We recently bought two bikes and instead of just throwing the bikes onto the bed of the truck and get them scratched, I build one using PVC pipes from the hardware store.
I made it at TechShop since it's a lot more spacious and they have all the tools available.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Four 10-ft 3/4" PVC pipes
- 6 3/4" elbows
- 18 3/4" Tees
- Chop Saw
- PVC glues
- mallet (optional)
Step 2: Cutting the Pieces
The first step is to measure and cut all the pipes. I have a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and I built the rack to fit my truck. If you have a different truck you'll want to measure your truck and cut the pipes accordingly to fit your truck bed.
Even though we only have two bikes I wanted to build a rack that fits four bikes but my truck is too narrow so I settled for three. The pipes I needed are:
10" pipes x 12
12" pipes x 6
6" pipes x 6
2" pipes x 9
A chop saw cuts the pipes very nicely and make sure you wear safety goggles since the debris from cutting can fly. Also be very carefully when you cut the 2" pipes.
Step 3: Assembly Step 1
I started putting the pipes together without using any glue first to make sure the final rack will fit my truck. Since I needed to take it apart later to glue, I didn't push the pipes all the way into the tees/elbows. This made the rack slightly larger at this point. Make sure you take this into account when you try to dry-fit the rack in your truck.
The first pieces to build are three horizonal pieces. They were each built with:
- two elbows
- four tees
- three 2" pipes
- two 10" pipes
Step 4: Assembly Step 2
Now we build the vertical pieces where the bike tires will go. They're very simple and are each made of:
- one 12" pipe
- one 10" pipe
- one tee
Step 5: Assembly Step 3
The face of the rack is put together using the pieces from the two previous steps. The picture shows it upside down. The pieces I used are:
- two horizontal pieces from step 1
- six vertical pieces from step 2
Step 6: Assembly Step 4
Now we put the feet of the rack together. With the face of the rack still upside down, instead six of the 10" pipes into the tee as shown in the picture.
Step 7: Assembly Step 5
Put the remaining horizontal piece from step 1 in, and we're now ready to see if it fits the truck bed.
Step 8: Dry Fit
Bring it to your truck and make sure it fits. If not you may need to adjust the length of the pipes. Note that in my picture the rack barely fitted between the two wheel wells because this was just a dry run and I didn't push the pipes all the way in.
If everything fits properly, take the rack apart and glue the pieces together using PVC glues. If you use regular PVC glues (the clear stuff) you'll want to prime the joints with PVC primer first. Alternatively you can buy the "Rain-R-Shine" clue (blue) and save you the priming step. The reassembly will be much easier if you use a rubber mallet.
Step 9: Completed!
This is how the rack looks in my truck bed with bikes. I use ratchet straps to secure the bikes so they don't move around when I drive on the freeway. You can buy ratchet straps from places like Home Depot or Harbor Freight.