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These Cooler Rack/Rod Holder things

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I'm intrigued by these spectacular cooler rack/cutting board/storage box/rod rack things so many of you have on the front of your beach vehicles. This just doesn't happen in Australia - a few have something out the back, and I can see that on a lot of vehicles that would be a pain, so I get the logic of having it in front... but... do you have it in there when you leave home, i.e. is it legal to drive the streets like that until you get to the beach?

If not, how do you work it? The cops here would have an apoplectic fit if they saw that much hardware in front of headlights, indicators, number plates and crumple zones... we get seriously fined if we have even a little four-rod rod holder on the front barwork. I like the idea but I don't get how you get away with it. Please enlighten me. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 12
Some good questions you ask. Be interesting to read others answers.
Yes, it's legal. Front number plates, if required - each state can be different, should be viewable by the authorities.
Most don't block headlights like you might imagine. Ever see a truck with a snowplow? Talk about blocking lamps. Know what a snowplow is?
Some racks are removable using front receiver hitches, others are bolted to welded brackets and are a little harder to remove.
At least these are functional - I've seen some brush guard bling on trucks that the owner would never ever think of taking off road when the brush guard would actually be functional.
post #3 of 12
I drive a Ford 150. The rack holds a 128 qt Igloo with the rod holders on either side of it. This rig does not block my headlights, but it does cover my Virginia State License Plate. On the front of the rack, I have an AMSA Plate, OBPA plate and a NCBBA plate. I regularly drive from Northern VA to the Outer banks or to Assesteague. I have had this set up for 7 years and never been stopped by the VA, Md, DC, or N.C police. Perhaps it is the other plates on the front?
post #4 of 12
I have been stopped in New York for having the front plate covered by the cooler rack. It's a matter of local law, and how bored the officer may be.
post #5 of 12
After living with my cooler rack for two years, I 've decided that in many cases you lose a certain clearance when decending and having the road flatten out. But I have a front tow hitch below the cooler that limits me even FURTHER, and it hasn't presented a problem yet. I tend to avoid dubious trails at any rate, my buggy weighs 5 tons.

I put my wetsuit in the cooler, and have another cooler inside with the cold cuts, seltzer, and sugar-free Jello.

My buggy is 100" high, which makes rooftop storage impractical both from access and clearance issues locally, but I suspect "down under" that rooftop boxes are far more common.

I live in NYC, and the only plate on the FRONT of the cooler is my NY license plate!

post #6 of 12
Incidentally, my cooler rack is not mounted to the front receiver. It has it's own bracket that it slides into on both sides, and bolts in. I try to leave it in year-round, as garage space is at a premium here. It is work to remove and re-install it! My front receiver has an 18" square tube with a clevis ion the end, which protrudes even further than the cooler rack, and offers some protection from cars backing in to it (the rack is below the area that is visible to them.)

When you have a cooler rack on the front of your truck, you always park where nobody can back into you (First car on the block, or head-in toward a wall...etc). Most states take a dim view of something so high that it appears above the hoodline, when viewed from the drivers position. I cannot see my cooler rack. We are also allowed to have a platform behind the vehicle, and commercial units are made to fit into a receiver (tow-hitch) on the rear. If it obscures the rear plate, the plate must be relocated to the shelf. I've seen generators on these, coolers, rod racks, and so on.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all, most informative. Here we appear to be up against a couple of rules that make this an off-road-only exercise; so maybe the go is to have it out the back until the vehicle is on the beach, and then another receiver on the front to put it around there when the regulations no longer apply (off the tarmac).

“The bar must not project more than 300 mm forward of the vehicle’s head lamps, except where the construction of the vehicle makes this impractical†is one.
post #8 of 12
You need to talk to those guys who manufacture those huge brush/animal guard kangaroo stopper things I see on the front of tractor trailer rigs in Oz.

I'm sure they know the rules and could custom build an awesome rack.

I don't know who they are, but Mad Max was definately one of their customers.
post #9 of 12
Head lights, blinkers etc. all are still visible, nothing is blocked .

post #10 of 12
Awwwww, is that a cute Daddy's Girl picture, or what?

Another ten years and she'll be driving you nuts .
post #11 of 12
Another ten years and she'll be driving you nuts
That's when it is time to start cleaning the shotgun on the kitchen table when her date comes to pick her up...
post #12 of 12
I like how Barbie is in the front bait rigger
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