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View Full Version : Poor Man's Roof Rack + Gas cans


coax
09-14-2010, 12:58 PM
So staring up a thread on my project to be able to carry gas cans outside the cruiser without spending the money on a super nice rear bumper. Hopefully will be doing a trip to the maze this fall, and wanted to have a bit of extra gas with me but not have to store it inside the cab.

First I ordered a harbor freight rear reciever hitch rack that I'll be attempting to modify to put in my yakima roof bars, along side my space case. Its rated to "500 harbor freight pounds" which means 250 pounds, and ~125 offroad pounds.

Then I ordered 2 (hopefully) scepter MFC's. A super siphon (http://www.amazon.com/Super-Siphon-supersiphonhose-Hose/dp/B000ZOT39A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1284162088&sr=8-3) from amazon should round out the setup.


Overall outside dimensions of the rack are 49" L x 22-1/2" W x 8" H, which means 2 MFC's at ~ 6.6” W x 13.9” L x 18.3” H should fit laying on its side, taking up about half the length of the rack, and being about flush on top. Weight would be at ~45pounds for a full can, so 90 pounds there, plus some chairs or a shovel, and I should be right at 125 pounds.

Build pics to start when I get the rack on Friday, and the cans hopefully early next week.

http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_2521.jpg

nakman
09-14-2010, 01:37 PM
So the receiver hitch box thing is going on the roof? :confused:

coax
09-14-2010, 01:55 PM
Yep that's the plan :D Apparently it comes assembly required, so I plan on either not putting on the large square piece that attaches to the receiver, or cutting it down. Then using 4-6 yakima attachments with some longer bolts (probably carriage) to attach to the bars. Still a bit up in the air but I figured for ~$80 for the rack its worth a try.

corsair23
09-14-2010, 02:19 PM
For $50 I woulda loaned you my roof rack that you could have attached to the bars and carried whatever you wanted :D

Seriously though, it will be interesting to see the build. Were you looking for something small? Years ago I bought one of the cheapy universal roof racks/baskets made by don't know who. Use to use it a lot on the Durango and IIRC it was only $100 or maybe $150 :confused: - Light weight but large enough to carry a big tent, chairs, etc. etc. for camping trips.

I don't tend to use it much on the LX though...everytime I put stuff on the roof I hear crazy sounds that make me not want to trust the factory rack anymore :eek:

Inukshuk
09-14-2010, 02:46 PM
I recently used a piece of plywood, 2x4's and ratchet straps to haul 2 jerry cans to a weekend near Gunnison. Laid it across the factory rack rails. Strapped it down. Worked great. I want a real one, sure, but this was the quick cheap temp solution.

Or just bring Perry on your Maze trip and have him haul it all - that's my preferred method! BTW, you know we did the Maze 2 years ago on the Outlaws Run. Great area. I think there is a Trip Report here.

coax
09-14-2010, 03:16 PM
Seriously though, it will be interesting to see the build. Were you looking for something small?:

Yea pretty much. I want to be able to leave my roof box/space case on one side, and this is narrow enough to be able to do that. I like the space case for keeping things mostly dry and not too dirty. And other than some tents/etc that go in the box, I don't have much I carry on the roof. We'll see what the quality of the rack turns out to be.

I'll definitly post pictures once its underway. Hopefully the quality will be acceptable.

coax
09-14-2010, 03:31 PM
I think there is a Trip Report here.

Sweet i'll have to do a quick search. I have been out to horseshoe canyon but not the maze proper. Last time was in a buddies saab that we baja'd hard enough to break part of the steering knuckle on the way back. This time will be much better equipped :)

corsair23
09-14-2010, 04:33 PM
Yea pretty much. I want to be able to leave my roof box/space case on one side, and this is narrow enough to be able to do that.

That's right...I remember you having the space case. As I recall, it is a good size case. Big enough to fit a pair of running boards in it :hill:

Red_Chili
09-15-2010, 01:18 PM
Sweet i'll have to do a quick search. I have been out to horseshoe canyon but not the maze proper. Last time was in a buddies saab that we baja'd hard enough to break part of the steering knuckle on the way back. This time will be much better equipped :)
Was Perry driving the Saab?
:lmao::lmao::lmao:
(inside joke...)

thisGuy
09-15-2010, 02:48 PM
125 offroad lbs? sorry never heard that term before =D

coax
09-17-2010, 03:59 PM
Ok, got the rack today, here area few pictures. Initial impressions are that its pretty decent quality, considering where it came from. Its actually fairly sturdy, but I think it will get reinforced on the ends with another small piece of aluminum bar. I also think 2" square underneath may get trimmed in half.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJPkc2xgG8I/AAAAAAAAAnw/r5TQLl_uvbc/s912/DSCF2836.JPG
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJPkcffGXSI/AAAAAAAAAng/wogsZo2ZtBI/s912/DSCF2816.JPG
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJPkcickuYI/AAAAAAAAAns/C3swaI1RluE/s912/DSCF2835.JPG

This is aprox. where the rack will sit. if I trim the 2" bar underneath I can move it in a bit. Then I need to figure out yakima attachment points.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJPkcWdEGrI/AAAAAAAAAnk/u3Xds4tlbok/s912/DSCF2817.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJPkciXHx7I/AAAAAAAAAno/dd2I70NH-2U/s912/DSCF2818.JPG

coax
09-18-2010, 05:12 PM
First modification to the rack was a short-side middle additional support. Had some extra aluminum bar laying around so just cut and drilled a few holes.

After that it was drill 8 more holes for the yakima hardware. I had to use longer bolts, but no big deal. I also decided to use standard bolts on the two outside(visible) attachments in hopes that may deter anyone from stealing my cheap roof rack:)

I opted not to trim down the 2" box section underneath, as it seems to add quite a bit of strength; hopefully it won't add too much extra wind noise, but I drive slow anyway. I may also be able to use that space for storage of....something. Can't really think of anything off the top of my head that would be useful and fit in there, but maybe the super siphon to keep any gas stuff outside.

Overall it seems pretty solid. I wouldn't go 500 pounds (yak rak wont even take that) but I think 2 full gas cans and some chairs will work just fine, and keep the gas out of the cab.

Total cost so far, ~85 dollars for the rack, 90 for the 2 mfc's that have yet to arrive.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJVGfP6ADgI/AAAAAAAAAoE/lRQGVE2-hX0/s720/DSCF2845.JPG

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJVGdCqeM_I/AAAAAAAAAoA/xiS6BycpOLg/s720/DSCF2844.JPG

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJVGiFoa5oI/AAAAAAAAAoM/W5CO3MefKMU/s720/DSCF2846.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJVGgzsgjNI/AAAAAAAAAoI/7iB8Uurdq4s/s720/DSCF2847.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJVGbr1KLVI/AAAAAAAAAn8/iVdqfn4ZpCQ/s720/S0162848.JPG

coax
09-20-2010, 06:12 PM
I only ordered 2 cans and it looks like the rack will fit at least three laying down, but I don't plan on doing any trips in the near future that would require 3 extra tanks.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJf2AjxCIZI/AAAAAAAAAog/TwphcwjpfeE/s720/DSCF2851.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJf2AyEqjpI/AAAAAAAAAok/6tOK5n6cpvI/s720/DSCF2852.JPG
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TJf2BSg2aJI/AAAAAAAAAoo/V2_tF8PR02c/s720/DSCF2853.JPG

coax
09-20-2010, 06:13 PM
Rack: $69+$10 shipping.
Hardware: $5
2 Gas Cans: $94
TOTAL: $178.

Not too bad, though maybe not "cheap" :rolleyes:

corsair23
09-20-2010, 11:36 PM
Pretty impressed with what you could do with that rack :thumb:

I think the reflectors on the sides adds a nice touch too :hill:

nakman
09-20-2010, 11:43 PM
Looking good.. so are you going to get fancy with the hold-downs, or just straps?

coax
09-21-2010, 07:53 AM
I was going to go with a few straps to hold them down. But out of curiosity, what hold down's are you speaking of?

nakman
09-21-2010, 08:18 AM
I was going to go with a few straps to hold them down. But out of curiosity, what hold down's are you speaking of?

I don't have one in mind, but there are straps and brackets out there specific to jerry cans. I'd probably just do straps myself.. :hill:

farnhamstj
09-21-2010, 08:38 AM
Looks good, but I would sugest adding a 3rd yakima bar to the roof. It would suck to remove the rain gutter from your rig.

coax
09-21-2010, 08:45 AM
Looks good, but I would sugest adding a 3rd yakima bar to the roof. It would suck to remove the rain gutter from your rig.

LOL that would indeed suck to have roof separation, at any speed :doh: I haven't gone that route yet as the PO (don't get me started) literally had a rack that weighed 150 pounds EMPTY on those bars. :eek: It was made out of solid 3/16 steel grating covering most of the roof, with an aluminum truck tool box mounted on top. It had to come off all as one piece and took two people.

So...yea I very well might look into another bar just because overbuilt is cool (and why I bought a cruiser). :cheers:

nakman
09-21-2010, 10:24 AM
Inukshuk bent his rain gutters borrowing my Con Ferr roof rack a few years ago- we only used two feet per side since he didn't think he was going to have a lot of weight up there.. but then he ended up stopping somewhat abruptly at the bottom of a small ravine.. one of those where everything from the back seat is now in the front seat? In hindsight, we should have bolted up the third set of feet, it would have spread that impact out a lot better..

it's not the wind load, or obstacles on the trail, the stuff you actually think about that bites you. It's the awning over the drive-through, the panic stop, or surprise on the trail..

Inukshuk
09-21-2010, 11:10 PM
Inukshuk bent his rain gutters borrowing my Con Ferr roof rack a few years ago- we only used two feet per side since he didn't think he was going to have a lot of weight up there.. but then he ended up stopping somewhat abruptly at the bottom of a small ravine.. one of those where everything from the back seat is now in the front seat? In hindsight, we should have bolted up the third set of feet, it would have spread that impact out a lot better..

it's not the wind load, or obstacles on the trail, the stuff you actually think about that bites you. It's the awning over the drive-through, the panic stop, or surprise on the trail..

yup. Had two Jerry cans, firewood and a solar shower. That Con Ferr was TIGHT! FWIW, the stop was abrupt enough to pop a bead.