Custom roof racks

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Topic author
knarfks
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:39 pm

Custom roof racks

Post by knarfks »

I had a hard time finding any racks that would work for hauling a kayak or raft on an astro. The aftermarket versions were too narrow or curved, making it difficult to attach without modification. I also wanted to be able to carry lumber for projects.

Hoellander aluminum speed rail and aluminum pipe is a great alternative. I used 1-1/4", but would strongly suggest going smaller, this thing is way overbuilt. The sheet metal and supports will give out well before the rack. 1' or 3/4" sch 40 pipe would have worked fine.

I have also built an awning that attaches to the pipe out of 3/4" PVC but don't have any set up pictures.
The entire set up cost roughly $200 after some shopping for fittings and pipe. The rack held up to an 800 mile road trip this last week, now on to interior work.

A few tips picked up from others on this forum or elsewhere.
1.Don't forget, aluminum in contact with galvanized = rust. Hoellander states on their website says the fittings and flanges are coated and won't cause rust, but a piece of rubber is cheap and easily placed between to keep them separate just in case.
2. Polyurethane sealant works great, but takes a week to fully cure. It will last longer than most other sealants with UV exposure.

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Astrophysics
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Re: Custom roof racks

Post by Astrophysics »

Hi,

Did you use Riv nuts thru roof to anchor the towers?

AP

Topic author
knarfks
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: Custom roof racks

Post by knarfks »

Stainless bolts, fender washers, nylon locking nuts and some rubber to dampen vibration noise. The front and back are positioned over inner frame for added strength. I can hang off of them and they barely budge (I'm not a light guy).

I put caps over the end to decrease whistle from the pipe. I was hoping to be able to find Fernco fittings so I could store awning pieces in the pipe, but I can't find rubber caps for 1-1/4".

AstroWill
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Re: Custom roof racks

Post by AstroWill »

knarfks wrote:I was hoping to be able to find Fernco fittings so I could store awning pieces in the pipe, but I can't find rubber caps for 1-1/4".
Fernco QC-1.68 check local plumbing supply house, not big box :)
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