Prinsu Roof Rack Review

figure1a

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If you are thinking of getting a roof rack for your Gen 2/3, here is my unbiased review of the Prinsu rack. One thing to note, they advertise it as only fitting 2015-2018 but I had no fitment issues on my 2021 Gen3 as Ford has not changed the top of the cab between the Gen 13 and 14 F-150. The only exception to that statement is the last crossbar on the rack would hit the Gen3 communication antennas but turning it 90˚ to match the other crossbars and drilling 2 new holes in the rack rails made the bar clear the antennas.

Pros:


+ The cross bars are actually an off-the-shelf extruded aluminum part called 80/20. 80/20 literally makes hundreds of accessories/clamps/brackets to fit 80/20 bars.

Cons:

+ The sides feel like they are made from 5052 aluminum instead of 6061 or 7075. 5052 is very soft and flexy. The sides of the rack that don’t have a roof mount directly underneath can be moved back and forth just with your hand pressure. Now imagine at 80MPH what the wind will do up there with a load. 6061 would be “stiff as a board”. The sides look much thinner (probably 1/8") than any other rack I have seen out there.

+ The sides look waterjet cut instead of CNC. Waterjet leaves a very hard/rough edge so the strap slots that they cut will eat away at any straps you put through them (I used them once and ruined a couple straps). CNC would have been able to put a rounded edge on those slots. Even laser cut would have left a nicer edge. But maybe they are not strap slots? But wrapping a ******** any edge of the rack sides will result in a severely chaffed/compromised strap.

+ Noisiest rack that I have ever installed for two reasons. One, the top bars run side-to-side on the rack instead of front to back like on a quality rack like Rhino Rack. There are 7 bars so each bar and all their hard little edges are catching the air as it rushes over the rack. Two, the windscreen has a Prinsu logo cutout on the passenger side which is further adding hard edges and more wind noise. I am pretty sure I can hear the passenger side of the rack is louder than the driver side (could be my imagination though). I am probably going to cover that logo with something to kill that extra noise. You always expect some wind noise from a roof rack but this is the loudest I have experienced in a rack—my wife thought the sunroof was open when she first heard it.

+ Half the hardware rusts instantly (as in after one wash). I asked Prinsu directly if by chance I got non-stainless steel hardware by accident. They responded that, no, I did indeed got the rusting hardware on purpose. They said that if I want stainless I could purchase stainless hardware on my own and reinstall the rack. “Reinstall” the rack is not an understatement as to get to the roof mount hardware the sides and therefore the entire rack must come apart to replace those bolts. I have ordered my own stainless hardware but haven’t had a chance to install them yet.

+ No torque values on any of the bolts in the instructions so you just kind of have to guess and then periodically check your rack to make sure nothing is coming loose. This was a problem for me because the rack mounts require you to install aluminum rivnuts into your roof and over torquing the steel bolts had me pull out two rivnuts so I had to redo those. It’s a fine line of just tight enough and too tight.


So, that is my unbiased review of the Prinsu roof rack. You can take that info and form your own opinion. :p The rack looks good but for the price I expected a better build quality. I used it for two things: 1. as a shooting platform for photography and 2. to transport long things like paddle boards and surfboard.

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Ryan C

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Thanks for the info on this rack. Crazy they supply rusting hardware. To save maybe 20-30 bucks? Who wouldn’t pay that?
 
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figure1a

figure1a

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Thanks for the info on this rack. Crazy they supply rusting hardware. To save maybe 20-30 bucks? Who wouldn’t pay that?
It cost me $30 with tax and shipping and I had to buy extra because it came in packs of 10. So I bet their cost in bulk would probably be about $5 for the whole set.
 

relak

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Will you be adding a light bar or Linkable pod lights? Looks great, sucks about the overall quality though. Been looking into this myself.
 
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figure1a

figure1a

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Not sure what lights or where they will go. I usually like a 30" light bar behind the grill but that will not work on this truck. I am hesitant to put anything on the rack because of hood glare. The ones that go where the fogs are look interesting especially since the stock fog lights are pretty weak/useless. Just don't know if that would be enough light when I am used to a 30" bar.
 

Ryan C

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I had Baja Designs XL80s on SDHQ hood mounts, and the close to 20000 lumens were very impressive, and likely as good or better than your behind the grill 30". I wasn't bothered by the hood glare, but I had a black truck which helped.
 

Spooky

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I like the look of the rack, but don't want a ton of noise. I may be better off with one of the generic racks that are easier to install and remove since I would only put it one when in use.
 
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figure1a

figure1a

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I like the look of the rack, but don't want a ton of noise. I may be better off with one of the generic racks that are easier to install and remove since I would only put it one when in use.
Yeah, based on the quality of this rack, you may just be better off with one of the generic Chinese racks from Amazon for $350. I thought buying this rack from a small USA company would get me a quality boutique company type product. Instead I got one that cuts corners and costs just to save $5 on their bottom line. Oh, well. The crapiest part is I can't really just get rid of the rack and get another once since I now have holes in my roof that only fit this rack. The Sherpa one looks about the same but you can see the sides are twice as thick/strong as this Prinsu one.
 
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figure1a

figure1a

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Hey guys, quick 1 month update. Great news! Actually, I meant "Bad News!" Not only is my hardware rusting (this is only after about 30 days and I am in San Diego so this rack has been rained on only twice and washed only twice) but the mounts are not adequately coated so they are starting to rust also. I took the rack off my truck today so that I could 1) do a ceramic coat on the whole truck and 2) since the rack would be off, change out the rusting hardware with stainless hardware that I bought on my own. And that's when I saw the bonus source of rust (see video).

So, you might ask why I continue to bitch when I could just buy a new rack. The problem with that is I have 16 holes in the top of my truck that only match up to this POS Prinsu rack. I could plug them and then drill new holes for a new rack but if any of the holes happen to slightly overlap with these holes, it's gonna be a mess. So I live with my rusty and noisy and flimsy rack on my $100,000 truck. Fock.

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Idaho Savage

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Prinsu s?!$ the bed when CBI Off-road bought them. They’ve been in the Land Cruiser world for a long time and used to be a true premium product.

CBI is garbage as well. Bummer.
 
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