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 > Do you think a front cargo rack is too dangerous?

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Naio

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Posted: 11/13/19 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had a basket type one on my van for a while, but it has seen very, very little freeway speed driving. Mostly slow roads.

An engineer friend saw it yesterday and said he thought it was extremely dangerous, because at freeway speed it could potentially set up a wobble, twist itself off, and end up underneath the front of the van. And, as he pointed out, that would be much worse than a rear rack coming off and dragging.

Well, I found this image terrifying. But then I thought I should consult you all :-).

(My rack plus contents ways maybe a hundred pounds, but one of the problems he pointed out is that the weight is necessarily evenly distributed. It's not possible to consolidate it in the center. This was why he was concerned about wobble at speed.)


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agesilaus

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Posted: 11/13/19 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why not just add a roof rack, a van has plenty of roof space.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/13/19 10:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If under-designed or overloaded...sure it's a bad thing.

If properly designed and loaded...no particular concern other than not parking too close to vehicles and fixed objects.


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Posted: 11/13/19 11:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gee, you need to be extra careful if you add to the front end. Safer on the roof too IMO.


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Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 11/13/19 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

W/O photo of set up hard to even ponder a guess

YES...NO...probably


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Posted: 11/13/19 01:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is what you are carrying, so heavy as to pose an overloading issue?
Plenty of folks use all types of front carriers ranging from carrying a cooler and fishing rods down on the NC Outer banks, to folks in other areas carrying things like these. (and yes, these are a bit big)
[image]
[image]

Just dont block too much airflow to the radiator, or obscure the headlights, and you are likely safe so long as the size and weight are not too much for your vehicle.

DownTheAvenue

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Posted: 11/13/19 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Naio wrote:

I've had a basket type one on my van for a while, but it has seen very, very little freeway speed driving. Mostly slow roads.

An engineer friend saw it yesterday and said he thought it was extremely dangerous, because at freeway speed it could potentially set up a wobble, twist itself off, and end up underneath the front of the van.


I suppose what your engineer friend said is certainly possible, but to him I would ask what about all the snow plows installed on pick up trucks? A front rack can be very safe, or it could be a disaster waiting to happen. If what you have is stout, well made, and at or below its design capacity, then it is perfectly safe. The speed of the vehicle to which anything mounted on the front has little to do with the safety. His ascertain seems to be something flimsy is ok at low speeds but not at high speeds. That makes no sense.

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Posted: 11/13/19 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When in doubt have a "qualified" expert look at it for proper safety and structure requirements.


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Naio

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Posted: 11/13/19 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where/how would I find an expert to check it out? I like that idea, but I don't have any idea who to consult.


I don't have a lot of weight on the rack. Less than 100 pounds, and it is rated for 500.

The roof is not an option for me; I can't be climbing that ladder all the time.

DrewE

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Posted: 11/13/19 08:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The fiberglass raised roof might not have the structure to support a standard roof rack, even if you could clamber up and down reasonably.

I think your friends concerns are probably unfoudned in your case. I also suspect it would be pretty obvious when driving if the cargo carrier started doing inappropriate things, assuming you can see it at all...and quite possibly even if you can't. My concerns would be a little more basic: are the lights obscured? is the radiator airflow impeded to any great extent? is the cargo secured sufficiently well so it won't suddenly come loose and bonk the windshield? does it overload the front axle overloaded (pretty unlikely here, I think)? And those questions are fairly easily answered, too.

As for someone to check it out, one option may be to look up a truck chassis/frame/spring shop. If you were around me I'd suggest Bailey Spring and Chassis, but they're a pretty long drive from southern New Hampshire and I'm sure there are a fair few decent ones that are closer.





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