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Old 09-08-2012, 03:46 PM
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terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

I finally got around to installing my RRO roof rack side rails and cross bars. The item did not ship with any instructions but it appears straight forward enough. For the side rails; Remove the existing bolts from side rails, insert new side rails, secure with new bolts. For the cross bars; assemble bars into end pieces, attach to side rails using U bolts.

The rack looks great, nice and rugged, and seems pretty darn solid too. However, a quick test drive afterwards yielded significant wind noise above 45 mph over the roof area. Way to much for me to consider bearable. I don't see how anything could be assembled backwards or wrong, does anybody else with this rack get substantial wind noise?

I was thinking of adding a fairing...

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Old 09-09-2012, 12:37 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

I'd say unlikely you have it installed incorrectly. The cross bars are causing enough drag resulting in the wind noise you're getting. A fairing may help some, but be advised, if you carry anything up there it'll be loud as hell.

I experienced a similar thing with the Gobi rack I have installed on my Rubicon before I installed the included fairing. To say the wind noise was pretty bad would be an understatement. As bad as that was, it was nothing compared to the noise we got in the cabin with a fully loaded rack. Obviously different vehicles, but the same principles apply.


So a question for you, do you have the full RRO rack or just the side rails and cross bars? I was contemplating selling my mopar cross bars and thule moab basket for this set up but wanted to see what kind of base RRO has to support the gear you're hauling.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:27 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

It's the side rails and cross bar setup, not the full adventure rack. The adventure rack adds a center cross bar and 3 panel load floor. I'll contact RRO next week and see if they have any recommendations. Right now I have the cross bars at the fullest spread possible, some have suggested moving the front cross bar back may reduce the noise. It appears my cross bar ends maybe upside down as well.

I'd like to go with a fairing, but I cannot seem to find any that don't have branding on them. Would seem pretty silly to have a fairing that says Thule or Yakima in front of the RRO rack. Other then the wind noise, I am very impressed with the rack. It's pretty darn solid after the whole thing got bolted together. Hopefully I'll find a way to live with it.

Here are some close-ups of the rack;



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Old 09-09-2012, 03:35 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

Yeah, relocating the front bar back a little should help a bit with wind noise. Seeing you mention that reminded me of a similar situation we had on our Tahoe several years ago. It the dealer to explain that one to us as we thought it was the sunroof not seating right.

You might be able able to either fab one up out using plastic. I was looking at doing something like that to cover the light bar area on the Gobi rack on our JK. I was scoping out plastic on Amazon for the job.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:08 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

z0lt3c - Not that it will make any difference in the wind noise, but you do have the cross-bar ends upside down. The small bolt normally goes on top. The angle support goes on the bottom, to support any weight placed on the bars.

I have the full RRO adventure rack and also get some wind noise. But I have 4 off-road lights in front that the noise is coming from. Haven't put the water cans and tire up there yet. I hope the noise doesn't get any worse, as my wife already doesn't like the additional noise.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:22 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

Doesn't look like a very low noise design with those gussets, U bolts and nuts all out in the air stream. If you can bolt your cross members between the rail attachments instead of in front of them that might help take them out of the air flow coming up and over the wind shield. I'm also wondering if you might be getting some flutter at higher speeds when they are out there in front.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:54 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryf View Post
z0lt3c - Not that it will make any difference in the wind noise, but you do have the cross-bar ends upside down. The small bolt normally goes on top. The angle support goes on the bottom, to support any weight placed on the bars.

I have the full RRO adventure rack and also get some wind noise. But I have 4 off-road lights in front that the noise is coming from. Haven't put the water cans and tire up there yet. I hope the noise doesn't get any worse, as my wife already doesn't like the additional noise.
Unless you need the stuff up there 100% of the time my 2 cents is leave it in the garage. The more stuff you put up there the more noise you're going to get, not to mention the negatives to the handling characteristics of having all that extra weight up there. Also I might suggest steering clear of the Jerry can's and perhaps consider Rotopax water and fuel containers. They can be laid flat so you don't have another thing causing wind drag.

Last year we traveled from Chicago to the Grand Canyon and back with this up top and we couldn't even stand to leave the sun roof open because of the noise it generated.


Same thing here, traveled from Chicago to the OBX with three storage bags strapped up top on our Rubicon and holy crap it sounded like a freight train. Granted a l'il different animal but the same premise applies.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:23 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

I'm using the rack to carry a pair of kayaks. I'm expecting the thing to be loud when the kayaks are loaded on top but I was hoping I could leave the cross bars in when the kayaks are not being transported. I am thinking if I add the fairing then I can keep the crossbars in there present locations.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:07 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

I heard back from RRO, they weren't much help, basically suggested what's already been stated here. I am little disappointed they aren't interested in providing their own fairing for the rack, they actually suggested I use a Thule or Yakima part instead !! I'm would like to use a Inno fairing, they seem to use the beefiest brackets, but I think their 48" model will be to long and the shorter model to short. Looks like it will most likely be Yakima then.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:37 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

Depending you might even be able to get away with just using quality cable ties. I use them to hold the fairing on my Thule rack without much problems. One broke but that was because it was cinched a little too tight. Other than that it held up great against the vegas heat for a week and in general through over 4500 miles of midwest plains, mountains and the desert.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:37 AM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

I have been looking at your pictures since you first posted this and I can't tell if the crossbars are round or more oval. But back on point, I see that your bolts and nuts are exposed, maybe see if you can get a cap for those so that they are more uniform and won't have the nuts exposed. <-- sounds dirty. Also, looking at the bracket I see what looks like at least 1 triangle (for support, right on top next to the bolts) that could also be the cause of the problem.

If I was in your shoes and if you can, I would take them back. They look great, but the noise would be too much for me to handle. I purchased the mopar crossbeams and they look good and create no noise (well, I haven't noticed it yet). They seem real sturdy to me and iirc, you will be putting a kayak on yours, I think they will definitely do that well.

If you don't want or can't take them back, try the nut covers and also try to get those triangles more aerodynamic. I hope you can understand what triangles I am talking about. I wish you the best of luck!

Edit: I reread everything and can see how you may have the ends connected upside down. It looks like it from the 3 pics. The rounder end should be on top, if you switch them, maybe that will solve your problem. But like another poster has said, they don't look that aerodynamic to me. I hope this input helps. Think of it like this, two blades of grass between your thumbs can make a lot of noise and you have a lot of exposed weird angles in the wind.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:34 PM
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Re: terrible wind noise from RRO roof rack/cross bar kit

I spent the morning trying to re-arrange the roof rack to generate less wind noise.

- I had to remove both bars to get the top bar more towards the rear, I presume since the space between the rails shrinks, you can't just adjust one bar while leaving the other installed. I re-installed the rear bar in the correct direction.

- Next I took the front bar off, left only the rear bar in and went for a test drive. The wind noise was definitely reduced but not eliminated. The noise around 40-45 was much better but at 55 it was just as loud as with the front bar forward.

- Next I re-mounted the front bar about half way towards the rear, in the correct direction, then went for a test drive. The wind noise was on par with the test drive with no front bar, much better then the full forward position but still noticeable around 50 mph.

A few conclusion and pointers;

- The powder coating on the RRO side rails and cross bars is not very resilient. Removing and reinstalling the cross bars marked up the side rails.

- Between the marks from install/removal, the requirement to remove the rear bar and the amount of time involved to bolt on an off 16 nuts, it's just not practical to remove the rack while not in use.

- The siderails themselves contribute mostly to the wind noise around 40-45 mph. I suspect they are in the wash from the windshield. If a fairing was to be used, I'd like it to cover the side bars as well.

- Given the bars in there new locations the spread is much smaller then the factory bars which is why I wanted the RRO bars in the first place. The wider the spread the more stable with larger kayaks and canoes.


Cliffs: This kit is for dedicated off road vehicles only. It will be for sale shortly. Given the cost of shipping, and the unavoidable scratches, I will probably take a bath on it.


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