Low Profile Roof Rack Extension - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
JRP
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2010 Xterra
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 18
Low Profile Roof Rack Extension

Hey y'all, wanted to share a bit here about a little project on the off chance someone else will find it useful or have feedback:

2010 X with the standard big tubular roof rack which looks fine and all but is pretty small. Put a cargo box up there and not much left to work with ... in my case the Yakima Skybox (don't remember exactly what size - 18cu?) fits perfect from front to back and side to side but literally nothing else can fit as it's covering the whole rack. I leave it up there 24/7 since it's a PITA to move around and use it often anyways.

Fast forward a few months and I picked up Roadshower over the black Friday weekend when it was like 30% off and have been testing that out standalone and it seems to be exactly what is needed for some longer camping/hiking/exploring trips. For the past few years using various crappy methods of showering while on the road with my X and finally bought myself the Roadshower to improve that situation + have some good pressure to wash down the toys after playtime

Now the problem is Roadshower as you can imagine it doesn't fit up there at the same time as the Skybox...so what do? Hack up the rack and make it work! Here were my constraints:

No more height (this is a big one since yes there are pre-existing solutions to solve for more rackspace by extension but they all seemed to push everything up even higher - no likey)
Extra 4-6 inches of rack width on either side (Roadshower needs about 3" from outside the tube to mount securely + board/kayak fits opposite)
$100 budget (came in at <$50 in parts!)
Payload ~100lbs static and 50lbs dynamic (largely ruling out plastic and aluminum)
Oh and it had to be simple enough for me to figure out and implement with virtually no tools.

Was I nervous drilling into the rack? A bit...wasn't sure what to expect and once you poke a 3/4" hole through there's no going back. Used the 3/4" bit pictured and then a file/dremel to expand it every so slightly to make the tubes fit tight. Each hole took a decent amount of hand labor and requires a strong drill to bore through in the first place.

You see the bit is 3/4" and so was the 48" (maybe it's 60"? I forget) long steel pipe technically, but the diameter of this pipe (all pipes?) is measured by the inside and the steel itself is about 1/8 inch thick...whereas a 1" bit would have been to much room but 3/4 hole wasn't enough. Make sense?

Now they are in there pretty snug like you'd really have to put in a lot of effort to pull them out...I'm going to keep an eye on things if I notice the factory rack start to wear down/stretch/rattle then will be securing the piping better, but for now, it's a solid. Likely going to seal any gaps between the piping and rack to prevent water/moisture from getting inside. Add something to the ends for a little lip and maybe paint it too. Overall it does the job and that is what mattered to me on this project, not so much the aesthetics. You actually can hardly notice them protruding from the rack as it is - but I might take these back and get some even longer ones...

The weakest point I believe is the 1/2" of tubing on X factory rack that sits below the steel pipe...that could crack if under a certain amount of stress. My primary concern with the whole thing right now is having 75 lbs up there jerking with water sloshing around inside the 7 gal Shower reservoir.

But I don't really offroad my X and for the most part Roadshower will not even be on the rack, and empty when driving, only full when parked/camped is the plan. I didn't even snap a pic with it mounted as once I confirmed that it fit and secured correctly, just put it back in the garage for storage until the next trip in a month or so when this whole thing will be put to the test!

I can't be the first one to do this either...never seen it before on here, but just couldn't imagine a better method given the constraints...if my rack flies off I will update this post. Any feedback/critique welcome - I posted this to share and learn.

Full gallery is on imgur under /a/zqrXixR
Attached Images
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File Type: png Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 9.29.04 PM.png (504.8 KB, 25 views)
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 10:28 AM
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Welcome to the forum! I respect your commitment to that mod and it's cool to see someone contributing right from their first post!

If this works for your needs, then great. Since you requested feedback, I would be concerned about three things: 1) how well it holds up with some dynamic weight on it, 2) rust, and 3) the pipes shifting left and right without something more secure keeping them in place.

Just my opinion, but if I wanted to extend crossbars beyond the sides of my rack I would have done something like this



https://www.thenewx.org/forum/23-ext...oof-mount.html

but with longer lengths of strut channel. You could get two 60" bars out of a 10' length. No drilling, easily reversible, can attach nearly anything to them securely. The cost would be a bit more though.
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Last edited by outback97; 01-03-2019 at 11:03 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 02:36 PM
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
JRP
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2010 Xterra
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: San Diego, CA
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Thanks for the warm welcome. Had I seen/known about that option you suggest probably would have gone that route! I was visualizing something to the effect of U bolts used in that instance, but couldn't drum up a product that would work just like they did in that example - that's a good if not better solution.

That said, this is permanent...I may paint/protect next them to your point about rust and also figure out a way to prevent any side to side shifting. Appreciate the read and feedback!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 02:07 AM
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A few options to not have them slide:

Drill from top to bottom of roof rack bar and put a bolt through, but that will weaken the rack bars more.

Get a pipe that is just larger than the one you used. Figure out how much you need to sleeve the outside of youe current pipe and use pipe ends instead of the plastic caps and they should hold the sleeve on and keep the internal pipe from moving. A cap like this:



Thought about it some more and you could get a thick piece of rubber and wrap it around the pipe by the rack bar and hold it in place with a hose clamp like you would use for the rad hoses.

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Last edited by NYTKSHR; 01-06-2019 at 02:11 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
JRP
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Location: San Diego, CA
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(Updated 3/19): Ran a couple #8-2.5" bolts vertically through the stock tubes + new perpendicular pipes for stability, which seems to be holding up great after a couple hundred miles of testing. No signs of weakness or wear anywhere. Also added some sliding clamps of sorts to the opposite side of the shower for adjustable width up to 6" depending on what's needed. A few new pics can be found on imgur under a/cO0ryRg - have not had time to paint it all yet :/
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
JRP
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2010 Xterra
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 18
(Update 5/17) - put a few thousand more miles on it and everything still holds tight; other side (opposite of water tank) will accommodate kayak and/or awning soon.
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