Homemade Truck Roof Rack

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Project by MrFid posted 08-26-2018 06:49 PM 4902 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi folks.

I needed a way to move long pieces of lumber (20 ft 2×8s) for a project that I am slowly working at (strip built kayak). I have a Honda Ridgeline which almost always suits my purposes. No spec pickup would suit this purpose though. I thought about buying a Thule/Yakima bar setup, but they were running a couple hundred dollars a pop, and I realized that I could make this myself. I only needed one since I have a bed extender for the back of the truck that fits into the hitch.

I cut a scrap 2×6 into 12” pieces, and a 2×4 since I didn’t have enough 2×6. I jointed and glued together the pieces. After that I cut the ends of each tower on an angle to make them a little more aerodynamic. I drilled a hole through each tower at the base of the 2×4 that accepts a 1” black iron pipe (borrowed from pipe clamp).

To avoid marring the top of my truck, I wanted to add cushioning to the bottom of each tower that contoured to the shape of my truck. I bought a 12”x12”x1” piece of minicel foam from Amazon for about $10 or $20. Then I cut that in half and used contact cement to adhere it to the bottom of each tower. Then I placed the whole setup on top of my truck and marked where I needed to remove material from the foam to make it contour to the top of the truck. I used a Shinto rasp to file away the foam where I had marked it.

The setup needs a ratchet strap to secure it to the car. I make the ratchet strap into a loop, and hook each side onto the outside of the black pipe, and tighten inside the car (red strap in the 1st and 4th picture).

Hope this helps if anyone wants to try this for themselves. I drove 80 miles at interstate speeds with the payload seen in the pictures. It was perfectly secure. It’s a little loud (makes a humming noise at highway speeds), but I’m glad I saved the money on not buying a Thule/Yakima. Those also add some noise to the cabin of a car in my experience.

I’d be happy to take questions if anyone has them. If you have comments, critiques, or suggestions I’d like those too. Thanks for reading!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

4 comments so far

View Peteybadboy's profile


4959 posts in 3449 days

#1 posted 08-26-2018 07:34 PM

Great idea! except I’m a F150 guy.

-- Petey

View Andre's profile (online now)


5298 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 08-26-2018 08:08 PM

Necessity is the mother of inventions or some thing like that.

Speaking of F150s this is a rack I made for mine last year.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View oldrivers's profile


3154 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 08-27-2018 01:16 AM

If it works* GREAT!You set up looks pretty neat, well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 5094 days

#4 posted 09-04-2018 06:43 PM

Great idea!!

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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