Attaching yakima gutter racks to camper

shell. I found a good deal on a camper shell for my truck, bought it, and plan to use it for overnighters when I don’t want to set up a tent or get to the campsite late. My truck doesn’t have gutters, but I’ve got a set of Yakima bars…the long ones. My towers are for guttered vehicles…there weren’t many unguttered ones when I bought the racks. I plan on attaching them, if there is a way, to the camper shell. I’ve heard of some metal plates that work like a gutter. Has anyone used them, how do they work, and where can I get them? The shell is fiberglass so plan on using a reinforcing plate on the inside of the shell when/if I install the gutter thingies. Don’t want to buy new towers, can’t afford it.

web site use to advertise dummy gutters. bolt them on and you are ready to go. You only need enough to mount to…

There are two ways
Yakama sells both

  1. There are small fake gutters that bolt through the top of your truck cap
  2. They also sell “Landing Pads” which bolt through the top, but then you need the special towers that go with them. (which will add big bucks)

    I have used both and prefer the landing pads.



gutterless Yakimas
If you’re at all handy with tools you might simply cut four 6" lengths of 1/2" - 1" angle iron, or aluminum and attach them to your roof with appropriate spacers and washes. Large washers or a back-up plate on the inside is a good idea. You could get all the supplies from HD for $10 or so.

I did it this way and it’s worked just fine for the last 5 years.

Depending on the style of your towers you might need a different length or size of angle stock.

Good Luck,


Cordes Lakes, AZ

two types
check out Yakimas web site:

they make two types of add-on rain gutters. The Wide Body, and the Side Loader (do a search under one of the names and you’ll find both). I have never used the Yakima set up, but the Thule Artificial Raingutters work very well. Make sure you put some silicone caulk sealant on the holes you put in your top, this will kepp out any rain water.


Get yourself a carpet kit
and you have a first class camping vehicle. Here is a link to Rei for gutters

You may want to check a local junkyard and/or autobody place. They may have stuff that will work.

Yakima Artificial Gutter Work Great
I have been using them for years on my SnugTop camper shell and they work great. Much cheaper than new towers.

Thule & Yakima are both fine
Both major rack brands have artificial gutters that will work fine and can be installed in a matter of 30 minutes or so. Thule, and I believe Yakima too, come with steel backing plates and a rubber gasket to keep the assembly watertight and protect the glass cap. You can use Thule’s gutters on Yakima rack and vice versa, so whichever you can find fastest, cheapest should do the trick.

Yakima crossbar spacing?
Yeah, check out the Side Loader or Wide Body, or equivalent Thule side bracket. I’m installing my new Yakima setup onto My VW EuroVan Camper fiberglass poptop as we speak. I’ve sought out advice from a few retailers experienced with installations for this vehicle. I received confident recommendations for tracks, gutter brackets and the landing pads. Since I was starting from scratch I chose the Landing Pads with Control Towers.

Any suggestions on how far apart the bars should be? I’ve had different recommendations for that as well. I don’t plan on using any other rooftop accessories at the moment. My kayak 17.5 feet long (Solstice GTSHV). Should I try to get the saddles near the bulkheads or aim for the balancing point in the middle?


Prefer artificial gutter or landing pads
I’m about to undertake this project. The pros and cons would be much appreciated. The artificial gutter will be cheaper since I can use my existing rack that goes on the cab. So, why would I invest in the landing pads?

I had put the artificial…
gutters on my first fiberglass top about seven or eight years ago, since the landing pads were not out then.

I never had a problem with them and they worked fine the whole time I had them but they were not shaped like the old vehicle rain gutters and I never had a real good feeling with them.

On my last two truck caps I have used the landing pads, and I have the utmost faith in them. The whole cap would have to come off or the fiberglass would have to tear apart before you lost the rack.

For my take the landing pad technology far exceeds the rain gutter mounts technology and it is worth paying more for them.

I had trouble giving my rain gutter towers away !



The rain gutters on the cab work most securely, so I assumed the artificials would as well. The tie downs to the front are a bit cumbersome, and I’d rather have it super secure on the cap with the pads and skip the front tie downs when appropriate to anticipated driving conditions. I’ll spend the extra money for peace of mind. It rarely pays to skimp, especially on racks with mucho $ boats on top. Thanks for the fast reply, Jack.

I have never used front…
or rear tie downs since I have had a rack system that is one with the vehicle.