'Success? Failure?' Rating: ★★★★★
I needed a way to transport sheet building supplies (e.g. plywood or Gib plaster board) that typically come in 1.2m x 2.4m [4' x 8'] sheets. I wanted a flat-bed roof-rack for the top of our car that would fully support the sheets whilst in transit. I also wanted the roof-rack to be articulated so that I could still open the boot [trunk] when the (unloaded) rack was on the car. Here's what I came up with...
- The roof-rack is designed to slot between the roof-rack bars that are already on our car.
- The plan, below, displays the roof-rack from underneath. In this plan the longitudinal members (orange) are rebated to accept the deck (yellow) so as to create a flush surface.
- The deck only spans 50% of the length so that the unloaded roof-rack doesn't catch too much wind (particularly at the front).
- The roof-rack and load is fully supported by the roof-rack bars - the longitudinal members do not touch the roof of the car.
- The deck is made from 12mm [½"] H3.2 treated plywood. All other timber is 50mm x 50mm [2" x 2"] H3.2 treated pine.
- Pairs of Ø50mm [2"] holes are drilled in the deck to facilitate tie down. These holes line up with the middle set of roof-rack bar supports.
- The rear, hinged, support is cantilevered such that it can swing up but not down.
- The 'hinge detail' photos, below, show the heads of the vertical bolts sticking up proud of the timber - these were later recessed so as to create a flush surface.
- If you build your own one of these, please ensure you check that it's legal in your locale. And don't put more than a sensible amount of weight on it (the stack of plywood in the photos, below, is 'maximum capacity' on my one).
Pros: A very effective system that does its job very well. I've used it to transport sheets of Gib plaster board up to 3.6m [12'] long.
Cons: None come to mind!
Enhancement Suggestions: Some fittings at each corner might be useful to simplify tie down.
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