Quick N Easy Racks-- cross bar mat'l?

I got the Quick N Easy uprights for the rain gutters on my Conversion Van as you all suggested. What do I use for a cross bar? 2x4s likely to warp, esp under load. What do you use for the cross bars?


Every rack I’ve seen made used regular SPF 2x4 matertial you might try native hardwood. Ash or oak 1x4 should do.

I used regular 2x4’s
I never had a problem with them warping, but I didn’t leave the rack on the van all the time. I carried a 17’ Coleman canoe that weighed about 75 pounds with that arrangement.


– Last Updated: Jan-12-07 3:27 PM EST –

Straight-grained ash 2x3's if yer kin git dem worked fer me. Varnished an' tops carpeted. Had 80" crossbars on me vehicle for many years (ah' try ta replace de wood every 5-6 years or so. Ah' never took dem off an' me cars are alway outside. No warpin' experienced if yer seal dem. Had 5 canoes up thaar one time.


just plain
cheap 2x4 studs without large knots (home depot guys will love you…). They last more than 4 years outdoors all year round without any varnish etc.

with the set I currently use, I rounded all edges with a router. Easier to load boats from behind (my vehicle is too high to load from the sides -or I’m just not tall enough)

have fun

I used Treated
2 x 4 's and they are still going strong after 10 years.

Wood for crossbars
When I used those clamps, I used “motorcycle mahogany” for the crossbars. A fellow woodworker and I salvaged it from Japanese motorcycle shipping crates at a local dealer. It is about 1.5" x 2.5" of some very dense mahogany like hardwood. It lasted year round for about 20 years in New England weather with a revarnish job and new carpet stapled on ever few years. I still have the motorcycle mahogany, but no cars with rain gutters.


Thank you all very much.

– Last Updated: Jan-13-07 9:44 AM EST –

Your experienced comments are appreciated greatly.

I'll go with the galvanized pipe then.


I have used
one inch EMT (conduit) with great success. Light weight, strong, galvanized, and cheap.

Da kine http://www.aircraftspruce.com/ca

you can also coat the pipe
I’ve highly customized a rack to accompany the stock rack on my Nissan Xterra (ww/touring kayaks, mountain bike, skis, wet gear, spare tire, jack, mother in law, etc.), and coated galvanized pipe with that stuff you see for coating tool handles. It takes just a wee bit of patience to get an even couple of coats, but it looks great, resists scratches to equipment and reduces sliding.