Bed Racks

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Delkat

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Wondering if people have opinions on bed racks for my ZR2 pickup. I have a RTT coming for Xmas and need to get a rack to mount it. I am leaning toward a 12" modular rack from CBI, Datin or Relentless. I like the idea of keeping the tent lower but maintaining some room to mount things on the sides of the rack. The full size (16") seem to have more mounts available but I don't like the 200lbs of tent being up so high and aero hit I'll take.

Any experience with modular racks vs. welded and low mount vs. high?

Thanks
 

emulous74

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I believe 589 Fab has an option too. I don't have experience with the low boys, but my suggestion is research how they attach and how easy they are to take off/out, as if you need to use your bed for tall stuff, you'll have to remove it. If you don't want to continually touch up and preventive measures for rust, I would go with an aluminum rack for both weight and longevity. As you stated look for one that will serve you for more than just your RTT, being able to mount things to the sides and underneath will be very beneficial. Do also check all the specs, meaning capacities for Static weight, on-road weight and off-road weight. No sense in spending the money on something that won't hold up to the weight you want to use while you are off-road.
 

Delkat

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Yes, 589 is an option too. They don't seem to have as many mounting accessories, though. Which rack are you running?

I am interested in whether the taller rack is an issue for aero drag and or the weight of the RTT being up high causing stability issues off-road.
 

emulous74

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I searched high and wide for a bed rack that had the best weight capacities and ability to add-on whatever I wanted. I ended up with a Leitner Active Cargo System rack because it met all my criteria and I don't loose the ability to put tall items in my bed without taking the rack off. The Leitner is probably the most expensive rack out there right now and it's all aluminum (weighs 70lbs bar), has accessories from gear pods, max trax holders, to light brackets, hi-lift jack brackets, and flag poles. It is rated at 1,000lbs static, 500lbs on-road, and 250lbs off-road. It uses t-slots on all 4 sides of the load bars and the 2 sides of all the side attachment points, so it means you can install whatever you'd want without having to buy them through Leitner. The biggest selling point is the rear load bar is attached through hand/thumb turns, so you can quickly loosen and slide the rear load bar all the way to the front of the rack, allowing you to have almost complete use of the bed. As you can see in my profile pic I've had an Alu-Cab RTT on it, about 160lbs. It is very stable up there and even with two people in the tent there is very little movement, it feels perfectly secure. With just the rack on and my maxtraxs, 2 gear boxes, 2 2.5 gal gas tanks and 2 2 gal water tanks. I get 14 - 15 mpg. I have a gas zr2. With the tent mounted I get anywhere from 12 - 14 mpg. Before I put the rack on, I barely got 15 mpg. For the ZR2 you do have to make 4 holes in your bed (2 for the rear brackets, and 2 in the front of the bed for the support straps).

Thule announced that they are about to release for overland friendly racks that have decent specs, you can attach items to the sides and require no drilling, and will work with two tonneau covers, you might want to check those out.

I can fully understand why you would want a low rack, you might want to consider bed bars that would be easier to take off when you don't have the tent back there.

If you are planning to keep your tent on most of the time, then go with the low racks or the bed bars if you want the best mpgs. If you want don't want to have to remove your rack when you don't have the tent on it, I think the Leitner is worth the drop in mpgs because it's the most versatile one out there.

I just know that my friend with a low rack, only puts it on when he is bringing his RTT, his is steel and he's constantly touching up the paint because it easily rusts, and seems like such a pain to remove and store.
 

jplemons

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Fresno, CA, USA
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I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering what you decided to go with. I’m looking at a 12” rack from Datin Fab.
 

Delkat

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I bought a flush mount from 589 Fab to hold me over since it was low cost and I needed something for some upcoming trips. I am still planning to get the Relentless modular rack when it becomes available. I do like the 589 in that the RTT is tucked flush/below the roof so great aero and lower center of gravity but I can't access the bed as easily nor can I mount some items on the rack sides. The lower height Datin looks good but I think I'll wait for the Relentless since I am working with them on bumpers and feel like I can put a complete solution together based on the swing out tire carrier.
 
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jplemons

Rank IV
Member

Advocate II

933
Fresno, CA, USA
Member #

17443

I bought a flush mount from 589 Fab to hold me over since it was low cost and I needed something for some upcoming trips. I am still planning to get the Relentless modular rack when it becomes available. I do like the 589 in that the RTT is tucked flush/below the roof so great aero and lower center of gravity but I can't access the bed as easily nor can I mount some items on the rack sides. The lower height Datin looks good but I think I'll wait for the Relentless since I am working with them on bumpers and feel like I can put a complete solution together based on the swing out tire carrier.
Thanks. I like the look of their rack for the Toyotas. Can’t wait to see what they do for Chevy as well.