Jeep Wrangler [2018 – 2020]: Rhino Rack Weight Limits

Jeep Wrangler (4-Door) Years: 2018, 2019, 2020

The primary focus on this page is Rhino Rack weight limits for use in carrying rooftop tents. I’m looking at these weight limits: On road dynamic weight limit, off road dynamic weight limit and static weight limit. Those numbers includes the rack weight.

I’ve spent a lot of  time reviewing the weight limits and trying to make sense of them including their calculations. Still, you should validate my numbers with your Rhino Rack dealer before depending on them. If I’ve made a mistake let me know in the comment section.

You have to be careful about using the following Rhino Rack racks for rooftop tents: Any 2-bar rack and the Pioneer Platform. For the 2-bar racks the off road cargo limit (136lbs) and the static cargo limit (518lbs) are low. For the Pioneer Platform the off road cargo limit (138lbs) is low because of the weight of the rack.

Weight limit (Includes rack weight)

RackOn Road Dynamic LimitOff Road Dynamic LimitStatic Load LimitRack Weight
Vortex RCL Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack265lbs212lbs794lbs45lbs
Vortex RLT600 Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack265lbs212lbs794lbs45lbs
Vortex RCL Silver 2 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack220lbs147lbs529lbs11lbs
Vortex RLT600 Silver 2 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack220lbs147lbs529lbs11lbs
Heavy Duty RCL Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack265lbs212lbs794lbs45lbs
Heavy Duty RLT600 Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack265lbs212lbs794lbs45lbs
Pioneer Platform (72" x 56") [RCL] Unassembled265lbs212lbs794lbs74lbs
Pioneer Platform (72" x 56") RLT600 Unassembled265lbs212lbs794lbs74lbs

Usage: Cargo Weight = Dynamic/Static Weight – Rack Weight

Cargo Weight: How much you can put on your rack.

Full Calculations

Rhino Rack assigns a roof allowance number, off road load factor and static weight multiplier for each vehicle and rack. The roof allowance tends to be 120kg (265lbs) for on road driving but can vary for some vehicles. The off road factor tends to be 1.25 or 1.50. The static load multiplier tends to be 3 but can be 2.4 or 2. Here’s an example of how these numbers work given 120kg, 1.25 and 3.

  • On road dynamic load weight limit = 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit = 120kg/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit = 3x120kg = 360kg or 794lbs

Rack weight plus cargo weight can’t exceed the above numbers. Take the above numbers and subtract the rack weight to determine the maximum cargo weight limit:

Cargo Weight Limit = Load Weight Limit – Rack Weight

Now let’s look at the factors for some specific racks.

Weight and Load Factors

  1. Roof Allowance (kg) – Maximum weight on roof
  2. Off road load factor – (roof allowance)/(off road load factor)
  3. Static load multiplier – multiplier x roof allowance
  4. Rack weight (kg)

Vortex RCL Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack – 120, 1.25, 3, 20.5

Vortex RLT600 Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack – 120, 1.25, 3, 20.5

Vortex RCL Silver 2 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack – 100, 1.5, 2.4, 5

Vortex RLT600 Silver 2 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack – 100, 1.5, 2.4, 5

Heavy Duty RCL Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack – 120, 1.25, 3, 20.5

Heavy Duty RLT600 Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack – 120, 1.25, 3, 20.5

Pioneer Platform (72″ x 56″) [RCL] Unassembled – 120, 1.25, 3, 33.5

Pioneer Platform (72″ x 56″) RLT600 Unassembled – 120, 1.25, 3, 33.5

 

Rack calcs:

Jeep Wrangler (4-Door) Years: 1-2018 to 12-2020

Vortex RCL Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack

The main page for this says it can carry up to 120kg or 264lbs. Further down the page it says it has a “Load Limit” of 220lbs. What do these numbers even mean?

120kg (265lbs) is the max weight including rack. 220lbs is max weight excluding rack: 265 – 45 = 220. Notice there are rounding issues: 264 and 265. 265lbs is the max weight on a roof. 45lbs is the rack weight.

The Rhino Rack weight limits (including rack weight) for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit = 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit = 120/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit = 3×120 = 360kg or 794lbs
  • Rack weight: 20.5kg or 45lbs

Some numbers differ slightly due to rounding.

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road allowance = 120kg – 20.5kg = 99.5kg or 219.4lbs
  • Off road allowance = 96kg – 20.5 = 75.5kg or 166.4lbs
  • Static allowance = 360kg – 20.5kg = 339.5kg or 748.5lbs

Why don’t I just give you the cargo weight (allowance)? Because the dynamic and static weights are what you will see on various websites selling the Rhino Rack. My numbers mostly fill in the gaps but you will be seeing some numbers on websites.

This rack uses 3 Vortex crossbars. The calculations are confusing because two sets of instructions conflict. The RCL-RCH instructions for crossbars conflict with the RJLB1 instructions for the backbone system. The RCL-RCH weight limits are for 2 crossbars. The RJLB1 weight limits are for 3 crossbars. You want the weight limits from the RJLB1 instructions. I show them below.

Find the instructions page. You will see something like the image below. In the image below are three links to instructions. The last “View Leg Instructions” link is the one you want (RJLB1). Right click and open in new tab.

You can see this table in the PDF file from the RJLB1 instructions.

The “Roof Allowance” is the max possible weight that you can put on the roof of your vehicle including rack weight. Another name for it is “Maximum Load Carrying Capacity.” Rhino Rack determines the roof allowance which changes by vehicle. Most vehicles are 120kg/265lbs.

Roof Allowance = 120kg or 265lbs

On road cargo allowance = roof allowance – rack weight

120kg – 20.5kg = 99.5kg

Off road cargo allowance = (roof allowance)/1.25 – rack weight

* (120kg)/1.25 – 20.5kg = 96kg – 20.5kg = 75.5kg

* Note the difference with the number in the table below: 75.5kg vs 79kg in the table. The Rhino Rack number calculation is incorrect. See my checking below:

Rhino Rack Number: 79.6 + 20.5 = 100.1; The correct answer is 96.

My Number: 75.5 + 20.5 = 96; This is correct.

I will be using my method going forward.

Look at the off road allowance in the first row (42108B:) 62.5kg

120kg/1.25 – 33.5kg = 62.5kg

The table is correct here.

Static load weight limit = 3x(roof allowance) – rack weight

[In some situations the 3 changes to 2 or 2.4.]

= 3×120 – 20.5 = 339.5kg

Vortex RLT600 Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack

The weight limits are the same as the prior rack: Vortex RCL 3 Bar. The RLT600 is just the quick release version of the RCL.

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit = 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit = 120/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit = 3×120 = 360kg or 794lbs
  • Rack weight: 20.5kg or 45lbs

Some numbers differ slightly due to rounding.

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 120kg – 20.5kg = 99.5kg or 219lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 96kg – 20.5kg = 75.5kg or 166lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 360kg – 20.5kg = 339.5kg or 748lbs

Vortex RCL Silver 2 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack

This says it’s weight rated up to 120kg/264lb but on the “Specifications” page the “Load Limit” is 176lbs. More confusion. It gets worse. There is no table of answers and no rack weight. The only hint we have is the 176lbs which is the on road dynamic load weight limit and that appears to be wrong. The 176lbs has been removed a few days later.

Given that the Vortex RCL 3-bar and Vortex RLT600 3-bar use the same data for load ratings, I am going to assume that is the case for 2 bars. The table below refers to the instructions for the Vortex RLT600 2-bar rack.

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit: 100kg or 220lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit: 100kg/1.5 = 66.7kg or 147.0lbs
  • Static load weight limit: 2.4×100 = 240kg or 529lbs
  • Rack weight: 5kg or 11lbs

Usage: Cargo Weight = Load Weight Limit – Rack Weight

According to the Rhino Rack catalogue from 2018, when the roof allowance steps down to 100kg then the multiplier for the static load weight limit steps down from 3 to 2.4.

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 100kg – 5kg = 95kg or 209lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 66.7kg – 5kg = 61.7kg or 136lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 240kg – 5kg = 235kg or 518lbs

Vortex RLT600 Silver 2 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack

Same as above:

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit: 100kg or 220lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit: 100 kg/1.5 = 66.67kg or 147lbs
  • Static load weight limit: 2.4x100kg = 240kg or 529lbs
  • Rack weight: 5kg or 11lbs

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 100kg – 5kg = 95kg or 209lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 66.7kg – 5kg = 61.7kg or 136lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 240kg – 5kg = 235kg or 518lbs

Heavy Duty RCL Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack

The weight limits are the same as the Vortex RCL 3-bar rack.

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit: 3x120kg = 360kg or 794lbs
  • Rack weight: 20.5kg or 45lbs

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 120kg – 20.5kg = 99.5kg or 219lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 96kg – 20.5kg = 75.5kg or 166lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 360kg – 20.5kg = 339.5kg or 748lbs

Heavy Duty RLT600 Silver 3 Bar Rhino-Rack Backbone Roof Rack

The weight limits are the same as the Vortex RCL 3-bar rack.

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit: 3x120kg = 360kg or 794lbs
  • Rack weight: 20.5kg or 45lbs

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 120kg – 20.5kg = 99.5kg or 219lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 96kg – 20.5kg = 75.5kg or 166lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 360kg – 20.5kg = 339.5kg or 748lbs

Pioneer Platform (72″ x 56″) [RCL] Unassembled

The platform (42108BF) sits on RCL legs (RCL6). The RCL legs connect to Backbone system (RJLB1). The max load limits come from the RJB1.PDF instructions. We get the same table we’ve seen before but this time we select the row for 42108B.

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit: 3×120 = 360kg or 794lbs
  • Rack weight: 33.5kg or 74lbs

For 42108B from the table: 86.5kg, 62.5kg, 326.5kg and 33.5kg.

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 120kg – 33.5kg = 86.5kg or 191lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 96kg – 33.5kg = 62.5kg or 138lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 360kg – 33.5kg = 326.5kg or 720lbs

Pioneer Platform (72″ x 56″) RLT600 Unassembled

This time platform (42108BF) sits on RLT600 legs (quick mount legs). The RLT600 legs connects to Backbone system (RJLB1). The max load limits come from the RJB1.PDF instructions. And we end up with the same table as the RCL version and same max load limits.

The Rhino Rack weight limits for this rack on a Jeep Wrangler:

  • On road dynamic load weight limit: 120kg or 265lbs
  • Off road dynamic load weight limit:  120kg/1.25 = 96kg or 212lbs
  • Static load weight limit: 3×120 = 360kg or 794lbs
  • Rack weight: 33.5kg or 74lbs

Deduct the rack weight to get the cargo allowances.

  • On road cargo allowance: 120kg – 33.5kg = 86.5kg or 191lbs
  • Off road cargo allowance: 96kg – 33.5kg = 62.5kg or 138lbs
  • Static cargo allowance: 360kg – 33.5kg = 326.5kg or 720lbs