How to build a roof rack with wind deflector out of PVC pipe. Free plans and projects out of PVC pipe. DIY luggage carryer.

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PVC Roof Rack


Hi Folks,

Until recently we owned a Chevy Suburban so anytime I needed to get some plywood, pipe or other large items I would just go to the hardware store and throw the stuff into the suburban to take home.  We had to get rid of the Suburban and elected not to replace it with another one.  We bought a Mercury Sable Station wagon with a roof top luggage rack. 

My first trip to the hardware store, to get some PVC pipe, showed me that I needed a better method for bringing such things home. 

The main problem was the luggage rack followed the curve of the roof on the car.  I guess the engineers thought good looks are more important than functionality.  After a few trips to the hardware store I started looking for a way to allow me to carry these bulky items.

I found your website and, after some prayer, I started to design a roof top rack which would allow me to actually carry my purchases home.  I started with the idea of using 3/4-inch Schedule 40.  After looking at the weakness of that pipe I looked at using 1 1/4-inch Schedule 40.  The L's and T's made that size way too large to be useable.

The 1-inch Schedule 40 appeared to be my best bet for strength and size.  When I told the guy at the hardware store what I was doing he just shook his head and said "It will just break."  With that encouragement I started to build the roof rack.

It took almost ten days to make it, because of mistakes and having to make my own jigs for aligning and assembling the pipes and fittings.  A cutoff saw works great as a solid 90-degree jig - just remember to unplug it before using it to line up the fittings

The roof rack was given an ultimate test when I carried my daughters bed mattress to her new apartment about 150 miles away, with speeds up to 70-miles-per-hour.  It worked great!

Now I can carry bulky things on top of my car without having to fight the curvature of the factory roof rack.

Here are a couple of pictures, with and without the front air-dam.  I also enclosed a picture of the wing nut set-up, because it is the secret of how to bolt PVC after drilling a hole in it and not have the hole crack open.  I simply took a piece of the PVC,  split it length wise and put it under the wing nut.  This helped to spread the pressure over a large area and provided additional strength to the weakened portion of the PVC.  

1 Timothy 4: 11: These things command and teach. (KJV?)

Built by Rev. William H. Anderson

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