Jeep Wrangler Rugged Ridge Easy Load Trail Rack (1987-2002 Wrangler YJ & TJ) Review & Install

Jeep Wrangler Rugged Ridge Easy Load Trail Rack (1987-2002 Wrangler YJ & TJ) Review & Install


I’m Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this
is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge Easy Load Trail Rack, fitting all 1987
to 2002 Wranglers. Today, we’re gonna talk through the installation
of this rack, which is going to be a pretty simple one out of three wrench install, because
you don’t have to drill or do any major modifications to your Jeep. You’ll be able to get this bolted up in about
an hour, but we’ll talk more about the installation in just a minute. We’re also gonna talk through the construction
and a few of the features of this rack. Jeeps in general are known to have a fairly
small interior, and if you’re looking to haul some additional gear, whether it’s on the
road or off the road, going to your local campsite or hitting the trail, this rack is
going to give you the ability to carry some additional gear where you otherwise wouldn’t
be able to. Now, a rack like this does hang off the back
of your Jeep using the mounting holes for your spare tire on your tailgate. Having the additional weight with all of this
leverage hanging out over the spare tire can possibly cause some damage to your tailgate
if you put a ton in this basket. If you already have a bigger than factory
and heavy spare tire on that factory spare tire mount, you’re already stressing the tailgate,
the hinges, and the mount itself, so you are going to want to be careful with the amount
of weight that you put in a rack like this. This is ranging from up to 50 pounds, but
depending on your situation, you may only want to put some smaller and lighter items
in this basket. Although, when you consider the alternative
of a full roof rack basket, this is going to be smaller, less expensive, and easier
to install, even though you’re not going to be able to put quite as much stuff in it. This basket is made of welded steel tubing. It’s covered in a textured black powdered
coat finish. And, as I said before, it has about a 50-pound
carrying capacity, even though you’ll probably wanna keep this as light as possible. It is large enough that you could put a cooler
in it, but, again, be a little bit conscious of the weight. By the time you put a cooler with drinks,
ice in there, it can get pretty heavy. So you do wanna be cognizant of how much weight
you’re putting on this and make sure that you’re keeping it a little bit light. However, this is going to add a good bit of
cargo space to your Wrangler. As I said before, this is going to be a very
simple one out of three wrench install that should only take you about an hour. The first step in the install is assembling
the rest of the rack. This rack will come out of the box as you
see it here, but there are a couple of additional pieces that you’ll bolt onto it before you
actually get to the part where you do any sort of installation on your Jeep. Once you have the rack fully assembled, you
can move over to the Jeep, remove the spare tire and the spare tire mounting bracket,
and then go ahead and put the braces on your tailgate. Now, these braces are going to go on the tailgate,
and then you’re going to bolt your spare tire carrier over top of your new braces. Once the braces are in place with the spare
tire carrier, you can go ahead and bolt the basket with its bars onto those braces that
you bolted onto the tailgate and finally reattach your spare tire. This whole process is going to be fairly simple. It’s completely bolt-on. There’s no need to drill anything. Again, give yourself probably around an hour
and your traditional hand tools to get this job done. This rack comes in at right around $325, which,
in my opinion, for the amount of carrying space that you get isn’t that bad of a price. However, when you consider the weight limitation
that you have on this, I do think that it seems a little bit pricey. For $325, you’re getting close to a low-end
roof rack. And, as I said before, I know a roof rack
is big and bulky. Some people don’t like the way they look. There’s a lot more to install. But if you’re actually looking for a area
to carry a lot of additional cargo from a space perspective and also a weight perspective,
maybe a roof rack is going to be a better option for you. Again, if you’re looking to just fill about
this amount of space to the lightweight cargo, in that case, I think this is going to be
a option that will work for you, but you are going to have to have the budget for it. So if you’re looking to add some cargo space
to your Jeep for some lightweight cargo, this is going to take a previously unutilized area
and create a carrying space. You are going to wanna keep the weight of
your cargo down, and you are gonna have to have the budget for it. But if you do, this is going to add some additional
room. So that’s my review of the Rugged Ridge Easy
Load Trail Rack, fitting all 1987 to 2002 Wranglers, that you can find right here at
extremeterrain.com.

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