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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I'm looking for a specific bed rack for my '11 CC. I posted previously about an idea to build a collapsible rack that would use the utilitrack rails but that didn't pan out.

I need a simple rack, similar to the PackRack, see 05-15 Tacoma APEX Steel Pack Rack KIT | All-Pro Off Road
I haven't been able to find anything for a Frontier. There are some Tacoma racks that people have fitted on their Frontiers but it sounds like the bed it just a tad bit wider and spacers are needed, which won't work for my application.

I will be covering the rack in an oiled canvas or a waterproof polyester tarp that will need to come over the edge of the bed just enough to keep rain from dripping into the bed (toward the outside edge of the plastic piece of the side of the bed). I've considered a couple different ways to do this, I might need to have little hooks or attachment points welded along the flat bar that rests on the edge of the bed. Either way if I can get a rack I can have a shop do any extra welding or modifications, the rack just needs to be the full width of the bed.
I would like to have the middle and rear bars detachable to fit taller things in the bed without removing the whole rack. I'm attaching a sloppy illustration of how it would attach. Effectively it would be similar to this https://www.leitnerdesigns.com/truck-bed-rack-6-foot-p/05-0060-01-1205.htm but no sliding parts and not $1500.
The rack will need to bear weight, as opposed to the commercial canvas toppers. I've been thinking of having the rack come up to the same height as the roof rack so something can lay evenly along the length of the truck without taking the canvas off the rack.

Is there anything like this out there?
What kind of shipping am I looking at if I have this custom ordered, as opposed to a local shop?
Is it possible to bend steel tube in my garage?
 

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I have the Yakima Bedrock which clamps to the utilitrack. I've been really happy with it for the last couple years. It's not collapsible but it can pop off of the utilitrack without too much trouble. Depending on what you had mounted to it, you could definitely have a tarp covering it. I currently have a Yakima Load Warrior basket (with a full-sized spare, hi-lift and 6 rod holders mounted) along with two bike mounts and with some help I can pop the whole thing off as a unit if I needed to fully use the bed.
 

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In retrospect after looking at your drawing, you might like Thule's bed rack. You would be able to raise it to get the tarp canopy effect it sounds like you're looking for and it could also support weight up there. THe only negative is it's a pricey rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks JCKeppel, I did see something like that, https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/f4/49/5e/f4495efa3a6f6531add949e96199458f.jpg using modified Titan racks, which I considered. But I think I'd need 3 rails. I'd also have to modify any system that slides like that as I haven't found any that have a rounded corner. I was wanting something that would closer match the profile of the truck like a hard top would.
I think I want to avoid having to mount to the utilitrack system for two reasons too: the tracks don't extend all the way back to the tailgate so I'd have to pull the tarp out to the tailgate at a slant, which would be too difficult to be simple, and I actually use the cleats all the time and am often moving them around the bed.

I'm going to start reaching out to some fabricators around here for quotes. For all the custom fabrication going on here I was hoping some of those guys would give me an idea of cost with shipping.

Anyone around north/west Georgia?
 

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I don't know where you are located, but here in Southern California , the average rate is $60-$90 an hour. Besides the actual fabrication you will be charged for the design time. If you can give specific measurements and design requirements it will lower the cost significally.
As to your question about bending tubing in your garage.
Yes, if you have a decent tube bender and the dies to go with it.
A decent manual bender with a single die is around $600.
I have over 3 grand in my bender.
If I had to pay a fabricator for the work on my truck, the cost would be far greater than that.
Probably not worth it for what you are planning.
A canvas cover, roof on my boat's t-top was made by a company that specializes in this type of work. No flapping or noise whatsoever .
Sorry, can't find a good photo of the canvas work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I'm not willing to spend that much on a tool right now, but it's tempting since I have access to a welder. But I have limited time and space for a while.
I'll definitely have measurements when I go to a fabricator. Is there any special way to measure these things? I'm guessing I have to measure from the centerline.

The rack in this thread has the shape I want: http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f114/fs-va-mombassa-roof-top-tent-rack-82953/ which I will base my measurements on
I'm planning on covering it with something like this: https://www.armysurplusworld.com/category/canvas/
I've considered securing the tarp by running a thin rod through a hem along the bottom of each panel that would secure at the corners, or by placing grommets along the bottom edge and tying to hooks on the flat bar that would run along the edge of the bed.
 

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Thanks JCKeppel, I did see something like that, https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/f4/49/5e/f4495efa3a6f6531add949e96199458f.jpg using modified Titan racks, which I considered. But I think I'd need 3 rails. I'd also have to modify any system that slides like that as I haven't found any that have a rounded corner. I was wanting something that would closer match the profile of the truck like a hard top would.
I think I want to avoid having to mount to the utilitrack system for two reasons too: the tracks don't extend all the way back to the tailgate so I'd have to pull the tarp out to the tailgate at a slant, which would be too difficult to be simple, and I actually use the cleats all the time and am often moving them around the bed.

I'm going to start reaching out to some fabricators around here for quotes. For all the custom fabrication going on here I was hoping some of those guys would give me an idea of cost with shipping.

Anyone around north/west Georgia?
How much do those racks cost? would be great to support the back end of a kayak in unison with the roof rack. What kind of modification is needed to adapt them to the Frontier, and do they come individually?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So I couldn't spare the funds for a rack, didn't want to spend a few hundred on something temporary, and didn't have time to wait for anything to be built before moving. So I built one out of wood

Next I'll seal it with some deck sealer and then wrap it with a tarp and staple it underneath so no breaks in the fabric would expose the bed to rain.
The cuts are sloppy but I used half-lap joints for everything so it's pretty rigid. It's not meant to last beyond an 1800 mile trip at the end of the month.
If I built one with wood again, I'd rip two 4x6"x10' posts into quarters and use a table saw.


How much do those racks cost? would be great to support the back end of a kayak in unison with the roof rack. What kind of modification is needed to adapt them to the Frontier, and do they come individually?
Not sure how easy they are to find, they're for the Titan and I've never seen a Titan with them on.
I found this thread talking about them http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f10/titan-racks-frontier-29100/index2.html
and this thread where someone here was selling these http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f114/fs-nj-nissan-titan-sliding-overhead-racks-62846/
They need the center bar cut at least, not sure how tall they are. I think they only came as an option with the truck and not separately but if you look for long enough you can probably get a set second-hand.
 

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