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Old 07-19-2012, 05:51 AM   #1
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My hitch ski rack build (work in progress)

We can build it… We have the technology.

I'm a hard-core skier and patroller and I drive a TJ, a great SAV (Snow Assault Vehicle). But putting a couple of pairs of skis inside won't work, I don't feel like drilling through my hard top, the Mopar spare-mounted rack is expensive and a POS and to get a Thule carrier, I need to buy a bike rack first.

Which means I'll get me some steel and fire up the welder.

Welcome to my build thread.

Now, the rack is only an idea in my head. Next step is to sketch it on a napkin, then draw it up on the computer -- cardboard mock-up to double-check the design.

Stay tuned.

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Old 07-19-2012, 07:36 AM   #2
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Subscribing, looking for a solution for my boards also

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Old 07-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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Here's the back-of-the-envelope concept:

I just installed a CAD freeware on my Mac, so I guess that would be the next step.
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Driving a Jeep is ordering coffee at the drive through and asking "Leave some room at the top. For the sloshing."
Okay, we’re a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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OK, so I'm playing around with DraftSight (Autocad 2D knockoff, freeware) and it's a steep learning curve...

You'll find here an elevation and section. (I kind of screwed up at one point, because my 2" vertical member is not the same height in both... It will be fixed.)

You'll also find lines indicating which is what, when it comes to materials. Dimensionning is forthcoming.

Here's the description in a nutshell: 2" square tube coming out of the hitch receiver, on which there's a 2" vertical tube (braced with two 0.25" plates, triangular shaped) and a 5" channel, 24 inches wide for four pairs of skis. Up on top, a cross bar will be located above the front bindings. Little bars here and there ensure that the skis stay in their spot, while bungee cords or a tie-down strap will hold the top of the skis to the cross bar.

Two notes:
  1. I need to buy ski bags, because things will get dirty quickly back there
  2. The cross member might need some bracing, as it will be in tension from the airflow over the ski tips. Some kind of 18" flat bar, welded to the back of the vertical member and bent back and welded to the cross member?

Thanks...
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Driving a Jeep is ordering coffee at the drive through and asking "Leave some room at the top. For the sloshing."
Okay, we’re a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:06 AM   #5
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For those who are interested, here are some of the dimensions.

Yeah, I know, the elevation and section don't math in height, I haven't fixed it yet. (And my skis are off-site, so I can only guess at the measurement between tail and front binding...)

Next step: gotta get myself some steel...
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Driving a Jeep is ordering coffee at the drive through and asking "Leave some room at the top. For the sloshing."
Okay, we’re a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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Finally got the steel and got the chop saw going. All pieces are cut, ready to weld.

The guy at the Metal Supermarkets (motto: "The Convenience Store for Metals") was most helpful. Saved me a few bucks (and pounds) when he told me my rig was overdesigned. "Unless your skis weigh 100 pounds each, you don't need .250 wall..."

Here's a pic of what I got:
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Driving a Jeep is ordering coffee at the drive through and asking "Leave some room at the top. For the sloshing."
Okay, we’re a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Just a consideration...why not build a rack that bolts into your lug nuts on your spare tire rack? That way you can open the tailgate.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
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I might do that if I ever get a new bumper with a new spare carrier. (Which, come to think of it, I don't really need for a 31" SilentArmor...)
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Driving a Jeep is ordering coffee at the drive through and asking "Leave some room at the top. For the sloshing."
Okay, we’re a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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Now with pics!

Finally got around to firing up the Becca 130 Mig welder (120 volts, 17 amps at full power, using flux-core wire and no gas...)

But first, I had to drill a 5/8" hole on both sides, so the hitch pin could slide through. Warning: don't try this without a drill press!



On the floor (I have to build me a welding table, stat), I have the piece that goes in the receiver and the main vertical part. 2" square tubing, 0.125" wall.



First weld: (I suck at welding, come to think of it...)



I now have a C5 channel welded and I'm tacking the bits that will hold the skis appart, at the base. Bits sticking out are for the hooks of a ratcheting strap.



Here it is, for fitment, on the back of my TJ: (I made sure to leave room for a 31x10.5 spare that will match the other four wheels. This is a GSA in 30x9.5)



I still need to weld the top cross bar. I have a piece of 1.75" square tubing for that, and then I'll paint the whole thing.

Comments are welcome!
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Driving a Jeep is ordering coffee at the drive through and asking "Leave some room at the top. For the sloshing."
Okay, we’re a little crazy to have a Jeep for a daily driver. But if we go off our meds, we might wind up in a Prius -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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So how did it end up looking with the top cross bar welded on?

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