Roof Rack, a cheaper alternative

I first found this roof rack idea on the “Indistructables” website. It is a more affordable way to attach round bars to pre existing roof bars. Although plain U-Bolts work, the tubing protects your gunwales from scratches and gives the U-Bolts added grip preventing round bar movement. You can use the transparent water line which is easier to instal, but it does fog and oxidize over time. Further, the black fuel line covering blends in colourwiese and

gives the do it yourself job a bit more stealth.

Round bars (I had Yakama bars already)
1/4 inside diameter Water line or Fuel hose
Black Electrical tape
U-Bolts x 8
Blue loctite (to ensure nuts stay tight)
Dish soap

-Roughly measure and cut the lengths of tubing to cover each U-Bolt
-Warm the line in hot water to soften
-Apply soap to U-Bolt and inside the line
-Push, twist line onto U-Bolt
-Give the flat washer bar (found in U-Bolt package) a couple wraps of tape between the holes, this gives the hardware a gripping surface on the underside of the pre existing roof bars)

Nothing wrong with that except I’d want the flat plates on the bottom to be thicker. You can see them bending already in the photos.

You could also use stainless nylon insert locknuts instead of Loctite. I’d wrap tape or use something like gasket material or a piece of rubber hose where the round bar contacts the roof rail to prevent scratches…

I use a similar setup to attach Yakima saddles to the custom 1¼" black steel pipe ladder rack on my pickup truck.

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I understand the desire to save a $ or 2, but you can find the correct Yakima feet that grab factory bars pretty cheaply on CL or FB Marketplace, even eBay. You might even get a set with locks included.

I’ve gotten a set of four feet for as little as $40…and saw someone giving away a set not far from me, but it wasn’t convenient…and I didn’t really need another set…

I agree, you could use thicker metal but I would not advise it. Doing so may distort your stock rail which is aluminum, the rails state a 75 lbs limit for weight. The thin metal conforms to the aluminum rail which increases the grip. It’s been 2 years since the instal in the pictures with 0 problems.

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Things are a bit pricier here up North of the U.S. border.

I did something similar on my trailer build with Yakima bars and it’s worked very well.

I have the feet that would grab that particular roof rack and having used it, I would go U Bolts too. They do not stay tight on the rack and you cannot get the bars tight enough keep them from rolling over if you have saddles and hully rollers on them.

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