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Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Rack with Backbone Mounting System Review

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Review of the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform Rack with Backbone Mounting System


Hi there Wrangler owners. Today, we're gonna be taking a look at Rhino-Rack's Pioneer Platform Roof Rack and backbone system. You can get these in two different options, with quick release legs, or you can get the more permanent fixed arrow legs on there. The quick release will allow you to easily get this rack off, by just squeezing a couple of tabs together. And the arrow will be a more traditional removal, just like you would to any other roof rack, by loosening up your hardware. Strapping things to the hard top of your Jeep, is not only impractical, but in many cases, it's not going to be possible.

The backbone system is gonna give us secure mounting locations on our hard top, which will allow us to either install a platform roof rack, like we're showing off here, or you can also install roof rack systems from Rhino-Rack. You can just get regular crossbars as well. This is gonna give you a much more area though, to strap things on, and it's gonna be my preferred pick, over just a regular roof rack for your Wrangler. Here you can see the backbone mounts, where they install onto the hard top. And these are the quick release feet, that we're showing off here, that comes with the kit.

These are all gonna come with your system, as well as the platform roof rack here. These feet, though, are compatible with just regular crossbars. So, if you have certain accessories, that just desire cross bars, and you didn't want to use the entire Pioneer Platform Rack, you could swap that out for those crossbars, for your particular accessories. An example of an accessory you might want to attach to crossbars, is this bike rack from Rhino-Rack. This is how you will put your bike up on your roof.

However, it's not compatible with our Pioneer Platform rack, due to the way it attaches. So, you will need regular crossbars, if you're gonna go with something like this. So, maybe you wanna get rid of some of that gear up there, and just hit the trail, you could slap this up there with some crossbars real fast. And as you can see here, we can get plenty of gear up on top of our Pioneer Platform Rack. You can use it to just strap down gear, which is really nice with crossbars.

A lot of times, you can't just strap bags on it, you're gonna have to buy a cargo basket, or something to put on there. With this we can strap our gear directly to it, which is really cool. If we look at all the platforms that run down, we've got T-slots in each one, so we can mount accessories to them, which we have plenty of accessories available here at etrailer such as a Jerry can mount right here. We've also got propane mounts and many other accessories. So you can help get some of that gear that would be in the back of your vehicle, or on a cargo basket, up here on top of the roof. And you can see how much area we've got with this rack here on top of our Jeep. It measures 72 by 56 inches, so you can see, it's just a massive area we've got up here. It has a carrying capacity of 264 pounds, so that should get most of your gear out of the back of your Jeep's, up on top, so you can free up some room inside. And, you do wanna keep in mind that, when loading up your roof rack here, though, that if you do do off-roading, it does decrease the carrying capacity here, due to all the dips and hard hits that you have going off road. The road's just not as smooth as it used to be when you're on the road, so you're gonna have a lot more impacts that transfers up here to the roof rack, dropping it down to 176 pounds. And it's able to achieve those weights, due to the interior bracing on the backbone system. You can see here, where we've got reinforcement, that runs down inside of our hard top, to ensure that our hard top here, is gonna be able to support all that extra weight we're gonna be putting on it. The entire rack is gonna be constructed of aluminum. And that's definitely nice, because we've got it on our hard top here. It's gonna cut down on its weight, which is gonna mean we have more capacity available to us to put on the rack, rather than using a heavier metal. Aluminum also doesn't rust, so we don't have to worry about that. And it's covered in a black powder coated finish, to protect against any other types of corrosion. Now, you do wanna keep in mind that the platform rack here, is a little bit different than a roof rack. Our T-slots run front to back, rather than side to side, and they are a slightly different size. So you wanna make sure you have accessories that are designed for platform racks. Before you put your feet on your rack, if you purchase the additional spacer kit, this doesn't come with your kit, but it's a separate kit that can space out your rack to give you more room between the roof of your vehicle and the bottom of the rack. You're simply gonna take the bolt that comes out. We just took the cover off the end here. Just put your key in there and remove the cover. That'll give you access to the bolt here. We're gonna use the tool that came with the feet to remove the bolt. We're just threading that off of there. We're then gonna slide the bolt out. We don't need the bolts, but we do need the lock washer and the washer. We're gonna take the longer bolt, that comes in our spacer kit, we're gonna slide it through, lock washer first, followed by a flat washer. We'll then slide it back through the hole. You can see it's a lot longer there. We'll then take our spacer plates and put them on. Depending on your orientation, it will have one or two plates. This is gonna be on in the front, in the middle, so we just have one plate. If you're putting this in the rear, you'd put the center plate on first, and then the larger plate. And then. we simply take the large T-nut here, and thread it on. We're now ready to put this onto our rack. To install it into your rack, the end simply just drops down in there. You'll then take your, I use the little wrench, that comes included with it, and I just kicked it sideways. And then we're just gonna twist it, and snug it down. At this point, I don't like to tighten it all off the way yet, because you do have to set the appropriate distance for the vehicle that you're gonna be attaching it to. So, I just run it on until it's just enough, to where it's snug, to hold it in place. We'll be loosening it and adjusting it for the proper distance apart, once we gotta put it on the vehicle. So, we'll repeat this for the remaining legs, and get those all on our rack. We're gonna be attaching our feet to the backbone system installed on our vehicle here. If you needed to see how the backbone installs, we've got videos here at etrailer, getting these mounted up onto your hard shell. When you're not using your rack, there are covers that come included with it. You can see here how it covers up the ears. That'll keep out any dirt and debris, and it also makes it look nicer when it's installed. When you're ready to install your rack, you simply pop off of there. You just wanna make sure you pull them all off, so they're not in your way, when you're gonna set the rack in place. Now, with an extra set of hands, we're gonna lift our rack into position. I've gone ahead and measured the distance between the mounting locations on the roof, and matched up our feet with them, to make things a little easier. And now, with everything adjusted, we can go ahead and drop it down into place. I do have both of the tabs squeezed together, and pushed inward. That'll keep it locked into the release position there, making it easier for it to drop down. We can then just pull out each tab. Sometimes you have to give a little bit of a downward pull, and you can see they both separated to lock in place. Once you've got it locked in, you can take your cover, slide it into place, and then lock it down with the key. We're gonna repeat that for the remaining feet. Now we've got it secured to our rack, we're ready to load up our favorite accessories, and hit the road. And that completes our look at Rhino-Rack's Pioneer Roof Platform Rack with backbone system..


Info for these parts were:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee David F
Installed by:
David F

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