I’ve have a home made 2x4 rack made of wood with side rails for canoe hauling. Used it for years, but it is kind of hard to get on and off (can’t do without help) if I need it off to haul something with higher clearence in the bed. Does anyone “not” connect the front and back racks with a side rail? Do you use 2x6pieces (or 2x4) for the verticles (with, of course, the bottom 8 inches or so cut down in the middle to slide into the slots in the pickup wall)? I’m know I’d need some support at the corners connecting the verticle pieces and horizontals. I’m trying to have the two separate pieces rather then a one piece front, back and side wall unit. I’d imagine I’d need to load the canoe from the side rather then from the back sliding it to the front cross bar then, but that should not be a problem ala portage approach to the side. That’s not a problem. Just want to know if two separate pieces works before I do trial and error or is their too much back and forth pressure when driving. And, would it be ok to use one wood rack and a rack on the cab (if I go that way - probably not)? Kind of rambled, sorry. But, canoeing is so great.
Just make is so you can disassemble it
Instead of nails or screws, use lag bolts and nuts, or a bolt and washer/cotter pin to hold the front and back together with your 45 deg cross supports. Shouldn’t add more than 5 minutes to your loading/unloading to do this.
Also, I’ve considered just making a back support, and strapping the canoe to the roof through the car using foam blocks. The advantage would be the strength of the rack in the back which would be easily secured inside the bed.
I’d just buy a rack, my the lease on my Ridgeline is up in 1.5 years, and I’m not sure yet that I want to buy it. Will probably trade it in for another lease . . . .
How I do it on my GMC Sierra
I use this exact heavy duty rack, one on each end of the bed (one front, and one at back)(pricey, but ever price a Thule setup? Wow!)
I have one for each end of the bed (one pair--the eBay pics only show one at the cab end, I also have one at the tailgate end). I attach it to the bed with c-clamps by the black metal tabs that go above the bed rail (see eBay pics). Yep, just one clamp on each end of each rack (four c-clamps total). It stays very tight, much more than you;d think. They do not loosen when driving, plus when strap down the boat, I strap to truck, and that further holds the kayaks/canoes and the rack. But really, c-clamps alone do well alone even with no boats on top. If I want the rack off, even for a high clearance spontaneous item, then I simply unscrew the c-clamp by hand, no tools. Bing, both racks off in about 5-8 minutes. Could it be stolen, yes. Has it been, no. ONe could lock down the rack with a cable if that was a concern (drill through the rack itself, and then wire a cable through it to the bed).
Then I use Spring Creek Outfitters saddles, which, because of the shape will connect to any shaped and sized rack--even my heavy duty 1.25 inch pipe rack that I linked you above--and boom, you;re good to go.
If I am moving something that requires the racks but I want the saddles gone (eg moving a ladder), I simply stand in the bed and unscrw the saddles in a few minutes flat.
Very versatile setup, MK.
I was able to go and buy several sticks of 1 inch squared steel, i ended up buying 3 24ft sticks and welded my rack together for the low price of 39 dollars after tax. Might be something to check on. This was for a 05 GMC canyon (small truck). but if the price is right you can still probably buy the steel you need cheaper than all that wood and bolts. just a thought.
2x3 lumber fits into the pockets. Hinge your uprights and cross bars. They are easier to put in and take out and store better. 1 set for the front pockets and 1 for the back. I tie mine down with a ratchet strap through an eye bolt in the center of the cross bar to bed tie downs. It holds the uprights in place and eliminates the need for a tie bar. If you decide you need a tie bar, it only takes 1 down the center and leaves the sides open for easier loading. Cleat the tie bar and you will only need 1 bolt at each end.
I made one once
I used a hitch plug, welded an upright of Galvanized 2" pipe to that about 1/2 height I wanted for the rack. Into that slipped a piece of smaller pipe(just fits inside) that took it up to the height I wanted. Using a flange base I attached a top(think of a big T). The T would rotate, making loading simple.
On the cab I bought a cheap cab top bar mount. To load the canoe you put one end on the T-bar, fasten with a bungee, pick up the other end and swing around and drop onto the top of truck. Tie end and you are done.
I have the t-rac. Its expensive, but very solid, and easy to install and remove.