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EVO MFG Trail Roof Rack Installation / Review

Seanst34

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So I’ve seen some general information on this rack in other threads but nothing very detailed so I’m leaving notes here on my installation experience and early review.

So the rack came well packaged and protected from damage. Much better than other accessories I’ve purchased before. There were still a few scuffs here and there but nothing significant. The shipping weight is 88 lbs and I estimate the rack itself is 80 lbs which is heavier than I would like but I was willing to trade off weight for looks, functionality, and the low profile design. An aluminum option would be welcome.

First, this thing comes in a little over 20 pieces not including the hardware. Each cross member is three pieces with two Angles which connect to a T slot rail in the center. The online directions are straight forward and everything went together easy enough. However it was time consuming due to the number of pieces and parts. Per a pic of the installation instructions below they direct you to leave all of the assembly hardware loose. I thought this to be idiotic even though I get the reasoning behind it. So I tightened everything on the ground accept for the ends of the cross members to the outside frame. In my mind this allows the rack to flex when mounting to the Jeep without leaving a ton of work on top of the Jeep where you risk damaging the roof. Worked like a charm for me. The only problem I had was with the rail mounting plate and bolt. The supplied bolt was 2” long. Even with clamps I wasn’t able to get the bolt to fully bite the nut integrated into the rail mount plate. As s result I had to go purchase (4) 3/8”-16 - 2 1/2” bolts. This made life much easier and everything mounted perfectly.

As for performance this rack only adds a total of 1 1/2” of total height to the highest center point of your Jeep. There is no noticeable wind noise that I’ve detected and I don’t have headliners on my hardtop. Looks great and is very stout. With my 2” Mopar lift and 35” tires total height is roughly 80 1/2”. That’s perfect for me to get the Jeep in the garage with room to spare for 37s down the road. I’m going to work on mounting a shovel, hi lift jack, and Roto pax down the road. Love this rack and it looks bad ass

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plex

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Thanks for the write-up and pictures. I hope I can write something for my mods, but many times I am just too lazy after wrenching around the garage.

I think I am going to follow your trail here, really like the fact this rack does not need to drill through hardtop. I have hothead headliners, so drilling is really not ideal.

In the installation instruction, it says applying RTV silicone bead, did you follow that? Also, is it hard for one hefty people to lift this up on to hardtop, or I really need some helping hands. I like doing my mods alone so I can surprise my buddies.

If you don't have that Buckeye blanket, I will give you 100/100. Now, I say 85/100.
 

plex

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And that black rack, really blends into your black JL. This reminds me the old Nissan Xterra I had over the years. It mixed much better than the white JL EVO showed in the stock pictures.
 
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Seanst34

Seanst34

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Thanks for the write-up and pictures. I hope I can write something for my mods, but many times I am just too lazy after wrenching around the garage.

I think I am going to follow your trail here, really like the fact this rack does not need to drill through hardtop. I have hothead headliners, so drilling is really not ideal.

In the installation instruction, it says applying RTV silicone bead, did you follow that? Also, is it hard for one hefty people to lift this up on to hardtop, or I really need some helping hands. I like doing my mods alone so I can surprise my buddies.

If you don't have that Buckeye blanket, I will give you 100/100. Now, I say 85/100.
I recently had a hernia surgery so I’m not 100% or I would have probably lifted it into place myself. Diffenately easier with two. I missed the silicon bead note so not sure what that’s about. One update is that the rack does affect Sirius radio. On sunny clear days it’s not a problem but when it’s cloudy or drivibgbthru tree covered areas it will cut in and out. Others have noted the antenna can be relocated but I don’t plan to renew my trial service do not sure I’ll mess with it. It does not affect GPS.
 

Maxydouda

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Wow thanks for the review !

As I am waiting on my 2019 delivery, I am considering this same rack ( don't want to drill in the roof )

Do you know if this rack can be used for a roof top tent ?
 
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Seanst34

Seanst34

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Wow thanks for the review !

As I am waiting on my 2019 delivery, I am considering this same rack ( don't want to drill in the roof )

Do you know if this rack can be used for a roof top tent ?
I’ve seen pics with an RTT mounted but load rating is 154lbs which is based on the load rating of the hard to itself. Some here claim it can hold more when stationary but I’m not going to test it.
 

plex

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I got my shipment from EVO MFG today, unfortunately the bottom of the heavy shipping box appears to be damaged during shipping and all hardware is missing. This left me with only the rail sections. I guess I have to call them tomorrow.
 

kimmonia

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I got my shipment from EVO MFG today, unfortunately the bottom of the heavy shipping box appears to be damaged during shipping and all hardware is missing. This left me with only the rail sections. I guess I have to call them tomorrow.
Let us know how it goes! Customer service is big - also, sorry to hear shipping dind't go well...
 

Andy2434

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Installed my EVO roof rack a couple of days ago. Have noticed no additional wind noise. It works perfectly with the Sunrider for hardtop. XM reception has been perfect in the rain and when the snow was falling. Hopefully, it remains that way.

Now, I need to locate the hardware to mount my Maxtrax and Rotopax.
 
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Seanst34

Seanst34

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Installed my EVO roof rack a couple of days ago. Have noticed no additional wind noise. It works perfectly with the Sunrider for hardtop. XM reception has been perfect in the rain and when the snow was falling. Hopefully, it remains that way.

Now, I need to locate the hardware to mount my Maxtrax and Rotopax.
Added a colored back plate to mine recently. Let me know what works for you as far as hardware for rotopax ect goes. Got distracted with other projects so I haven’t executed on that front.

C26F5D44-C6C6-4BE5-BD6D-18AE275DE904.jpeg
 

Andy2434

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Added a colored back plate to mine recently. Let me know what works for you as far as hardware for rotopax ect goes. Got distracted with other projects so I haven’t executed on that front.

C26F5D44-C6C6-4BE5-BD6D-18AE275DE904.jpeg
The colored back plate looks great! Currently, I have a set of Maxtrax and a 3 gal. Rotopax that I will mounting on top of the rack. I’ll be hoping to source and locate 1/4” - 20 tee bolts with knobs. I haven’t found any yet where the tee is long enough to lock out in the roof track.
 
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Seanst34

Seanst34

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The colored back plate looks great! Currently, I have a set of Maxtrax and a 3 gal. Rotopax that I will mounting on top of the rack. I’ll be hoping to source and locate 1/4” - 20 tee bolts with knobs. I haven’t found any yet where the tee is long enough to lock out in the roof track.
I was looking at this rotopax mounting kit adapter for Rino Rack and wondered if it might work for the EVO. If nothing else I thought you could apply the same logic with a standard rotopax mount with bolts and correctly sized washers.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessorie...MIt83mn5fE4AIVCI7ICh1_zQT2EAQYASABEgLHvfD_BwE
 

Andy2434

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Seanst34

Seanst34

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Good idea on the strut nuts. I’ll see if I can find the right size for the EVO slot.
The only problem I see with that solution is the lack of widened slots at the end of the bars. You might have to completely disconnect the cross rail at the end to feed the nuts in and then button everything back up. Slotted ends would be a nice add by EVO to make this system more functional.
 

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