Cargo Management

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One common problem we face as JK(U) owners is the ability to carry cargo. If we are using our Jeeps to transport us into the backcountry, we will need to carry some gear with us. The more I thought about how I wanted to use my Jeep, the clearer it became to me that adding a roof rack would be a huge benefit. 

 

KMS MOD-RAK LO-PRO 

 

I selected the Kargo Master Safari (KMS) Lo-Pro for a few key reasons. 1) I love the low profile. 2) The rack is aluminum, keeping the weight in check. 3) It is strong enough to carry a large load, or serve as a platform to photograph, and/or film from.

 

Specs

- 46"x 52" Platform

- Modular Aluminum Platform

- Extremely Low Profile

- Mounts Directly To The Roll Bar

- 300 lb. Travel Capacity

- 500 lb. Static Weight Capacity

- Custom Configurations Available Through KMS Accessories

- Allows Removal Of Freedom Panels

- Marine-Grade Powder Coat Finish

- Nationwide Lifetime Frame Warranty

 

These next two pics will help show how the Lo-Pro mounts to the JK, and why it is one of the highest rated load capacity racks for the JK(U)...

KMS Photo

KMS Photo

KMS Photo

KMS Photo

This is where the Lo-Pro derives it's strength. It mounts directly to the factory roll bar by way of a 2" dia. x 1.20 thickness loop.

 


 

Here's a walk through of my install. I assembled the sections on the ground.

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Here the rack is assembled to the side frames...

Here the rack is assembled to the side frames...

After I had the rack sections bolted together, I flipped the rack over and fitted the side rails and grab handles so I could get a feel for the rack. 

You can see the nice details built into the rack. The non-slip surface, and how the side extrusion allows for attachment and location of accessories.

You can see the nice details built into the rack. The non-slip surface, and how the side extrusion allows for attachment and location of accessories.

Now it's time to fit the Lo-Pro onto Rubi. I placed a moving blanket between the hardtop and the rack. That would allow me to move the rack around fo critical placement, getting ready to drill the four holes through the top.

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I have to say, drilling holes through your hardtop is not for the faint of heart. Measure twice, drill once! In the next pic, you can see the rack installed on Rubi...

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These next series of shots will show the roll bar loop and attachment as well as the rack mounting brackets inside the Jeep.

I ran the pinch bolts through with some lubricant before I did the install...

I ran the pinch bolts through with some lubricant before I did the install...

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This is the attachment point the roll bar. You can see the quality of the welds, the great finish on all the parts. KMS looks like they "overbuilt" this...love that!!! In the pic below, you can see the rear attachment bolts that go through the hardtop. Those four bolts attach to the side rail extrusions. On the top side, the rack sits on a 1/4" thick rubber pad at all four attachment points. As the rack is tightened down, the rubber pads provide a water tight seal, as well as isolating the rack from the hardtop.

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In this next pic, you can see the front mounting points/brackets.

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This last few shots show the grab rails and side load rails...

Here you can see how the rack provides adjustability for the grab bars, load bars, etc. While loose, you can simply slide the Grab Handles, accessories to where you want them...

Here you can see how the rack provides adjustability for the grab bars, load bars, etc. While loose, you can simply slide the Grab Handles, accessories to where you want them...

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This is how I'm currently running my roof rack. It's set-up to carry two RotoPax Fuel Cells, and my Hi-Lift Jack. I leave the rest of it open to throw all weather bags up there that I tie off using bungie cords. I also mounted a pair of Rigid Dually lights on the rack for side lighting. These are great in and around the campsite.

I mounted a set of KMS Grab Handles on the side of the rack. To get up to the rack, I grab those while standing on the rear tire and pull myself up. It works well!

I mounted a set of KMS Grab Handles on the side of the rack. To get up to the rack, I grab those while standing on the rear tire and pull myself up. It works well!

The design of the side extrusion makes it easy to mount accessories to the rack. I have the KMS tie down eyelets installed as well.

The design of the side extrusion makes it easy to mount accessories to the rack. I have the KMS tie down eyelets installed as well.

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Having a roof rack on Rubi has really given me some great options for carrying gear with me. The low profile of the Lo-Pro keeps my overall height in check, making garage parking in city environments more accessible. The finish on the rack still looks new after two years of use. The rack has been free of any water leaks and is totally silent. All hardware is high quality and still looks like it just came out of the package. I really appreciate it when manufacturers get the details right, and KMS nailed it!

I know I'll find different ways to configure my Lo-Pro as my needs change and grow. I really appreciate the flexibility of the design. Since I am also running KMS A-Frame up front, I may try their Lo-Pro Front to Back rails. KMS makes quality products that I could whole heartedly recommend to any Jeeper.


update 12/19/18

I recently added KMS’s Front to Back rails, part #55045 to my rock. These tie directly to the KMS A-Frame up front. These will allow me to add a cross bar and carry a kayak. They will also offer different load capabilities. The rails will also allow the Freedom Tops to be removed. Here’s a look…

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This is a closeup of the front clamps…very robust! I like how this ties the front A-Frame to the rack itself. I was also thrilled the spacing worked out with my 5-light Gravity Pro 6 light bar.

 

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-Steven