Support boards up to 16 ft long in an extended cab pickup truck. If you have a rear window that opens in the back of your truck, you can carry long material, but you need to make a support so you do not damage your window or the window trim and track.
Step 1: Take Some Measurements
- Width of your open window.
- Thickness of the top of the truck bed under the window (the part to be straddled)
- How high up you want to support the wood: consider window, seats, and dash board.
- Make the vertical rails narrower than your actual window opening. This prevents the boards from hitting your glass.
Step 2: Draw Up Some Plans and Gather Material
I made this from pretty humble looking scraps...so total cost was nearly zero.
- 2" x 4" main support
- ~1/2" thick plywood base
- ~1/2" x 1-1/2" sticks for the vertical sides and straddle sides.
- Some non-slip rubber mat.
- Drywall screws, glue and wood filler.
Step 3: Rough Cut and Dry Assemble the Parts
- Cut the parts to build the basic form, and test assemble to check the fit out.
- Make sure it will fit and has the necessary clearances for your truck.
- Refine the parts. Add curved edges.
- Optionally, cut an arch into the 2" x 4" to reduce weight and serve as a handle.
Use 1/4" round-over on the handle and the support surface.
Step 4: Put It Together
- Screw, nail and glue the parts together.
- Fill the screw countersinks and nails. Overkill? Yes, along with painting it. I had a new truck, so I figured I might as well make it look nice.
I probably should have made this just a bit narrower to protect the glass. But at the same time, I wanted the widest usable space.
Step 5: Paint and Add Rubber Pad
- Use spray paint or an exterior grade paint to make it look slick and protect it. Do NOT paint the surface that will support your materials: The paint will just rub off and mar your materials when you slide them in and out.
- Glue the rubber non-skid pad on with construction adhesive or another suitable adhesive.
Step 6: Load Material
- Put towels on your dash board for padding. Especially pad your windshield: Even a small amount of force can crack your window from the inside due to the curve. Think eggshell: Easy to get out of, very strong on the outside.
- 16' boards hang off the back less than 3 feet!
- Bundle the boards together with stretch wrap or bungee cords.
- Secure the load with ratchet straps wrapped around the bundle, at the front and back of your truck bed. You don't want the boards to swing into you while driving. (Straps and padding not shown.)