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Roof Rack Baskets

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  • Roof Rack Baskets

    Hi, I am just wondering about the most appropriate roof basket options for a 150 series. I have roof rails fitted as standard. Should I consider removing the rails and putting a basket bolted directly or put roof bars on and add/bolt the basket to the bars. Also a choice of Alloy or steel. I would think I'd carry for example fuel, tyres and some other stuff like maxtrax up there. Any views from experience would be grateful.

  • #2
    I reckon the main consideration is weight. If you use standard roof racks on your factory rails, and add a basket, you will be limited by the fact that you still have only the 4 points of contact of the racks, and by the weight limits of the racks themselves.
    You’ll note that other options have multiple points of load across each side, allow better weight distribution.
    I’m soon to change from roof racks as well. My main considerations:
    - weight I intend to put up there. Note that this really should be as limited as possible, as weight should ideally be kept low for better overall centre of gravity
    - heavy items such as fuel and wheels/tyres are hard to get up and down, and are best kept low. I’m sure there would be advice on that here, but if you reckon you’ll carry these items a lot, it may be worth investing in a swing out rear bumper option?
    - wind noise and resistance are both considerations. Baskets are annoying to add/remove all the time, so you’d likely end up just leaving it on the roof. That means noise and some fuel consumption additions.
    - have a think about what you do when not travelling too! Do you still need to carry bikes, timber, ladders, Thule-style roof pods and whatnot? This is something I do a fair bit, so good to have easy options there too.
    - can you come up with a configuration that allows you to have more bulky but light stuff on roof, and heavy stuff low?
    - for Maxtrax, there are all sorts of nice solutions for the roof (on top or off the side). Bespoke items are always pricey, but usually much easier and handy and secure.

    As for me, I’m tempted by a “slab” style unit rather than a “basket” style (with side rails around sides), where everything can be strapped down, but leaves you with a neater option when you’re back home and not carrying anything day to day.

    I too am keen to hear experiences!



    • #3
      Ditch the factory rails so you can get the 100 Kg roof limit instead of only 80 Kg.

      Definitely aluminum. Steel is way too heavy for the roof limit.

      Don't worry about "sides" / "basket" - extra weight, they get in the way, and they are basically unnecessary. Just tie things down securely on a flat platform.

      I have the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (2128mm x 1236mm) with Backbone on my 2018 Prado GX. It is good but, it is de-rated for offroad use... which I don't appreciate.

      If I was buying now, I would get the ARB Base rack because

      - Not de-rated for offroad use (100 Kg payload including the rack)
      - Cross slats (rather than long-wise slats) are better because it is easier to tie stuff down (and probably stronger)
      - More solid construction, more welded, less plastic
      - Nifty anchor point things that attach to the sides of the slats not taking up valuable real estate on top, and less height so you might be able to fit into an underground car park with them on.
      - Cheaper than Rhino Rack (ARB isn't always the most expensive...)

      Front Runner is another solid option. Also not de-rated for offroad use.

      See more discussion at

      That's my 2 cents.


      • #4
        Thanks. That all sounds pretty well thought through. Makes sense, given roof bars costs another 400 -500 then a rack on top of that loses a lot of advantage. Do some flat base rack alloy type have slats and some a mesh floor. Is that right. So replacing/removing the roof rails presents no problem ?


        • #5
          I did a huge amount of outback kms including CSR,Simpson, High country etc in a 120 with the standard roof rails. I did add a 3rd crossbar. There are in fact 6 points of contact and not 4. I have a steel basket because I got it cheap..The same basket now travels on my 150 on 3 Toyota heavy bars. No problems with this set up. Note that Toyota sets the maximum roof weight and not the roof rack makers as some think. Don't carry fuel up there. Unless you are doing the CSR there are few places in Australia where you have to go more then 500 km between fuel stops. If you do carry extra fuel, carry it down low inside the car and empty a jerry every 200 km or so.


          • #6
            I fitted a Front Runner full alloy rack on my 120. Recommend it, strong and half weight of the steel ones I looked at.


            • #7
              Nice. Thanks for the pics. and thanks for the contributions so far. It seems there are individual choices that all have their merits. I'm thinking the best option is to remove the rails and put a platform (base plate or basket not sure yet) which will give maximum load capacity and a much lower profile. The choices still remain ... Front Runner, ARB or Rhino. I was originally trying not to replace the original roof rails, so the Rhino Pioneer SX was looking good, but, having the roof basket or platform as an integrated unit seems to be the safest and strongest way forward (like the Rhino pioneer with a backbone). I like the ARB Base plate with the full off-road rating, and with its mounting kit and the accessories/tie down options available. That might sway the choice in its favour. Alloy is also the way to go I think for me, being lighter, strong enough and manageable. So thanks Grinbot, Mat-with-one-T, Sparksy and 404pug. All useful and practical solutions.


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