No Drill: DeeZee vs Exposed Racks Opinions?

mjaga

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I've scoured the forum looking for no drill rooftop tent rack options and these two rose to the top. (I'm familiar with the cons of using a no drill option for a RTT; it will be used infrequently and drilling into the top is absolutely not an option for me).

I'm also familiar with the different options offered by these manufacturers, but for what I'm looking to accomplish either will get the job done.

With all that being said, does anyone have any experience with both of these rack systems? Can anyone speak to the quality/fit/finish of either or both? If you were to buy again, which one system would you end up with and why? I'm interested in any and all feedback (yes I've read the other threads, but would be great to compare these two options specifically!). Thanks all.
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flyingbear

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If you go with DeeZee, watch out for retailers posting the rack in stock when it's really backordered for around $400. Not sure why they are all doing this, but it's SUPER annoying. I was going to purchase one myself but have received backorder notices from two stores already. Haven't tried to order again.
 
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mjaga

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If you go with DeeZee, watch out for retailers posting the rack in stock when it's really backordered for around $400. Not sure why they are all doing this, but it's SUPER annoying. I was going to purchase one myself but have received backorder notices from two stores already. Haven't tried to order again.
Thank you for the heads up. That is annoying. I get if it's backordered BUT they're up front about it. But to let the order go through and then give you the notice seems a little shady for sure.
 

WhereRU_A-A-Ron

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I was in the same boat. Drilling into the top wasn’t an option I was comfortable with. The DeeZee rack checked all of our boxes. We ordered from Amazon and received ours in 3 days. Happy to take pictures for you or answer any questions you have about it.
 

daveprice7

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I am in the same boat, .. well.. I will be in the same boat when I pick up my hardtop this weekend (assuming that deal goes through). I'm leaning towards the Dee Zee rack based on the positive reviews I've read and I like the look of it better than other options. I'm likely going to go rogue and get the 4dr rack for my 2dr and find a way to make the longer rear portion of the rack span the entire 2dr roof.
 
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mjaga

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I was in the same boat. Drilling into the top wasn’t an option I was comfortable with. The DeeZee rack checked all of our boxes. We ordered from Amazon and received ours in 3 days. Happy to take pictures for you or answer any questions you have about it.
Thank you for this - I did also see your review on Amazon. My concern with DeeZee is the small feet compared to those on the Exposed Racks RTT. It seems the ER feet have better surface area, many more of them and are spread out over the entire roof instead of just at the edges. How do you anticipate the DeeZee holding up over time? Do you have any concerns over this? The ER is double the price of the DeeZee so I'm trying to figure out if that alone is worth the additional cost.

Thank you! This video is well made and helpful. I was leaning towards these but then I realized they don't want you using them for RTT. However, your video very clearly shows the quality and craftsmanship of the racks. I wish there were more non-manufacturer videos of these floating around.

I am in the same boat, .. well.. I will be in the same boat when I pick up my hardtop this weekend (assuming that deal goes through). I'm leaning towards the Dee Zee rack based on the positive reviews I've read and I like the look of it better than other options. I'm likely going to go rogue and get the 4dr rack for my 2dr and find a way to make the longer rear portion of the rack span the entire 2dr roof.
I, too, am leaning towards the DeeZee. It looks to me like the DeeZee can be had for ~$600 when the ER setup I'd need is ~$1200.
 

WhereRU_A-A-Ron

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Thank you for this - I did also see your review on Amazon. My concern with DeeZee is the small feet compared to those on the Exposed Racks RTT. It seems the ER feet have better surface area, many more of them and are spread out over the entire roof instead of just at the edges. How do you anticipate the DeeZee holding up over time? Do you have any concerns over this? The ER is double the price of the DeeZee so I'm trying to figure out if that alone is worth the additional cost.
I don’t know much about the ER option to compare but if it has more points of contact then that will obviously spread out the weight more evenly. I am not running a ton of weight up top; maybe 75 lbs or so total but I would certainly feel confident in running DeeZee’s recommended maximum dynamic/static loads. There are few people running RTTs with the DeeZee rack and are very pleased with it.

The rack is surprisingly rock solid. I can tug on it and rock the Jeep back and forth and there is ZERO play. Other than some re-snugging of some bolts here and there after our initial camping trip with the rack, I’ve had to tighten nothing since then. So far, it’s got probably 12,000 miles on top of the Jeep and it’s good to go. No issues.

Hopefully that’s helpful.
 

daveprice7

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... It seems the ER feet have better surface area, many more of them and are spread out over the entire roof instead of just at the edges. ...
I'm not an expert, but, I do a fair amount of building things (structures). The ER weight distribution feet really only serve to compensate for the relatively small crossbars they use. Please enjoy my mad MSPaint skills:
weight_distribution.jpg


Here, you see the Jeep fiberglass roof in black, and the exposed rack in red, and your average 16 ton weight in grey. In this example, if you put enough weight in the middle, it will flex both the crossbar and the roof (which you would really rather avoid to prevent cracking it). That being said, regardless of where you put the weight on this system, 100% of the weight is always transferred to the edges, where the green arrows are, so the ER and DeeZee are effectively the same in that regard. I think the advantage of the DeeZee system is that the crossbar is fatter so it doesn't need to use the fiberglass roof as a crutch along the span to keep the bar from flexing. This is all just theoretical of course.
 

Themallcrawler

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The DeeZee racks are only for the 4-doors, correct?
 

daveprice7

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The DeeZee racks are only for the 4-doors, correct?
They make a short rack that is designed to work on either the back portion of the hardtop or the freedom panels or one in the front and one in the back at the same time.

The DeeZee instructions say not to span the side rails between the freedom panels and the back of the hardtop, but I can't imagine why that would be an issue, and I've seen other rack systems connect to the gutters of the freedom tops and back simultaneously.

So, depending on your comfort level disregarding warnings, you could get a 4-door rack, and use the longer side rails and all four crossbars to make a rack/platform that spans the whole 2-door roof, or you could just get the two individual short racks, one for the front and one for the back... it wouldn't be much different than the four individual crossbars on the Exposed Racks setup.

Edit: Another option ... the DeeZee rack comes with various length extruded aluminum parts with little end caps that you pound into the ends during assembly. It would be fairly effortless to shorten the longer side rails included with the 4-door rack to the correct length for just the back of the 2 door, completely avoiding the freedom tops altogether (if you wanted to retain the ability to remove them). I think you'd end up with something like a 3ft rack at that point, which isn't too bad really.
 
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