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Unread 08-09-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
Burlbook48
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Back Seat Area Cargo Rack

I needed more cargo capacity for an upcoming camping trip. As we all know, even with the back seat removed, there isn't a whole lot of room to secure stuff for a bumpy trail.



Over the weekend I cobbled together a cargo rack to give me the ability to securely tie down more "stuff" for the trip:



Nothing special, but using 3" pipe clamps, 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle iron, a piece of 3/4" plywood, throw in some left over Black Rustoeum and White house paint and nuts/bolts/washers I had laying around in the garage... and the whole thing just fell together. Tools needed: some way to cut the angle iron (sawzall), a drill for the holes, circular saw for the plywood, wrench for the bolts. I did use a router to notch the plywood to clear a couple hidden bolt heads that held the frame together up front, and make a rabbet for the rear frame member so the plywood lays flat on the side rails, but that's just me being picky.


The frame bolts to the roll bar with the clamps, but if the rack had extended all the way forward to the end of the clamps, it would have interfered with the seats adjusting all the way back. So I trimmed the frame and bolts so they do not touch the seat.





The Bestop storage boxes have worked great, but with the cargo rack in place they can't be opened, so I removed them for the trip. I'll build some boxes later that open to the outside, or maybe get some ammo boxes to fill the space over the wheelwells (I sized the space to fit the ammo box I have on hand).

I was also concerned about cargo shifting forward in case of a panic stop, so I added a cargo bar to keep things from sliding forward and hitting the seats. It's just a piece of 3/8" x 2" flat stock I had left over from re-fitting a lumber rack to my pickup. I admit, it's massive overkill for this job, but it's what I had on hand, so it was free..... I just had to buy a couple 2-1/4" pipe clamps for the roll bar below the padding.



Finally, a couple poser shots using random storage bins from our garage. The rack measures 33" front to back, and 46-1/2" wide, so I wanted to get an idea of how much more cargo capacity I now have. There was still plenty of room for more stuff, if needed. The 2" angle iron left me plenty of room to drill 1/2" holes every 6" for tie downs, so I'll be able to keep things secure while moving.





That's it, nothing special. I got the idea from somebody's picture on this forum, and just wanted to say Thanks! This is my way of paying it forward for any future searches.
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Unread 08-09-2010, 08:12 PM   #2
jeepjerryp7m8
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Nice. Thanks for the write up.
Jerry
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Unread 08-09-2010, 08:44 PM   #3
headrush
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wow, looks factory made, goodjob!!

nice job covering up your license plate with a paper napkin: P
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Unread 08-09-2010, 11:07 PM   #4
RockWoRM
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Good job. That's the nice thing about a family cage. More options.
I just have a simple piece of plywood with legs, but does about the same thing. Can't never have enough camping junk I always say!
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Unread 08-09-2010, 11:15 PM   #5
NEI10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burlbook48 View Post
I needed more cargo capacity for an upcoming camping trip. As we all know, even with the back seat removed, there isn't a whole lot of room to secure stuff for a bumpy trail.



Over the weekend I cobbled together a cargo rack to give me the ability to securely tie down more "stuff" for the trip:



Nothing special, but using 3" pipe clamps, 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle iron, a piece of 3/4" plywood, throw in some left over Black Rustoeum and White house paint and nuts/bolts/washers I had laying around in the garage... and the whole thing just fell together. Tools needed: some way to cut the angle iron (sawzall), a drill for the holes, circular saw for the plywood, wrench for the bolts. I did use a router to notch the plywood to clear a couple hidden bolt heads that held the frame together up front, and make a rabbet for the rear frame member so the plywood lays flat on the side rails, but that's just me being picky.


The frame bolts to the roll bar with the clamps, but if the rack had extended all the way forward to the end of the clamps, it would have interfered with the seats adjusting all the way back. So I trimmed the frame and bolts so they do not touch the seat.





The Bestop storage boxes have worked great, but with the cargo rack in place they can't be opened, so I removed them for the trip. I'll build some boxes later that open to the outside, or maybe get some ammo boxes to fill the space over the wheelwells (I sized the space to fit the ammo box I have on hand).

I was also concerned about cargo shifting forward in case of a panic stop, so I added a cargo bar to keep things from sliding forward and hitting the seats. It's just a piece of 3/8" x 2" flat stock I had left over from re-fitting a lumber rack to my pickup. I admit, it's massive overkill for this job, but it's what I had on hand, so it was free..... I just had to buy a couple 2-1/4" pipe clamps for the roll bar below the padding.



Finally, a couple poser shots using random storage bins from our garage. The rack measures 33" front to back, and 46-1/2" wide, so I wanted to get an idea of how much more cargo capacity I now have. There was still plenty of room for more stuff, if needed. The 2" angle iron left me plenty of room to drill 1/2" holes every 6" for tie downs, so I'll be able to keep things secure while moving.





That's it, nothing special. I got the idea from somebody's picture on this forum, and just wanted to say Thanks! This is my way of paying it forward for any future searches.
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that not only looks great, but as you've showed, extremely functional. did you just bolt together the angle iron at the corners? (you didn't mention any welding). great job either way! do you think with added weight, you may need a center support later?
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Unread 08-10-2010, 01:06 AM   #6
Burlbook48
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I don't have a welder, so this is strictly a nuts and bolts operation. The front and back bars are bolted to the side bars, and the plywood is bolted to all four bars--- 3/8" bolts all around.

It ain't going anywhere, and is more than strong enough to support over 200 lbs. without a center support... I personally tested it.

Thanks for all the nice comments.
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Unread 08-10-2010, 06:15 AM   #7
awkrueger
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Hey that looks really nice! I think I'll be doing the same thing in my Yj. I really like the fact that its removable.
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Unread 08-10-2010, 07:17 PM   #8
NEI10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burlbook48 View Post
I don't have a welder, so this is strictly a nuts and bolts operation. The front and back bars are bolted to the side bars, and the plywood is bolted to all four bars--- 3/8" bolts all around.

It ain't going anywhere, and is more than strong enough to support over 200 lbs. without a center support... I personally tested it.

Thanks for all the nice comments.
sweet, 200lbs. is more than adequate for me. awesome!
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'99 TJ - 4" on 33's

'91 XJ - 2" on 31's
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Unread 08-10-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
WINGNUTT611
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*gasp* where did you get those doors?!?!?!
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Unread 08-28-2010, 11:50 PM   #10
CMFast
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I loaded my jeep for this first time today and realized how little room I had. That's a great idea, it looks really good. I'm wondering about the tote in the middle on the top, what keeps if from flying forward? Did you think about a bar across the top like you did on the bottom? How high up did you the rack from the floor?
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Unread 08-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #11
Burlbook48
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The items/totes in the pics were simply chosen at random, just to get a visual of how much stuff could fit on the rack. There are holes in the front and rear bars for tie-downs as well as the side bars. When I load it for real, all the gear is very secure. Even so, it would be simple to add another cross bar, or make a taller brace for the front of the rack.

In the pics, the rack is about 22" above the tub floor. I placed it there to clear that big black tote in the picture, but it can be moved up and down as needs dictate for different items. I also designed it so the rear bar and plywood can be pulled out together, leaving the front and side bars in place. This gives room for bigger items, if needed, without having to remove everything from the roll cage. Even so, a few minutes work and the whole rack is all stored in the garage and the rear seat is bolted back into place.
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Unread 08-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #12
squarelight94
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I've been looking for exactly this. I've been trying to figure it out but I couldn't visually see it in my head to make anything work. Def gotta do this. Great work man.

oh and have you already sold off those besttop wheel well boxes?
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Unread 08-29-2010, 11:27 AM   #13
Burlbook48
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No plans to sell the Bestop side boxes. They are very convenient, and bolt back into place so quickly they are almost a non-issue to remove. Can't beat 'em for storing things for everyday use. Out of sight, out of mind, but I wouldn't leave anything too valuable in them. Let's be honest.... they ain't Tuffy's.

For further info for those who would like to make a rack like this, the front bar is bolted first to the two side bars. The plywood has been routed so it fits over the heads of those two bolts and the front bar (if you don't have a router, a hammer and chisel can do the same job, or even cut out the corners of the plywood with a saw). So when you slide the plywood into place, if rests flat on the sidebars all the way from front to back. The other bolts secure the plywood the front bar. The back edge of the plywood was also routed so the back bar tucks up into the first couple layers of plywood-- again, to keep the plywood laying flat on the sidebars. After the plywood/rear bar is slid into place, the other bolts secure both the plywood and the rear bar to the sidebars and it becomes a single unit. It's very solid all around. Grabbing the shaking the rack only makes the whole jeep move.

Nothing ever broke cuz it was overbuilt.
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Unread 08-31-2010, 04:25 AM   #14
rfielding
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Very cool indeed...well done ! Like everyone above...I have given much thought to the same type of carrier and this by far is one of the nicest I have seen completed. Thanks for the info and pics! Sounds like a weekend project coming up....
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Unread 08-31-2010, 05:07 AM   #15
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HI,
Very nice. Will the top still fit? It's hard to tell from the pictures. I'm specifically thinking about my soft top.

Sparky
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