ROAM Rugged Mounts To Secure The 83L Rugged Case On The RCI Roof Rack – Long Term Review For 5th Gen 4Runner
Most of us have heard the saying, “the right tool for the job makes all the difference.” The same holds true for mounting a ROAM Rugged case to your roof rack.
Released in late March of 2022, ROAM Adventure Company began selling mounting brackets specifically designed for their 83L and 95L Rugged Cases. These brackets mount directly to the crossbars of your roof rack and have a mechanical latch that connects externally to your case.
- Heavy-duty materials with a high-quality finish
- Easy to attach/remove ROAM Rugged Cases
- Ability to padlock ROAM Rugged Cases to the brackets
- No rattling, whistling, or wind noise
- Price ($200 per set)
- Cannot lock the brackets to the roof rack when the case is not attached
Prior to these brackets, ROAM consumers were left with either drilling holes through the bottom of their $340+ waterproof cases or using aftermarket brackets. While effective, you can’t lock the cases to your roof rack and need tools to attach or remove them.
Find it online:
- ROAM Box (83L): Check Price
- ROAM Box (95L): Check Price
- ROAM Rugged Mounts (83L): Check Price
- ROAM Rugged Mounts (95L): Check Price
I have had these brackets installed for a few months now on an RCI roof rack and used during off-road adventures, highway commuting, and daily putzing around town.
Installation took roughly 10 minutes and can be completed with an 11mm wrench. No assembly of the bracket is required. The carriage bolts, washers, and nylon locking nuts were provided.
The one hiccup I ran into was that the heads of the carriage bolts were too big to fit in the channel cutouts on the top of the crossbars. This was quickly fixed with a Dremel to take about 1 cm off one side of each of the 8 bolt heads. Another option is to detach the rack’s crossbar, insert the bolts from the sides, and reattach the crossbar. There would be no fitment issues doing it this way. I’m not holding this against ROAM as I have run into this with all the carriage bolts I’ve used so far with the RCI roof rack.
The last step is to slide the two supplied metal hanger hooks into the cutouts on both sides of the case. These fit tightly and use tension to stay in place. These hooks are what the bracket arms will connect to.
Attaching the case to the brackets is as simple as setting the case between the 8 support feet (4 on each bracket), moving the bracket’s arm into place, and flipping up the tension latches.
One of the main benefits of a quick-mount system like these brackets is easily removing the ROAM case itself. These rugged cases are basically large bricks regarding wind resistance. This may not be an issue on the trails or on long road trips where you need the extra storage space, but not everyone needs one mounted for daily driving.
The mechanical latch + arm have a couple of great features that should be noted:
- 1) Allows you to adjust the tension put on the case when securing it to the bracket.
- 2) Locks into place once the latch is raised and you have to physically push on the release lever to detach it from the case.
- 3) Locks in a horizontal position when the case is off for a low profile while daily driving.
This last part is a feature I particularly appreciate as it reduces the bracket’s visibility and presumably helps keep it quiet when driving.
Real World Use
Noise has not been an issue with the case attached or when it’s just the bracket. I use an 83L case, and with it attached there is no wind noise below 70 mph. Above that, there is minimal wind noise but this is from the box itself and not the bracket.
There is also no whistling or rattling at any speed when it’s only the bracket with nothing attached.
The bracket’s ability to secure the case was a major factor in my decision to purchase this product. First, I wanted to be confident that the case would be held tight regardless of the terrain. That includes bouncing around logging trails and cruising at high speeds on the freeways. Second, I wanted a way to lock down this setup and deter would-be thieves.
Thankfully this mount has checked off both boxes. To date, I have not had one issue with the bracket or case coming loose or even rattling. As for the theft deterrent, the latches on both brackets allow for padlocks that block the latch’s ability to open. In total, you can put five padlocks on this setup if you are really paranoid.
One downside I have found is that if the case is not attached, there is no way to lock the mounting brackets to the roof rack. Given the cost of them, I would have liked some way to deter theft of the brackets themselves.
Additionally, quality is what you pay for here and frankly, this is a high-quality product. The metal is powder-coated stainless steel with TPE polymer feet. After 3 months of living on top of the 4Runner, the powder coating still looks new and the polymer is unfaded. At this point, I suspect this bracket will outlive my case (and it’s a tough case).
The cost for this mount is steep, but comparatively, it is 15% cheaper than Pelican’s competing product. Regarding durability, short of rolling over my rig, I expect this thing to last for years. Most importantly (at least for me), the ease of mounting and removing my case has me enjoying it exponentially more.
My concern about potential bracket theft can be remediated by only putting them on when you need the case. That said, ROAM, if you are listening, here is an opportunity to improve these.
So at the end of the day, I ask myself if I’m glad I didn’t drill holes through my ROAM Rugged Case…the answer is a resounding hell yes.
My 95L with mounts warped fresh out the shop. Thankfully Roam sent me a new one immediately. The new one is starting to bow slightly. But not like the first one, without fail the hatches would pop open when I’d try to shut it because of the warping. I adjusted the mounts on the new 95L thinking they were on too tight causing the box to arch. If it wasn’t for the flawless customer service I’d be bummed/skeptical. At the end of the day I’m still stoked on the product. Always wondered if anyone else has dealt with that issue even though Roam said it was rare.
I have noticed that my 83L box is warped. I think it is due to the lack of support in the middle of the box when locked on the mounts. The mounts allow the box to sit slightly higher on the ends. When I loaded up the box I realized the weight of my recovery gear and tools caused the center to bow. Completely self induced and I will be adding a hard plastic piece with felt to fix it and add a center support. It doesn’t cause any structural issues on the box but does squeak against the Prinsu cross member while on the trail.
If security is a concern, use a tamper-resistant bolt on a 80/20 t-nut. That’s what I do with my Pelican cargo bracket.