planning on building a roof rack (1 Viewer)

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I am planing on building a roof rack and just wanted to get some opinions on my ideas. My plan is to use 1/8 thick metal for the build, and I want to see what the experts think on strenght and durability. I will be buying a set of gutter mount bars and building a rack to mount on top of that. I want to keep it as lite as possible. I read that you do not want it too heavy, and rigid or it can rip apart your gutters. I will be using 1/8x 1 1/2" angle iron for the frame and 1/8 x 1 1/2 flat bar for the supports. Rack will most likely be about 6" tall. As of right now I am planning on keeping it fairly small. Going to be about 48" long by 40" wide. The only things I plan on keeping in/on the rack are the spare tire and a high lift jack. The gutter mount bars I am going to buy have a 160lb rating so with the weight of the built rack, tire and jack I should be fine. So what are some thoughts? Will this be stong and lite enough? Thanks for any input.
 
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Dec 11, 2008
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Whidbey Island, WA
Not that there are alot of rules when it comes to building your own but most factory made racks are made of tube, lighter and stronger than flat bar and angle. But most folks don't have the equipment to bend small thin tube. It's going to take some careful design work to keep 1/8 stock from adding up the weight fast.

Light as possible and also put the tire on the roof? Tire on the roof is not a good idea if you ever wheel your rig. Adding 75 to 100 lbs that high up does horrible things to your center of gravity. But if you are set on it consider just making a mount for the tire and using two bolts to hold the jack on the crossbars.

Don't forget a roof rack will take at least one mpg from your mileage.

And don't think I dont like roof racks, I have never run my wagons without them. And my hi lift is on the roof all the time along with a shovel.

Best of luck

Tony
 
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Dundee, Oregon
 
 
personally after having had a 6" tall rack I would opt for something in the 4" range with some extra tie down points. Also to keep strength to weight ratio as low as possible I would consider 1" square tubing instead of flat stock. The size and your gutter mounts will be fine for a tire and jack.

clint
 
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personally after having had a 6" tall rack I would opt for something in the 4" range with some extra tie down points. Also to keep strength to weight ratio as low as possible I would consider 1" square tubing instead of flat stock. The size and your gutter mounts will be fine for a tire and jack.

clint
the 4" sounds good. As far as the weight of angle vs square, When I was looking at metal yesterday, the square actually felt heavier. I built a basket that goes in my reciever and its all 1" square, and its very heavy.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
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Santa Fe, NM
I built a rack to go over retail Thule bars years ago and used 1.5" x 1.5" aluminum angle iron and al expanded metal for the floor. It has seen me cross country many times on several different vehicles and has held well over the rated 160 lbs with no issue to the rack or gutters. Used to use it as an apres ski sun porch...two adults in lawn chairs. It weighs a whopping 10 lbs and is about 4' x 6'. I intended to build it up to 4"-6" like the many "expedition racks" but never found the need. The frame is drilled on 6" centers so it has unlimited tie-down options. It now resides as the floor of a wilderness rack that came with my latest 60 and makes for a great play space for the kids!
Al requires a good hand with a tig welder, but in terms of strength to weight it cant be beat.
 

MANUCHAO

omnia mea mecum porto
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Nov 8, 2004
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Sur Cal
 
 
 
If you building your own.. I would def try to go with Alum... plenty strong and waaaaaay lighter....!!

Also trying to incorporate a fairing the width of the rack.. will suprise yah as to how quiet it is at hwy speeds....

My $0.02
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
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Buffalo Grove, IL
 
 
 
Might want to look into the ATV ramp style rack that WildYoats made for his 80 series. It is light weight. inexpensive and strong.
 

FARMAN33

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Jan 12, 2007
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Houston, TEXAS
 
 
Mine - 2" angle on bottom 1.25" angle on top with round bar for tie anchors / decoration. Fairly easy build but had to customize gutter mounts for low profile. With 2.5" lift and 33's and a roof rack; it still drives in a 7' garage every night.
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