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Old 07-16-2008, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mounting roof rack to fiberglass topper shell

Anyone have any tips or know of a good mount for mounting a rack on a fiberglass shell? Plan on ordering a 1' die or so for me bender and building a 4' x 7' or so rack to put on top my topper on my dodge towrig. I camp inside the shell and want to keep as much stuff outside the bed as possible. Need to be able to handle decent weight such as full size spare (35), hi0lift, shovel, axe, fuel, water, duffels, and canoe/ bikes. Thought about maybe a cage that sits on bed rails between the shell and wraps around top of shell to mount on too or sandwich the shell and have a frame inside down to the box. Ideas?
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've seen them mounted to camper shells bolted to the sides of the camper shell on four points with two bolts on each one separated at least 4 in or more.

Heavier ladder racks like contractor type are mounted to the bedside of the truck in a similar fashion to regular racks but with the legs sticking out to the sides of the camper shell to clear it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a best top soft camper shell on my 06 dodge and needed to be able to mount a rack for kayaks, bikes ect. I ended up taking a piece of 4"X1/4" plate and running it the length of the bed on each side underneath the shell. I then built a rack off of it following the contours of the shell with 1 1/4" .120 hrew tubing. The results turned out pretty good and it works with or without the shell. The other plus is I can remove it in about 5 min.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oc1paddler View Post
I have a best top soft camper shell on my 06 dodge and needed to be able to mount a rack for kayaks, bikes ect. I ended up taking a piece of 4"X1/4" plate and running it the length of the bed on each side underneath the shell. I then built a rack off of it following the contours of the shell with 1 1/4" .120 hrew tubing. The results turned out pretty good and it works with or without the shell. The other plus is I can remove it in about 5 min.
Don't suppose you have pics of it do you?
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had a fiberglass shell on my truck before I started the cab extension. I built the rack and mounting points myself. There were no inner supports running down to the bedsides. I can account for about 450 lbs on most of my trips and she never budged, even when I was bouncing back and forth in boulders. Each mount had two 3/8th bolts and two tubes running down to a piece of 3/8 flat steel.

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Old 07-22-2008, 08:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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do you have a plate on the inside to sandwich the shell?
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yep, there's a same size plate underneath each mount.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i would make one plate smaller under /inside the camper. this will keep the surface edges from working together to make a hole in your topper. make the inner plate about .25" bigger all around. muy better.

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Yep, there's a same size plate underneath each mount.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you install artificial rain gutters it may make things easier, then you don't need to keep the cargo rack on at all times and you can switch to ski/bike rack if you have.

Google: Thule artificial rain gutters.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thule and Yakima both make the add on "rain gutter" type brackets. I'm using the Yak mounts on my fiberglass shell. I am going to have some 1.5" tubing racks built that will mount to the frame of the truck and up over the shell. I just don't trust my shell to hold that much weight rocking back and forth off road. I've had about 200# up there and didn't have any issue... but long term I'm afraid it would crack the shell.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Instead of starting a new thread I thought I'd post in this one.
I'm curious how folks with fiberglass topped Blazers and Broncos are mounting racks.
I don't want to end up with cracks later on down the road.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ford offered a rare option (or dealer add on i can't remember) that was a simple rack with four legs going down to mounts that were bolted (sandwiched) between the topper and the bed side. the original ones were kinda flimsy but built with the right materials could be really strong.

or on the bronco's and blazers you could have half the weight on the cab rain gutters and half on a mount near the rear of the caps where they are strong. ford put a role bar type steel structure in the fiberglass tops right at the back. grab that with inner and outer mounts and you'd be fine.
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