mounting yakima rack to camper shell

anyone had any experiences mounting racks to fiberglass pickup shells? I see that yakima makes an adapter to go with the rain gutter mount,just wondering if there are any horror stories about damaging the shell…leaking, cracking,that kind of stuff.

Thanks as always,


I have used the rain gutter mounts.
On my last truck, I used them to mount my ancient Yakama gutter mount towers.

Just follow the directions and you will have no problems at all. Drilling that first hole takes some b–ls, but once you do it the rest are easy.

Make sure you check on the inside that you won’t be putting the holes through where there is deformation, (ridge, etc) from the stiffners.

I never had any problems with them, but they have a much better mount out now called “landing Pads”.

I used them on the cap of my new truck, and they have a much lower profile then the gutter mount ones. I would guess that they are an inch or so lower.

If you don’t mind the bucks for them, I think you would like them better.



shell mounts
I’m in the market for a shell and the two dealer I went to both mount Yakima roof racks to their shells. They use the Tower mount. I’m going to mount one on the roof of the cab and the other on the shell.

I use
some boat bedding compound, like 5200, as a sealant, along with the rubber gasket provided.

I suppose any ‘caulk’ would work, but I did experience leakage, on our steel Gem Top shell.

have fun


I’ve mounted the
Yakima system on a Raven shell. There is a definite sense of “should I be doing this” as you drill the holes. It will work out fine as long as you have it properly centered where you want it. The kit I purchased came with a small tube of silicone to set each bolt to prevent leaks. I haven’t had a problem and use the Yak Towers as well. Personally I wouldn’t mount this on the cab of the truck itself.

I got a steal of a deal for the shell ($50) to get it out from a backyard where it had been for 2 years. ONce I thoroughly cleaned it, I had it painted to match my truck ($350) which is a huge savings if you ever priced a new shell.

Yakima Tracks is the answer
I bought a topper from Lear that came with a Yakima setup installed from the factory so I can’t comment on the details of the installation and sealing. I can tell you that I have had no leaks.

They used the Yakima tracks (rails) and towers. The nice thing about the rails is that the towers can be adjusted forward and backward as needed.

Would you really want to do that?
Just curious as the cab and the shell are independant of each other. Cab will rock one way and the shell will rock the other. Couldn’t that cause some wierd wear on your hulls from rocking back and forth versus all mounted on the shell and moving as only it and the truck bed move?

I’ve got…

– Last Updated: Jan-21-04 11:50 PM EST –

I've got a Toyota Tacoma. I use a Yakima setup on the cab of the truck. On my fiberglass shell I mounted fake rain gutters & use 2 Quik & Easy towers that I attached to a 2"x4". I used sealent between the fake gutters & the shell on the outside. On the inside, I used sealant between the shell, and 1/8", rectangular, metal plates which I had made. They are approximately the same size as the flat section of the fake rain gutters. Basically, I sandwiched the shell between 2 layers of sealant & 2 layers of metal.
Has never leaked a drop, and no visible damage to the shell after nearly 2 years of use; this included many trips with up to 100 pounds of boats. On occasion, have carried 3 boats for short distances. Lots of interstate miles at 70/75 mph from Missouri to North Carolina, Tennessee, Canada, Arkansas, Illinois, problems.


excellent resource
thanks as always,can ALWAYS count on some good info here. My old rack has the rain gutter mounts so this is not only seems to be the way to go, but also the cheapest…hard to beat that.

Again, Thanks,


What? Never Been to Michigan?
Hope that environmental destroyer, John Engler, didn’t scare you off.

Now, we have a “kindler, gentler” governor, originally from Canada, Jennifer Granholm.

Other than our house and senate (controlled by Engler’s Republican “good-old-boys”), it’s ALMOST safe to come back to Michigan…

Maybe she’ll save the Department of Environmental Quality, which Engler gutted of any true environmental power…

I have a Toyota Tacoma and Snugtog Shell
I have a Toyota tacoma and snug top shell I had the fake rain gutters attached to the hell. No problem with the racks for sure. They have been bombproof.

My shell does leak, but I do not think it is from the fake rain gutters. I have not really checked.

Rack on cap
I have a Ford Ranger with a glass cap. I had the cap dealer install 5’ aluminum T-tracks, and a Thule knockoff set of racks. Gives me a lot of flexibility when carrying any kind of load.

The tracks are through bolted every 12" with

1/4 X 20 hex bolts, sealed with silicone. Hasn’t leaked it two years.

Two boats in the last two years required different positions. I plan on getting another this spring. Boat size has gone from 12’-14.5’ and 16.5’ coming.

While you are at it
Where the bolts come through the fake rain gutters, I made a couple easy modifictions. First, I found a “cold” hook. Don’t know why they call it that, but it is a hook that almost closes in on itself, with a through hole that fits over the bolts coming through the canopy. Than, I replaced the stock carriage bolts with longer stainless carriage bolts. You will have to buy the carriage bolts the right length, depending on the thickness of your canopy and the eye on the cold hook. Then, as you bolt each fake gutter on the canopy, put one of the hooks on each bolt before tightening down the nut. These make excellent storage spots for your straps, ropes and bungies. Keeps the tie downs handy at the back of the truck, but also off the usually dirty truck bed. Since the cold hook has a very small opening, the ropes and straps stay put, even on rough or curvy roads they don’t slide off.

Also, make sure those carriage bolts are stainless.

Hope you find this handy.