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Old 08-10-2010, 09:49 AM   #1
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roof rack on toppers

I'm getting ready to start a project and need a bit of help. Can somebody who has a topper and a roof rack on it, measure the tracks (where they bolt to the topper) and give me an idea of (1.) how long your tracks are. And also (2) the approximate attaching locations of the tracks. They (THULE) say you can mount them where ever you deem it necessary, however I'd like to have several opinions on where your's are located. Also, what length load bars are you all using?
Any help would be awesome.
Thanks,
Josh
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:02 AM   #2
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I've got Yakima's on my ARE. Are you interested in those or just the Thule?
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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I have Yakima feet and load bars on my ARE as well. They came pre-installed, but the shell dealer told me that the tracks sold by Yakima and Thule are the exact same thing. Gimme a little bit and I'll take some measurements and pics for ya.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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In my local area, the shop that I'm looking at buying the rack from guarantees installation not to leak. I'd look into that rather than drilling yourself. Then again I've never installed an aftermarket rack so I don't know what's involved in it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:04 AM   #5
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yeah either yak or thule. Like Tim said, they look like they are the same. I'm thinking of using Thule bars as my buddy and I have the same set up for fishing and share accessories. (carry surf rods on top in ski racks) I'm looking to just get a location and length for placement. I see there are 3 different sizes, I am curious what you all have. 42", 54" or 60"
As far as installation it's just a matter of measuring, location, drilling some holes and dabbing on some silicone, cranking the bolts tight. Nothing I haven't done before, so I'm not scared. I've got plenty of duct tape and Lowe's sells silicone all day long
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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As promised here's some info and pics. I'm sure that silicon will keep it watertight. I forgot to take pics of the playdoh type stuff that the dealer installed between the bedrails and the shell, this apparently keeps water from coming in at that point. He said that the critical area on our trucks is near the cab where a gap and leakage can occur.

-tracks are 42.5" apart center to center
-the bolts that go thru the shell are approx. 12" apart (the exception is that there are 2 bolts on each end of the track)
-i started out with 66" bars (bought used) but cut them down to about 54.5"











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Old 08-10-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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I've been thinking about adding a rack to my ARE shell. When I got a quote from a local dealer, it was kind of high. I was going to look up installing the tracks myself and piecing the parts together on my own to see what the cost would be.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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Thumbs up

Tim.....YOU ARE THE MAN!!! +1 rep for you.
Those pictures were exactly what I needed. Was the stuff they used on your bed rails black? I've used a 3m product we refer to as "dum dum" to seal up holes before. I was curious if maybe that's what they used? I have some other stuff left over from building street rods and such that I could probably use as well.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1983 View Post
I've been thinking about adding a rack to my ARE shell. When I got a quote from a local dealer, it was kind of high. I was going to look up installing the tracks myself and piecing the parts together on my own to see what the cost would be.
Heck yeah man, do it yourself if you have the means to do it. I know people knock ebay but look there. There is a ton of cheap stuff ($ wise)available if you don't mind used stuff. Check Play it again sports store if you have one near you. My buddy got his there. I'm doing exactly what you are talking about, piecing it together.
So far the most expensive part has been the base track. Cheapest I found so far is right at $107 for 60" tracks. I was told by a dealer $5-600 installed. I know I can do it for 1/2 that.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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I also have an ARE shell (Z model) and also am thinking about adding a rack for a cargo box to store junk in when on a road trip; I like to sleep in the back and my gear gets in the way. Plus, smelly boots should be elsewhere. I see tons of the Thule/Yakima roof cargo boxes on cars like Outbacks but few on trucks.

I looked on Thule's site but wasn't really sure how to select load bars for a shell. Do you just pick the style you like (rapid aero vs "plain") and then the length? I assume the RB60 are 60" lg rails? You would think it'd say that...

Tim A, thanks for the pics. Questions for you: Are those a rubber type sealer nut on the inside of the shell? Since that is a factory install, it looks like all they do is drill holes thru the fiberglass, drop on the load bars and bolt em down- simple enough. Is there a rubber strip to seal out water under the load bar? Are the load bars, what bolts to the shell, 54.5"?
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamsir2u View Post
Tim.....YOU ARE THE MAN!!! +1 rep for you.
Those pictures were exactly what I needed. Was the stuff they used on your bed rails black? I've used a 3m product we refer to as "dum dum" to seal up holes before. I was curious if maybe that's what they used? I have some other stuff left over from building street rods and such that I could probably use as well.
NP dude, yeah it's dark grey/blk and looks like what I refer to as "duct seal" but I've never heard of it being called "dum dum" haha. The dealer (the business name escapes me) did an awesome job installing my ARE shell. I have had ZERO problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_P View Post
Tim A, thanks for the pics. Questions for you: Are those a rubber type sealer nut on the inside of the shell? Since that is a factory install, it looks like all they do is drill holes thru the fiberglass, drop on the load bars and bolt em down- simple enough. Is there a rubber strip to seal out water under the load bar? Are the load bars, what bolts to the shell, 54.5"?
Yes the rubber seals are on the inside of the shell, there is an actual metal nut inside the rubber piece.

I think when you say load bar, you're actually referring to the "tracks" that are bolted to the shell? I forgot to measure, but they are the longest ones that Yakima makes (60" I think). The round Yakima load bars (vs. Thule's square load bars) are cut down to 54.5".

The other parts are (4) Yakima landing pads, (4) SKS locking cores, and (4) Yakima Control Towers. When I bought the shell, I ordered the tracks pre-installed and then waited for craigslist deals to slowly piece this thing together.

Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:33 PM   #13
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Wow, really great post by Tim A, covers just about everything! Only thing I might add is after owning both systems, I prefer the Yakima only because the cross bars are round and much easier to hook a bungie onto but either one is a good solid system.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:10 PM   #14
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I installed the Thule rails and tracked foot system onto my LEER. It was a really straightforward deal. One thing to note if you do this yourself is that the instructions state that you should drill every other hole. I drilled every hole, re-read the instructions, then had to scramble over to Home Depot for SS hardware.

For waterproofing - a massive consideration in Oregon - I used a thin neoprene washer between the rail and the topper. I also put a little donut of silicone around the drill holes before I set the rail. Once the rail was in place, each drill hole was filled with silicone before the screw was pushed through. Finally, I used 1" wide washers on the backside to distribute the load as much as possible. Keep a paper towel handy to wipe up the excess.

The net result is a rack system that happily takes 300 lbs, feels bomber and doesn't leak, no matter the weather.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John3 View Post
Tim,
Did your rails come with this rubber strip, or did you add it? It really cleans up the appearance of the rack.

Thanks!
They actually came with the rails from the ARE factory. There was one solid rubber strip in each track. Once I installed the landing pads/control towers I had to cut the rubber strip up a bit but I still have not had any leakage. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:18 AM   #16
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Tim A- Yes, I mean the tracks that bolt to the shell. I was confused by looking at the Thule site LOL. Thanks again.

Does anyone know what a nut of that type (shown in Tim's pics inside the cap) is called or where to get them?

So, for a Yakima install on a 72" shell it looks like I will need:
two 60" tracks (8001135)
four Landing pads (8000221)
four Control Tower (8000214)
two Cross bars (8000409)
Locks
misc hdw, sealant, etc.

Did I miss anything?

The place that installed my shell used a roll of adhesive backed rubber weather stripping type stuff to seal the cap to the bed rails. I think "dum dum" is more of a strip caulk thing which would eventually almost glue the cap to the truck bed making removal very difficult. mcmaster.com has a huge selection of rubber sheets/strips, rolls of weatherseal type stuff, and just about everything else.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #17
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^I think you got it all. Make sure the landing pads are #1. I have never seen the oversized rubber washers but I'm sure fastenal or lowes/HD could find them. Good luck with your rack!
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:37 PM   #18
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steve,
I was thinking of using the "dum dum" for sealing the tracks to the cap when I laid the base tracks down as an added source of sealant.
When you got the tracks, did they come with some sort of a gasket or anything? I know you drill the hole, dab the silicone on it, then drop the track down. But was curious if it had some sort of gasket on it as well?Looking at the instructions online, it looks like they just go straight down on the cap.
I'm picking my cap up on sunday, and I'll be ordering my parts next week also. Once I start, I'll be sure to take pictures. Found a place locally that's going out of business. Lady told me I can come see what they have and possibly can scrape a system together. So I'll probably be there on Tuesday
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:21 PM   #19
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well I installed my rack on my camper shell. It was really easy to install. Hardest part was making all the measurements to make sure it was centered on the shell. I used a fabric tape measure to get all my marks. I'm going to try to get some pictures to post, but last time that didn't go so well for me. So be patient with me until I get it figured out. For the sake of keeping the post short...I cut out a lot of pictures of the process. You will get the general idea tho.
I went with the Yakima system because I got a good deal on it. My shell is a leer 100r that I got off of CL, repainted it...so that is why the windows are all out of it during the time of the pictures. standby for the pics



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Old 08-29-2010, 05:03 PM   #20
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Beautiful paint job man!! If you can do that level of finish work you could do the rack in your sleep!
Post up some more pics...
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