Roof box/bike rack mounted on PUP roof

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by M3g, Sep 28, 2021.

Is storage on the pup roof a good idea?

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. No

    8 vote(s)
    44.4%
  3. Might be okay if you limit weight

    8 vote(s)
    44.4%
  1. M3g

    M3g New Member

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    Hey all,
    I'm trying to convince my spouse that we should get a pup. I've been around RV's my whole life, but he's still coming around. One of the things that I think will tip the scales is the ability to bring more bulky stuff with us - right now we can fit gear for a week camping trip in our car with a roof box, but there is no room for bikes or the inflatable SUP he wants to get. I have recently started seeing roof boxes & bikes mounted on the top of pups: is this a good idea? I certainly don't want to puncture the top!
    If it matters I am looking at the 2022 Forest River Rockwood 1640 so we can store it in our tandem garage.
     
  2. Annunzi

    Annunzi Active Member

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    Personally, i'm not a fan of strapping things to the roof of a pup up. I know a lot of folks do it, but I figure there is enough stress on the trailer without adding more weight to the roof.

    You could look at adding a bike rack to the rear bumper of the trailer, or moving the gear you normally store in your roof box into the trailer, and then adding bike racks to your vehicle's roof rack.
     
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Im leaning to no but I have done it with my kayak. There are a lot of factors involved so there isn't a straight yes/no answer. Thing is the roof when closed can only handle like 200 pounds and if you got an AC unit that leaves you with less. The issue is if you strap something down you can't be sure how much pressure you are applying to the roof in addition to the item you are strapping and pressure cracks can happen. We have a ton of threads on bike racks but I will be straight up DO NOT attach anything to the bumper itself on the popup. It is in so many words just for show it is not attached well at all and it will fall off. Locate the threads in the bike rack section there are a ton of threads to give you a better idea. Thing is you also have to consider how much weight you are adding to the popup when you are adding all your gear plus extras to it. Cant go over the maximum weight of your popup and if your adding water to the tanks your left with less. You have to account for the extra tongue weight you are adding to the existing tongue weight and if your tow vehicle can handle the extra tongue weight. I can tell you weight adds up faster than you think.
     
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  4. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    I installed a sturdy set of crossbars on the roof. I use them for bikes, sometimes for a kayak, and often for a free-standing canopy. I don't even know where I would put a canopy if not on the roof top; it's not going to fit in my Bronco, and I don't want the weight on the rear bumper.

    I think that if you do it right, it can be fine. "Right" might include backing plates or other structural support. My rack attaches to the side panels of the roof, so I feel it has a strong mount point.
     
  5. RonDad

    RonDad Active Member

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    Build or purchase one where you remove the front wheels of the bikes and attach the forks to a rack mounted to the tongue. Dramatically reduces the weight on the roof itself…but some is still up there. But definitely…go camping!

    My $.02.
    E06ECED0-14A5-4B48-A517-113A176D2574.jpeg 86A27684-60EC-4754-B97B-8ADA2CE885CE.jpeg
     
  6. Stroker Ace Ventura

    Stroker Ace Ventura New Member

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    Not to mention the uplift forces created by the speed of air and the laminar flow across the roof of the PUP while driving. While the gravity (down) force may appear to be acceptable by the weight of whatever your rack is holding, the uplift during driving may far exceed that by frontal mass of exposure from the resistance of wind to whatever is on the rack such as a kayak, canoe, cooler, (side loaded as well in crosswinds), A/C, other various goodies. Could well rip the top right off in a gust or in half at worst, at least, cause stress fractures in seam caulk or the seams and top themselves, depending on the top material. ***I worked at a bike shop for a few years in my early days and saw a few of these PUPS damaged pretty heavily after the owners installed a rack on top, unknowingly loading them with all sorts of crap. Aerodynamics be damned... If you do install a rack mounted on the top, be sure you reinforce the mounting points from the inside with a large plate at least 2x the size of the foot of the rack with the foot of the rack centered X & Y, if you install the rack from the sides of the top, be sure to reinforce the mounting points with ny-lock nuts and large flat washers or plate and check them before each trip for tightness. One thing that can be helpful is to install a fairing (purchased or home-made) attached to the front of the rack on or in front of the front load beam. This will help displace the air up and over the load on the racks rather than directly into it. These can be easily made out of plastic sheeting from your favorite big box home store or even thin aluminum stock. Just make sure they're attached with good, solid mounting to the rack/PUP top. :) People get pretty creative and a good saw and heat gun will make a fairing super easy to contour to the PUP top and rack. Good luck!! :) Here's a sample of a homemade rack on a car but it should give you a good idea of how to go about it. I would make it quite a bit taller to create a larger deflection surface.
    upload_2021-10-1_6-31-48.png
     
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  7. Starcraft 2000

    Starcraft 2000 New Member

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    My first popup was a freebie that needed the sidewalls of the roof rebuilt because the roof (sides) mounted bike rack had allowed water into the structure. Lessons learned on the rebuild stops me from putting racks (holes) on the roof.
    Occasionally I'll put my canoe on top but that contacts at the very front and rear and has good aerodynamic qualities but that is about it.

    I have seen a roof top basket that is supported by arms down to the lower frame. It slowed things down on set...it had to be emptied/removed before set up but sure did carry a lot of items.
     
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  8. rcrawford

    rcrawford New Member

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    Go for it. See if you can get the factory optional crossbars - I haven't seen them in person, but I'm sure they're more integrated than the aftermarket crossbars I had on my last PUP. With a box and a couple of bikes, you should be well within the weight limit. Additionally you can probably store the inflatable SUP inside the trailer.
     
  9. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    I got some Swagman roof crossbars that bolt into the vertical sides of the popup's roof. They are really sturdy, and work great. I've carried four bikes easily, plus a 10x10 canopy. They work well for a kayak too. They don't sit ON the roof, they sit on the vertical sides to the roof, which I feel is a pretty strong mount point.

    I've looked at many options for carrying bikes and additional gear. Roof top racks on the trailer seem like a pretty good way to go, as long as you can do it in a way that doesn't over-stress the roof or cause it to sag. Attaching something to the rear of the trailer is hard on the trailer frame, and increases sway. Attaching something to the tongue is fine if your tongue isn't already overly heavy. In the case of my popup my tongue is already 480 without water and bikes. I use a weight distribution hitch when I'm loaded. So I already have enough tongue weight I prefer not adding more there. Roof-top on the tow vehicle is an option for some tow vehicles. Not for my Bronco. And one of those hitch extensions that allows you to add a hitch bike rack while towing adds a lot more weight to the tongue, and extends the lever-length of the tongue, which increases the tongue weight effects on the tow vehicle. So that's not a great solution, again, if your tongue weight is already high.
     
  10. kenbrady

    kenbrady New Member

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    I had cross bars but they were mounted on rails that were screwed in at the roof edges to frame points we had 4 bikes a canoe and a kayak for years on a forest river PUP
     
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  11. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Is your husband involved with packing the gear for a camping trip now? Probably most of the gear that is currently in your roof box will be stored in the pup all the time. Only the food and clothes need to be added for a trip.
    I am not inclined to add weight to the pup roof, but you may find that with a pup you will free up the car to carry that extra gear.
     
  12. afidmt

    afidmt Member

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    I had a '95 Coleman Montauk -- had a rack on top, I put a clamshell storage (kept lightstuff in it) and in the second pic -- I had my 2 canopys amd a folding table (zoom onn the pic) pup1.jpg pup2.JPG
     
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  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on your pop up also, of its a smaller box the roof is supported more then a larger one. On a larger pup, the roof will be more likely to sag. Its not a one size fits all question. Some were made to handle the addtional weights of AC , some aren't. Some require addtional supports under the roof , some dont. So its not a one size fits all answer.
     
  14. E.D.

    E.D. New Member

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    We have a heavy duty strap on rack we bought at Costco many years back for the bikes that attaches to the rear of our minivan. Handles 4 moderate weight bikes, but would not put any more weight onto it to avoid denting in the metal of the hatch on our van. I would be quite hesitant to put anything on the roof of our pop up, but we have an older Fleetwood Sequoia. Over time, the tendency to leak increases and have had to reseal the roof in some critical areas several times. Don't have experience with newer units, but with ours, I would definitely advise against it. Advantage of having the bikes behind the van is that they do not create much additional wind resistance. It's important to have the correct amount of tongue weight on the hitch from the trailer. Putting bikes onto the very back of the trailer would reduce the tongue weight and could be dangerous.
     
  15. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    @M3g ... personally, I have always been against putting anything on the roof of the Starflyer... just never wanted to take a chance of puncturing the roof ...

    we joind a "Sunday Bike Riders" group and we wanted something that could stay on DW's "Minion Van" during the week.so, this year we ditched the "strap-on" bike rack and got us one of these:

    Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch.JPG
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TRTSW46/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Along with that, I also got one of these:
    Multi-Use Ball Mount And Hitch Receiver.jpg
    https://www.harborfreight.com/multi-use-ball-mount-66966.html

    It serves "dual purpose" because we also have a 14 foot canoe that goes on the roof rack of Our/Her TV.

    For loading the canoe, we have one of these:
    Reese Towpower 7018100 Canoe Loader - Black.jpg
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024FOTOW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I've got a dedicated hitch for the canoe loader so, here's the drill:

    1]. Put the "Canoe Loader" hitch in the TOP receiver and load the canoe
    2]. Remove the "canoe loader" hitch and hitch up the camper on the bottom reciever [for us, that's the citical step 'cause the camper tongue has to have clearance for the ball to fully engage]
    3]. Put the Bike Rack in the TOP receiver and load the bikes
    4]. Off we go... EASY-PEASY

    I figure, with the bike rack, plus 3 bikes, we're adding ~135 pounds to the back-end.

    Our Clipper Express has a tounge weight of less than 50 pounds so, it works for us.

    I wish I had some pics to show it all loaded up but, like I said, it works for us and, after camping this summer, we were able to keep the bike rack on so we could meet-up with our friiends and ride some trails [and we could still open the trunk of Her/Our van]

    Happy Trails!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  16. Bullfrog Bheer

    Bullfrog Bheer Well-Known Member

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    upload_2021-10-23_10-5-16.png upload_2021-10-23_10-5-51.png Here is what we have done. We have carpet glued to the bottom of the boards to minimize scratching.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021 at 11:22 AM
    Mark CASTELLANI likes this.

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