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Frontrunner Bed Rack and Bed Rail Weight capacity

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by D-CM, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Jul 8, 2018 at 9:38 PM
    #1
    D-CM

    D-CM [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am looking to mount a rooftop tent over the bed of my 3rd gen Tacoma and I really like the frontrunner slimline rack that mounts to the bed rails. The problem I see is that it mounts into the bed rails only (no support from the walls of the truck bed). The rack weight rating is plenty strong to support a ~130lb tent, me, my wife, and a child. However, my concern is the load capacity of the bed rails themselves. I cannot find any clear cut answer on load rating of the bed rails - only a bunch of "I think 200 lbs per rail but Im not 100%".

    All are welcome to comment but I was specifically hoping to hear from someone running the Frontrunner bed rack and roof top tent combo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  2. Jul 8, 2018 at 11:00 PM
    #2
    Alesimo

    Alesimo Ruined my Pro's resale value.

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    I would like to know this myself
     
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  3. Jul 8, 2018 at 11:09 PM
    #3
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    I have a cabrack mounted RTT so it doesnt count here, but you could mod the bedrails with extra supports - also it doesnt take much to make the tailgate go off square- I have an ARE MX shell and can tell its pushing sideways on the tailgate when parking on a side slope. So, I’d consider putting in bed stiffeners too for your RTT.
     
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  4. Jul 8, 2018 at 11:49 PM
    #4
    Broccoli

    Broccoli Well-Known Member

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    If it was me i would not trust the bed rail system alone with all that weight. Just asking for trouble. Maybe you or a shop could weld on a lip to sit on the top of the bed perimeter. In the manual there is a page or two devoted to the rails and cleats /technical data
     
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  5. Jul 10, 2018 at 7:46 AM
    #5
    prest14

    prest14 Well-Known Member

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    I just looked at the manual because I was wondering this myself. The manual says "Do not exceed a total tensile load of 440 lb. (200kg) per deck rail." I'm not an engineer, so I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around the tensile load part. But to me this says that a single bed rail will support 440 lbs, allowing you to support up to 880 lbs safely if spread between the 2 bed rails. If that's correct, then the 2 side rails should have no problem supporting a rack, RTT and a couple people. Or am I totally off on the meaning of tensile load?

    Page from the manual (2017) below:

    rail capacity.jpg
     
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  6. Jul 10, 2018 at 9:30 AM
    #6
    phsycle

    phsycle Well-Known Member

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    Is that 440lb static weight? With a 150lb tent (plus whatever the rack weighs), running trails and washboard roads? Nope, not me. I wouldn't trust those rails with all that weight bouncing up and down on it. Give me a proper rack (not mine):

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Jul 10, 2018 at 9:34 AM
    #7
    D-CM

    D-CM [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just came across this yesterday and was happy when I first read it. But tensile load is a weird way to put it. Tensile strength has to do with tension (as in pulling), not necessarily the downward force that would be exhibited a roof top tent with people in it. However, I am getting the feeling that these bed rails are very strong. I found a guy that has the front runner bed rack with the front runner RTT mounted to it and he said he has had no issues with sagging with him, his wife, and his daughter in it. He also had a water port attached to one of the bed rails. So I’m a little more confident in it now. I am also lookin into whether I can add an extra leg mount for The bed rail I plan to add on the side of the bed opposite the cab (header rail). If I end up going this route I’ll update how it works out.

    Thanks for your replies and please continue to add to this with new thoughts or experiences.
     
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  8. Jul 10, 2018 at 9:37 AM
    #8
    D-CM

    D-CM [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya. That is the one thing that is keeping me from pulling the trigger on that bed rack.
     
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  9. Jul 10, 2018 at 9:43 AM
    #9
    prest14

    prest14 Well-Known Member

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    Ya all valid concerns. I jumped the gun and ordered the rack without fully thinking through the load limits of the rails (whoops). I'll be a guinea pig and let ya know if it goes poorly. I'll be picking up the RTT next month... So if I haven't updated with disastrous result by late AUG/SEP, it is probably fine lol.
     
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  10. Jul 10, 2018 at 9:44 AM
    #10
    phsycle

    phsycle Well-Known Member

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    Frontrunner does say on their site:

    "Due to load limitations of the factory bed tracks, we do NOT advise loading more than 150 lbs (68 kg). While Front Runner racks and mounting systems have been engineered and built to hold 660 lbs/299kgs, this may exceed your vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations. Until all vehicle components are made as off-road tough as Front Runner’s, we suggest contacting your vehicle maker to check load limits before aggressive loading of the rack."

    You'd be at max with the RTT. I think this was meant more for other, lighter cargo.
     
  11. Jul 10, 2018 at 10:45 AM
    #11
    D-CM

    D-CM [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing is that I actually spoke to a front runner employee at a recent event here in CA and he told me he didn’t think it would be a problem. He also showed me this attachment he said front runner might release in the future that extends from the leg of the bed rack over the bed wall (like most racks do). I’m not sure why it hasn’t been released though.

    With my concerns I would just move on and get a regular rack but I like how light it is and that I could use it dual purpose - RTT (with the quick release latches) when I’m overnight, or cargo when I’m on a trail just for the day.
     
  12. Jul 10, 2018 at 10:45 AM
    #12
    prest14

    prest14 Well-Known Member

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    Found another page taking about the factory cleats that install into the bed rail. It says not to put a load on the cleats greater than 220lbs, or at an angle greater than 45 degrees, as it may damage the rail and/or cleats. But then again it says do not put more than 440lbs tensile load on a single rail. Kind of confusing.

    My gut feeling is that it will work out fine. I think the disclaimer from frontrunner is a "cover our butt" move because they don't want to open themselves up to even the slightest chance of liability. Obviously if you are unsure or on the fence, I'm not trying to push you that way - do what you feel is right. But I'll ride the lightning and report back.

    Relevant second page:

    rail capacity 2.jpg
     
  13. Jul 10, 2018 at 10:46 AM
    #13
    D-CM

    D-CM [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What is the weight of the RTT you are getting?
     
  14. Jul 10, 2018 at 10:49 AM
    #14
    phsycle

    phsycle Well-Known Member

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    You're on the right track. I do like the Frontrunner racks, though. Pretty slick attachment system and quality components. Almost got one for my old LC. But if I were buying today, I would lean Eeziawn, although they don't make anything specific to Tacoma's (or pick ups in general, IIRC).
     
  15. Jul 10, 2018 at 10:59 AM
    #15
    phsycle

    phsycle Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, Frontrunner hasn't been super conservative when it comes to performance/weight rating. I've even thought they were pretty ballsy on some of the weight ratings for these slim aluminum racks. They even let people walk on their roof racks without any qualm. Also, if you look at the other truck racks and roof racks on their site, you won't see the same warning as you do on the Tacoma specific rack. Nice racks for sure, but something to think about.
     
  16. Jul 10, 2018 at 11:09 AM
    #16
    totmacher

    totmacher automotive hypochondriac

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    Thinking about it.
    220 lb per cleat x 2 cleats per side rail = 440 lb per rail.

    The "tensile" does mean like pulling straps tight to secure a load. Tension pulling cleats. The rails were designed around cargo, not mounting big stuff.

    The cleats stick out from the rail. So pulling up/down puts a torque on rails which can bend the mounting bolts holding the rails in.

    If you mount a load as close as possible to the rail and it's putting weight mostly as vertical load, now you are really only talking shear strength of mounting bolts which should be able to handle much higher amount than some angled load offset away from the rails.

    Does that help you any maybe...
     
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  17. Jul 10, 2018 at 11:46 AM
    #17
    D-CM

    D-CM [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It makes sense. I know the rack has a 30 day money back guarantee. So I’ll probably buy it, test it out for a weekend and see how it holds up. That way I can also see if I can modify it and add support in other areas. Or I can wait for prest14 to see if his bed rails come apart:rofl:
     
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  18. Jul 10, 2018 at 12:09 PM
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    YUKON007

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    I run the Front Runner Load bars, a set of 3 with my Mt. Shasta Extended on top. I've slept with myself, wife and large dog up top and had zero issues. There's an Instagram account I follow "MilkTeacoma", and he's running the exact rack you're interested in completely kitted out and loaded down and doesn't seem to have any problems. I picked his brain a bit before I pulled the trigger on the load bars. I was nervous at first, for the same reasons you are but I've been camping a handful of times now and haven't noticed any deflection in the bars or the side rails. They're definitely the cleanest install I've seen, and with the added benefit of accessorizing with Front Runner gear. I didn't go full rack, because I knew the RTT would take up the entire rack space, and I did not want the added height. I'll leave the bars mounted to the tent and remove as a unit if/when I don't want the tent on the truck. 20180413_194831.jpg 20180315_204643.jpg
     
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  19. Jul 10, 2018 at 1:15 PM
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    Madtown

    Madtown Well-Known Member

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    I will be doing the same but with 2 Front Runner bars & a CVT Mt Shasta standard tent. Front Runner said 220 lbs dynamic total weight & 660 static weight capacity when using 2 bars. Might weld some feet onto the up posts to help with weight distribution. I was going to go with a CBI or Mobtown but they are all a month or so delivery time. I needed something ASAP.

    Edit. CVT shows the Mt Shasta 125 lbs empty. Should be just fine as still under the dynamic weight limit which would be when driving I believe. Then will be my GF & myself for a total of 275 lbs plus the tent & well under the static weight capacity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  20. Jul 10, 2018 at 1:27 PM
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    soup222002

    soup222002 Well-Known Member

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    IMG_2366.jpg I have a tepui mounted on 2 front runner load bars. I mounted total chaos bed stiffeners as well. I've had no issues with the fiancé and I
     

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