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DIY roof rack for under$100

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0I wanted a roof rack to carry the occasional 2x4 or plywood, etc. but didn't want to spend the money required by the after market suppliers.  While in my local big box hardware store I came across the aisle that contained the electrical conduit supplies.  They had an item they called "UniStrut" it's made out of mild steel and looks like a "u" with rolled over lips at the top of the u. They had another item called "top grip nut" that slides in the unistrut channel then turns 90 degrees to lock into the channel.

The wheels began turning in my mind.  The unistrut fits into the channel in the roof of my 2015 lwb cargo van and is bolted to the roof by 3/8" bolts through the existing plastic plugs in the roof.  The "top grip nuts" allow me to fasten a plate to the unistrut that allows me to add cross bars which can be adjusted depending on what I'm hauling

I purchased 2, 10 foot unistuts and cut them at 6 foot for the roof rail leaving me 2, 4 foot lengths for the cross pieces

2 bags of top grip nuts (5 nuts per bag).

4-4 hole steel blocks

The cost of all this was $50.00

I then purchased 1/2 inch nuts, bolts, and washers for a total of about $30.00

Time to put this all together about 5 hours

I plan on buying one more piece of United and cutting it in half along with more bits and pieces to make 2, 5 foot cross bars

The pictures should show you how it all went together.  When I'm not carrying anything, it all comes off except for the unistrut that acts as the roof rails



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Hi. Is yours a passenger wagon or cargo van?  I have a 2016 passenger wagon.  Did you need to access the underside of your roof?  

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Nice job. I had a similar idea but yours looks better. Beats the hell out of the outrageous prices for after market crap. I've worked with unitstrut in radiology rooms and it a solid product. I want to use it to make a rail so I can mount an awning/canopy for various races I go to.

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