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Episode 19: The REAL Story About Installing Our Roof Rack

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

We've been talking about adding a rooftop tent to our Jeep for the last several months, but we weren't really sure what route we wanted to take. We love having our Best Top Trektop and ride with the Sunrider Roof open whenever we get the chance. (As you know if you saw us getting hailed on in the Black Hills!) We don't want to lose this feature, but we are also anxious to start getting our family out for more overlanding and would love to start using a rooftop tent.

From our first impressions, it seems this Smittybilt roof rack might be our solution. It has a few features we think will work well with our set up.

1. We can use our sun rider roof any time we want!

2. The support bars can be moved around so that we can put them toward the back of the Jeep. We are hoping to be able to get our roof top tent on these. (Right now we only have 3 of the cross bars attached, but the set came with one more that we might attach as well.)

3. It works perfectly with our Rugged Ridge Snorkel. We were surprised by how perfectly these fit together!

4. It is set up to accommodate light pods or a light bar in the front and the back. Of course we needed more lights...

Now... I am no mechanic. I'm not someone to willingly spend time in the garage. However, I am in general pretty adept at following directions to assemble things including bunk beds, barbecues, smokers, work out equipment... Generally I am handed the instructions that Ben doesn't have the patience for (you will see me holding them throughout most of the video) and he does anything involving skill or strength.

This experience was pretty frustrating for me because the directions were so unclear and poorly written. If I did not have a husband who already knows how everything is supposed to work, I would never have gotten through this. None of the parts were labeled including the support bars which are all different but only by about a centimeter (a little sticker or something would be helpful Smittybilt!), the hardware was not separated or labeled, and the instructions were unclear leaving the reader to infer and guess. This was all amplified by the fact that it was freezing here!

Thankfully, my tenacious husband saved the day finding solutions to every problem as he always does. We are very happy with our roof rack so far and are excited about what it will allow us to do!

Check out our the installation process here! Check us out on Facebook if you want to ride with us or just to see what we're doing! Follow us on Instagram to see our latest photos!

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