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Roof Rack Showdown - Prinsu vs Southern Style Offroad

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by Agent_Outside, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Feb 18, 2019 at 6:10 PM
    #1
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    In general its hard to trust reviews online, they are rarely unbiased, neutral, and factual. Generally you read a review from a person who is very excited about a product they just received and installed. It’s human nature for someone to overestimate the value, quality, and effectiveness of something they purchased as a subconscious way to justify the decision and expense to themselves. It typically doesn’t have any malicious intent behind it, excitement just over rules logic. Sometimes they just aren’t knowledgeable enough to know any better. A lot of people have the simple mentality of “I haven’t had any problems” with something so it must be great. You also need to consider the source, someone thinks something is great... what is their frame of reference to base their opinion on? Do they have factual info or is just opinion? If I banker tells me how awesome a suspension is I’m not going to blindly take their word for it but I’d give more weight to the opinion of someone who works first hard with the stuff on a regular basis, or someone who service/maintains/installs suspension, or someone who is an engineer and can take an honest objective look at something.

    I've recently had the unfortunate opportunity to own both a Prinsu full length roof rack and a Southern Style Offroad full length roof rack in quick succession. I figure some people would like to hear a first hand experience with 2 similar products and a direct comparison between them. For what it’s worth I do automotive quality testing and development for a living. I have no dog in this fight, I just wanted a lightweight, low profile, sturdy, flat platform rack to mount a roof top tent. The tent is an iKamper Skycamp in the Rocky Black finish. It's a 4 person hard shell that is sprayed with bedliner at the factory, its not the lightest and it will see a lot of use with 2 adults and 1 kid. I was planning on picking up the tent in person during a road trip we already had planned to for family wedding, I figured kill 2 birds with 1 stone and avoid paying shipping for the tent. But that meant I had a date that I needed everything in my hands by - August 30th, August 31th at the absolute latest because we were leaving that afternoon. I was trying to decide between Prinsu and Southern Style Offroad, I called them both up and Prinsu said their next batch of racks would be ready to ship out next week and they could guarantee delivery by my deadline. SSO said I’d would be looking at about 8 weeks before a rack would be ready to ship. Simple, Prinsu it is.



    #ThatPrinsuLife - So that same day I asked Prinsu about lead times, August 16th, I placed the order for the full-length rack and an 1x1 bar. The website says you need a 1x1 bar for behind the antenna but it wasn’t clear as to if it came with one or not. I figured just get the order it, buy it now, and if I didn’t need it I’d return it, no big deal.

    The following day I get an order confirmation email stating “Your sales order is attached. Please review the list of items on order to make sure everything looks correct. Please also note the ESTIMATED SHIP DATE. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your order or when it is estimated that it will be fulfilled please contact us.” and the attached invoice showed September 6th as the ship date, a full week after the deadline we had just discussed. I responded back asking what was up with that, I said I’m actually paying MORE money to buy the rack directly from you guys vs some of your authorized retailers that are offering free shipping ($105 savings) because you fit my timeframe. I said if you can’t meet the timeline you agreed to yesterday just cancel the order, if I’m going to miss having it for my trip either way I’d rather buy the SSO rack, and at the very least I’d save some money buying indirectly from a 3rd party retailer. They said not to worry it, it’s an automatically generated generic message and it will still be ok.

    August 24th it ships and August 28th it got delivered. I knew it was out for delivery so I start pulling the stock roof rack off and cleaning under the rubber strips prepping for installation. The box is here, I open it up… 2 side rails, a bunch of cross bars, wind deflector, and not a single piece of hardware to assemble or install any of it. I call them up and talk to them about the missing hardware and to ask about the 1x1 bar. They said it comes with one 1x1 bar already so a second one is not needed, since they forgot to ship it anyway they were just going to refund the cost of the added bar and they would send the hardware out priority mail. I reminded them about the situation and why I went with them, they offered to overnight the missing hardware.

    The next morning August 29th, about 9:30am UPS is at my front door with a package of bolts. I open it up and start taking inventory of what I have. The rack doesn’t come with a parts list or instructions of any kind. The website has a PDF of install instructions, but as a customer you never get a list of what you’re supposed to receive to make sure you have it all. There is a big plastic bag labeled “T4R4 ROOFRAC MOUNTING KIT” and inside it is multiple other smaller bags of sorted hardware. That’s when I see the smaller bags.... “T4R4-RR / T4R5 3/4 & 7/8 (RR)- MOUNTING HDW” and sure enough it’s the wrong hardware! There’s no rivnuts, it’s missing the spacers and hardware for the front mounting point and there’s not enough crossbar hardware. It wasn’t the hardware kit for the full length rack. I call them back again and the dude said he didn’t know how it could be wrong because he personally grabbed it yesterday and put it on the mail. The big bag was the correct one but the contents were miss packaged. So again they send out hardware next day air early delivery.

    The next morning, August 30th another overnighted package of hardware showed up and would you believe it… it’s the wrong hardware, another set of hardware for the wrong rack. Luckily with 2 bags of incorrect stuff I had enough parts to assemble and install the rack. That’s where things got really bad.

    It’s like they got the design kinda close, made it bolt on and then just called it good enough. The width of the roof varies by a couple inches front to back. In order to make 1 length of crossbar the rack is straight and square, it overhangs the sides a bit on the back and sits above the black roof channel rubber trim in the front. That’s perfectly understandable and acceptable. My issue is the mounting tabs are all roughly 3” long and they have slots that’s are 1.75” long. It’s such a generic solution and it’s an eye sore. The middle tabs for example, the bolts sit almost all the way out to widest points and there’s a bunch of tab that sticks out for no reason with long unused slot that serves no purpose other than allowing an opening for water to get into the bolts via the gap. I’d like to see the entire rack about 1/2” wider than it is but with smaller mounting tabs that are drilled like they are actually meant to fit the vehicle vs huge generic tabs with slots for more adjustment then you could ever possibly use. In one of the spots the mounting slot is so out of place the bolt it actually bottomed out against outside of the slot, it’s so far over the washer can’t sit flat without being bent up against the side rail. The front were your supposed to drill into the roofs drip rail, the mounting tab isn’t even over that section of roof, if you centered the rivnut in that Chanel you would not be able to bolt the front of the rack down straight. One cross bar mounting hole on the drivers side rail was so poorly cut it didn’t go all the way through so there was still metal that blocked the bolt from being used. The last thing I wanted to do (or should have to do) was take a dremel to a brand new powder coated product because they didn’t build it right. Aluminum doesn’t rust or anything but I don’t want to give the powder coating an open edge to start chipping from. How did this make it past quality control? The metal for the mounting feet on the side rails were inconsistently bent. The passenger side had sharp angular creased bends where as the drivers side was a more gradual bend, that meant the installed heights were about 1/2” different and rack was crooked, the different in height from left to right was so drastic that the little right side spike things on the front edges by the wind deflector actually hit the roof. I think this is where the recommendation about using fender washers as spacers comes in... of course none of those are included. To get it resemble anything close to level I had to stack washers under the spacers so high that bolts were too short to actually thread in. Plus the “flat” rack is concave from front to back to which defeats the whole purpose of why I bought it.

    Disaster of a product, it a bad design with even worse execution. I reached out to them with pictures and info and got no response, I was leaving the next day and I needed a response on what they want me to do. I followed up the next morning and still no response. So, I said screw it I’ll rig it up enough to function for the trip to pick up my tent and I’ll make my own solution for front feet because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was drilling into my roof to permanently mount that POS to my 4Runner.

    Eventually they responded back and assured me some new side rails would fix all my problems. They sent them out and I will admit it was better in the sense that the both rails were symmetrical in their bends so some of the problems were addressed but most were not. Plus when I looked them over I found spots of powder coating missing. I complained about it not having full coverage of the powder coating (I explained previously why I was not willing to accept an open spot in the coating previously when I said I wasn’t going to dremel the mounting hole open). Their response was that its normal and its unreasonable to expect their powder coated items to be fully powder coated.

    4 shipments in, still a crap product that doesn’t meet their product description or my expectations, and they ended stealing my money from the extra crossbar, they kept saying they were sending the refund, that turned into them claiming they already sent the refund... they didn’t, so I opened a paypal dispute. Prinsu/CBI offered $50 back based on the fact that their cost on the powder coating is only $8 per rack, which is probably why they missed spots, they said it’s was a more than generous offer (still ignoring the fact that they stole my money for a crossbar). Obviously, after calling around I could not find any reputable shop that would repowdercoat two separate 6-7 foot long pieces of metal for $50. Or they offered to let me return it but I’d be on the hook for all the related shipping expenses for this order…. being out hundreds of dollars in total sending scrap metal back and forth just to be back at square one didn't seem like a logical deal. They sold me a piece of shit at a premium and then flat out STOLE my money for extra parts yet PayPal said I didn’t have a claim because they did in fact deliver a product to me.

    I ended up opening a claim with the Better Business Bureau about theft and a product that did not meet their websites description or my expectations. Finally after months they sent a prepaid return shipping label so I could mail all their stuff back to them for a full refund. The stipulation Prinsu wanted to add is they asked that I not “slander” their company and anything negative I had said had to be removed before they would issue the refund. I ended up buying a Southern Style Off-Road full length rack to replace the Prinsu during Black Friday while hoping they would actually go through with the refund. I meticulously documented every item and how it was all packaged and sent that to them as the item shipped. I wanted to cover my ass because I was worried that if I didn’t they would try to pull some something to weasel their way out of giving the refund.

    Prinsu pictures.

    The roof changes width and the rack is a fixed width because of the cross bar length. Instead of making the mounting feet relevant to the width of the vehicle they are all huge with a long slot. When the whole thing is 1 solid piece and vehicle specific there is no reason for this tab to stick out so far and have that much room for adjustment that couldn’t possibly be used, ever.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Why are the middle mounting tabs stick all the way out when the bolts align at the outer most area on both side.
    [​IMG]

    Which leaves a nice open slot for water to get down into the spacer with an inner diameter way to big for the bolts. I guess they assume enough sealant can make up for the design flaw.
    [​IMG]

    This is top notch quality control right here.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Drivers side bend
    [​IMG]

    Passenger side crease
    [​IMG]

    Which makes the pointy piece not even close to clearing (sitting on the middle and rear spacers, no front spacer in pace to bent the rack up and make it even more concave)
    [​IMG]

    I couldn’t fit enough washer to even it out left to right, with this many I could get 2 threads on the bolts.
    [​IMG]

    Height difference left to right
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As flat and straight as a Home Depot 2x4! With the rack being that concave the tent which has actual flat rails doesn't fit very well and makes all kinds of squeaking noise while you drive. I fully expected equal weight distribution across like 6-7 bars, that was not the case.
    [​IMG]




    Southern Style Off-Road

    I had a few questions for the company about the roof rack. I asked them via their facebook page using messenger. Their service was a bit underwhelming, they didn't seem very knowledgeable but after talking to the owner Kevin I had my questions answered. Their website says to expect 6-8 weeks for the roof rack when I placed the order on November 20th during their Black Friday sale. Right away I sent a message asking if they had a realistic timeline of what I should expect for my order. I was told "Roof racks are shipping 5-6 weeks from date of order." Awesome a few weeks sooner than I was expecting. I followed up after 4 weeks to get an update on an ETA and I was told normally is takes 8 weeks but with the jump in sales from black friday that it would be longer... totally opposite of what they already told me but ok. A handful of weeks later I followed up again, apparently the manufacture of cross bars had a shipment go missing somewhere in Utah and they were waiting on a new order of them. Once they arrived my stuff shipped out. All in all it took 11 weeks to the day to receive my order, twice as long as what they quoted at the time of purchase!!

    I was out of town when the package arrived a couple weeks ago, but I got home this past weekend and started the install. With Prinsu as my frame of reference I was a little worried when I first saw the package, it was only closed up with tape where as the Prinsu was taped and bound with a couple bands . When I opened it all up and checked out the contents I can see why it wasn't bound. Prinsu basically laid bare crossbars up against each other lining the bottom and then wrapped the side rails together, threw the wind deflector in and then stuffed the leftover space with paper, pieces shift and bang around during shipping, you could feel things moving around inside. SSO had each individual part and piece wrapped separate (except bolts) and all of it was put in the box and surrounded by the expanding foam to hold it all in pretty solidly in place. There was an inventory list that checked off by hand as the contents were packaged and initialed but the person packing it, something Prinsu doesn't provide. There was a long sectioned off strip of plastic that had all the bolts and pieces for each step and component separated, a very nice touch. SSO even came with the wind deflector weather strip and a strip of clear bra to lay on the roof where the rubber strip lays to protect the paint, a high quality clear sealant, and an allen wrench for the crossbars. For contents and packaging the clear advantage goes to SSO, its much more inclusive kit, which more attention paid to the packaging and quality control. To be fair though I did have some shipping damage on my SSO order, I paid for the optional shipping insurance so it shouldn't be an issue but they have yet to respond back about it.

    I started the install. One of the first things to stand out was the spacers. The SSO spacers are significantly meatier than the Prinsu and the inner diameter is the exact perfect size to slip over the plastic sleeve that protrudes up from the bolt holes in the roof. Because they are such a great fit the spacers are centered and significantly less prone to water intrusion, something I complained about with the Prinsu. The mounting feet are L brackets with angled braces on the side, its a much stronger design and a more precise fit than Prinsu's bend the metal over and slot it mounts. The mounting tabs have slots longer than they need to be, something I also complained about with the Prinsu, but the SSO one seems to have some logic to it. The mounting tabs bolt on, they are separate from the vehicle specific side rails which means they can be made to fit some different applications, saving some production cost to make it more modular makes sense. I still don't like the slots, but its a significantly better design than the Prinsu. The side rails on both are the same thickness. Going into this I initially had some concern with SSO side rails, the openings in the side look deceivingly large in pictures, I was worried that the rails might be flimsy metal with too much material cutaway. They are a lot meatier in person than they look in pictures. The openings are basically a nice fit for sticking a hand in to pull yourself up. I really like the feature of precut openings for the lights on the side, unfortunately they are precut for Rigid and Baja Designs to be a direct fit. I'm not wiling to spend the amount of money those brands command to for some camping lights. Id rather see the rectangle cutout but no mounting holes so I could drill for whatever lights I choose, as it is there are already 6 holes drilled. The profile of the SSO side rails follows the roof line much better than the Prinsu side rails. The crossbars are all a full inch thicker than the Prinsu bars. Prinsu uses 2x1 bars with a 1x1 by the antenna, SSO uses 3x1 bars with a 2x1 by the antenna. The build quality, fit and finish, and design of the SSO rack is superior to the Prinsu in almost every way.

    The one thing that really left me scratching my head is that SSO doesn't use lock washers on any of their bolts. There was one major hiccup, every single 3x1 crossbar was tapped wrong so the bolts did not fit them, I suspected that it might have something to do with the crossbar shipment snafu. I called them Saturday to let them know what I came across, I got a call back pretty quickly from the owner Kevin, he confirmed that the crossbar supplier shipped some cross bars tapped M6x1.0 instead of 1/4 20 and they were labeled as either one. He said he would get the correct crossbars out to me and he'd follow up Monday (today). After some running around I was able to find a package of M6x1.0 machined screws to be able to finish getting it together. I had used the sealer on the spacers, I didn't want to roll around without sealing the bolts and I didn't want to seal the bolts until the side rails were in their permanent location, that meant getting the cross bars mounted up to get the spacing dead on and centered.

    It's currently end of business on Monday and I have not gotten the follow up they said I would and I did not get a response about the shipping damage that I notified them of via email this morning. They are a small business and today is Presidents’ Day, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they may have been closed today.


    SSO pictures

    Expanded foam shipping materials is a nice touch.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A nice inventory list.
    [​IMG]

    Everything individually wrapped to protect finishes.
    [​IMG]

    I had a helper, he hung out on the ladder and took it all in.
    [​IMG]

    Prinsu's spacers vs SSO's spacers.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    SSO's stronger mounting feet design bolts nice and flush.
    [​IMG]

    Prinsu doesn't sit flush on the spacers because the bends are not precise, Prinsu's designs relys on the the roofs sheet metal bending slightly to make the spacer sit flush against the rail.
    [​IMG]

    The cutouts make for nice handles.
    [​IMG]

    SSO's rack is actually a flat platform.
    [​IMG]

    At 6'2" 225lbs I'm not a small guy, the SSO is solid enough that I was willing to go up top and stand on the crossbars, I did not have enough confidence in the Prinsu rack to try the same.
    [​IMG]

    Installed
    [​IMG]

    Note that in the pictures there are only 2 temporary bolts in each side of the crossbar.
    [​IMG]




    Final thoughts

    All in all the Prinsu full length roof rack and the Southern Style Off-Road full length rack ended up not really being comparable products. Prinsu has a little bit of a cost advantage, a quicker lead time in general, and it comes blacked out without paying extra if that's your thing, but from the stand point of fit and finish, quality, design, and usefulness the Southern Style Off-road rack is superior in every way. I feel like it should come with lock washers and my preference would be torx head bolts vs allens but it’s a fantastic product. If you’re mall crawling with an empty rack you don’t use and just want the look maybe it’s worth saving some money but after having them both I can not see any valid reason that would be justification to choosing Prinsu over Southern Style Off-Road.

    The SSO product is fantastic and it meets my expectation. Overall I'm very satisfied with it but thus far as a whole, I feel their customer service has left quite a bit to be desired - with having a hard time getting product questions answered, being told multiple different lead times depending on who answered, taking more than twice as long as the original quoted lead time, getting the wrong crossbars and them not following up about it when they said they would, we'll have to see how it goes with the shipping damage as well.

    Southern Style Off-Road > Prinsu


    If your interested in picking up an SSO rack REFHFQBYVRVP6 will save you $100 on any purchase over $598
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
    wmdtech, Built2Ride, 4buggy and 3 others like this.
  2. Feb 18, 2019 at 6:26 PM
    #2
    HoBoDanny

    HoBoDanny Dude...

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    RCI Skid Plate CBI Ditch Light Brackets Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 265 70R17 113T Tires 1.25” Wheel Spacers TPMS Bypass Mod Hydrocarbon Filter Removed Merca decal 2” leveling kit front only Black headlights
    Amazing review! Too bad you had to go through all that BS to give it but now we all benefit from your pain :yes:
     
  3. Feb 19, 2019 at 5:03 AM
    #3
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Nice writeup! I knew the answer to this one when I read the title. :D I am torn between the SSO and the LFD. Don't know what to do???
     
  4. Feb 19, 2019 at 5:12 AM
    #4
    HoBoDanny

    HoBoDanny Dude...

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    Would be nice if SSO made a rack for the 4th gen but they seam to be exclusively working on the 5th gen.
     
  5. Feb 19, 2019 at 5:29 AM
    #5
    blackoutt

    blackoutt New Member

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    I wasn't impressed with CBI/Prinsu's excuses for their shipping delays and terrible powder coating with sharp edges all over. They gave me some money back so I wouldn't have to wait again. I also didn't like their spacer choices and found my own on Amazon with a smaller ID to actually fit the bolt and have a larger footprint plus proper heights for the rack to sit flush. It's kinda sad to have to do these tweaks on a rack that's advertised to be well engineered but then again I might be too picky and would have to retouch anything that I buy for my 4runner anyway. In the end I thought better communication/customer service would have been their savior instead of not keeping me updated on delays and no sympathy for sending me junk, they wanted to put me back at the end of the production timeline to send new side rails.... I just ground off the sharp edges and retouched with black rattle can. I wasn't going to give them another opportunity to f up.

    Here's the spacers I used to dial it in properly. I needed both 3/4" and 7/8" heights to get it flush to the roof front and rear.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009YLMDKG/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  6. Feb 19, 2019 at 5:32 AM
    #6
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    The LFD has a few things I don’t like. The side rails are straight along the bottom so they don’t follow the roof line, the wind deflector leave quite the gap under it - ideally you want don’t want wind and air pressure going going under the loading surface, and it’s all steel which means it’s going to be heavier and susceptible to rust as the finish on the crossbars wear. I do like the open crossbar design though, it makes it pretty simple to mount different things.
     
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  7. Feb 19, 2019 at 5:35 AM
    #7
    wyatt

    wyatt New Member

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    I have the SSO roof rack, used it going to Moab. Sorry for your issues, I didn't have any problems with their customer service on anything I have bought from them.
     
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  8. Feb 19, 2019 at 5:52 AM
    #8
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Yeah it's a tough choice, then factor in the price difference. I priced out both racks the way I would want them and the SSO comes out to be about $400 more with shipping. I can pick up the LFD from their shop. I do like how the SSO is all aluminum though, but it comes as a price. Also I feel it's ridiculous you have to buy extra crossbars to fill it in all the way. Anyway you have made the decision harder for sure. Hope the SSO serves you well.
     
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  9. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:01 AM
    #9
    jtice

    jtice New Member

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    Damn, not happy to see this, the Prinsu was #1 on my list, I love how low profile it is, I hate ones that sit up off the roof a good bit.
    The SSO does look like its beefier though with a bit better quality control. But I like the sleek low profile of the Prinsu better.
    About $390 more than the Prinsu, if you get it with black cross bars, and add an additional bar for the very back, behind the antenna, which it looks like you need to?

    My main uses would be the occasional plywood from Lowes, and some camping gear on top.
    Dont think I want to do a roof top tent, but I guess you never know for down the road.

    How did the highway speed road/wind noise compare between the two? Thats a huge concern for me as well.
     
  10. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:56 AM
    #10
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    For what it’s worth I measured them both at the real mounting point and the Prinsu rack actually sits about 1/4” higher than the SSO. The flat platform of the SSO rack has about 3/8” of clearance over the top of the shark fin. You can’t get much lower profile that.

    You don’t need to buy any additional crossbars, it comes standard with 7, you can put them where you want. A lot of people don’t want them over their sunroof.

    As for noise, it’s like 16 degrees out and snowing. I haven’t driven with the windows down and the SSO rack mounted yet to make a fair comparison but neither one is noise.

    Also for what it’s worth I can email you a $100 coupon code if you PM me your email address.
     
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  11. Feb 19, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    #11
    jtice

    jtice New Member

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    Really? thats interesting. The SSO looks higher. Is it just the side rails of the SSO are taller, but come DOWN further making it look like that?
    The side profile of the SSO looks to be a good inch taller than the Prinsu.

    I dont have a sunroof, actually made sure to buy a 4R without one since I knew I wanted a roof rack.
    Its just odd to me that the racks look like they are designed to be able to have, what, 11 cross bars? And they look "right" with more than 7 bars in them.
    Just seems a shame that you have to pay extra to get all the bars filled in.
    In your opinion, when placing a crossbar behind the shark fin, and spacing the rest of the bars out evenly, how many bars are really "needed"?
     
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  12. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:45 AM
    #12
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    Alright an update with some more documentation

    First of all SSO has the new, correct, crossbars in the mail on their way to me and they placed a shipping damage claim on my behalf that is in processing so I'm happy with that. They are taking care of what needs to be taken care of.

    I'm getting a lot of different inquires about the height and profile. The SSO does look kinda bulky in pictures, I will fully admit I did not find it all that attractive looking when I ordered it. I can say with full confidence its looks significantly better in person, I dont know what it is about the pictures but its much lower profile and sleek looking than I was expecting it to be.

    This is the clearance from the top of the SSO platform to the shark fin.
    [​IMG]

    That's pretty much as low profile as you can get.
    [​IMG]

    Measuring from the bottom of the rear mounting feet where they sit on the spacers to the top of the rack (both use a 1" spacers so this measurement still keeps it equal).
    SSO
    [​IMG]

    Prinsu
    [​IMG]

    The reason the Prinsu is higher is because of the stupid bent tab mounting design.
    [​IMG]

    Compared to SSO.
    [​IMG]

    The height of the actual side rail itself as measured half way between the rear and middle mounting points.
    Prinsu
    [​IMG]

    Compared to SSO
    [​IMG]





    The SSO rails are physically bigger but the rack still sits lower.
     
  13. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:53 AM
    #13
    4X4Runner

    4X4Runner Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a fantastic thread and thanks for taking the time to put it together!

    You have me thinking now...
     
  14. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:54 AM
    #14
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    I'm not the person to answer that, with my trivialized not quite real OCD I would die if it didn't have a crossbar in every mounting location that you could have them lol. It would slowly kill me.
     
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  15. Feb 19, 2019 at 9:57 AM
    #15
    jtice

    jtice New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to take those photos, really shows alot.
    It also explains why the SSO looks so much taller and thicker, it is, techically, its just mounted lower to make up for it.
    I still like the look of the Prinsu better (in photos at least) but, the SSO seems to have so many wins over the Prinsu in many areas.

    Dont really recall seeing any other bad reviews on the Prinsu, most seem to like them alot.
    Though others might have had better quality control on theirs, or just put up with the flaws and not mentioned them.
    But still, comparably between the two, the SSO does seem to when out.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2019 at 10:06 AM
    #16
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, that goes back to the first paragraph of the first post. It hard to find good factual reviews.

    Obviously my experience with Prinsu/CBI was a disaster. It was basically a comedy of errors and I'm sure that was an anomaly, they would be bankrupt if they operated that way all the time, but that still doesn't change the design of their product and all of its shortcomings. There are quite a bit of bad reviews for Prinsu out there, most of them seem to stem from the flat platform not being flat which results in issues trying to mount tents. There seems to be a general consensus that the product has gone downhill since CBI bought Prinsu but why would they purchase Prinsu and then change the design for the worse? That being said I have no first hand experience with a pre-CBI Pirnsu rack.
     
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  17. Feb 19, 2019 at 10:26 AM
    #17
    Backslider

    Backslider Gun Nerd

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    I hate how both of these companies cheap out by using Item extruded aluminum profiles for the crossbars and charging their customers a bunch of overhead.

    There are a lot of positive reviews out there about Prinsu. My wife's cousin is the marketing guy for CBI (and I still don't own any CBI/Prinsu gear).. I'm just curious if this review is a one-off as far as the physical problems with the Prinsu rack or if these defects are common. I'm part of a FB group with thousands and thousands of 5th generation 4runner owners, hundreds of people have the Prinsu full rack and all of the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

    In my opinion, one review, regardless of how well put together it is, doesn't invalidate hundreds and hundreds of positive experiences. I disagree that it's hard to find good, factual reviews. Quite the contrary, in fact. Market research shows that people are much more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. Further, it takes much less negative to prompt a review that it does positive. To say that another way, if one bolt is missing people will write a negative review. If everything arrives early and there is free candy in the crate someone still may not leave a positive review.

    Is there a possibility that this isn't the standard Prinsu experience?
     
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  18. Feb 19, 2019 at 10:54 AM
    #18
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    If you look at yelp or something along those lines than yes I would agree most reviews are negative. When you got into hobbies, passion, and social media I don't think it applies the same way. There's plenty of documentation about how people try to portray an awesome perfect happy life on social media instead of being honest and open. On the most basic level people are post their pictures and build list and all that because they want to show off their passion, they want instagram likes, they want to be a "social media influencer". In the automotive world I would argue its much more common to talk up a product regardless of quality than it is to complain about the details. As I said above obviously my experience with Prinsu/CBI was a disaster. It was basically a comedy of errors and I'm sure that was an anomaly, they would be bankrupt if they operated that way all the time, but that still doesn't change the design of their product and all of its shortcomings. That being said I absolutely acknowledge I'm about 100 times pickier and more detail orientated than most. Part of that is personality, but part of it I'm sure is because my job is literally quality testing and development of preproduction and prototype vehicles and technology. I get to paid to find, analyze, and document flaws in all things automotive.

    People's opinions about being happy with a product is all fine and great, but I personally don't find it relevant without facts and documentation to back it up. Pretty much every suspension review ever is evidence of that trend. You see lowered bouncing down the road like pogo sticks while the owner talks about how smooth and tight the ride is and how much it improved handling. Placebo effects are real.
     
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  19. Feb 19, 2019 at 11:24 AM
    #19
    Backslider

    Backslider Gun Nerd

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    I agree with most of what you've said, but I still think that people are likely to throw a company under the bus for any one of the problems you've mentioned about the Prinsu rack.
     
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  20. Feb 19, 2019 at 12:14 PM
    #20
    Strandskov

    Strandskov Take the Road Less Traveled

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    So much reading... It's great sometimes hearing other people's thoughts and opinions...
     
  21. Feb 19, 2019 at 2:52 PM
    #21
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Exactly! That's why I would have to order more. :D
     
  22. Feb 20, 2019 at 5:24 AM
    #22
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    It’s lengthy for sure but it’s all the type of info I couldn’t find when I was trying to make my decision.
     
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  23. Feb 20, 2019 at 8:34 AM
    #23
    macdonaldarchitect

    macdonaldarchitect New Member

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    The SSO rack looks impressive. Thank you for the in depth write up. Can anyone comment on how the SSO rack compares to the Gobi rack?
     
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  24. Feb 20, 2019 at 12:34 PM
    #24
    nimby

    nimby New Member

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    Uh oh.

    Now you've done it.
     
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  25. Feb 20, 2019 at 12:58 PM
    #25
    HoBoDanny

    HoBoDanny Dude...

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    And the war begins!
     
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  26. Feb 20, 2019 at 3:20 PM
    #26
    Strandskov

    Strandskov Take the Road Less Traveled

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    It was very well written and descriptive, I definitely understand wanting to make sure you go with the best product for one's needs..
    What did you end up buying? Are you content?
     
  27. Feb 20, 2019 at 3:21 PM
    #27
    Strandskov

    Strandskov Take the Road Less Traveled

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    o_O
     
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  28. Feb 20, 2019 at 5:58 PM
    #28
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    :D No comparison what so ever. SSO rack is far superior. Who is Gobi?
     
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  29. Feb 20, 2019 at 6:37 PM
    #29
    Strandskov

    Strandskov Take the Road Less Traveled

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    :popcorn:
     
  30. Feb 20, 2019 at 10:24 PM
    #30
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside [OP] New Member

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    I bought both. I’m happy with the SSO rack so I will not be buying another lol.
     
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