Roof Racks, Classic

Range Rover Classic Official Expedition RackGenuine Racks

A Thule rack emblazoned with the RANGE ROVER logo was offered in the early 1990's as an official dealer accessory. The other dealer option was a heavy-duty but streamlined-looking steel expedition-style rack made in Germany (see photo above right). Unfortunately I have not seen this rack available for quite a while now (official part number
RTC9594). Weighing about 50 lbs, it had a luggage carrying section at the rear and a bar across the forward section, calculated to leave room for the sunroof to open. A nice feature is its very large non-damaging mounting point design, spreading the load over a substantial area.

Picture at right: Classic expedition rack, RTC9594, photo courtesy of British Parts of Utah

Another picture of this rack appears in the page on Buying a Used Range Rover.

Factory Roof Rack

Lightweight Aftermarket Racks
A good selection of aftermarket racks is now available tfor the Classic. Of course, for light duty the Thule and Yakima "erector set" lightweight aluminum racks are one choice, with the benefits of relatively low cost, light weight, and a large number of optional extras like luggage baskets, ski clamps, and streamlined plastic "rocket boxes" for stowing and securing your gear. Yakima's Road Warrior rack is another option, with a light 44"x 39"x 6.5" basket designed to fit on standard Yakima or Thule bars. A step up from these are the modern type of inexpensive lightweight but sturdy and practical expedition-style racks with a decent sized basket.  Some examples of these are shown in the pictures below.

"Urban" rack

Safari Rack

Inexpensive (approx $250) but functional and good looking  "urban style" rack for Classic. Aluminum construction with reinforced corners and flat floor bars. Attaches directly to Classic rain gutter with gutter adapters, or to Yakima and Thule crossbars as shown.
(Photo courtesy of Atlantic British)

Wilderness Safari Rack -- inexpensive (about $500) but sturdy, made with 3/4" square steel tubing, zinc coated & powder painted.  You can add brackets for high-lift jack, spare tire,  pull pal, ax and shovel...or mount skis and/or bikes with Thule and Yakima adapters.
(Photo courtesy of Atlantic British)

Heavy Duty Expedition Racks
ARB RackIf you are willing to spend a bit more to get a really sturdy and utilitarian rack (well worth it in my experience of real-world off-road expeditions), the next step up is the serious expedition style rack of which there are several variants.

The photo at right shows a new heavy duty half-length Classic expedition rack from the famous off-road equipment supplier ARB of Australia. In the US it is available from British Pacific for about $650. It weighs about 80 lbs and is solidly constructed of mandrel-bent steel tubing. (I have found that one advantage of half-length racks mounted further back on the roof is a tremendous reduction in wind noise). This model is finished with gray powder coating, and has full perimeter welds rather than the cheaper 'spot' welding often used. The feet are good and wide to spread the load (the feet are also adjustable for camber), and it comes with rubber pads for both the drip rail and the clamps, to prevent scratching your truck. (Photo courtesy of British Pacific).

Another design that is fairly new is the Hannibal rack shown below -- an interesting design that is strong but lightwight due to the welded aluminum alloy construction. It is particularly famous because of the ability to mount a roof top tent and awning on it. (I first observed rooftop tents in action when my firiend Marvin Mattson used his home-made one on the roof of his Land Rover 109 on some of our off-road expeditions. Since then, commericial manufacturers have taken up the idea).

Hannibal Rack

Hannibal Roof Racks are made of welded 6063 architectural aluminum (silver or black finish) with stainless steel mounting clamps, full-length gutter supports to spread load weight, and shock-absorbing rubber pads. The wide front-to-rear floor slat layout is designed to minimize wind drag and provide a "front porch" for the matching Hannibal Roof Tent (below). Brackets for shovel, axe, cans, etc are also available.
(Photo courtesy of Atlantic British).


Hannibal rooftop tent and awning -- designed for the the Hannibal rack system (above). This design keeps you up off the ground away from snakes etc, and sets up in seconds rather than the minutes required to set up ordinary tents. You remove the travel cover, flip over the floor panel and the tent pops up. (You can have it unfold to overhang the front or rear). 12mm marine ply base board and a 70mm foam mattress. An aluminum ladder gives you easy access from the front or rear.  (Photo courtesy of Atlantic British)


Another Hannibal accessory is their awning (5 or 7 feet available) that goes on the side of their racks. It takes less than 60 seconds to open  by swinging out the aluminum arms that swivel off the rack. A side panel is also available if desired.

(Photo courtesy of Atlantic British)

Inside Tent

The interior of the tent gives plenty of space for two people. It  uses a marine plywood flat base, and can be used with any flat surface rack -- it does not need to be a Hannibal. It can also be configured to fold out to the front or the rear.  The ladder is adjustable to a bull bar in front, or to the ground as shown above. If you mount the tent so it folds to the rear, it also allows for a changing room awning -- see below.

(Photo courtesy of British Pacific)

Tent/shower skirt/changing room addition  designed to go with Hannibal roof top tents: These are useful for any number of tasks that require the ability to stand up. (Photo a right, courtesy of British Pacific, shows the skirt installed on a Defender, but it works equally well on Range Rovers).

I have found certain members of my family are highly reluctant to use my roof top solar shower when on safari; this device neatly solves the problem! It can also easily accommodate a camp or chemical toilet.

Tent Skirt

tent cot

tent cot

Steve Peper offers this alternative for roof top tents -- he uses a Tent Cot (about $135) secured to his regular heavy duty roof rack!
Note the expanded metal floor on Steve's rack that allows him to walk on it.

Rovers North Roof RackBritish Pacific RackOther designs of expedition-style racks include the Rovers North custom full-length rack of stainless steel, with optional brackets for jerry cans, shovel and axe. (Photo at left: Rovers North Full Length Expedition Rack on Gordon Kallio's Range Rover).  D.A.P. Enterprises has a full length steel rack with a plywood floor and a folding access ladder mounted on the side.  Garvin Industries makes an expedition rack for universal mounting with optional attachments for shovels, spare tire, etc. The British-made Brownchurch racks are also now available in the US in sizes to fit Classic Range Rovers. The photo at right by Alexander Cooper shows Granville Pool's custom rack supplied by British Pacific with optional mounts for shovels etc. For their latest offerings, see the British Pacific Range Rover Roof Rack page.




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Page revised February 10, 2012