Rhinorack Pioneer/Backbone system with RTT on JKUR experience?


I don't know if this is the correct place for this question. I posted a thread last week about long term viability of a high mileage JKUR(136,000 miles and counting) and the possible purchase of a Ursa Minor J30. This is kind of along the same lines but different. Does anyone have any experience carrying roof top tent on the Rhinorack Pioneer/Backbone platform on their Jeep? And if so how it handles on and off road? This was my other option instead of purchasing the J30 since I already have a Rhinorack Pioneer platform/backbone system installed on my Jeep. Plus I could always transfer the RTT to another vehicle if the Jeep became unreliable? I'm specifically looking at a clamshell style RTT. Thanks in advance.


Check out some of trail recon's videos. He has a rtt on his Jeep and talks about the pros and cons. I believe he is given numerous Jeep products in exchange for his reviews (i don't know with certainty). Regardless, his videos are informative.

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I don't have the platform, but I have the Backbone System with 3 cross bars setup on my JKU. My Jeep is at stock height with stock wheels. I own a Treeline Outdoors Tamarack, which is lighter than most out there at around 120 pounds. I also put a 42 pound Batwing awning up there too.
Mileage - I get 14 liters/100km without anything up there. I get hit with a 2 liter penalty for keeping it up there when highway driving.
Noise - More wind noise.
Freedom Panels - even though they come off, too much wind is directed right down on to the center of your head. Fine for anything less than 50 km/h, otherwise too much.
It's still a tent - You can't really put it away wet. Ideally you dry it out before stowing, but sometimes you simply can't. Unless you have limitless garage space. Don't forget, cooler months = condensation.
Can't take anything other than the tent - no room for kayaks/canoe.
Modularity - Can reconfigure fairly easy depending on what you are doing. Tent comes on and off fairly easy now that I have a routine. I change it out for transporting 2 kayaks, use the cargo basket, or strip everything off if we are doing a longer, non-camping road trip.
Top heavy-ness - It's not that bad. I thought it would be worse. May have something to do with stock height/suspension.
Comfort - We sleep 2 as well as 2 40 pound Springer Spaniels in comfort. I don't think the Ursa Minor is as wide/roomy, though I could be mistaken.
Inherent awning/annex - gives some additional living space when needed. Though, more wet stuff to deal with when it rains.
That's all I can come up with off the top. I am supposed to be working, Monday motivation is hard to find.


Lenny, I also have the Backbone system with 3 crossbars. I just bought an FSR (Free Spirit Recreation) Adventure series automatic tent. It's powered but still very light with a hard shell instead of vinyl cover. It's sort of a weird hybrid. Look them up. Anyway, it's only 140 lbs. and does fine with the Backbone and crossbars. Other than the wind noise I can't tell it's there. I had an Ursa before but wanted a lighter and cheaper setup than the Ursa.

I had planned on going with the Pioneer platform instead of the 3 aero bars but the hardtop I got came with the crossbars and Backbone system already. I removed the towers from the bars and mounted the bars directly to the backbone base plates to reduce the height and wind drag. It came out very well. I now have a much lower profile setup. A picture is worth a thousand words here so I'll dig around for a couple. Glad to answer more questions if you need.


Thanks again for the responses. I'm so fickle. I almost pulled the trigger on an Autohome Columbus Variant but keep going back to a J30. I know I could switch the RTT to another vehicle or take it off whenever I didn't want it up there but man the J30 keeps calling my name. Keep thinking about keeping the jeep long term(another 10-12 years) and if that was the case would prefer the J30.

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