Tarpaw

Roof rack crossbar spacing

15 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Have had a Thule ski rack since the late 80s that has rain gutter mounts. Haven’t used it since ‘87 but it’s been kept indoors and is still in good working order and even the rubber parts are still in good shape. Just needs a little cleanup. 

Had no need to use it for rod transport with my old long bed F-150 since it had a cap, the 2-piece rods could travel broken down in the back and the long one piece rods could extend through the split cab/cap windows which had an inflatable Truk-Boot surrounding them to seal out the weather and wind noise while driving. 
 

Now I have a 4-door 2006 Tundra with a 6 foot bed. I have a cheap used cap with a split front window but the cab’s entire rear window lowers fully so sealing out the weather and wind noise is not an easy option. And even broken down, some of my rods are too long to fit inside the cap conveniently. 
 

New racks are quite expensive and Thule doesn’t currently offer door mount brackets for Gen 1 Tundras. Could buy another brand that would fit my crossbars but that would co$t more than I wanted to spend. Instead I’ve bought some metal “rain gutter” brackets to fasten permanently to the roof of the cap. Installation is simple enough and I have no intention to carry anything on the roof besides fishing rods but before I start drilling holes I have a question. 
 

How far apart should I mount them so they’ll be close enough to work with everything I can envision carrying? My longest “short” piece is about 5 feet (and could fit inside) but it would seem a long one-piece rod would best be supported as far apart as possible.

 

Or is this a terrible plan entirely and I should abort mission and not take the cheap option?
 

Some pics attached to show what I’m dealing with. Blue tape marks on the side of the cap are about 5 feet apart. 

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Edited by Tarpaw
Extra word on title

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I don't know the answer to your question but I would think certainly far enough apart so that both sections of the two-piece rods are held by one of the racks

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Mine are about 4' apart and holds them fine.

 But what you need to check is that the front bar/rod gripper is clear of the guides of the rods you're going to put in them.

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When I had a cap I mounted tracks to it so I could adjust the distance between bars. Thule tracks were expensive and steel. I bought Surcos from autoanything. Aluminum (no rust) and inexpensive. 

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Shag said:

When I had a cap I mounted tracks to it so I could adjust the distance between bars. Thule tracks were expensive and steel. I bought Surcos from autoanything. Aluminum (no rust) and inexpensive. 

100% agree - I would still incorporate your "rain gutter brackets" using a t-bolt put into the tracksto tighten down the rain gutter brakets when you have them in the 'De Jour" position. On my 4-runner, I use extra-long hose clamps around the fore-to-aft OEM roof rack bars - extra length act as a deterrent to theft (too much time removal time) and allows me to adjust relative distance between rod rack pieces to accommodate new rod/refurbished rod guide position changes relative to the reel seat.

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Edited by FlatWing

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On 9/22/2022 at 9:33 PM, Shag said:

When I had a cap I mounted tracks to it so I could adjust the distance between bars. Thule tracks were expensive and steel. I bought Surcos from autoanything. Aluminum (no rust) and inexpensive. 

 

On 9/23/2022 at 4:03 AM, FlatWing said:

100% agree - I would still incorporate your "rain gutter brackets" using a t-bolt put into the tracksto tighten down the rain gutter brakets when you have them in the 'De Jour" position.

 

That's definitely a good idea! I went to that site and searched briefly but didn't find what I thought I was looking for. If you happen to have a link feel free to PM me if so inclined, or if you have some better search terms I can use that'll get me there I'd appreciate you sharing them.

 

My cap is old and well worn so I have little concern about drilling holes to mount my brackets "permanently" and I'll probably not have time to get the tracks and install them before I'll need to use my rack in a few weeks, but I'll at least have 8 pre-drilled track installation holes for next year !

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Sorry I did that in 2006. In 1998 I bought the Thule tracks for a different rig

10 hours ago, Tarpaw said:

 

 

That's definitely a good idea! I went to that site and searched briefly but didn't find what I thought I was looking for. If you happen to have a link feel free to PM me if so inclined, or if you have some better search terms I can use that'll get me there I'd appreciate you sharing them.

 

My cap is old and well worn so I have little concern about drilling holes to mount my brackets "permanently" and I'll probably not have time to get the tracks and install them before I'll need to use my rack in a few weeks, but I'll at least have 8 pre-drilled track installation holes for next year !

Sorry I did that back in 2006. I would just google Surco tracks. They worked so well on the cap I put them on the cab of my F350 crew cab. I still have them with Trac  Van cross bars and brackets to the artificial rain gutters and original Jimmy the welder “rod vaults”. 

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11 hours ago, Shag said:

I would just google Surco tracks.

I started here and eventually refined my search to "surco roof rider rails" and voila! Thank you! Probably gonna be a winter project while the fishing is slow.
 

11 hours ago, Shag said:

original Jimmy the welder “rod vaults”

Now you've got me curious about these!

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1 hour ago, Tarpaw said:

I started here and eventually refined my search to "surco roof rider rails" and voila! Thank you! Probably gonna be a winter project while the fishing is slow.
 

Now you've got me curious about these!

These racks were the original Lock the reel stem type of rod rack. Jimmy D’Amico built the best custom cooler racks. When I made the change to a fifth wheel, he built a custom rack with a removable upright to allow me to carry my kayaks over the cab and hood of the truck. Besides the welded stuff he built the best plug bags, surf belts and various other gear for dedicated rock hoppers and extreme surf fishermen. The rod vault was another fine tuning of a home made idea. Mine are 17 years old, very abused and constantly on the truck. Jimmy

 sold rod vault a while ago, but I think they are still being produced. Here’s  pic of his cooler rack and the rod vault.

 

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19 hours ago, Shag said:

These racks were the original Lock the reel stem type of rod rack. Jimmy D’Amico built the best custom cooler racks. When I made the change to a fifth wheel, he built a custom rack with a removable upright to allow me to carry my kayaks over the cab and hood of the truck. Besides the welded stuff he built the best plug bags, surf belts and various other gear for dedicated rock hoppers and extreme surf fishermen. The rod vault was another fine tuning of a home made idea. Mine are 17 years old, very abused and constantly on the truck. Jimmy

 sold rod vault a while ago, but I think they are still being produced. Here’s  pic of his cooler rack and the rod vault.

 

07F5EDF6-F969-4A1D-A963-AEAD34052A13.jpeg

CC957CB7-7225-4DB0-99FB-488C580965AB.jpeg

Couldn't agree more about Jimmy, a great guy and good friend, we are still in contact. He's back to welding although I doubt he'll ever do anything fishing related. True perfectionist all the way around as is Hal Truhn who started making them afterwards. Unfortunately Hal is (or was) sidelined due to health issues currently. Both are true craftsmen and made cooler racks and rod racks for me. BTW I first saw that design in the mid to late 60's, no idea who the original concept came from.

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4 hours ago, SC said:

Couldn't agree more about Jimmy, a great guy and good friend, we are still in contact. He's back to welding although I doubt he'll ever do anything fishing related. True perfectionist all the way around as is Hal Truhn who started making them afterwards. Unfortunately Hal is (or was) sidelined due to health issues currently. Both are true craftsmen and made cooler racks and rod racks for me. BTW I first saw that design in the mid to late 60's, no idea who the original concept came from.

Two of my fishing related regrets are: not buying one Dietrich’s Coastal Bags and one of Jimmy’s Hunter Bags when they first came out. Like you said great craftsmen.

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Next question, and if already answered forgive my senility, but with your tracks how do you keep a thief from just loosening all your artificial rain gutters and sliding them off the ends or unbolting them altogether and lifting them off?

 

I doubt my truck's alarm would allow such shenanigans to go unnoticed since I set it off by accident all the time just by farting nearby (not really, but it is annoyingly sensitive) but my daddy always told me that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

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Posted (edited)

This is the rod rack I use.   The tubes are aluminum with plastic inserts in the tubes.   The locking pins are stainless steel.   Once you slide the rod in the tube the front part swivels closing and locking the reel seat inside the tube.   I replace the hitch clip with a padlock if I am going to be away for a few minutes.   Depending on where I am fishing the rods go into the Jeep if I am going to be away from it for a little while.
 

 

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Edited by Dennis R

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On 9/26/2022 at 0:01 PM, Tarpaw said:

Next question, and if already answered forgive my senility, but with your tracks how do you keep a thief from just loosening all your artificial rain gutters and sliding them off the ends or unbolting them altogether and lifting them off?

 

I doubt my truck's alarm would allow such shenanigans to go unnoticed since I set it off by accident all the time just by farting nearby (not really, but it is annoyingly sensitive) but my daddy always told me that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Yes the bolts that hold the gutters, and a few other bolts are weak spots. But for a thief time is there enemy. Hey if they were prepared with a torch, a crane and a flat bed they could steal the whole roof. LOL. It’s a deterrent, that’s all a lock, safe, Doberman is. But that’s better than a bungee cord around some pvc tubes LOL. In all honesty it is a Royal pia to remove my racks for the winter when I have my tool chest in the driveway in broad daylight. No guarantees, but a thief will certainly move to another truck before tackling yours.

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Agree. But I did find some cool locking security nuts online that might ease my paranoia a little if I wanted to spend the money.

 

And I’ll be locking my rods in my locked cap at night anyway, not leaving them on the roof. And I’ve got a motion detecting wireless camera that I plan to put inside my locked cap that will send notifications to my phone that I already know will wake me up if it sees anything.

 

Now I need to go adjust my tinfoil hat…

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