Rack system non-failure

-- Last Updated: Jun-06-13 12:18 PM EST --

With the recent talk about failures of rack system here is my solution.
I built the crossbars out of 1"X 2" square tube, the side bars are made from 1" tube, the towers are also made from 1" X 2" tube. All tube is aircraft grade aluminum. I attached the towers to the roof of the truck by drilling 1/4" holes in the caulk joint on the roof and thru- bolting stainless bolts with fender washers on the bottom of the roof panel. All fasteners are 316 grade stainless steel. The Thule hardware has been replaced with grade 8 bolts. I discarded the factory mounting hardware and thru bolted the J racks directly to the crossbars using 1/4" aluminum plates as mounting brackets. I also have built a "goalpost" style rack support to insert in the front mounted receiver hitch for hauling boats when my fifth wheel is hooked up, I just have to shift the roof mounted system forward, to the front towers and front goal post. The entire system can be stripped off in under an hour.
I live in Kansas, and travel throughout the USA, and have driven regularly in 40 mph crosswinds, never had any problems hauling 4 boats ranging from 16'6" to 14" long. I use proper strapping, bow/stern tag lines and check them frequently when traveling.
This system was built using a saw, drill and simple hand tools for under $400, not counting J rack expense.(and my time is not considered).
If anybody has any questions please feel free to PM or call.
The tailgate rack and head ache rack are used when the fifth wheel is not attached and I just want to throw boats on the truck for a quick ride. they usually are not on the truck.

I like it ! Thinking of a tailgate rack
for my Honda Accord so I can move the one canoe I carry back out of the windstream sweeping up the windshield. I expect to have to stabilize the tailgate upright, and I’m also concerned that the hitch mount will drag the road when driving in and out of driveways, etc. Accords don’t have much ground clearance to start with.

Hell of a lot cheaper and
just as strong using Yakama’s bolt through the roof system and their bars.

I do agrere with you on throwing away all of thules crappy bolts and hardware and replacing it with stainless bolts and nuts though.

Doing it with Yakama’s stuff, you can quickly change out various bike carriers, ski carriers, J cradles and kayak saddles.

Jack L