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The key to a great off-road trip isn’t how high your Jeep is lifted, what kind of suspension your running, or even how much trim your rig is sporting. The key to any good ride is carrying all of the gear you need while out on the trail. There are numerous options available for your Jeep to carry gear, including a roof rack, a rear bumper storage locker, or even a Jeep hood rack. The types of gear storage options you should use depend on what type of off-roading you plan to do and how many vehicles you’ll travel with.
If you have a Jeep Cherokee, a roof rack allows you to secure tons of gear to the roof. The use of a roof rack requires adequate nylon straps or tie-downs to secure your gear properly. A roof rack may be made from cold-rolled steel, or other tough materials that provide strength and durability. A Cherokee roof rack provides a large storage area, but the only method of securing gear to the rack is through the use of straps and tie-downs. All of your gear will be exposed and could come loose when you’re driving through tough terrain. As with a Jeep hood rack, a roof rack offers no options to lock your gear away.
A tail hitch rack fits snugly into your Jeep’s rear tow hitch and provides a solid platform to stow or tie down additional gear. A tail hitch rack can securely store various types of gear, including coolers, storage containers, tool boxes, fuel or water cans and just about anything else that you can strap to it. As opposed to a Jeep hood rack, the tail hitch rack provides a storage solution that does not obstruct the driver’s view while driving. A hood rack cannot safely accommodate large boxes, tall fuel containers and other items.
The hood rack is best suited to carrying flat items, such as a spare tire, tarpaulins, coiled ropes and straps and other flat gear. The installation of a Jeep hood rack is simple and requires only strapping or bolting the unit directly to the Jeep’s hood, per the manufacturer’s instructions. To properly use the hood rack, always bring along suitable nylon strap downs or tie downs to keep the gear snug against the hood. Loose gear in the hood rack can be dangerous while driving out on the trail.