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I’ve had this vision for my Can-Am X3 Max since we bought it two years ago. It’s a dream of taking this machine on all the adventures that most people use full-size rigs for. But while overweight overland rigs have to plod along slowly and Ford Raptor-type vehicles can’t fit into tight spaces, my UTV would be able to run circles around everything. My latest upgrade got me a lot closer.
I want it to be the ultimate overlander, a go-fast, go-anywhere machine allowed on public roads and off-road trails. And the Can-Am almost is, as Utah is a lawless, extremely fun, cool place that allows such public road tom-foolery. Please, don’t come here.
But for a long time, I haven’t been able to turn that dream into a reality due to one simple reason: Can-Am’s accessory roof rack—while excellent at storing cargo and such—wasn’t built to handle a rooftop tent. Though I can safely say that it’ll hold myself without issue while looking for turkeys this spring, which is well beyond the quoted 75-pound capacity, I hesitate to put something as statically and dynamically heavy as a rooftop tent, along with my wife and kids atop it.
But, dear readers, after months of searching, forum deep-dives, and reaching out to folks, I’ve finally found a rack that can help me make my dreams come true. Say “hello” to Prinsu’s X3 Max rack.
Prinsu’s roof rack is designed specifically for my Can-Am X3 Max and bolts directly up to the pre-existing roof rack holes, and is also compatible with my sport roof, so I don’t even have to remove any capability. There’s also a lightbar cutout available, which I got that’s designed to make wiring up accessory lighting a breeze. It’s designed for a lightbar, and the Lightforce LED pods didn’t come with a bracket, so I drilled two small holes in the plate they went in just as well.
Yet, the party pieces are the high-strength aluminum cross-bars that allow up to 300 pounds of dynamic weight, and 600 pounds of static weight. More than enough for a rooftop tent. Weee!
Installation took a second, as though it’s literally designed to bolt up directly to the Can-Am’s pre-existing roof rack holes, the middle bolts gave me some stress. What happened was the rear passenger-side bolt hole in the roof wasn’t far enough forward, so the drill came out for some light fine-tuning of the molded plastic roof, which is what Prinsu tells you to do in the video directions if you encounter such issues. I should've just listened to them earlier.
That said, I swapped out the front and rear bolts that came with the Prinsu for Can-Am's hardware. Though I'm sure they would've been fine, Can-Am's bolts are of a better grade and I felt more comfortable using them. The middle bolts are from Prinsu, though, as Can-Am's aren't long enough.
It should’ve been a two-person job, as lifting the rack onto the Can-Am was a dead-lift. But my wife had taken my daughter to dance, so I did it myself. (Insert Macho Man Randy Savage “Oh yeah” here). I’d suggest phoning a friend or, you know, just waiting.
I do also want to shout out that this rack feels like it can handle a rooftop tent. So many other racks I’ve touched or used on more normal cars or trucks feel flimsy. I’m always afraid I’m going to bend them if I get into the tent like I would my bed: aggressively. Not so here.
Now, here’s where I say as far as I know, I’m the first one to actually install a rooftop tent onto a Prinsu rack attached to a Can-Am X3 Max. Others have installed rooftop tents to their side-by-sides, including Polaris making a fully-fledged model not too long ago. But I’m in uncharted territory, though many have written in forums about it.
And as you can see, the rooftop tent from Roofnest has arrived and it's already installed! I'll have my initial impressions of that in a bit, but I will note that I've come to find out there is Quick-Release hardware for rooftop tents and...they would've come in handy.
I am still planning on doing a host of adjustments to the Can-Am, including playing with the ride height, the spring rates, and generally seeing how the thing drives to ensure I don’t list like a battleship or immediately topple over. I did some prior testing with a very heavy Pelican case on top of the Prinsu rack and everything seemed solid, but I still have some work to do. Yet, the Prinsu rack helps me finally move forward with this overlanding side-by-side build.
From there, camping and it turning into a mobile hunting lodge are must-dos. I found a great camp spot overlooking a reservoir I can’t wait to take the kids to, and elk hunting in the backcountry is going to be awesome now that I don’t have to sleep on the ground and worry about bears.