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Old 08-01-2019, 07:58 PM   #1
Old65C10
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Roof Rack for Suburban?

Anyone know of a roof rack for the Square Suburbans? Did they have one from the factory as an option? Were they sturdy?
I am outfitting mine as an Overlander for camping and exploring and I need a roof rack to mount a few things to.
I sold my welder a few years back and don't have money for a good replacement so welding one up is out. I thought about using pipe, but I am afraid it would cost a lot and look like poo.
I want to mount things like an Awning, water storage/shower, tire, my High-Lift jack, Light bar, etc.
Any suggestions?
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:40 PM   #2
Warrens69GMC
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

I have one on a 1979 Parts Suburban
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:45 PM   #3
mrtoni
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

You should find a con-ferr rack. I actually have a few. They mount to the gutters but we’re discontinued maybe 15 years ago. Con-ferr conferr or con ferr on Craigslist. Run about $300-700 depending on length. Make sure it has mounts
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:55 AM   #4
Old65C10
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

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Originally Posted by Warrens69GMC View Post
I have one on a 1979 Parts Suburban
Too bad you are so far away, Shipping the rack would be really expensive due to the size, unless it comes apart.

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Originally Posted by mrtoni View Post
You should find a con-ferr rack. I actually have a few. They mount to the gutters but we’re discontinued maybe 15 years ago. Con-ferr conferr or con ferr on Craigslist. Run about $300-700 depending on length. Make sure it has mounts
I have been doing some looking at 8020 extruded Aluminum to build one. It would cost $400 and I could design it myself with lots of modular possibilities. So, if a Conn-Fer is going to cost more, I will stay with the 8020.
I would still need to add some fake drip rail mounts like you see on canopies some times.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:53 PM   #5
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

So far it looks like I can build a rack from Aluminum Extrusion (8020) for about $600 and it be custom made for my needs. It will be all T slot extrusion and will give me a ton of modular capability for adding, attaching and changing things as needed. Now I just have to save up the money to do it.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:16 PM   #6
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

I built crossbar racks for a canoe on my old Suburban out of scrap 1x2 oak that I got for free from the shop where I worked at the time.

I just cut out a couple good pieces about four feet long, plus four pieces about six inches long with ends cut 45* for spacers. I used four 1/4" carriage bolts for mounting and drilled through the layers of oak and through the roof at appropriate places on the raised ridges. It never leaked with the oak tightened down against the raised ridge on the sheet metal. It helped that I had no headliner anyway!
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:05 PM   #7
Old65C10
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

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Originally Posted by 1976gmc20 View Post
I built crossbar racks for a canoe on my old Suburban out of scrap 1x2 oak that I got for free from the shop where I worked at the time.

I just cut out a couple good pieces about four feet long, plus four pieces about six inches long with ends cut 45* for spacers. I used four 1/4" carriage bolts for mounting and drilled through the layers of oak and through the roof at appropriate places on the raised ridges. It never leaked with the oak tightened down against the raised ridge on the sheet metal. It helped that I had no headliner anyway!
That is not a bad idea, and I do have a lot of wood, some oak from pallets. However I am wanting to turn this into an Overlanding rig to camp and travel in. I am thinking the 8020 route may the best for my needs. It will give me unlimited options to mount anything I want and not have to drill holes everywhere. From what I am seeing it is going to cost me $500 for any decent rack, even used. I can build the 8020 rack for that much and have a lot more flexibility. So, unless I find a real bargain on a used rack, that is the way I will go. Just need to save up the cash.
I bought the Suburban and a 96 BMW R1100RT motorcycle this month and the registration fees alone have cost me $800. My current budget is in the negatives till I can either sell some stuff or something.
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
1976gmc20
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old65C10 View Post
That is not a bad idea, and I do have a lot of wood, some oak from pallets. However I am wanting to turn this into an Overlanding rig to camp and travel in. I am thinking the 8020 route may the best for my needs. It will give me unlimited options to mount anything I want and not have to drill holes everywhere. From what I am seeing it is going to cost me $500 for any decent rack, even used. I can build the 8020 rack for that much and have a lot more flexibility. So, unless I find a real bargain on a used rack, that is the way I will go. Just need to save up the cash.
I bought the Suburban and a 96 BMW R1100RT motorcycle this month and the registration fees alone have cost me $800. My current budget is in the negatives till I can either sell some stuff or something.
Four through bolts is plenty, and a heck of a lot more secure than clamping to drip rails. But I can see why you might not want to take down and put back up your headliner.

I used the oak because I had it, and to not have metal on metal rubbing anywhere. The wood was a buffer between the roof and the aluminum canoe. The carriage bolt heads sucked down into the wood and I only had to tighten from the inside. After we traded off that Suburban for a 4x4 version, we saw the old one being driven around town still with the custom oak boat rack

The other thing is that whatever you make it out of, think about having a couple of permanent simple rails (either crosswise or lengthwise) and then clamping/bolting whatever basket or box to that so you can easily take it off, but still have a secure mounting.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:53 AM   #9
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

I used Yakima on my old one....

Spacing could change a bit depending on your needs. Mine was driven for the fairing and the bike rack trays.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:01 PM   #10
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Re: Roof Rack for Suburban?

I believe my truck has a factory roof rack. It's a 91 and my wife's parents bought the truck in 94. Sturdy I would say not, enough to mount one of those totes above it but that's about it.
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