5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install, Off-Road

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack Install

Updated 6/18/19 / Read Time: 6 mins

Rhino-Rack Pioneer on 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform with CXB Leg Kit Installation on 5th Gen 4Runner

Recently, we went over the full review on the Rhino-Rack Pioneer. This rack is fully capable of competing with some of the other off-road racks that are commonly installed. We discussed the differences between the Rhino-Rack, Front Runner Slimline 2, Gobi Stealth, Baja Rack and the K9. These roof racks are all well-made utility racks for the 5th Gen 4Runner. We decided to go with the Rhino-Rack with the Backbone Mount System but they were back ordered on the backbone mount.

Part Numbers for Rhino-Rack + Backbone Kit (700lbs Load)

  • Rhino-Rack Pioneer Rack (60″ x 49″)
  • Rhino-Rack Backbone Mount (Factory Rail Replacement)

Part Numbers for Rhino-Rack + CXB Leg Kit (175lbs Load)

The Backbone Mount System is relatively new to the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform lineup. The Backbone Mount removes the factory rail system (like most top-level racks) and is then replaced with factory bolt placements. The biggest difference between the Backbone Mount System and the Factory Rail Kit system is load rating. The Backbone Kit has a load rating of 700lbs while the factory rail mount system has a load rating of 175lbs.

We wanted to move forward with this rack because it is incredibly slim, lightweight and has a competitive load rating among the other major rack brands. Being that they were out of stock on the backbone mount system and we already had the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform, we had to get something. So, we opted for the CXB leg kit.

We mounted up the Rhino-Rack with the factory rail mount CXB leg kit system and it looks great. From functionality to looks, the Rhino-Rack with the factory rail kit is still a great choice and much cheaper. The biggest difference in functionality is whether or not you are going to mount a tent on top of your rack or will be standing on top of it. If you are planning on mounting a roof-top tent or standing on your roof rack often, buy the Backbone Mounting Kit.

After installing our new set of tires (Toyo Open County AT ii – 285/75r17) and wheels (Fuel Anza Bronze 17×9 -6), we should have a completely new look for our 2014 Trail 4Runner. Also, we have an upcoming Icon Suspension to replace our ToyTec Leveling Kit. Pretty stoked for this all to come together.

For now, let’s jump into the install on the Rhino-Rack + CXB Leg Kit. In another post, we will be doing an install of the Rhino-Rack + Backbone Kit.

Step #1 – Unpack all Parts (Pioneer Rack)

The first and most important thing when starting any projects is making sure you have all your parts. The Rhino-Rack Pioneer came separately for us, so we made sure everything was in the box for the rack first. Unpack your Rhino-Rack Pioneer and make sure everything is organized and ready to go.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform 5th Gen 4Runner

Step #2 – Unpack all Parts (CXB Leg Kit)

Same goes for your CXB Leg Kit. This one is pretty self-explanatory. There are four legs and one universal allen tool.

Unpack & Account For all Parts (CXB Leg Kit)

Step #3 – Slide CXB Legs to Pioneer Rack Crossbars

The first step for this incredibly easy install is to slide your legs onto the Pioneer Rack Crossbars. There is a metal spacer bracket that bolts down to the Pioneer Rack Crossbars. Slide the Pioneer Rack Crossbars under this section and then under the plastic section as well. They just slide right on. A piece of cake. Repeat this process for all four legs.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #1 - Slide CXB Leg to CrossbarsRhino-Rack Install Step #1 - Slide CXB Leg to Crossbars

Step #4 – Hand Tighten Leg To Crossbars

Once your legs have been added to your Pioneer Rack Crossbars, hand tighten your legs to the crossbars. If you do not hand tighten your legs to the crossbars, the legs will slide back and forth while you are measuring, and adjusting a few other items. With the legs hand-tight, you will still be able to slide them around for adjusting the width of the legs. Repeat this process for all four legs.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #4 - Hand Tighten Leg To Crossbars

Step #5 – Slide Pioneer Crossbars Into Rack

Once you have your legs on your crossbars, drop the cross onto the rack, while the rack is upside down. You want to start with the crossbars at an angle so that you can swing them perpendicular to the stationary crossbar. The crossbar will slide underneath the edge of the Pioneer roof rack under-rail to which you will bolt down with given hardware and a spacer.

Slide Pioneer Crossbars Into RackSlide Pioneer Crossbars Into Rack

Step #6 – Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware

Step 6A – Drop in spacer provided perpendicular to the crossbar. 

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware 

Step 6B – Drop washer onto spacer. With the index finger, turn spacer 90 degrees. 

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware 

Step 6C – With the index finger, push the spacer underneath the Pioneer rack rail & screw down

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware 

Step #7 – Measuring Crossbars Width (41.5″ on Center)

You will not have to do this step, as we did it for you. The distance from the center to center on the factory roof rails is about 41.5″. So, you want your width of the openings on the legs to match up with this.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Measuring Crossbars Width

Step #8 – Bolt Down CXB Legs to Crossbars at 41.5″ on center

BEFORE YOU DO THIS STEP: Open up the spacing of the legs all the way. Using the provided allen, loosen up the leg space on all four legs before bolting down. This will open up the legs and allow the rack to drop right into your factory rails.

MEASURE & BOLT LEGS: Set legs about an inch away from the edge of the rack. This will give you 41.5″ on dead center. Using a 1/2″ socket, bolt down the legs to the crossbars once you have the perfect inch spacing.

Bolt Down CXB Legs to Crossbars at 41.5" on center

Step #9 – Turn Rack Over & Mount Bracket Hardware

Once everything is buttoned up below, turn your rack over and mount your brackets from the top down.

Turn Rack Over - Mount Bracket Hardware

Step #10 – Mount The Rack!

Everything should be nice and tight. Ready to mount!

Using two people, lift your pioneer rack up onto the factory rails. Everything should line up perfectly. If the legs do not automatically seat into place, just give them a little pressure and they should pop right in. Once all of your legs are into place, you can tighten down the legs to the factory rails.

Super Easy!

Rhino-Rack Install Step #9 - Mount Roof Rack

Finished Product & Thoughts

Super clean, low-profile, easy to install and affordable. What’s not to love about this rack. You can also buy additional hardware for the Pioneer Roof Rack that allows you to strap down just about anything you can imagine.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack with Gold WheelsRhino USA Ratchet Straps Overview and Review Side Exit Exhaust 5th Gen 4RunnerLong Canyon 4WD Trail - El Dorado National Forest

I think this a great start for anyone looking to install a rack while not spending over $1000. This is a great introductory roof rack that will serve well for most uses for the life of their 4Runner. Also, if you ever want to go another direction, it is super easy to take off and mount a new rack on. Try it on for yourself and let us know what you think.

We have not taken it off-road yet or used the Rhino-Rack Pioneer mounting brackets, but as soon as we do, we will write another post on that. As for the on-road performance, you can hear a little bit of wind drag but that is normal with any roof racks, even with wind deflectors. Once you start adding aftermarket parts to your 4Runner, things are just going to be a little different. The wind is definitely not bad, you can just hear it. On a level 1 – 10, I would say it’s about a “2” noise level.

Love the 4Runner Lifestyle?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY - FREE GEAR AND UPDATES

The latest in new 4Runner parts, products and gear. You also get a leg up on vendor specials, free gear, giveaway notifications, and more. Our newsletter is pretty much the best thing you'll ever read!

Get paid for an Install or Review

GET PAID FOR WRITING A 4RUNNER PRODUCT REVIEW OR STEP BY STEP INSTALL

Recent Posts
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
43 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jordan K
Jordan K
June 16, 2020 7:36 am

Is it recommended to use the backbone with a 60×49 rack? When i go to their website it recommends the 76 x 49 but I don’t want one that long and would like the weight capacity for an RTT. Thanks

Michelle
Michelle
June 9, 2020 10:50 am

Hi! I see there is a ladder in the pictures above. What brand is the ladder? I’m looking for a roof rack and ladder for my husband for Father’s Day. I really like the Rhino rack but it doesn’t seem to come with a ladder. Do you mind sharing a recommendation?
Thanks! Michelle

Sergio P
Sergio P
April 20, 2020 3:33 pm

Brenan, I have been looking through the “trail4runner.com” website to find different mods for my 2017 4Runner and I came across this rack install that you did. First, I want you to know that I really appreciate your write up and it looks great. While researching this rack, I came across a Youtube video of a company called “Rack Outfitters” and they showed the same rack but the longer version. I wanted to ask you two questions about the one you chose. You went with the 60″ X 49″, why? Also, I see that you dont have that added accessory… Read more »

kikacrane
kikacrane
April 7, 2020 7:59 am

I had no issue with the products from this company. I assembled the 74″x49″ Pioneer Rack, Wind Faring, Full Rail Support, Grab Handles, Tie Down Hooks, and Backbone System on my Trail Premium and love the outcome. 720lb static load and very low profile made this rack far and away the best option for my needs.

I chose the rhino rack backbone system to add weight support and keep the profile low. The powder-coated rails were imperfectly level and took some extra muscle to complete the install but overall a very sturdy setup. Highly recommend.

Jake Klucznik
Jake Klucznik
September 9, 2019 10:08 am

Would the 72×57 rack work with the 4Runner?

Jason
Jason
July 15, 2019 2:38 pm

Can this rack be bolted to the factory crossbars on a 2018 4 Runner?

Tom
Tom
March 30, 2019 3:22 pm

I just installed this earlier today. I used the SX100 legs with vortex bars. Rhino Rack, etrailer (awesome CS), etc have this as a specific package now with the legs, bars, adapter kit packaged together. This is different bar and legs than what’s described here. The SX100 legs actually do clamp properly the the 4r factory rails. Also, you will HAVE mount the bars and legs first, then the platform. The platform will sit over the clamp adjustment which is why. I love the looks, no noise,etc. Thank you trail4runner for this write up or I may have ended up… Read more »

Tim
Tim
March 30, 2019 6:25 pm
Reply to  Tom

I’m getting a lot of wind noise and somewhat regretting purchasing the 76 inch Pioneer Platform. If I use flaring to reduce the wind noise it makes my sunroof obsolete. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Tom
Tom
March 30, 2019 6:39 pm
Reply to  Tim

I only notice wind noise it I have the sunroof up. I bought the fairing but not sure I’m putting it on yet.

Tim
Tim
March 30, 2019 7:21 pm
Reply to  Tom

Thanks. I think the difference is that the platform runs across the sunroof. I can hear a lot of wind noise when the sunroof is closed. It is actually quite bothersome.

Tim
Tim
September 9, 2019 6:57 pm
Reply to  Tom

Hi. Do you have a photo?

Ryan
Ryan
October 24, 2018 6:49 pm

Will this hold a roof Top tent weight?

Doug
Doug
September 21, 2020 2:48 pm

Not making a recommendation but just sharing my personal exp, I’ve had the Pioneer SX Platform mounted to my factory rails on my 5th gen for awhile. Mounted my Front Runner RTT to Rhino’s accessory bar they offer — been on the trails/long commutes, 0 issues. Granted this RTT is lighter than most, and my gf and I are fairly petite.

Ryan
Ryan
September 24, 2018 2:45 am

Does anyone know which slots I should use for the legs? Does it matter? I have the 42100B model (60×49).

darthyoda
darthyoda
September 19, 2018 6:46 pm

What are the wheels in the top picture?

darthyoda
darthyoda
September 25, 2018 4:10 am

noooooooooooooooooooo….yeah i finally found it in another post and checked their site and couldnt find them. Thinking if I can find the exact model, maybe I can find someplace that has a set sitting on the shelf. really like those wheels.

darthyoda
darthyoda
September 25, 2018 4:11 am
Reply to  darthyoda

btw – love your site…keep up the good work..

Coyotearms
Coyotearms
September 14, 2018 1:04 am

Shane, Some ambiguity here. Do you mean by “interfere” it prevents the sunroof from opening or do you mean will it cover all or part of the sunroof window? The front edge of a 60″ rack is just aft of the sun roof, so . . . The other “interfere would probably depend on the way the rack is mounted and I doubt you would/could mount the 79” Rhino-Rack on the stock roof rails.

Randy Rogers
Randy Rogers
August 17, 2018 11:49 pm

I pulled the trigger with this recommendation. Love the low profile look.

Timothy Troberg
Timothy Troberg
July 25, 2018 6:56 am

Wish I saw this earlier, I need a rack!

PaulR
PaulR
July 2, 2018 7:25 pm

Pretty sure it’s actually up for sale. Can’t speak for Brenan as to why, but it’s been listed on Overland Market.

Matt
Matt
July 4, 2018 3:37 am
Reply to  PaulR

Yes, I saw this on the Overland Market Instagram after I put my order in. No worries, I’m looking forward to getting mine set up.

Matt
Matt
July 2, 2018 7:13 pm

At almost a year, has your opinion of this rack changed at all? Have you purchased more accessories for the rack? I’m looking at this rack for my 5th gen and am looking at including the new Pioneer Platform fairing and the Hi-Lift jack mount for starters. Appreciate the great write ups!

Minh
Minh
July 2, 2018 7:37 pm
Reply to  Matt

ive had my rack for a little over a month now and i love it. purchased a shovel mount and also made a custom bracket to mount my water tank. only thing i was worried about was over tightening or not tightening the clamps enough. be careful when you install it as i placed it too far forward and it scratched my sharkfin antenna a little.

Jerry
Jerry
July 5, 2018 5:39 am

Any negative reason why you’re selling it now? I’m about to pull the trigger on one with the backbone system and I don’t want regret it a year later when it cost me $950.

Jerry
Jerry
July 5, 2018 4:13 pm

Good to know, It seems to be a excellent rack for its price. I appreciate the reply.

Larry W Hill
Larry W Hill
April 17, 2019 7:21 am

Is there any alternatives to the rhino rack eye bolts? They seem overly expensive.
Thanks in advance.

Minh
Minh
June 5, 2018 3:58 pm

did u have any issues eith the cxb leg kit not clamping down all the way on the factory rails? mine doesn’t seem to hook all the way under.

Shane
Shane
June 4, 2018 2:00 pm

Does the 76″ x 49″ interfere with a sunroof if you have one?

Tim
Tim
February 11, 2019 4:13 pm

Hey, so the 84 would interfere with the sunroof? In what way? I’m trying to decide which one to purchase. 76 or 84?

Tim
Tim
February 11, 2019 7:57 pm

Thanks, I did some measuring and it looks like the 76 would sit about half way across the moonroof. You wouldn’t notice it when driving. The 84 would sit right above your sight line if you look up. I am a stickler for noise so maybe the 76 would be the way to go.

Paul
Paul
May 22, 2018 8:32 pm

Could you install a ladder with this rack? Trying to decide between this (with the Backbone) and the PrinSu 7/8 RoofRac. Most likely going to use it for hauling stuff and maybe some occasional rig-top lounging…

Dan
Dan
March 22, 2018 7:03 pm

Be very careful with the products from this company – I ordered this platform with the backbone mount and received 1/2 the hardware to put it together. Contacted Rhino – (Rhino who) no- one replied or answered emails. I contacted the vendor – they ordered the hardware but will take 3-4 weeks to get it. Gave up and went to the hardware store to try and find black oxide stainless metric security bolts – Good luck with that – also purchase the front rail kit for this rack – also missing hardware and mounting feet – Same story again –… Read more »

Blake Purcell
Blake Purcell
September 19, 2019 8:19 am
Reply to  Dan

I didn’t have as much trouble with mine but I lost two of the little spin nuts to mount to the backbone. I ordered them over a month ago and they still aren’t here. besides that I love the rack

Start typing and press Enter to search

43
0
Questions or Comments? x
()
x

GET 20% OFF!

Get Up to 20% Off the Trail 4Runner Store!
Your Email
Our content is pretty fire! We will never spam your inbox or sell your data.
Rhino-Rack Pioneer 5th Gen 4Runner