View Full Version : DIY simple and easy THULE roof crossbar install for any hardtop JK

April 22nd, 2013, 09:00 PM
So I just bought a canoe a month or so ago to use on some of the restricted lakes (no gasoline motorized boats, electric or paddle only) up in the higher elevations. Problem was, how were we going to take it with us we head out camping? The canoe was to heavy an bulky for my wife and I to try and mount on top of our camper, and there simply was not enough room on our car hauler when the Jeep is loaded up.

99% of the time we camp up in the high country we have the JKUR instead of the ZJ. The hardtop JK though, has limited options to mount a roof rack to carry such things as a canoe unless you want to spend some serious coin on a rack system.

After some research and shopping around town one weekend, I found THULE makes a universal rain gutter mount. I was a little concerned at first because of the painted fiberglass hardtop on our JK and mounting crossbars on the rain gutters themselves.

After closer inspection of the rain gutters and seeing how beefy they were, and actually getting to look at the THULE mounts, I purchased them and the 65" crossbars.

Installation was super simple and the crossbars give a wide array of accessory mounting options such as bike mounts, kayak mounts etc. I found Wal-Mart even carries a Reese roof basket rack for $99 that can be added if needed. So if your on a budget, I highly reccomend this system. The THULE product is not cheap, but runs only about a 1/4 of a rack system.

On to the pics:

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0008.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0008.jpg.html)

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0014.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0014.jpg.html)


http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0009.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0009.jpg.html)

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0012.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0012.jpg.html)

Close up of the hardtop rain gutter:

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0015.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0015.jpg.html)

THULE mount on the 65" crossbar:

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0017.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0017.jpg.html)

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0023.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0023.jpg.html)

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0026.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0026.jpg.html)

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0021.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0021.jpg.html)

Canoe on the Jeep:

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r534/zjrockrig/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0029.jpg (http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/zjrockrig/media/2012%20Jeep%20JKU%20Rubicon/JKUR%20Installed%20accessories/IMG_0029.jpg.html)

Additional note: THULE sells a 55" crossbar also, but we chose the 65" because we are going to add bike mounts as well. I recommend getting the 65" bars because they can be cut down to size if needed.

May 4th, 2013, 04:21 PM
can you get a measurement from the hard top to the top of the bars. Wondering if this is going to fit in my garage on my jk.

May 4th, 2013, 07:28 PM
4 1/2 inches at the highest point. :thumbsup:

May 4th, 2013, 09:09 PM
I cut the crossbars on mine so it didnt overhang the doors so much

August 15th, 2013, 06:39 AM
Are the rain gutters reinforced? No way would I trust the ones on my TJ for anything other than rain. I used the little pieces of plate from Yakima that are stamped to simulate a rain gutter, drilled through the top and added some plate on the inside.

August 15th, 2013, 12:02 PM
I don't know if the reinforced they seem like a pretty beefy though course I'm not carrying 500 pounds a lumbar or anything.

I am having one issue though is that my canoe is too short and too heavy for my wife to help me lift it on top of the Jeep so I might trade it for a lighter longer version or just might get rid of it all together.

August 15th, 2013, 12:03 PM
I might just end up with a full rack. The Thule bar is not back far enough to just set the front of the canoe on it and push it on a roller from the back.