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Reviews on the galvanised roof rack!


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Hi everyone, I was looking at getting the classic boxy looking galvanised roof rack for my 90 and I wanted people’s opinions as I know they are heavy and not very aerodynamic (not that a defender is).

Is it worth investing more for a better one like front runner or Hannibal? 

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I guess you're referring to the Brownchurch ones ?

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Most people either love or hate them.

Fuel - yes they cost fuel.

Weight - yes they add weight

But I've had Brownchurch for decades and like them.

A lot.

Can't comment on the other makes.

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Nails hard. Tough as hell.

I'd have another

Drawback being of course, that the 90/110 pre 2007 MY can only carry 75kgs on the roof, including the rack. So you have a hoofing great roof rack, capable of carrying far more, but you are limited.

 

Edited by Nonimouse
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I have a heavy duty Brownchurch like Arjan’s, the HD bit being additional braces from the windscreen hinges to the front corners and from the body cappings up to the rack deck either side of the rear door, plus a ladder.  That is the same spec as used on Camel Trophy 110s, but galvanised instead of black plastic dipped.  I think it’s a superb piece of kit.  If you put some thin and lightweight sheeting on the deck, it does reduce noise and drag considerably.  Just make sure it’s well secured over the front roof slope to prevent it being ripped off.

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Yes - I have the legs & ladders for this one, too.

However, as the OneTen now has the roll cage and the lifting roof it is going to be sold...

 

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I have a patriot on our 110 lovely rack lower profile than the brownchurch. I've had both, given the choice it would be patriot because it's way more useful being semi decked and no external rail. However I got our patriot cheap second hand and even then it was double the price of a second hand brownchurch. I'm not even entertaining new prices for the brownchurch let alone the mortgage required for a patriot.

Mike

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21 hours ago, Nonimouse said:

Drawback being of course, that the 90/110 pre 2007 MY can only carry 75kgs on the roof, including the rack. So you have a hoofing great roof rack, capable of carrying far more, but you are limited.

 

On paper.

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On 9/12/2020 at 9:48 AM, Maverik said:

On paper.

Yup. So essentially law. The answer being don't get pulled by the DVSA or have a crash that involves injury to another person

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Legality is important in Europe, Australia and some parts of Eastern Asia.  Driving around Africa, the Middle East and Southern Asia, the principle is that if you can physically fit more on, then do so; there is little comprehension of vehicle dynamics by authorities or insurers, just like with their drivers.  So, a sturdier rack is more beneficial when travelling to those places.  But even with correctly loaded racks, the sturdier type are more resilient, especially being steel, than the trendy aluminium types - they withstand long term use on corrugated roads and point loading by unequal weight distribution far better.  A lot of early aluminium racks earned reputations for cracking, which appears to have improved, but that doesn’t seem to happen as often happen with steel racks (unless badly rusted).
 

The steel racks also have useful side and end frames, which as well as helping better secure and protect loads, give a lot of places to bolt awnings, lighting and brackets for other stowage (like shovels, sand ladders, radio antennas and such) to.  
 

So, I’d say that the steel racks are far more resilient and practical, though their cargo load limit has to be reduced a little to offset their extra weaving over the aluminium type.  The flip side is that they’re noisier, have more drag and more weight when empty compared to the aluminium type, and benefit from a thin mesh or plating to make them easier to walk on or possible to put seats on for use as a viewing platform.  Mesh is lightweight but adds drag, while plating (most use marine ply, very heavy, but I use thin aluminium tread plate, which is lighter) adds a bit more weight but reduces the drag of the rack as a whole by reducing the vortices of the lateral bars.  
 

The extra height of the steel type is the final consideration.  It makes getting into some car parks impossible (not just multi storey, but also some open car parks with anti-camper height barriers), where an empty aluminium rack may sometimes be able to squeeze through.  Most home garages are too low lintelled for either type of rack, but if you have a tall garage door, it might be a factor worth including.

Personally, for a Series, I think only steel racks look right.  For Defenders, both look good, but in my experience, my steel type has been far more beneficial, even though it has only been needed a small proportion of the time.

 

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I know it changed after August 2007, but I've never bothered to investigate why

Europe and Scandinavia was 75kgs; ROW was 150kgs. From 2007 all became 150kgs

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16 hours ago, Nonimouse said:

I know it changed after August 2007, but I've never bothered to investigate why

Europe and Scandinavia was 75kgs; ROW was 150kgs. From 2007 all became 150kgs

That’s when the TDCI was introduced.  Maybe they installed anti roll bars as standard, or stiffer suspension, which was enough to deal with the higher CoG.  It was previously an option, as per most vehicles from Special Vehicles.  My wife’s 2009 90 had twin anti roll bars and I found its suspension vary hard.

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1 hour ago, Snagger said:

That’s when the TDCI was introduced.  Maybe they installed anti roll bars as standard, or stiffer suspension, which was enough to deal with the higher CoG.  It was previously an option, as per most vehicles from Special Vehicles.  My wife’s 2009 90 had twin anti roll bars and I found its suspension vary hard.

It will either be that or something to do with replacing ali panels with steel

The SVO vehicles used by the CEGB have additional steel fillets in the hard top sections and they carry 150kgs of ladders, but are also fitted with ARB's

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The side panel bracing on the TDCIs is pretty poor, but they do have those pressed steel seat belt mounting brackets that extend from top to bottom of the panels in the corners,  not just diagonal brackets like earlier hard top models or 90s, so that could be something to do with it.

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Some years ago, when I still had my RRC, I had a Brownchurch full length roof rack.

I was building a Victorian style beg garden for a client. The raised beds were built using Douglas Fir planks (superb wood). Each plank being 12' long, by 14" high, by 1 3/4" thick. I could get fifty on the double axle trailer, but had twenty five left. I put those on the roof-rack. I was younger then. Interesting handling.

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I had a Brownchurch rack for years, it wasn't the boxy one but their 98 range (I think it was called). Had the good points of a traditional Brownchurch with the styling and aerodynamics of a more modern rack. Really liked it.

I was a student at the time and cost was a big consideration, but in this case cheaper is certainly not worse. I am sure the one I had on a Discovery will outlive that car.

If I was to buy a rack now, I would not be keeping it on the car full-time so weight would be a factor for removal/storage which is the only reason to go for anything else in my view.

 

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