Picture of Really Simple Roof Rack (for cars without rain gutters).
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I wanted a roof rack to carry boats and lumber and whatnot.  I was about to buy the NRS Quick and Easy set for roof-rack-makin', but neither of our cars has rain gutters. So then, what to do?  

This rack evolved from an earlier version that just used the big pool noodle with ratchet strap running through it.  Problem with that is the load can still end up hitting the car top and screwing up the paint.  If you don't care about your paint, well, do what you will.  I wanted something a little more robust, so I walked over to the hardware and was so happy when they even had the pool noodles.

Stuff to get:
  • 3/4" dia. EMT electrical conduit. Get 2x of the 5ft length. It's really about 1" outer diameter. I think the nominal dimension there is the inner diameter.  Cost: about $2.75/ea
  • Large diameter pool noodle, any color.  Buy two: 1 to cut up plus 1 for the kids. Once they see that thing they'll want to play with it and it just ain't right to cut up the only one.  Let your least spoiled kid pick the colors. Cost: $4/ea
  • 3/4" conduit clamps.  Cost: $3-4.  You only need 4, but my store only had bags of 20. It was about 1 dollar more for 16 more clamps.  That's a no-brainer anyway. Get the 20 pack!
  • Some screws. For attaching the clamps to the feet. You probably have some. I had a few leftover stainless steel screws that were perfect. 
  • set of 4 ratchet straps. Cost: $??  You probably have some of these already. If not, go get good, strong ones. They're not that expensive and you'll find other uses for them.  
  •  2x4 scrap lumber, at least 16" in length. Cost: $0  This is for making the feet that go on the roof.
  • grippy padding stuff. It goes on the feet to keep them from slipping and messing up your roof.  You probably have something suitable lying around: old mouse pads, those jar opener things, that rubbery shelf-liner stuff, a hot water bottle, a rubber chicken, etc. I had some kind of rubberized stuff or vinyl coated polyester. Cost: $0
Side note: I found it quite strange that a large foam pool noodle cost more than the 3/4" galvanized steel conduit.
WOOFDOG12 years ago
Looks like a Crown Vic. Just the roofrack that I need. I would add two more pieces of electrical conduit with four ninety degree angles and join the two cross pieces together. Would keep the whole thing together and eliminate the danger of

Looks like the roof rack I need for my 93 Crown Vic. I would just add some rubber caps on the ends of the cross pieces for safety reasons. Thanks.

tdem3 years ago
Nice idea! I might try this.
ksickafus3 years ago
Excellent!! Great idea!