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Old February 20th, 2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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Default Sheetmetal/thin metal bending and fabrication.....

So, I bought a new truck and it has a tonneau cover on it, I'd like to keep it in place, but I would also like to build some sort of brackets to mount my bike rack over the bed like I had on my F350.

Here's the main differences/challenges.

1. On the F350 I just drilled holes in the bed rails and bolted the rack in place. This truck is new, nice, and the tonneau is in the way of that.

2. I would like the rack to be "fairly" quickly and easily removeable

3. I would like to avoide drilling holes in the truck as reasonably as possible.

4. I would like to maintain the "weather tight" - ness of the tonneau cover so I can throw my gear, bags, tools under it with out having to pack them all up in Rubbermaid boxes like in the past.



My "idea" so far is to essentially get some sheet metal/plates and bend them up to some how clamp to the bedrail under the tonneau, then snake out underneath the tonnuea cover between the tonneau and toneau rails (mine is velcro, so I could put velcro on both sides of the bracket to help with the weather sealing?)

My biggest question is how thick do I need to go?

The weight will be on the bedrail where the sheetmetal/plate sneaks through the velcor on the tonneau.

Then I will bolt my rack rails to the bracket.

The weight limit these 4 brackets will see will be at most 220lbs. At a minimum they will see 35-40lbs at all times.

Will 1/8" suffice? can I go thinner? will i need to go thicker?

Essentially I need to bend the sheet metal into a Z or N shape orient it down under the tonneau, flat across the bedrail, and then up to clear the tonneau and allow me to bolt my rack to it.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Use the hitch, sometimes the obvious is the easiest also
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Use the hitch, sometimes the obvious is the easiest also
Hitch rack sucks.

1. can only haul 4 bikes, often we need to haul more than 4 so we use both rack set ups.
2. Can't open the tailgate with the hitch rack in the way, trip over it, etc.
3. Expensive bikes become your bumper.
4. Hitch kills fuel mileage by a good 3-4 mpg compared to the over the bed rack.

Sometimes thinking something is obvious isn't so obvious.


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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Use the hitch, sometimes the obvious is the easiest also
x2. Its gunna be hard to have a bike sticking out of a cover and get a water tight fit using only velcro. I would use a hitch carrier for the bikes, leave the cover alone and throw all your gear under it and not cut any holes in your new truck.

edit: wrote that before you just posted that picture. Couldnt you just rise that bed rack up a bit to clear the cover without cutting it, but then you would have to build up some supports? I would almost try to build a "table" for that rack to mount on top of, on top of the cover.

Last edited by montecarlo33; February 20th, 2013 at 12:21 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #5
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I would think 1/8 should be good, with the bends you are doing it will stiffin the brackets up a lot.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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Done correctly, 1/8" should be fine. You are welcome to use my barn. I have the metal and the break. I'm curious though, are your front stake pockets exposed or covered by the tonneau?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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x2. Its gunna be hard to have a bike sticking out of a cover and get a water tight fit using only velcro. I would use a hitch carrier for the bikes, leave the cover alone and throw all your gear under it and not cut any holes in your new truck.

edit: wrote that before you just posted that picture. Couldnt you just rise that bed rack up a bit to clear the cover without cutting it, but then you would have to build up some supports? I would almost try to build a "table" for that rack to mount on top of, on top of the cover.
I am not looking to cut my cover, I am looking for advice on thickness of sheetmetal to make my brackets. I am not an engineer and do not know how thick I need.

My tonneau doesn't have snaps, it has velcro, so if the bracket is think enough it can just come through where the tonneau veclro's to its frame.

My racks are mounted to round yakima cross bars that I simply have a collar/clamp that will mount to the 4 brackets I am trying to make, I can make the brackets as tall or as short as I would like. I most likely will try to give a good 6" between the tonneau and the bottom of the rack to allow room to clamp the racks to the bikes.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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Done correctly, 1/8" should be fine. You are welcome to use my barn. I have the metal and the break. I'm curious though, are your front stake pockets exposed or covered by the tonneau?
Covered, the entire bedrail is covered by the tonneau, hence the idea of sandwiching the bracket with the tonneau for packaging reasons.....


I may take you up on your offer....what kind of beer do you want?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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Covered, the entire bedrail is covered by the tonneau, hence the idea of sandwiching the bracket with the tonneau for packaging reasons.....


I may take you up on your offer....what kind of beer do you want?
Gotcha. I made something like this for one of my old trucks, that's why I ask. I mounted my brackets in the stake pockets and went under the frame for the tonneau. I used the truck camper foam tape on the bottom of the frame where the bracket came through and never had an issue with it staying sealed. Either way, it should make it quite easy having the truck sitting right there next to the metal break.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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Gotcha. I made something like this for one of my old trucks, that's why I ask. I mounted my brackets in the stake pockets and went under the frame for the tonneau. I used the truck camper foam tape on the bottom of the frame where the bracket came through and never had an issue with it staying sealed. Either way, it should make it quite easy having the truck sitting right there next to the metal break.
I thought about something along these lines as well, but it makes for removal a little tougher.

You're picking up what I am laying down though. I'll hit you up to see what weekends you have free and I'll swing over one of these days.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #11
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There is usually a layer of foam on the bottom of the rails where they meet the bed. It's usually thick enough that you could sandwich the bracket between the rail and bed, then secure the bracket from underneath. I agree that 1/8" should be fine if done correctly...
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ridin Dirty View Post
Gotcha. I made something like this for one of my old trucks, that's why I ask. I mounted my brackets in the stake pockets and went under the frame for the tonneau. I used the truck camper foam tape on the bottom of the frame where the bracket came through and never had an issue with it staying sealed. Either way, it should make it quite easy having the truck sitting right there next to the metal break.
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I thought about something along these lines as well, but it makes for removal a little tougher. You're picking up what I am laying down though. I'll hit you up to see what weekends you have free and I'll swing over one of these days.
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There is usually a layer of foam on the bottom of the rails where they meet the bed. It's usually thick enough that you could sandwich the bracket between the rail and bed, then secure the bracket from underneath. I agree that 1/8" should be fine if done correctly...


This does seem like the simplest option, but I wanted to avoid having to remove the entire tonneau frame to remove the bike rack, also would prefer to avoid having to leave the brackets on to remove the bike rack.

But, KISS does apply.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:54 PM   #13
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why not make a bar from the hitch of to one side. so you could open the tail gate then go up to a height that is over the bed . then build a frame the size of the bed and make the bike set on that with small legs that set on the top of the bed rails. . that way you dont cut anything and you can open the tail gate . also you could use the hole top of the bed for the bike and what ever else you would want on it . remove it would be as simple as removing the bikes and removing the frame from the hitch . if done right you could make the frame brake down . so it could be stored in the bed


i know it not simple but i could be made from thine wall tube cuz the bike are light and you wouldnt have to bolt or cut anything on the truck

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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Maybe make something like how a slide in camper attaches? Little out riggers on the frame that can be remover with a bolt or two that come up the out side of the bed then attach to your existing bike rack with anther bolt or two holding them there.


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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #15
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This does seem like the simplest option, but I wanted to avoid having to remove the entire tonneau frame to remove the bike rack, also would prefer to avoid having to leave the brackets on to remove the bike rack.

But, KISS does apply.
My brackets stayed on the truck. The cross tube mounted to them with pins so removal was a breeze....

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Originally Posted by drogers View Post
why not make a bar from the hitch of to one side. so you could open the tail gate then go up to a height that is over the bed . then build a frame the size of the bed and make the bike set on that with small legs that set on the top of the bed rails. . that way you dont cut anything and you can open the tail gate . also you could use the hole top of the bed for the bike and what ever else you would want on it . remove it would be as simple as removing the bikes and removing the frame from the hitch . if done right you could make the frame brake down . so it could be stored in the bed


i know it not simple but i could be made from thine wall tube cuz the bike are light and you wouldnt have to bolt or cut anything on the truck
Why would you put that much work into something that can be made MUCH simpler? It needs only to hold a few bikes.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #16
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My brackets stayed on the truck. The cross tube mounted to them with pins so removal was a breeze....



Why would you put that much work into something that can be made MUCH simpler? It needs only to hold a few bikes.
I was hoping to make the bracket easily removeable to avoid shit hanging off the truck, but we can figure that out......


Does seem a bit complicated, I was going to ask if he was related to cerial, but he did try to offer a legit solution.

As far as the truck bed camper outrigger idea i think thats a lot more material than needed compared to a few simple brackets. Plus it won't look as clean I was hoping for.

Also, as for the hitch mounted options, keep in mind, when I need to carry additional bikes that this rack can not accomodate I will still need to have the ability to use my hitch for additional bikes.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ridin Dirty View Post
My brackets stayed on the truck. The cross tube mounted to them with pins so removal was a breeze....



Why would you put that much work into something that can be made MUCH simpler? It needs only to hold a few bikes.
he all ready have the frame for the bike and one for the hitch all he would need to to do is make a bar to connect the two . and maybe enforce the bike frame. it would def be more work then just make little tab but nothing would be bolted to the truck and it would be everything he was looking for
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kickstand View Post
I was hoping to make the bracket easily removeable to avoid shit hanging off the truck, but we can figure that out......


Does seem a bit complicated, I was going to ask if he was related to cerial, but he did try to offer a legit solution.

As far as the truck bed camper outrigger idea i think thats a lot more material than needed compared to a few simple brackets. Plus it won't look as clean I was hoping for.

Also, as for the hitch mounted options, keep in mind, when I need to carry additional bikes that this rack can not accomodate I will still need to have the ability to use my hitch for additional bikes.
all you would have to do is make the part of the receiver for the top rack have a 2 in hitch on it to fit the rear rack.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kickstand View Post
Hitch rack sucks.

1. can only haul 4 bikes, often we need to haul more than 4 so we use both rack set ups.
2. Can't open the tailgate with the hitch rack in the way, trip over it, etc.
3. Expensive bikes become your bumper.
4. Hitch kills fuel mileage by a good 3-4 mpg compared to the over the bed rack.

Sometimes thinking something is obvious isn't so obvious.


Sarry, 99.123251651651% of the population doesn't tote 34 bikes at a time with their vehicle
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #20
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he all ready have the frame for the bike and one for the hitch all he would need to to do is make a bar to connect the two . and maybe enforce the bike frame. it would def be more work then just make little tab but nothing would be bolted to the truck and it would be everything he was looking for
I am no engineer, but did you do anythinking on the amount of leverage you'd be putting on this contraption?

I'll stick with 4 simple brackets
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