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.