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DIY 8020 Rack for DIY Roof Top Tent

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by TXKev, Jul 31, 2020 at 9:58 PM.

  1. Jul 31, 2020 at 9:58 PM
    #1
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    Hey Yall!

    I'm thinking about building a roof top tent for my 2014 SR5. This would require me to install a full rack, which I plan to build also.

    I plan on building a simple, squared, flat rack out of 80/20 t slots, similar to the one seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_RrKBXV-Ww&t=110s

    Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 11.24.24 PM.jpg


    The rack is pretty straightforward, but mounting it might be challenging for me because I don't want to have to do any fabrication work. Is it possible for me to safely and securely mount a flat rack like this directly to the existing factory side rails? Has anyone tried this?

    My inspiration also comes from this thread with the images below: Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 11.36.32 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 11.36.21 PM.jpg

    I plan on putting about 8 cross bars on the rack, 4 of which will sit on top of the existing side rails to secure the rack to the car (similar to the way it's done in the pics above). Do you know if the slight curvature of the side rails would cause a problem?

    As you know, the front 3rd of the rack will not be secured to the vehicle at all. It'll just sit on a couple of rubber bumpers. I'm planning on putting a lot of weight on the front 3rd of the rack, where the tent will sit. Do you foresee any issues with this?


    As for the tent, I'm planning on building a clamp shell style tent with plywood on the bottom. I'm going to cut out an opening in the plywood floor, directly above the sunroof, so I could stand up through the sunroof to open the tent (from the inside of the tent), and climb in without leaving my vehicle. Has anyone tried or seen this done before? I'm wondering what could go wrong and what precautions I should take in building this.


    Any tips and advice would be much appreciated! Thank you.
     
    Thatbassguy and gunsnob like this.
  2. Aug 1, 2020 at 4:18 PM
    #2
    gunsnob

    gunsnob New Member

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    Very cool! It sits up pretty high, are you going to put a wind deflector?
     
  3. Aug 1, 2020 at 6:12 PM
    #3
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    This is *exactly* what I've been trying to get parts for, now I'm suspicious of you lol...
    Avoid the Gamiviti mounts, they suck a$$ and cost too much.
    Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  4. Aug 1, 2020 at 6:22 PM
    #4
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    Welcome to the forum! Cool project! Please keep us posted on your progress. ;)
     
  5. Aug 1, 2020 at 9:16 PM
    #5
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside New Member

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    Where are you located? I have a bunch of pre cut, drilled, and tapped 3”x1” 8020 I’d be willing to part with in Colorado.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2020 at 10:41 PM
    #6
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    It does a bit. No matter what it has to clear the shark fin at the back, so I can't avoid raising it a bit. I would like to add a wind deflector, but I'm not sure where to find the right one that fits my custom rack.
     
  7. Aug 1, 2020 at 10:42 PM
    #7
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    I'm in Texas, but thanks for the offer.
     
  8. Aug 1, 2020 at 10:47 PM
    #8
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    Thank you! It's a great forum full of ideas and insights.

    How far along are you on your build?

    I am trying to avoid buying expensive mounts that may or may not fit well with my rack. Just the thoughts of paying $60-90 bucks for 4 pieces of metal kinda irks me. I'm curious why no one makes them from home and sells them for cheap. They're pretty simple to make (with the right equipment) and very easy to ship.
     
    Snickel Fritz and Thatbassguy like this.
  9. Aug 1, 2020 at 10:52 PM
    #9
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    I just need to confirm that the way I plan on mounting the rack is safe, then I'm going to place my order for the parts. It should be fun from there!
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  10. Aug 2, 2020 at 2:00 PM
    #10
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    So far all that I have are the Gamiviti mounts, I hope to find a good online source for materials today so I can make my own instead.
    These things cost me $160 for four, which seems insane after getting them in my hands.
    If I had the space and tools, I would definitely be making and selling some!
    BTW, I asked several rack sellers to sell me the mounting hardware but they either ignored me or refused to sell them without the rack... but it was a test!
    Had one of them offered to sell me just the mounting feet (or even entertain the idea) I would have bought their full rack. I've had a few big issues with crap fabricators and vendors lately, so I wanted to test their customer service and conscience a bit.
    I told them that I wanted to build my own rack using their mounts and that I need this so I can mount solar panels and live in my 4R as opposed to full blown homelessness (this is all true, but I was going to buy the full rack and just modify it later if needed).
    Anyone with a conscience would have at least considered my offer, because I wasn't asking for them for free or even cheap- I just asked them to name their price.
    Sadly, they care only about getting the maximum amount of money from every customer, regardless of what their needs or situations are. Unless you want to buy the full rack, they won't help you.
     
  11. Aug 2, 2020 at 10:14 PM
    #11
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    It's too bad that these sellers are so short-sited. I just looked up the Gamiviti. Those are very expensive! I'm very surprised how difficult it is to find mounts. I can't even find some Z brackets to drill holes through to make mounts out of. Good luck with your searches. I might have to head to the Home Depot to see what's available, then I'll ask my neighbor to cut pieces to length for me.
     
    Snickel Fritz likes this.
  12. Aug 3, 2020 at 9:18 AM
    #12
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    I spent all night browsing through random bits on Amazon and 8020.net, had a lot of ideas but so far everything turned out to be unusable.
    Beware the Sprinter-to-extrusion mounts! These things looked good in the thumbnail, but they are very flimsy on closer examination. The seller is at least honest about the low weight limit, might be perfect for solar panels but still kinda expensive at ~$20 per mount.
    I'll be searching all day, can't do much else with the humidity and drizzle- I'll post any interesting stuff I find.
    Good luck with your shopping!
     
  13. Aug 3, 2020 at 11:14 AM
    #13
    Ironguy

    Ironguy New Member

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    Welcome and good luck with an interesting project
     
  14. Aug 4, 2020 at 7:51 PM
    #14
    TXKev

    TXKev [OP] New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  15. Aug 5, 2020 at 5:19 AM
    #15
    EffinNewGuy

    EffinNewGuy New Member

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    Have you searched for a co-op/shared workspace (DIY center) with tools for use in your area to fab your on mounting brackets? Or have some neighbors with a drill press, or a vice and a BFH? I'm planning my mounting brackets using my neighbor's press and vice. If I need anything beyond that a $50/month membership at the local co-op is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a bunch of tools.
     

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