Monday, July 27, 2015

Audi SUV all racked up and ready to ride

The base rack is made by Thule specifically for Audi and most closely resembles the Rapid Podium rack with AeroBlade crossbars.  This rack is low profile and the crossbars are the most aerodynamic on the market.  The Yakima Frontloader bike racks can transport any size bike and any frame design. The frontloader is the easiest bike rack on the market to assemble and install.  Its also super easy to load up and go.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Backcountry Racks Spring Sale + Coupon

Planning a road trip?  We'll help you get there.

Turn this...

Into this.

Use this coupon for an additional 10% off our already low prices:  10-more

Shop Now

Friday, November 21, 2014

Backcountry Racks coupon

Let's start the holiday season off right.  Here is a little gravy for your turkey. 

20% off Thule 

20% off Yakima

20% off Rhino Rack 

Use this coupon for an additional 10% off Kuat bike racks:    kuat10 

As always, all orders over $99 ship for free.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thank you Mr. Box!

We recently came across a new website that quickly grabbed out attention.  The site is call Mr.Box and it is nothing more than an image of a car/truck/SUV with a cargo box on the roof.  You can configure endless combinations from 100s of cars and dozens of cargo boxes.  The possibilities are endless.

Below is an image of our family rig:

We love this kind of stuff and spent a little too long on the site.  Anyone interested in purchasing a cargo box should visit this site and geek out just like we did.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Custom roof rack for a 2006 Toyota Prius

This is my personal vehicle, a 2006 Toyota Prius.  I originally installed a Yakima Q Towers roof rack.  It worked as it should and was not permanent.  The Thule Side Arm upright bike rack and the Thule Spirit cargo box both fit easily on 58" crossbars.  The Spirit has been discontinued, which is unfortunate.  It was my favorite cargo box.

Then I installed a Thule Aero Foot roof rack just to be able to compare Thule vs. Yakima.  The required Yakima bars were 58" long, but only 50" for Thule.  The Thule rack has a shorter distance from the front bar to the rear bar (24" vs 32"), but supported more weight.  The Yakima rack is easier and quicker to remove but the Thule rack is slightly easier to install.  The clips for all Thule racks are coated as to not scratch the paint.  The Yakima clips are not.

We do tons of custom installations every year and it was time for me to put my skills to the test.  I planned on permanently mounting the Yakima Control Tower roof rack.  I would be able to take the rack off and on super easy and set the bar spread distance to my liking.  I liked the round bar because it is much easier to work with on a rounded roof like the Prius.  I chose to mount the front bar within a few inches of where the Q Towers and Aero Foot racks were mounted on the Prius.  I put the rear bar 30" back from the front bar.  This is more than adequate.

This is theYakima Landing Pad #7 mounting hardware for the Control Tower roof rack.  Relatively basic except for the parts on the bottom left.  The silicon is all that is needed to properly seal the holes and prevent any leaks.
Here is a closeup of the hardware and how it works.  It is not an easy task to thread the bolt.

The whole process can be a little nerve racking.  Getting precise measurements to match up on both sides is tricky.  I chose not to remove the headliner which meant I was drilling blind.  This is always a big risk.  Its hard to tell if you are going to drill into a frame support. 

The finished product.

It was well worth the effort.  Its now 5 years later and the roof racks works perfect.  Super strong and no leaks.  I regularly carry and cargo box and/or a bike rack.  I check it periodically and I have a box of spare parts.  I haven't had to make any adjustments.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thule racks are Made in 'Merica

Most people think that Thule racks are made in Europe, and rightly so. Thule is a Swedish company. But while some products are indeed made in Europe, 75% of the Thule products sold in North America are actually made the USA. Thule has factories in Seymour, CT and Chicago, IL.

As an added bonus, Thule recently installed a 318-kilowatt solar array on the roof of its CT facility. The array, which consists of over 1,800 solar panels, will offset about 26 percent of the energy used at Thule’s Seymour manufacturing and office facility.

You can read more about their US factories in the Adventure Journal article Made in America: Thule Racks

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

General care and maintenance for your roof rack

Roof racks are built to last and withstand the elements.  But you  still need to take care of them.  Here are some tips to ensure that your roof rack remains in good working order for years to come:

Take the rack accessories off seasonally.  Its not a big deal to leave your rack on year round.  I do.  But I never leave my ski rack on during the summer or leave my bike rack on during the winter.  If you are not going to use it for an extended period or time, take it off.

Take the rack off at least once.  When/if you do take your rack, or any accessory (ski rack, bike rack) off, clean it up.  Use a wet rag to clean off all of the dirt, grim, and spiderwebs.

Replace parts as needed.  Nuts and bolts can rust, but are easily replaceable.

Make sure that you have all four end caps properly installed so that no water is getting inside.  Thule, Yakima, and Inno crossbars are made of steel and can rust from the inside out.  Yakima bars are round, so when water gets inside, the bars swell.  This make it near impossible to remove the towers from the bars.

If you get any nicks or scrapes in your crossbars where you can see the metal, patch it up with electrical tape.  Again, we don't want water to get in between the coating and the metal.

Clean out your cargo box.  Vacuum out all of the dirt, sand, etc.  Dirt can get into the mechanism and make it very difficult to securely close the cargo box.

Remove and clean all lock cores.  Use the installation key to remove the locks.  DON'T USE WD40!  Use something silicone based like TriFlow or Finish Line.

Follow these simple steps and you will have the roof rack as long as you have the vehicle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Get your fish on!

If you know of them, most of you know Sportube as the company that makes airline travel cases for skis.  But they also make the world's most affordable roof rack mounted fly rod case.  The Double Haul will transport two fully assembled 9ft. or 10ft. fly rods.  No need to break down your rod to get to the next fishing hole.

Sportube fly rod cases are blow-molded from high density polyethylene, which is strong, durable, and very lightweight.  The Sportube Double Haul has been tested at 120mph without adverse effects.  I hope none of you drive that fast. 

The Double Haul can be disassembled and used in shorter lengths for airline travel or storage as well. 

Proudly made in the USA.
1999 Nissan Pathfinder with a Yakima roof rack.

Mounts to round Yakima crossbars, square Thule crossbars, and most factory crossbars.
Add a padlock for security.

Fly rods are padded and protected.

Super easy to remove the Double Haul fly rod case.
Leave the mounting hardware on.
 Optional Case Support Bar for added stability.

Click here for more info on the Double Haul Fly Rod Case.  Fish on!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rocky Mounts Tie Rod universal fork mount bike rack

If you like fork mounted bike racks, then you will love the Tie Rod.  Simply put, this may be the last bike rack you ever need and here's why.

Rocky Mounts designed the Tie Rod to be able to mount to any crossbar shape and size (Thule racks, Yakima racks, factory racks).  Put this bike rack on you buddies car when its his/her time to drive.  The Tie Rod will probably outlive your vehicle.

The Tie Rod has an all-metal construction with an aluminum tray that won't rust.  The tray is super low profile and can accomadate skinny tires and fat tires.  What if my bike has disc brakes you ask?  No problem at all.

The quick release attachment is the easiest to use on the market.

Choose from a variety of colors.  We could all use more color in our lives, right?  Stand out from the crowd.

Visit Backcountry Racks for more info.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

4FRNT skis company vehicle racked!

Matt Sterbenz, Wiley Miller, and Joey Weamer stopped by on their annual fall trip through Montana to visit all 4FRNT dealers, including us (heck out to see our winter business).  Anyway, they had waaaay too much gear in that Dodge Magnum.  It was time for us step in.

Drilling into a car is never easy, especially without removing the headliner.  But that's exactly what we did.  Thanks to the blind fasteners included in the Thule Tracker 14 Kit, this is easier than it sounds.  The tricky part is picking where to drill.  We picked our spots based on many factors:
  • bar spread (30-32" is ideal to be able to carry the full line of rack accessories)
  • aerodynamics
  • distance from the windshield
  • ability to open the trunk with a cargo box mounted
  • solid mounting points on the roof (as determined by feel)
  • making sure the bars are level
I highly recommend a dry and well light work space.  Use a flexible, cloth type tape measure and measure carefully.  The rack must be square/parallel to be installed properly.

Once you have a general idea of where you want to mount the rack, pre-assemble all of the pieces (Tracker rack, TK14, and crossbars).  Do not tighten anything yet.  Then place the semi-assembled rack on the roof.  Now you can get a visual of your plan.  Pretend to load something on the rack.  Is it in an area for easy loading and unloading?  Is it in an area where you could hit your head on the bars?  If you put a pair of skis or cargo box on the bars, can you still open the trunk fully?  These are all important questions that can/need to be addressed before drilling.

Adjust your measurements as needed and repeat.

With the rack exactly where you want it, tape the edges of the rubber tracker kit pad to the roof using electrical tape.  Gently lift the Tracker towers out of the base leaving the it taped in place where we want to drill.  Mark the center of the holes with a tape, nail, or marker.

Now comes the easy part:  drilling

All tools, instructions, drill bit, and silicone sealant are included.  You will need a drill.

Use the included tool to thread the blind fasteners into the drilled holes.  Put the rack back on the roof and tighten down.

I'm sure we left out a lot of details.  Please feel free to post any questions.  Thanks and good luck.

Installed components:

  1. Thule TK 14
  2. Thule Tracker II roof rack
  3. Thule 58" bars
  4. Thule 4 pack of lock cylinders for the roof rack towers (We took the 2 locks from the cargo and the 2 locks from the ski and installed 8 locks total for all accessories so they all used the same key, instead of 3 keys)
  5. Thule Ascent 1100 cargo box
  6. Thule Universal Flat Top 6 ski & snowboard rack

Time from start to finish:  2 1/2 hours

Tracker kit base with holes marked for drilling.  We already removed the electrical tape.

Blind fasteners threaded into the roof

Completely installed Tracker II roof rack

All rack up and looking good

View from above