Homemade Basket for Roof Rack

Has anyone built up their own ‘roof rack’ or ‘roof cargo basket’ before?

We have a 2004 Ford E-350 Cargo Van and we were looking at this Werner Van Rack system from Lowes. The idea would be to get two of these systems for a total of 4 cross bars. Then we could attach our cargo box over two of them, and a plank or even a ladder across the four of them to walk along it, the solar panels could span across the two in front. Trying to save money and make it easy if anything goes wrong. There’s a ton of Lowes’ across the country, not many Aluminess or Yakimas. Thoughts?


We built our own roof box. I don’t know if it’ll will work in your situation but it might give you an idea? We haul a canoe, roof box and solar panels on the roof of our 1999 Dodge Ram van. Since we have a roof vent in the middle we had to find a way to make everything work. We bought Thule 76” roof racks (2 of them) the poles cost us $150 and we bought the clips off Kijiji for $80. Because of everything on the roof we had to be creative with the box to get the exact size and shape that would fit. We actually made it out of wood and used U bolts to fasten it to the roof rack, we painted it black and it looks really quite professional. Super super sturdy. Our only regret is we used 2x4s and plywood it’s really quite heavy (probably 50lbs) before we put anything in. Looking back we might have chose something a bit more pricey but lighter. We saw some people on the internet building them out of pvc piping, not sure how sturdy that would be but definitely light. Anyways I’m not sure if that helps you but that’s what worked for us! Also I thought I had pictures but they are on a different computer but that’s the roof rack we have on the van, sorry!


That’s sounds like a pretty good idea!

If you figure it all out be sure to let me know how exactly you went at it. Something we would consider adding to our van as well!

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