Overlanding without a roof rack, exterior storage or seat delete? Sky OneTouch top challenge

Overland Productions

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Exact same situation here. Wife, dog, sky one touch. Wife originally wanted the Gobi and RTT but that is a little too permanent for me. I'm seriously considering the Vector shelf and also the LOD Offroad Destroyer rear bumper and tire carrier with Destroyer trail rack just to get a bit more storage space and a place to mount a jack and rotopacks.
 

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I think Rhino Rack already takes the rack weight into account as the exact same mounting system using the cross bars has advertised capacity of:

  • On Road Dynamic Load Capacity: 219 lbs
  • Off Road Dynamic Load Capacity: 174 lbs
  • Static Load Capacity: 748 lbs

Of course the math doesn't add up to the weight difference between the two, and the differences aren't even consistent between the different capacity numbers, but I just don't see a way that the cross bars can hold more than the rack if the weight difference isn't already factored in. I know I'm going to plop a 140 lb RTT on my Pioneer platform and wheel the shit out of it, we'll see how it goes. There are others running heavier loads on the pioneer for years now without issues.
I think you’ll be fine. There’s likely a margin for safety factored in but if I were going to reconsider one, I’d email them to see if the weight of the rack itself is factored in. In that Dahl episode, there was mention that the issue was not only that the Offroad rating should be more easily found but that the rack weight was not included unless I misunderstood. I’m sure an email would clear that up but I’ve chosen a different route.
 

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Alrighty, here's the question - do you think it's feasible to go overlanding/camping for 3 days in a JLUR with my wife and dog, without requiring a seat delete or exterior cargo rack?

Why, you might ask - well, I have the Sky OneTouch Top (which I like for the convenience and open-air feel), so a rhino rack backbone is out of the question as it's not made for it. I also don't particularly like the look of the Gobi exoskeleton racks when I'm not loaded up.

I can't do the Goose Gear seat delete because I use the rear seats in my JL regularly when not camping. Seats will likely be up when camping as the dog needs a place to sit

I am trying to pack as "space efficiently" as possible so have a ton of packaging gear on order - AAL setup with fridge slider, drawers, cargo shelf and underfloor compressor storage. I can't really test the fitment until everything comes in, which could be a while. That's why I'm looking for advice here.

Will I be able to fit everything needed? Am I just screwed and will end up either switching to a regular hard top or an exo rack?

Tent is a Gazelle T3X, for reference.
I don’t know what gear you have for camping, but I’m guessing you’re bringing more than you need. On my JK I didn’t have a roofrack, and I did 10+day long trips with it 100% self supported except for gas.Being a backpacker I have a natural tendency to pack where an item has multiple uses and I generally enjoy nature. It’s all doable, just depends on what you have and how you pack.

this picture is from an 11day trip, 7 of which were offroad. My father, my 2y old son and I on a trip from WA down to southern UT and N. AZ. I folded down the double seat and my kids car seat was on the single. Big metal bin is food, small is cooking gear and dishes. You can see on top of the fridge I have a child carrying backpack which take up a LOT of space. Folding chairs, fold up camping table (2x4 ft), tent, clothes and sleeping gear galore. I also have my winching bag, my snatch straps bag and a small drinks cooler up by the front seats (not seen in pic).
Maybe you don’t have the right gear to do this but it is easy. Just have to pack smart. This was my standard setup when it was 2 adults and a kid (no dog). With my dog it’s a different story, but you aren’t taking kid(s) which take up a lot more room than a dog with all their gear, etc. the photo shows hardtop but I did this with softtop too.
BEA02C00-5E86-44D5-A82A-9CD1C673C782.jpeg
 
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I don’t know what gear you have for camping, but I’m guessing you’re bringing more than you need. On my JK I didn’t have a roofrack, and I did 10+day long trips with it 100% self supported except for gas.Being a backpacker I have a natural tendency to pack where an item has multiple uses and I generally enjoy nature. It’s all doable, just depends on what you have and how you pack.

this picture is from an 11day trip, 7 of which were offroad. My father, my 2y old son and I on a trip from WA down to southern UT and N. AZ. I folded down the double seat and my kids car seat was on the single. Big metal bin is food, small is cooking gear and dishes. You can see on top of the fridge I have a child carrying backpack which take up a LOT of space. Folding chairs, fold up camping table (2x4 ft), tent, clothes and sleeping gear galore. I also have my winching bag, my snatch straps bag and a small drinks cooler up by the front seats (not seen in pic).
Maybe you don’t have the right gear to do this but it is easy. Just have to pack smart. This was my standard setup when it was 2 adults and a kid (no dog). With my dog it’s a different story, but you aren’t taking kid(s) which take up a lot more room than a dog with all their gear, etc. the photo shows hardtop but I did this with softtop too.
BEA02C00-5E86-44D5-A82A-9CD1C673C782.jpeg

Very helpful, thanks. I'm waiting on my setup from AAL to arrive and then will try and pack out the Jeep. I've been buying gear that is specifically designed to be "space efficient" as much as possible (aside from my tent and mattress - comfort junkie), so hopefully that helps. If I can fit the tent across the floorboards in the rear, it might just work.
 

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I'm very interested to hear how this all works out for you. Our Jeep is still being made, but we're planning on some adventures this spring and summer. There's 2 adults, 2 kids, and a very large (~100lb) dog. We're just planning on taking maybe 2 night trips but packing is going to be challenging.

I already have a rooftop cargo carrier but the Jeep doesn't have rails. I really don't want to tow a trailer behind me, and I would have to purchase one. Trailer-wise, I could rent one from uhaul, buy a cheap ~$700 from Lowes, or buy a real one for about $1500 bucks. The one from Lowes looks appealing but quality is questionable, especially the axle, tires, and off-road capability.

I think what we'll end up doing is seeing how things fit, take only bare essentials, and probably end up with a cheaper hitch rack. I have a feeling that there's just not going to be enough room in the Jeep for all of us and our equipment. The hitch rack is the cheapest to buy, don't have to worry about tires or axles, but don't get to bring as much with and have to worry about approach and departure angles.

At the end of the day, what I'm gathering from everything I read, is that anything you do there's going to be pro's and con's, and a lot of us try different things until we find something we like. Who knows, maybe I'll buy the hitch rack and hate it, then buy a trailer and hate it....but at least it's more knowledge gained.
 
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I'm very interested to hear how this all works out for you. Our Jeep is still being made, but we're planning on some adventures this spring and summer. There's 2 adults, 2 kids, and a very large (~100lb) dog. We're just planning on taking maybe 2 night trips but packing is going to be challenging.

I already have a rooftop cargo carrier but the Jeep doesn't have rails. I really don't want to tow a trailer behind me, and I would have to purchase one. Trailer-wise, I could rent one from uhaul, buy a cheap ~$700 from Lowes, or buy a real one for about $1500 bucks. The one from Lowes looks appealing but quality is questionable, especially the axle, tires, and off-road capability.

I think what we'll end up doing is seeing how things fit, take only bare essentials, and probably end up with a cheaper hitch rack. I have a feeling that there's just not going to be enough room in the Jeep for all of us and our equipment. The hitch rack is the cheapest to buy, don't have to worry about tires or axles, but don't get to bring as much with and have to worry about approach and departure angles.

At the end of the day, what I'm gathering from everything I read, is that anything you do there's going to be pro's and con's, and a lot of us try different things until we find something we like. Who knows, maybe I'll buy the hitch rack and hate it, then buy a trailer and hate it....but at least it's more knowledge gained.
I'm kind of in the same boat as you, assessing the options. The problem with the roof racks with this roof, as I've had a roof box with skis in it before, is that the noise is unbearable above 60. I was unable to talk to my passenger for a 4 hour trip to the mountains.

I think the Gobi rack might be in my future either way, unfortunately. The wind deflector should help some, plus the weight rating would allow me to carry everything I want for a week out on the trail. I just don't like the noise or the look, really.

Trying to avoid a trailer as it just seems like a hassle to pull along the trail. If I was just going to a campsite, that wouldn't be bad. But I want to build a rig that I can climb the tough trails and then camp where no one is around.
 

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I'm kind of in the same boat as you, assessing the options. The problem with the roof racks with this roof, as I've had a roof box with skis in it before, is that the noise is unbearable above 60. I was unable to talk to my passenger for a 4 hour trip to the mountains.

I think the Gobi rack might be in my future either way, unfortunately. The wind deflector should help some, plus the weight rating would allow me to carry everything I want for a week out on the trail. I just don't like the noise or the look, really.

Trying to avoid a trailer as it just seems like a hassle to pull along the trail. If I was just going to a campsite, that wouldn't be bad. But I want to build a rig that I can climb the tough trails and then camp where no one is around.
I didn't even think about the noise. On my metal roofed car, it was a bit noisy. I had bought a wind deflector that helped a ton when used with bike's and a bare wire cargo rack. Being the box is already kind of aerodynamic, I'm not sure how much it would cut down on that wind noise.

I agree, a trailer seems like a hassle all around. The trails I would tackle are mostly dirt, sand, and mud forest roads. We don't have any rock crawls like you do out west. The appealing thing to the trailer is that it can be multifunction, since there's lots of times where we buy something and I don't want to scratch up the inside of the vehicle.

Long-term wise, I think what's going to happen is that I'll end up with a teardrop camper for us and stick the kids in a rooftop tent. I just have to start saving now...
 

brewski

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Very helpful, thanks. I'm waiting on my setup from AAL to arrive and then will try and pack out the Jeep. I've been buying gear that is specifically designed to be "space efficient" as much as possible (aside from my tent and mattress - comfort junkie), so hopefully that helps. If I can fit the tent across the floorboards in the rear, it might just work.
Well there are better mattress options out there probably. Being a backpacker I like light and pack small, and what I use for a mattress is quite comfy - air mattress. Exped SynMat HL Duo M may be a good option for you. We have one of these and the bigger one Exped SynMat HL Duo LW . We first got the bigger one to have 1 mattress for my wife, 1yo (now 4) and myself to sleep on. It folds down to the same size as a single air mattress and barely weighs more than a single. Also it has good insulation so for all buy snow camping it works well. When I snow camp (wife does not like it) I lay down a blanket between the tent and air mattress and that works well. We we had twins almost 2 years ago we got the smaller one to use both to cover the floor of our 4person backpacker tent with the mattresses head to toe (69 like) since they are tapered. This sleeps our 3 kids and 2 adults plus clothing and bags. My 4y old and myself sleep on the smaller one and my wife with the babies on the bigger one. When backpacking it is extremely tight having the packs in the tent, but jeep camping we dont have as much in the tent. Now with 3 kids the dog does not get to sleep in the tent as you can see in the 2nd pic with his bed in the doorway. All of this sleeping gear, including 5 sleeping bags, warmer packs, a large camp lantern and all that stuff associated with the tent fits in a bin slightly larger than the bigger metal container in my first post. If we put the sleeping bags in compression sacks, then it would take up the same room as the food bin. Since we have room we don't do this because its better to not use a compression sack if you don't need to. This kind of gear isn't cheap, but if camping is your hobby and you look after the gear then its worth it and will last you many many years. The air mattresses we use are super quick to fill, check out their video on using a stuff sack to fill it.

Also huge shoutout to Morrison Outdoors for making amazing kids sleeping bags. We use these and they make camping with babies 10fold easier. I know you don't have kids, but other readers of this post might. We've been camping with our twins since they were 2m old, 4wheeling camping since they were 4m old. We didn't have this stuff with our first and it made it a lot more finicky to get him comfy before I found out about Morrison Outdoors

IMG_4923.jpg


IMG_4927.jpg
 

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Before I had my roof rack I would fold down the back seats and lay my Gazelle T4 tent in the back on the passenger side. This required me to push the passenger seat all the way forward, but it worked. I would say it's definitely possible to camp 4+ days using this setup.

The hardest/annoying part is staying organized, and preventing these from moving around a bunch and causing a ton of noise (I hate rattles with a passion).
 
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I think I might have lost this battle - at least with the way we want to camp. We don't want to size down our comfort as that would just lead to less camping, ultimately. We've found we're less willing to be uncomfortable as we've gotten older.

Today I tried to pack the JLURD, though without the AAL stuff as the wait continues. I have about half the stuff in it, and while not full, it's clear that I won't be able to get the rest in.

Also, the T3X doesn't fit between the doors - it presses into the doors and crushes the tent or doors. If the tent were an inch or two shorter, it would work. Pics of the gap in the door included.

Pics attached. Some notes:
Items not included for this simulation (still waiting on shipping..):
- camp chairs
- sleeping bags and pillows
- blankets, etc.
- camp kitchen/sink/cleaning supplies
- water jugs (2)
- collapsible toilet
- shovel/axe/camp tools
- off-road recovery gear
- Goal Zero battery
- Propane bottles

Looks like I"m going to be looking for a hard top to get a roof rack to throw the extra stuff up there - eventually with the goal of a rooftop tent.

JLCamping - 1.jpeg


JLCamping - 2.jpeg


JLCamping - 3.jpeg
 

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Looks like I"m going to be looking for a hard top to get a roof rack to throw the extra stuff up there - eventually with the goal of a rooftop tent.
Sorry to hear... I'm looking at your pictures and making a mental checklist and I started thinking this week that there's not going to be away to get everything in the Jeep for us. I have a cargo carrier already and while that holds some things, it's not a ton of room.

I think what I'm going to have to do is buy a rooftop tent to hold all the bedding, pillows, sleeping bags, pads, etc. Then see what else is left. I think those are the bulkiest items. Remember what I have stored, I think there's a lot I can cut out....like do I need an old-school big huge propane lantern? Would a small LED lantern work? Things like that.

Even after all that, I have a funny feeling that I'm also going to need either a hitch cargo trailer. I do want to make a decision soon though because once it gets warmer out, those racks and tents are just going to be on backorder longer.
 

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Fellow CT Jeeper. I just got the same Gazelle tent and am also working on getting all the camp gear to fit in my JLU, I did get a Vector Offroad Highland shelf for the back of mine which helps with space.
I just came across Vector myself and their shelf. The one linked below right? Please let me know once you have it installed and post pictures. Would like to hear your initial impressions of it as well.
https://vectoroffroad.com/collections/jl-wrangler-products/products/jlu-highland-platform
 

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We’ve been using the Vector GGB shelf and love it. My wife and I have been glamping in the Jeep for a few years now. No kids or dog, so we certainly have less to pack. This is also my daily driver, so everything you see in the first pic can be stored like that with the rear seats in normal upright position. And we chose to go with the Rhino Rack and iKamper RTT, which means we don’t need to store a tent, sleeping bags, pillows, inside the Jeep.

Here are a few pics - might give you some internal storage ideas...

2EEB286D-8033-49EC-B75A-8FCA368AB47D.jpeg

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7987CA23-5A01-4679-937E-9496A3E0245B.jpeg

16FA824B-0AB7-455B-B40F-52764D70B26A.jpeg


A few other tips to maximize storage in the Wrangler:
Hope this helps give you one or two ideas!
 
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