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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I'm new to this forum. I've been doing some research on getting a Prinsu rack and found a lot of helpful posts, but there's something that has been concerning me before I make the purchase.

I'm looking at Prinsu rack + their Load Panels (4 of them) + Cargo Basket kit.

All of the above, according to the listed spec, will combine to 99Lbs..... and I know the roof weight limit on the 2018 Outback is somewhere around 160LB.
Someone slap me in the face here, am I going overboard with getting too much stuff on top?
or will I be fine and am I doing the math wrong here about roof weight?

Any suggestion or input will be great!!!
Thank you in an advance guys.
Cheers,
 

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2020 Onyx
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It's fantastic that you're someone that looks before he/she leaps. So many of us just install things without trying to look at the big picture.

I think the load limit has to do with the overall vehicle dynamics, center of gravity and everything, not that the roof will crush - rollover protection means the roof can't be THAT weak and there are many who load much more on their roofs, oblivious to load ratings - this includes the overall vehicle load limits that are often exceeded when you have 4 passengers + gear. It doesn't mean your axles will snap or the wheels will crack, but that these loads are outside of the design parameters. In the last year I haven't heard of anyone having any problem because they exceeded load ratings but there are other threads asking about it. Seems there's no document that states mathematically that you can safely exceed vehicle dynamic load ratings, yet I'm sure people do it every day.

If it makes you feel better you can subtract the weight of the OEM roof rack system in your calculations.

Here's what Yakima says: https://www.yakima.eu/wp/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/09/load-ratings-v1-yakima.pdf

Dynamic problems with extra weight on top might be exacerbated by getting a lift that doesn't include stronger springs and shocks.

Will be interested in seeing what other people say about this.
 

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2019, Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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1,672 Posts
Hi guys,
I'm new to this forum. I've been doing some research on getting a Prinsu rack and found a lot of helpful posts, but there's something that has been concerning me before I make the purchase.

I'm looking at Prinsu rack + their Load Panels (4 of them) + Cargo Basket kit.

All of the above, according to the listed spec, will combine to 99Lbs..... and I know the roof weight limit on the 2018 Outback is somewhere around 160LB.
Someone slap me in the face here, am I going overboard with getting too much stuff on top?
or will I be fine and am I doing the math wrong here about roof weight?

Any suggestion or input will be great!!!
Thank you in an advance guys.
Cheers,
You’ll be fine ;)

504086
 

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2017 Outback Touring
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313 Posts
$900! This is gettin' serious.

It looks like a great product and replaces the OE rack on the vehicle so I'd say you could load that bad boy up with whatever you need.
You didn't mention where you intend to take this, or how long a drive or the conditions you intend to drive under. Mountain passes with 1,000 ft sheer drops in 2 feet of fresh snow might be a tad nerve-wracking with 600+ lbs of "stuff" up there.

Great advice from SilverOnyx.

Post some pics when it's "in the field".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's fantastic that you're someone that looks before he/she leaps. So many of us just install things without trying to look at the big picture.

I think the load limit has to do with the overall vehicle dynamics, center of gravity and everything, not that the roof will crush - rollover protection means the roof can't be THAT weak and there are many who load much more on their roofs, oblivious to load ratings - this includes the overall vehicle load limits that are often exceeded when you have 4 passengers + gear. It doesn't mean your axles will snap or the wheels will crack, but that these loads are outside of the design parameters. In the last year I haven't heard of anyone having any problem because they exceeded load ratings but there are other threads asking about it. Seems there's no document that states mathematically that you can safely exceed vehicle dynamic load ratings, yet I'm sure people do it every day.

If it makes you feel better you can subtract the weight of the OEM roof rack system in your calculations.

Here's what Yakima says: https://www.yakima.eu/wp/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/09/load-ratings-v1-yakima.pdf

Dynamic problems with extra weight on top might be exacerbated by getting a lift that doesn't include stronger springs and shocks.

Will be interested in seeing what other people say about this.
Thanks for all the tip and info to look out for!!! I will certainly weigh all that in since I’m planning to lift 2” as well.
It helps a lot to think about!
 

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2020 Onyx
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I am a huge proponent of stiffer shocks. If you're increasing your center of gravity by both lifting and increasing roof weight, it makes sense to me to get both stiffer springs AND shocks (Bilstein B6) but don't get a thicker sway bar.

The other alternative is that there's the Ironman kit that includes springs and shocks but it's early days. Ironman 2" Suspension Kit
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
$900! This is gettin' serious.

It looks like a great product and replaces the OE rack on the vehicle so I'd say you could load that bad boy up with whatever you need.
You didn't mention where you intend to take this, or how long a drive or the conditions you intend to drive under. Mountain passes with 1,000 ft sheer drops in 2 feet of fresh snow might be a tad nerve-wracking with 600+ lbs of "stuff" up there.

Great advice from SilverOnyx.

Post some pics when it's "in the field".
I take it out just about everywhere for climbing and snowboarding.
Sometimes I’ll be on a light offroad to get to climb/camp spots, usually 4+ hours of driving.
There are times when the wind picks up to 30~40mph on the road I usually take. (I’ve seen upto 70-80mph, flipping big rigs over)

Snowy condition drives are definitely something I will encounter as well, but only a handful of time. I do plan to put up an awning as well later though.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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So there are two weight limits that people usually use to rate roof rack systems: Static weight & dynamic weight. Static weight is the max amount of weight the roof can take when the vehicle is stationary. Dynamic weight is how much the roof can take when the vehicle is driving on a road.

Prinsu states that their racks are good for ~600 lbs static weight, & ~300 lbs dynamic weight. However, the dynamic weight limit on a 5th gen Outback Touring (with the smaller rails, which the Prinsu rack replaces) is ~160-170 lbs. This means after you install your 99 lb rack & accessories, you'd only have about 60-70 lbs worth of cargo carrying capacity on your rack before you exceed the roof's weight rating.

It gets worse, though. That dynamic rating is only good for on-road driving conditions. It does not apply to off-road. Many manufacturers don't give the off-road dynamic rating, but typically it's about 2/3rds of whatever the dynamic rating on-road is. So if you applied it to a 5th-gen Outback, it would mean it has a ~110-120 lbs max dynamic weight limit off-road!

Now, that being said, there are plenty of people who exceed this weight limit significantly & have no issues - pretty much any rooftop tent / rack combo will easily put you over this limit, and there are plenty who do this. I'd wager that my rack setup is also probably slightly overloaded, as well. But I do think it's still important to consider, and do what you can to limit overloading your rack, especially with unusually tall objects that raise your center of gravity and put additional stress on the roof.

There are a couple of YouTube videos out there from overlanders who have overloaded their racks, and talked about their experiences. I'll see if I can find/post them later this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So there are two weight limits that people usually use to rate roof rack systems: Static weight & dynamic weight. Static weight is the max amount of weight the roof can take when the vehicle is stationary. Dynamic weight is how much the roof can take when the vehicle is driving on a road.

Prinsu states that their racks are good for ~600 lbs static weight, & ~300 lbs dynamic weight. However, the dynamic weight limit on a 5th gen Outback Touring (with the smaller rails, which the Prinsu rack replaces) is ~160-170 lbs. This means after you install your 99 lb rack & accessories, you'd only have about 60-70 lbs worth of cargo carrying capacity on your rack before you exceed the roof's weight rating.

It gets worse, though. That dynamic rating is only good for on-road driving conditions. It does not apply to off-road. Many manufacturers don't give the off-road dynamic rating, but typically it's about 2/3rds of whatever the dynamic rating on-road is. So if you applied it to a 5th-gen Outback, it would mean it has a ~110-120 lbs max dynamic weight limit off-road!

Now, that being said, there are plenty of people who exceed this weight limit significantly & have no issues - pretty much any rooftop tent / rack combo will easily put you over this limit, and there are plenty who do this. I'd wager that my rack setup is also probably slightly overloaded, as well. But I do think it's still important to consider, and do what you can to limit overloading your rack, especially with unusually tall objects that raise your center of gravity and put additional stress on the roof.

There are a couple of YouTube videos out there from overlanders who have overloaded their racks, and talked about their experiences. I'll see if I can find/post them later this evening.
Thanks for the info!
Exactly what I was concerned about, dynamic weight (while driving).
Glad to hear there are plenty of people who goes over the limit, but nothing wrong happened.
I know the risk is at my choice, but still puts my mind at ease knowing there are others who tested this.
Thank you!
 

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2020 Onyx
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Does the OEM rating apply to the Prinsu racks?

Since the entire system is replaced shouldn't the load rating change as well?
This reminds me of tow rating threads. The exact same vehicle will have higher tow capacity in Europe because people there tow slow and in the USA the tow capacity is lower because it's expected that we're driving fast or something.

I think the roof load ratings are somewhat similar - it's not the absolute strength of the support system but the dynamic loads/forces at high speed that can affect vehicle stability etc. Rollovers, what have you.

If you overload then high speed stability suffers.

 

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Does the OEM rating apply to the Prinsu racks?

Since the entire system is replaced shouldn't the load rating change as well?
All the Prinsu does is replace the rails from the Touring with the rack body. The weak point is the roof itself, not the rails. Thus, the load rating is the same.

Here's another video that discusses/demonstrates the subject:

 

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For further reference, here's a great video that shows from start to finish the installation of a Prinsu rack on a 5th gen Outback:


It's worth noting that Scott Leuthold, the creator of this channel, mounts a rooftop tent to his rack, and as far as I know has not had any issues to date. His channel, incidentally, was what inspired me to go with an Outback.
 

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I see 8 rivnuts and standoffs holding the rack. They appear to go through where the sheetmetal is overlapped for twice thickness. I can see where dynamic loads over time could pull a rivnut out but I'm not a fastener expert.
 

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2016 2.5 Limited. LP Aventure, Bilstein, Rallitek, Pirelli, Frontrunner, Diode Dynamics
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Frontrunner is another quality platform rack option. It’s all aluminum and only 51lbs. The oem bars weigh about 6lbs.
There’s also a new offering called Spyder (I think) and unlike the Prinsu you do not have to drill holes your roof. It uses factory mounting points.
 

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Frontrunner is another quality platform rack option. It’s all aluminum and only 51lbs. The oem bars weigh about 6lbs.
There’s also a new offering called Spyder (I think) and unlike the Prinsu you do not have to drill holes your roof. It uses factory mounting points.
This rack?

It looks nice, but it's pretty much identical to the Prinsu, except it's for the 6th gen only. The way it mounts also looks identical to the Prinsu - you do not have to drill holes to mount the Prinsu, either.

I went with the FrontRunner rack for my own rig, but mainly because the process of installing the Prinsu is too intensive for me to do, and I don't know anyone I trust enough to install it for me, yet. Someday I may switch to the Prinsu, but the FrontRunner works great for now.
 

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This rack?

It looks nice, but it's pretty much identical to the Prinsu, except it's for the 6th gen only. The way it mounts also looks identical to the Prinsu - you do not have to drill holes to mount the Prinsu, either.
Yes, this is the Spider rack. I had thought you needed to increase hole size when installing the Prinsu.

I also went with FrontRunner after considering all options.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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I see 8 rivnuts and standoffs holding the rack. They appear to go through where the sheetmetal is overlapped for twice thickness. I can see where dynamic loads over time could pull a rivnut out but I'm not a fastener expert.
Interesting. Rivnuts can be useful, but they are not intended for use as structural fasteners.
 
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