Introduction: How to Build Artificial Rain Gutters for Your Truck Cap
I'm in a pickle,
I am living in a major US metropolis for a while and I don't have my normal work space or tools. I also am guiding a kayaking trip in just over a month and desperately need to be able to carry 2 kayaks to a launch site in a canyon on the colorado river. I also like carrying my bike and stuff on the out side of my truck... obviously i need to solve this problem.
my truck cap, a Wildernest camper, has spots to mount those thule or Yakima artificial gutters, but those pieces of stamped steel are EXPENSIVE and wont actually work very well in my application. so I set off to make some of them from materials I found at the local home-goods store.
here are the tools you'll need
steel cutter- hacksaw
file -to round the edges.
I did this whole project without power tools except for the hole-drilling part.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
This was the most difficult part. I really hated the idea of paying so much for the Thule artificial gutters. I found some c-channel at the local Homeless Despot that's 1/8" wall thickness the channel is 2" wide with a half inch lip. I also used a chunk of 1/8" bar stock to raise the c-channel up off the roof.
Step 2: Cut 4 of Each Piece
This is a tedious process if you don't have power tools. But it all can be done.
Step 3: Drill Holes
So this was difficult. I spent the most amount of time laying out exactly where the holes should be. The holes in all 8 pieces need to be the same. I painted each piece then scribed layout lines in the paint before punching divots with the center punch and drilling the holes
Step 4: Here's What They Look Like Together
I put a dab of silicone between the pieces just to adhere them temporarily to see how they fit. In this picture you can see how the bar stock sits under the c channel to give room for the gutter hook
Step 5: Mount Them to Your Roof
This is tricky.
Here are some ground rules.
Measure like 7+ times before drilling.
Lay out everything exactly how you want it before drilling. I tape up big sections of the roof to make sure I can get accurate layout lines. Mark, check, measure, think, measure again. And drill all your holes the same way. Use a square to eyeball your drilling angle if you're not sure you've got it straight up and down. Don't drill the holes in your so until you're 100% sure it's right... Silicone underneath the mounts around and in the holes. And don't exceed the rack or cap capacity limits. Ever.
Step 6: I'll Add a Photo Here of Them in Action
So I'm stuck in a major metropolis for a while and don't have my normal power tools with me. But I desperately need artificial rain gutters for my truck cap so I can mount a Thule or Yakima roof rack.
This is for TOP MOUNT artificial gutters. You'd have to use a different profile for side mount gutters.
Tools you'll need:
Some sort of steel drilling device (John Henry was a steel-drivin man)
Scribing tool (nail)
Wrenches to tighten bolts
Caulk gun or tube of silly-cone caulking