Luckily, Rhino-Rack USA is located just 45 minutes north of TCT World HQ, so last week I headed up for an install.
The Pioneer Platform is the top line rack for a variety of vehicles, so it was the clear choice for us. The Backbone feet are installed so that the Pioneer mounts easily to the GX, so it is a fairly easy install. Although the Rhino-Rack instructions are second to none, for this install the professionals did the hard work while I captured images & video.
Since the GX-460 is a Land Cruiser Prado in Lexus trim, Australian made Rhino-Racks are easily fitted. The Backbone system consists of 3 bases on each side of the vehicle and two side rails. The bases mount directly to the OEM rack holes and include a butyl patch for each bolt to ensure a water-tight seal.
The longest part of the 90 minute install is tightening the backbone bolts into the truck. Due to the bracket angle, getting the bolts torqued to spec with a small tool takes some patience. A helper that can prep the platform is very helpful for this step. Once the bases are tight, the remaining assembly goes very quickly.
The same Pioneer Platform is suited for a wide variety of vehicles, so each production run usually includes changes to make sure new vehicles work properly. Due to this, during our install we had to drill 2 holes into the rack so that it would mount properly to the Backbone system. This added about four minutes to the install time, so it’s nothing to be concerned about.
To finish off the install, Rhino-Rack added the MAXTRAX support bracket as well as the Pioneer Combination Bracket for a shovel & Hi-Lift jack. They even threw in a Rhino-Rack shovel so I can help dig Jeeps out of snow. It’s really quite amazing how a well built rack makes an ordinary GX-460 much more interesting. As an added level of utility, we also added eye bolts and the Pioneer Pickup Kit to make securing loads that much easier.
The aluminum rack is very lightweight yet will support up to 220lb with the Backbone system. The built-in channels make it easy to mount, move mounting brackets, and add new items. Since I’ve run out of room in the back of the GX, I added a small Plano box to store tie-down straps, shackles, and gloves.
Once I reach about 70mph (which is rare) in the GX, the rack does produce a bit of road noise. Nothing a little more volume on the Classic Rock station won’t fix though. Other than that there are no items worth noting on this rack.
For a lightweight, low profile storage upgrade, the Rhino-Rack system should be at the top of your list.They have racks & accessories to fit every late-model Lexus and Toyota Truck, SUV, or Cruiser. Australian designed, well thought out, and durable for the most strenuous adventures.
Pioneer Platform 84” X 79” MSRP: $1,288 (with Backbone 3 base mounting system)
Pioneer Maxtrax Support Bracket MSRP: $59.00
Pioneer Combination Bracket MSRP: $25.00
Pioneer Pickup Kit MSRP: $89.00
Eye Bolt Kit MSRP: $45.00
Contact: Rhino-Rack USA