Camper Shell Roof Racks

Raul B

Explorer
So im going to be building a roof rack for my truck over my camper shell and wanted to see pictures and details of the people that have already done it... im really trying to figure out how to mount it. I want it to overhand over the cab about half way so i can mount a 50" LED light bar on the front of it.

-Raul
 

Arclight

SAR guy
If you want something that overhangs that far, I would suggest either a contractor rack (aka "headache rack") that bolts to the bed, or a small separate rack just for the cab.

Remember, the cab and bed need to be able to flex separately, so your best option might be to get some rivnuts and attach a couple of rails to the cab, then mount to that.

Arclight
 
Heres what I'm using. Just ordered the fittings. haven't received them yet. Ordered one of their tarps but not sure if I'm gonna use it. May go with a local tarp that's more generic size so it can be replaced. The rack will have a tarp awning that hangs off one side for outside space. also doesn't allow for your need to span the cab and camper as mine goes on the camper only.

http://www.tarps.com/chrome2.htm

Paul
 

Larry

Bigassgas Explorer
I agree with Arclight, a contractor rack is ideal when used in conjunction with a truck topper. From 2006 to 2011 I had a Snugtop topper on my ’78 K10 with Snugtop’s factory roof rack/basket (Surco brand basket and runners). The Snugtop topper with the roof rack option was reinforced to support the weight of the rack/basket but even at that it was only good for 300 lbs max according to Snugtop. A typical topper without the roof reinforcements is probably not engineered for any significant roof weight outside of the typical snow load, etc. Contractors racks can support substantially much more weight than that as well as allow for a cab over length for your off-road lights.



Member FlatlinesUp did a great job of incorporating a contractors type rack with a truck topper.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Do you anticipate actually needing the part over the cab or do you want it simply for mounting the light bar? If you only want it for mounting the light bar there are several companies making brackets to mount light bars on the cabs of trucks. You use rivnuts or similar but they can be made waterproof if you do the install right.
 

Raul B

Explorer
here are a couple examples of what im generally looking to do. i do agree that it needs to be mounted to the actual bed like a contractors rack but i dont like how wide a contractor rack is and how it doesnt flow with the side angles of the camper shell...

another problem is that my shell overlaps over my bed rails so if i do it this way ill have to notch the shell where the brackets would be which im trying not to do.

on the part that overlaps i want to mount a 50" LED light bar and a solar panel like the aluminum one in the picture....
 

Attachments

Dirtman06

New member
im planning doing the same thing soon. I just found me a great deal last month on a camper shell. now to make it functional. have you figured out how you are going to mount it yet?
 

Raul B

Explorer
bumping this up for ideas...

how prone is the fiberglass to breaking if i drill through it? . could i possibly build an internal skeleton to hold up the weight of the camper shell?
 

Raul B

Explorer
so today im going to get started on the rack.. or at least start doing some measuring.... I had some takeoff fence material from a job site i did and have about 200 feet of fence... it seems like its the perfect material to start off with since i already have it and its free... i pulled this one and its pretty much the exact size i want.. it just needs to be squared off. what do you guys think?
 

Raul B

Explorer
ok here is an update after going at this thing most of the day....
i didnt have a real good way to make some perfect 45 degree angles so i did this instead

im not the best at welding but i wanted to see what you guys thought of these welds...

i put the rack on top of the truck to see how it would look.. all i had was some spare 4x4's so its sitting a lil higher than i want but it gives you an idea of how it would look.



i still have a lot of work to do. i need to add the sides to it, creating a mounting system and also make an internal cage inside the shell to support the weight.

let me know what you guys think
 

Box Rocket

Adventure Fan
I like the integrated rack that came on my Snugtop XTR. It's been pretty useful and doesn't look bad. I added some Thule bars and have had all kinds of stuff up there.





 

1stDeuce

Explorer
I like your idea of extending it a bit over the cab. I don't know what kind of topper you have, but I got a used unicover with no factory rack. It's PLENTY heavy enough to support a rack!! I put artificial rain gutters on it and some Thule gutter mounts and crossbars for hauling kayaks. You could easily strap a basket to the crossbars.

If drilling holes in fiberglass was a problem, boats would be sinking all over the world... Just use large feet and backing washers and you should be fine. The artificial gutter mounts I used came with a rubber gasket on the outside to account for curvature, and a big backing plate on the inside to spread the clamp load.

Keep us informed of your project!
Chris
 
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