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Old 10-10-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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PVC Roof Rack

Has anyone tried making a roof rack and basket out of PVC pipe? And if so any pictures or better yet a write up?

I'm thinking I could use 2 inch scheduled 80. Sch 80 is uv resistant and pretty stiff.
Then I would paint the whole thing black....
Y'all think it will look and perform ok?
The rack I really want is the gobi but it's 1400 dollars.

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Old 10-10-2010, 03:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougHeffernan
Has anyone tried making a roof rack and basket out of PVC pipe? And if so any pictures or better yet a write up?

I'm thinking I could use 2 inch scheduled 80. Sch 80 is uv resistant and pretty stiff.
Then I would paint the whole thing black....
Y'all think it will look and perform ok?
The rack I really want is the gobi but it's 1400 dollars.
I think you could definitely do it, i backed into schedule 80 pvc with a work truck several years ago and it bent in stainless steel tubed step sides like it was nothing, you might have issues with attaching it to your jeep though, id recommend something permanent on the jeep that allows the basket to slide off on rails if needed

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Old 10-10-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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I think that a regular wooden closet pole is the same OD as the 2" schedule ID. I've made lots of stuff out of PVC and the secret is to use closet poles or dowels to maintain rigidity.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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I've been running through ideas on how to make the baskets removable and I will probably cut a T coupler so it straddles the rack and then use a pin to lock in place.. And the dowel idea sounds like a great way to strengthen the columns... I'm gonna document lengths and types of couplers and pipe in case someone else may want to make one ...
Thanks for the ideas and input
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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Why not do it with electrical conduit. All the pieces are screw together, weather tight, and METAL! Maybe pricier, but, it would be metal and you can get sweeps in different radius lengths and diameters. Just sayin'!
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denis4x4 View Post
I think that a regular wooden closet pole is the same OD as the 2" schedule ID. I've made lots of stuff out of PVC and the secret is to use closet poles or dowels to maintain rigidity.
I'm no PVC expert. But i'd worry a bit about the weight you would want to put on it..So the above would definitely help

Its definitely a cool idea, if it would work well.

I wanna see pics of something soon!
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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yeh. would definitely be interested in a write up and cost sheet with this project. dont forget, lots of pictures!
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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anyone ever pursue making one of these? pics?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougHeffernan View Post
Has anyone tried making a roof rack and basket out of PVC pipe? And if so any pictures or better yet a write up?

I'm thinking I could use 2 inch scheduled 80. Sch 80 is uv resistant and pretty stiff.
Then I would paint the whole thing black....
Y'all think it will look and perform ok?
The rack I really want is the gobi but it's 1400 dollars.
The price of the gobi rack and others is why I ended up with a Kargo Master Congo Cage. I didn't get the cargo basket.....yet. But I use it mostly for my kayaks and skis. At about $400.00 it worked out well. Load limit is near the top of the range for racks at 500 lbs.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:26 PM   #10
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Grey PVC sounds good (so does the Conduit..) You can now buy the plastic welders at 'Chi-Com Freight", so you could weld the PVC to flat pieces and it wouldn't look too much different from the Steel counterparts..
That Schd. 80 PVC is pretty stout, it should hold a good load....
The Conduit is pretty easy to work with and may even be a little lighter in weight than the PVC, might be something to look into.... "BH"
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:38 PM   #11
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jk'n;

I have the Kango Kage rack, just installed it. How do you stop the vibration noise that I'm getting at about 45 MPH? I tried tying a rope in the middle of the long bars, but that did not help. Any other thoughts? I don't have the basket installed either.

Steven
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #12
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@ fawsty

My rack does not vibrate. I followed the instructions to a T about putting the sealer on the joints and I was liberal with the stuff. The whole rack seems like one. I do have some wind noise. I am told that a small 1/8" braided poly rope spiraled around the front tube will reduce the wind noise.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:36 AM   #13
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try superstuts instead of PVC. about the same price, but you will get the rigidity and strength of steel.

Gobi is the way to go.. have it, love it, recommend it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:06 AM   #14
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Why not use exhaust tube. Its cheaper than PVC, super easy to weld and cut. Stronger and you can replace sections that may bend/break or anything else. Further more if you find you need something extra it is super easy to weld a chunk in at any time. Its easy to work with and you could have an exhaust shop do bend to add strength intead of putting in elbows. Just my two cents but I like working with metal a little bit more. ALso after thought... You could weld on like "hooks" or "tie downs" anywere you needed... If you were going on a trip and could get your stuff to stay you could just weld on an extra tie down!!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:01 AM   #15
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Gobi is the way to go.. have it, love it, recommend it.
For some folks it is more about meeting a particular need like a load limit or maybe durability. And for some it is about price vs. function. The Gobi is on the high end of affordability. If price is no object, it probably works for those who can afford it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:11 PM   #16
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Would PVC painted black soften up in the summer sun? I don’t know its just a thought.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #17
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I did this mod a few years back on a Sidekick I was building. The rack turned out great and I was amazed at how strong it was when completed. I could hang from it and shake the whole truck back and forth with no issues. It took all the weight I threw at it on camping trips without sagging at all. The whole thing cost me under $40.

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Old 04-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #18
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JK'n;

Thanks for the info. I tried a small rope tied in the center of the long bars, from side to side, and it still gets the vibration. I put the silicone on as well. I'll try the rope on the front bar trick and see if that helps at all. I did check and everything is as tight as I could get it.

Steven

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