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Recommended heavy duty roof rack mounting brackets?

5970 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Stokeloafvan
I need to mount a heavy, full length platform rack on a mid-height roof, full length 2016 Transit.

Can anyone recommend a heavy duty bracket or tower that bolts into the stock roof mount locations that I can then directly mount bolt my custom rack to?

If I use all 10 of the mounting locations, what's the roof's weight limit for rack and cargo? Are the mounting points part of the roof's actual structural crossmembers?

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Making them yourself is easy. I used 4 ft of C channel and 7 square aluminum tubes, plus a bunch of stainless hardware. Total price was under $250.

The HDPE was ripped 6 degrees on a table saw then cut to 4.75" lengths. The spot faces are for the PlusNuts (aka Cross Nuts) which have a pull-out strength of something like 1,200 lbs each, and there are two at each tower. I put butyl tape around the holes in the roof before putting the bracket on, then butyl around the head of each bolt. The butyl not only seals against leaks, it acts as thread locker to keep the bolts from backing out.

If you really want to go all-out you could use square or rectangular tube rather than 1.25" C like I used. But the vertical flange is in compression so this is at least as strong as Ford calls for. It had no problem supporting me jumping up & down on plywood as a test with the two heavy solar panels.

Before adding the second 175W solar panel to the middle portion:

I'll take it off to paint it after the trip which starts tomorrow.

btw - There's another thread about roof racks affecting gas mileage and I have noticed roughly a 1 mpg drop at 70 mph. If not on a trip, this design is very easy to take off the solar panels and cross bars. The side bars have virtually no frontal area to affect MPG or noise.
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