words & photos - Michael Browning
Not all roof racks are equal, as we discovered with this alloy platform rack from Rhino

Roof racks are handy things for all that bulky camping gear you don’t want to squash into your 4WD, but most take two people and time to fit and are often not car park friendly for the other 300 days a year when your escape vehicle is on domestic duties.

And even if you can leave it on permanently, a roof rack is usually noisy at highway speeds and adds a litres or two to your fuel bill every 100km.

Rhino-Rack has come up with an interesting alternative called the Pioneer Alloy Platform Rack – a modular aluminium flat rack that can be tailored with adjustable rails and other Rhino-Rack standard attachments such as jerry can and shovel holders to suit many purposes.

Finished in silver with black edges, the rack accepts all existing Rhino-Rack leg kits and bare of accessories sits close to the vehicle’s roof to minimise wind resistance and allow entry to most car parks.

Its weight starts at 20kg for a 1528mm x 1236mm rack designed for a vehicle such as a Toyota Hilux and grows to 38kg for a 2728mm x 1465mm large Platform to suit a Troopcarrier or Land-Rover Defender, with a range of models in between – substantially less than the weight of an equivalent-sized steel roof rack.

The 1528mm x 1376mm rack designed for my Land-Rover Discovery 3 weighed just 22.5kg and is rated to carry 100kg, which means I can put a mounted spare wheel, a tent, stretchers, two folding chairs and a table and still come in nicely below L-R’s 100kg maximum roof-loading recommendation.

Better still, being low profile, it hardly disturbs the wind and adds only 10cm to the vehicle’s height, so clearance is not an issue.

Depending on the model, the Alloy Pioneer Platform racks cost $650-$890 including GST (ex-ARB), plus the cost of the model-dependent Rhino-Rack leg kit and fitting.


To comment on this article click here Published : Friday, 11 January 2013
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