DIY Car Roof Top Rack

Written by alex zang
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DIY Car Roof Top Rack
A roof rack holds skis to your car. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Most SUVs come with a luggage rack installed on the top of the vehicle. The luggage rack is made up of two bars, and is designed to allow you to throw luggage on the top of your vehicle and bungee it down. A roof rack is a speciality rack that hooks up to a luggage rack and is designed for transporting items such as skis, as most skis are too long to fit inside the vehicle. While an average roof rack costs £390, you can save the money and do it yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • 2 2x4s
  • Inner tube
  • Utility knife

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  1. 1

    Set two 2x4s (2-inch-by-4-inch lumber) across your luggage rack so they run across the top of your vehicle. Measure 1.5 inches past the luggage rack, and mark the 2x4s at that point.

  2. 2

    Use a saw to cut off the end of each 2x4 so that no more than 1.5 inches sticks out beyond the luggage rack.

  3. 3

    Set the 2x4s on the ground, approximately where they would be on top of the car, then set your skis on top of them, side by side. Take a pencil and mark down where the skis sit.

  4. 4

    Drill three holes into each 2x4. The first hole should be drilled on the outside left of the ski, the second hole should be drilled between where the two skis sit, and the third hole should be drilled on the outside right of the ski. Repeat this process for each pair of skis you want to hold on your roof rack.

  5. 5

    Use a utility knife to cut the inner tube into a piece that is 3 inches longer than the distance between the outer left hole and the outer right hole. In other words, measure the distance between the outside two holes you drilled in step four, then add 3 inches to that distance. That should be the length of your inner tube. Cut two segments of inner tube for each pair of skis you have.

  6. 6

    Use the utility knife to cut a small "X" in the inner tube. Pass a bolt through this X into the outer left hole you drilled in step four. Repeat this process for the other two holes. When you're finished, the inner tube will be held to the 2x4s by three bolts.

  7. 7

    Use rope or parachute cord to fasten the 2x4s to the luggage rack on the top of your vehicle. Make sure these are sturdy. To use your roof rack, slide each ski between the rubber tubing and the 2x4. The rubber tubing will hold the ski in place for your journey.

Tips and warnings

  • The further you stretch the inner tube, the tighter it will hold your skis.

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