Anyone using a truck bed rack to haul their SxS? Please share pro's and con's. Would you do again? Will be towing a travel trailer as well and not interested in a toy hauler. Wildcat XX will be on the rack.
I use one with our short bed extended cab GMC 2500HD. I got it second-hand, changed a few things immediately and would have done a few things differently. It runs all the way to the end of the open tailgate. A rack and ramps fit a long bed truck a lot better, but I made it work.
Be wary of the break-over height where the ramps meet the rack. We had an X when we got the rack, and I had to drop the rear end of the truck with lowering shackles.
My setup is steel, and the ramps are quite heavy. If I'm not careful, I can tweak my 68 yr old back just handling the ramps.
The rack didn't have a front rail when I got it - it was possible to drive off the end of the rack onto the roof of the truck. I ruined a brand new belt loading the X the first time. I added a front railing, and I've bounced off of it a couple of times, but I haven't damaged any more belts. You might install an "emergency" belt the first time you load your XX.
My rack is flat at the rear for several feet, then rises abruptly to the over-cab level. I think all of the commercial racks I've seen have a longer ramp up to the roof level, which makes it easier to load, and probably gives you more "tall" storage room, depending on how they store the racks.
We have been spending the winter traveling with our motorhome, pulling the truck and XX. We typically do some touristy stuff in a major city or two along the way. I changed the way the racks are stored so that it turns the rack into a secure cage, with or without the XX on it. It is possible to reach through and pilfer small items from the storage bins, but I think I've made it hard enough to discourage a casual thief.
The combined weight of the rack and XX is more than most 3/4 ton trucks are rated to carry.
You won't have this problem, but I worried that the truck with the XX on it would be tipsy, and that I wouldn't be able to gauge a safe speed on curvy roads while towing the truck and XX with the motorhome. The RV leans more than the truck, so no problem.
You need a plan for loading and unloading the rack from your truck, unless you think it won't inconvenience you too much to just leave it on. I already had an old Chinese compact tractor with a front loader. Otherwise I would have had to make a rack to store the rack.
You will have to get used to having an audience, particularly when you load the XX.
In rural states, like the Dakotas & Montana, you'll have people taking pictures because they think the rack is a wonderful solution.
In populated areas, you'll get people asking how you load the XX. I've told a few that we only travel where there is helicopter service. I think one guy in Vegas believed me.
My rack is wider than most, which makes getting out of the XX and back to the ground easier. Compare the track width to your XX and plan accordingly. Having a rear bumper on the XX makes climbing up or down easier. I also have a Harbor Freight extended step plugged into the receiver on the truck.
I'm happy with how our setup performs. We briefly thought about selling the motorhome and truck and starting over with a toy hauler and a proper truck to pull it. There are advantages, but I wouldn't be able to tow out to a trailhead without hauling a big-ass toy hauler around (my wife would only consider models with separate garages).
Awesome run down. I’m a little touched in the head but driving up looks a little spooky despite that. I will likely use a winch to avoid being a U tube sensation. Do you feel the wind resistance or get extra wind noise when driving the truck?
I hear some extra wind noise. You can obviously feel a difference when accelerating, but it still moves out well. This is with the 6.0 gas engine.
I winched the X on a couple of times. Once to make sure the setup worked, once because, well, it was an X, and they don't always make it back home under their own power. It is a ssssslllllloooooowwwwww process, and on my setup the angle between the X or XX and the rack gets too steep, so you can't winch it up against the rail without stopping and changing the attachment point.
I don't think there are any circumstances where I wouldn't drive the XX onto the rack as long as it is mobile. Do it a couple of times and it really is no big deal. I line up the XX as best I can, get out and check the angle from several feet behind the machine, adjust if necessary, go to 4wd Low and crawl right up. You won't have much of a reference point once the front end starts climbing the ramps to the upper level, so best to get it all squared up before you start. If the ramps are wet, I'll lock the front end.
Sounds like I have the same truck as Mbrandt, GMC 2500HD. I have a Full Lotus rack, it's all aluminum so I can slide it in and out by myself, although I wouldn't say it's easy. I found that I was too lazy to take it off when not in use and the design actually made the box useless, couldn't fit bikes in there even. I welded up a rack that it could just slide onto and that was a bit easier. It fits in my 6'6" box no problem and is rock solid with my WildcatX up there.
I did add airbags to my truck to keep the back end from squatting too much when I had my 5000lb trailer hooked up but alone it was fine. I would use 4-low and just steady speed and it wasn't bad unless it was real muddy, coming off I'd just let it roll in reverse no brakes.
All that being said I'm selling mine and just started building a toy hauler/camper finally.
We are loading up for a quick trip to western MT, so a good photo op today.
Fitting the rack and ramps on a short bed truck isn't easy. Ramps short enough to fit over the bed (i.e. the main span of these racks) result in a bad break-over point between the ramp and rack. The main span mates to the rear part just in front of the folding braces. Those pieces fold up and slide into sockets on the frame of the rack, closing in the sides of the rack where it extends over the tailgate. The main spans fit the middle of the rack and are locked in place, making the storage area somewhat secure.
Aesthetically, I don't like that the portion over the cab slopes down at the front, but that slope allows me to leave the XX in neutral and climb down unless I'm loading up-hill on a fairly steep slope.
I like the winching point on Sgo70's rack, but all of that structure required to make it sturdy enough is a significant weight penalty.
geeez mark, makes me nervous just looking at it...so glad i didn't see you loading it up in the black hills...all you need is a rocket and a stop over in idaho for a evil knievel try over the snake river on your way to montana...
They actually look a lot worse than they are. I don’t drive any different than I do pulling my trailer and we have some rough windy roads. I don’t think it’s any different than hauling a couple sleds on a deck.