on my 80. How often do you actually use the spare? The swing out is a pain every single time you open the rear tailgate.

For me, the biggest downside to having the spare on the roof was burning more fuel because it was even less aerodynamic.

I can totally related to swing outs being a PITA. When I lived near Chicago, I'd simply leave the whole swingout+tire in the side yard until I actually went wheeling, which wasn't all that much. Now that I live in NM and the 80 is a dedicated trail rig, it lives on their full time with a cover around the spare tire. UV will kill the rubber out here and I do see quite a few 4x4 owners with tires on their roofs but not covered.
 
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That's one big advantage of the swing-out "ambulance doors". On my 80 above, you'll see the right-side mounted swingout tyre carrier still allows me to open the door on the left without needing to move it.
Like I said, everything has its advantages and disadvantages. For me, my tailgate is just too darn useful to ever give up. It's a table, a work surface, a seat, and a place to stand when dealing with items on the roof. I'll take the tailgate over the barn doors any day.
 

SJWantsADiesel

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Apologies for the late response and thanks everyone for ideas/pointers. I think I found what I was looking for and looks like someone already has this solution on their 80.

Stole pic from an online store reviews so if you don’t hear from me any further, know that I am in Bezos’ jail somewhere.

1634881618670.png


Most people put two but if you are paranoid like me, probably put up 4 rails and cost you ~$130. Throw any roof basket carrier. Or, go with a half carrier and two rails.

Not roof hugging like the $$$ options but I have other uses for $1k right now 😊

Search for “Highland 2006200 Black Heavy Duty Bar Carrier” on that store that shares the name with a jungle in Brazil.
 

Heckraiser

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I have a 35x10.5x16 swamper that fits in the stock spare location as long as you're not running a hitch of any kind (pintle should still work). Very expensive tire ($350 ballpark), but cheaper than a roof rack and less ghetto than a tire on the roof.

IMO, if my only option was tire on the roof, I would just leave it at home and keep the plug kit and AAA card handy. You can also strap a spare upright in the back so it doesn't take up the whole cargo area.
 

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