Roof Rack Contemplations (1 Viewer)

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I have many things I want to do to my cruiser bouncing around in my head. Some I get to right away and some are in the save for later file. Lately a roof rack has been floating up towards the get it done area. I've looked at many pre made racks and there are several I like. However, I have also been contemplating building my own. Here's why...

Around us most of the trails are pretty tight. On more than one occasion I have contacted a tree with the rain gutter on my cruiser. Mostly paint scrapes but did dent it once (was able to straighten). This has got me to thinking about armor up there. Has anyone seen a roof rack that sticks out past the edge of the vehicle? I was thinking of using some aluminum tube and have it stick out about an inch or so past the edge of the rain gutter. That way the rack would contact the trees first and act as sort of a slider, distributing the weight along the entire rack vs just at the point of contact.

Now having never had a rack that used the rain gutter mounts this idea may be flawed. Do the racks have side to side movement if force is applied parallel to the plane of the roof? If so it may just get pushed over and serve no purpose. Also do you all think that because of the potential force involved that the rain gutter mounts would cause more damage than just letting the tree hit it? I had considered using at least 4 mounting points per side, maybe 5 or 6 to spread any potential loads out.

Interested in thoughts on my hairbrained idea. If you think it's destined to fail please speak up but also tell me why you feel that way. It will likely still be a while before I get to actually building it but would be good to know if it's worth trying or not.
 

ppc

M Go Blue
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A rack will get destroyed in no time what you need is an excskelton


So 4 years later I finally got around to putting an exo on the 80. This is after I have beat the doors up pretty good along with just about every other body panel.

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clx16

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The full length gutter mounted types like the bowfin and primsu will strengthen the gutters if you can get in to them but they can also have more protection mounted to them very easily as they are or if you don't mind adding additional mounting holes to the aluminum side plates.
 
Joined
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The full length gutter mounted types like the bowfin and primsu will strengthen the gutters if you can get in to them but they can also have more protection mounted to them very easily as they are or if you don't mind adding additional mounting holes to the aluminum side plates.

Bowfin and Primsu are on my short list of racks I like. So are you thinking that I could add bars to the outside of those racks for more protection? Like weld up some aluminum tube to some short legs with a mounting plate and bolt it to the side rail of the rack?
 
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The problem with using the rack as a slider isn’t the rack, is what it’s attached to like you state.. the rain gutter. Any significant force worth protecting against will crush the weakest link in the mounting system. If you go that route, maybe consider lightly mount the rack with smallish bolts so the rack will break away before snapping the rain gutter.
 
Joined
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The problem with using the rack as a slider isn’t the rack, is what it’s attached to like you state.. the rain gutter. Any significant force worth protecting against will crush the weakest link in the mounting system. If you go that route, maybe consider lightly mount the rack with smallish bolts so the rack will break away before snapping the rain gutter.

Yeah that's what I am afraid of. I have a pretty good understanding of how to armor up my rig but have no direct experience with a roof rack. Realizing the rain gutter is fairly weak if something hits it as a point load I was wondering if spreading out that load would help. For example my sliders do contact the rocker panel when the full weight of the truck is dropped on them but since it's now doing it over a 5 feet long tube it causes no damage. Was thinking the same may apply here but didn't have a good basis for how stout a rack mounted to those gutters. I suppose most of the impact on the sliders is absorbed by the mounts bolted to the frame though....
 

lumbee1

Native American
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I built my own with ATV ramps and Gamaviti gutter mounts. I've modified it to accommodate kayak holders, 270* awning, and a small propane tank and have been thoroughly happy with it. It wasn't as cheap as I would like but it has been very versatile.

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clx16

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Bowfin and Primsu are on my short list of racks I like. So are you thinking that I could add bars to the outside of those racks for more protection? Like weld up some aluminum tube to some short legs with a mounting plate and bolt it to the side rail of the rack?
In short yes. Basically just add some meat along the sides low near the gutter that will keep things from catching the latches of the racks and keep limbs etc from being able to reach the gutters. The idea is you spread the weight and impact out enough to take the pressure without deforming. I am assuming you are not trying to creat protection from rocka but from trees. I might rethink it a little of you are hitting rocks that high up.
 
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In short yes. Basically just add some meat along the sides low near the gutter that will keep things from catching the latches of the racks and keep limbs etc from being able to reach the gutters. The idea is you spread the weight and impact out enough to take the pressure without deforming. I am assuming you are not trying to creat protection from rocka but from trees. I might rethink it a little of you are hitting rocks that high up.

Yeah trees, but in some cases it's the trunk. We have pine trees so not many small branches low down, just big trunks. I like this idea though, at the very least it would keep the rack hold downs from snagging on anything. Will take a closer look at the two racks and see if I can dream up how it will go. Thanks!
 

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