While the interior storage space of a 4 door JK Unlimited seems like a U-Haul compared to a 2 door, it still leaves a lot to be desired especially when you’re traveling with multiple people and pups.
After spending a fair amount of time around JKU’s on the trail, I quickly realized a roof rack was going to be necessary to haul over-sized gear such as my OzTent that wouldn’t fit inside the truck.
I’ve had the Gobi Stealth Rack on the truck now for about 13,000 miles and my overall experience so far has been relatively positive with only a few minor issues.
- Sturdy design; 300 lbs. driving load capacity, 800 lbs static load capacity.
- Maintains access to freedom panels or soft top.
- Numerous accessories available including light bar mounts, shovel mounts, and a ladder.
- Loss of 1-2 MPG
- Substantial increase in wind noise.
- Becomes loose overtime and requires tightening.
I selected the Gobi Stealth Rack because it’s rated to support 300 lbs. of gear, doesn’t require you to drill into your hard top, and it comes with an optional ladder to easily access the roof. Another perk is that you can still utilize your freedom panels or your soft top (requires you to undo some bolts, but its easier than similar setups).
Freedom Panel Access
Hinge that allows you to pivot rack for soft top removal
The rack mounts to both the exterior of the body and directly to the frame of the Jeep. It’s also a very low profile design and only adds about 88-100 lbs to the roof depending on the accessories you choose to add along with it.
The one accessory I highly recommend is the optional ladder. Not only does it look great on the back of the Jeep, but it also gives you a quick and easy to way access the roof. This way you don’t have to worry about standing on your seats or slipping off your spare tire.
Hands down the biggest complaint I receive from passengers is that even with the hard top, the interior of the JK is loud. Now you need to take this with a grain of salt because most people are not used to the interior of a Jeep, and rolling on 35″ M/T’s are not doing me any favors. That being said the Gobi will add significantly more wind noise over no roof rack, but it doesn’t howl or whistle like some other racks.
Along with this wind noise, you’ll have to deal with the loss of 1-2 MPG’s. While the rack is “low profile” it still substantially changes the aerodynamics of the truck and you will be hit with a fuel penalty. We didn’t buy these trucks for fuel economy though so this shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Now here’s the biggest issue I’ve had, because the rack is tied directly to the frame it does vibrate a lot. Due to this vibration the rack will loosen up over time, even with lock washers and nylon nuts.
The biggest problem spots I’ve noticed are the bolts on the frame, and the bolts in the rear of the rack. By no means is the rack going to fall off your truck with daily driving, but Gobi tells you to check the rack to make sure everything is tight in a big disclaimer on each one of their pages.
I just make sure to hit everything with a wrench once every few weeks before a trip and that keeps me good to go.
Another thing you have to keep an eye on are the “screws” that are on each side of the truck. These keep the rear bar from flexing and banging into the body of the truck, but they also work their way lose over a few weeks. You just need to make sure to give them a few turns with your hand every few weeks and they will tighten right back up though.
Overall I’ve been very pleased with the Gobi, and I do think it is one of the better options available on the market. It does require some continuing maintenance on your behalf but it does a great job of hauling gear, and it’ll also makes a great “roof deck” for supporting you and a few friends.