Join Date: Jan 2013
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here is a secret from the world of engineering:
Factor of safety...or the "factor of ignorance"
When designing something and determining a max allowable load...the rating is often anywhere from 20-50% on the conservative side...and often failure criteria is not always a catastrophic failure...IE a bowing tube on the rack, or a certain angle of deflection that is allowed. Also...if that 250 pound brother was distributed to the entire roof rack, by a basket bolted at various locations...the load is even easier to carry by the roof rack.
If that 120 max load seems maybe borderline for your needs or on the low side, rest assured if you are at 150 pounds or 160 or even 200...if that weight is in a basket that is resting on the roof rails and distributing the weight to multiple points on the roof rack, you are probably in no danger
That being said, if you think you may be on the heavy side of the max load rating, having 6 or 8 u bolts distributing the weight even more so each section of the rack holds less weight will mitigate the heavier load. Depending on your design, u bolts will probably be enough in the sense the u bolts wont break, but you don't want the middle of the basket to sag under the weight either! That is where the 6-8 U-bolts would help out the most
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