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Over- Softopper bed rack thing

RoadBoss

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Been wanting a rack over my soft topper for a while now, and there was nothing on the market that I was happy with. Also I'm super cheap.

I had about 60' of extra 1.5x.095 DOM tubing laying around from a race car project that got sold, and some 3/16 x4" steel plate, so I decided it was time to get to work. Pictures are probably in no particular order.

Made the side frames just high enough for the cross bars to clear the softopper, then had to make sure I got the angle right so it would still fold up. They stick out a little farther than I would have liked, but I can live with it. Also wanted an extra attachment point in the back so the rack was a little more than just simply clamped between the softopper and the rail. I was able to find an extra bolt hole above the tailgate latch that was easy to attach to. I also wanted this thing to look pretty slick with the lines of the truck, while still allowing the softopper to function, so I did a lot of test fitting, then cut the brackets down to just the right size and shape. Mocked it up in place, and started welding.

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RoadBoss

RoadBoss

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Got the front cross bar cut and decided it needed to be welded for optimal rigidity. The rear bar still bolts on for loading tall things into the bed.

And I got some plastic end caps to clean it up rather than trying to weld on a cap and grind it smooth.

Got everything welded up am pretty excited about how it fits. It's also EXTREMELY rigid and tough, and only weighs 44 lbs, which is way better than I'd hoped for.

Hopefully I can get it off to powdercoating this week, and then figure out what I'm going to do for a tray/rack on top of this thing to hold stuff. Like I said earlier, I'm really cheap, so getting a nice slim rack from rhinorack or front-runner is probably not going to happen any time soon, but I've got a few different options and ideas.

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ldr01rl

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Just a suggestion, construct it to allow the Softtopper to retract and the rear piping to disassemble, allowing high loads.

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ldr01rl

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This topic had been covered in previous posts.
 
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RoadBoss

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Got the rack back from powdercoating and hammered in the plastic end caps. Super happy with how it turned out. Also I had this aluminum rack thing laying that I clamped on for now... Need to either modify it a little or replace it with something eventually, but for now it'll hold gear at last. And of course I had to take it up the trail to test it out... Didn't fall off, so I'd say that's a success, lol.
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ldr01rl

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Hah! I just proofread this (Nov 28th). I widened my rack to allow the Softtopper to fold down. The front section of my rack is framed with expanded metal to allow some items to be placed up front and the rear bar had pins that can be pulled to allow high loads to be placed in the bed on the Decked system.

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DukeCanBuildit

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What a great project Travis - well done. You're either a very capable welder or great with your angle grinder. All kidding aside, this is a well thought out build - the simplicity, fit and finish is terrific and it looks great with your soft topper. You clearly spent a lot of time cleaning up those welds to achieve that fillet brazed look. Nice!

If you've finished the top platform rack, it would be great to see some final pictures.
 
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RoadBoss

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What a great project Travis - well done. You're either a very capable welder or great with your angle grinder. All kidding aside, this is a well thought out build - the simplicity, fit and finish is terrific and it looks great with your soft topper. You clearly spent a lot of time cleaning up those welds to achieve that fillet brazed look. Nice!

If you've finished the top platform rack, it would be great to see some final pictures.
Haha! I'm definitely not a great welder, this project certainly took a bit of work with the angle grinder. and thanks.

I ended up just modifying the aluminum rack I had to make it look more finished, and I'm pretty happy with it. I'll try and get some pictures of it soon.
 

r1ch999999

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Is the softtopper easy to remove? I want to sell my cap and get a soft topper that I can use when I need it, but have a mostly open bed when I don't. Honestly, a topper that removes and allows a tonneau to be installed in the same frame would be ideal.
 

ldr01rl

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Is the softtopper easy to remove? I want to sell my cap and get a soft topper that I can use when I need it, but have a mostly open bed when I don't. Honestly, a topper that removes and allows a tonneau to be installed in the same frame would be ideal.
I guess it's easy to remove. There's four clamps and a couple snap buttons. Or you just figure an easy way of taking the frame and canvas off, leaving the mounting rails.
 
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RoadBoss

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Is the softtopper easy to remove? I want to sell my cap and get a soft topper that I can use when I need it, but have a mostly open bed when I don't. Honestly, a topper that removes and allows a tonneau to be installed in the same frame would be ideal.
like said above.

you can also fold it up and have it strapped in at the front of the bed, or just pull the pins and remove if from the pivot points very easily, without having to unbolt the clamps and rails.
 

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