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Discussion Starter #1
Since I use my Ram for work and as a builder need to occasionally haul longer materials, I would REALLY like to figure out an option to add some roof racks. So far, the only ones I can find that would work are the Aero roof racks that have the extra "clamps" that come over the door jambs to secure them to roof and to me that is not a good option since it will rub off paint :smiledown: and I want them installed permanently anyway and have no reason to remove them once installed. I know this truck does not have a gutter system designed for roof racks, but there must be a way to get what I need to make this truck more functional for work.
Laramie with 5' 7" bed, no sunroof and no Rambox.

I got the truck late Sept 2018 and in meantime to get by, I installed a "Back Rack" (like a headache bar....see pics) and then got an extender from Amazon that goes in hitch receiver that will either extend UP, so I can carry materials above the roof by laying them on the Back Rack and the extender (but limits me to about 12ft long on trim pieces that will flex if not supported)....or I can extend it BACK and put materials laying in back of bed which are then supported by the extender a few feet back. Again tho, 12ft long is about the limit and I need to be able to carry 16ft long materials and dont want to drag a trailer around all the time.

I have a Lomax Tonneau cover and wanna keep that installed to help protect tools that I keep in the bed of truck....so ultimately want a good set of roof racks and am hoping that someone here has either found a permanent option that looks/functions well or has modified an existing system to mount on roof securely? I don't need any kind of holding rack on the roof, just the 2 roof rack bars to support 16ft long materials without them hitting paint on the roof with point to tie them down. Also doesnt need to support a lot of weight, mostly just to be able to carry long pieces of trim or some longer lumber here and there.

Appreciate any suggestions and/or pics if anyone has modified their truck in similar fashion. Attached a few pics to show the Back Rack I installed as a temp solution, 2nd one shows the factory "gutter system" in roof.... cant find anything conclusive on whether or not I can drill into those pieces to secure a roof rack, my assumption is that it would not be secure enough and somehow I would have to drill thru the roof which I hate to do, but need to figure out something!
 

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I would consult a welder

I would want them to make a over cab pipe rack that disassembled
Using the 2 rear most bed stake bed pockets & using the Backrack attachments to bolt some long bars to, you could come up with something like this

 

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So you're really looking for a ladder rack more than a roof rack right?
 

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Just cost of material & the welders hourly wages
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I talked to a welding company earlier this week. To add a 5' 6" extension to the existing backrack I already have, including welding an added 10" upright to extend the top piece...which acts to support the rack over the cab using a bar that angles from that added upright, down to the front of the new rack over the cab. Also welding together the backrack brackets to the actual backrack to make it stronger. The material/labor cost was quoted @ $500.
Came up with this cause I dont want a full truck bed rack (like the one pictured above) since it turns the truck into a utility vehicle (looks wise) and also due to supports to match contors of truck cab, to be able to keep my tonneau cover would require some mods that may look strange since the 3 piece cover could not fold up with the design in above picture (I know other tonneau covers would work but also dont want to lose bed space with a cover that "rolls" forward). I realize my picky nature on this subject limits me but I want the truck to keep a clean look without making it look like a full on utility work truck.

Price does not include powder coating, that was quoted at another $200, but I think I would have it sprayed with a bed liner material anyway since it would be tougher and should withstand weight without scratching and rusting for a lot longer.

Frankly, I don't know if I will like the look of what welding shop can do, may look a little bulky and strange and have recently seen some video's on utube where roof racks (like Thule Expedition) was mounted above cab of truck and where the "gutter strip" is, they notched out where bracket mounts (4-6" sections) and then drilled thru roof, siliconed it and installed special bolts to hold the brackets. I may look into something like that since the last thing I want is to make this awesome looking truck look crappy with a rack that doesn't look custom. I know I will spend somewhere around $1k to do that but I think it will look a lot better. While I prefer to not drill into the roof of the truck, I plan to keep the truck long term and want something I can be proud of.

So hopefully I will run into something better that I can do without breaking the bank. I don't the system to support a lot of weight, mostly to carry a long ladder or 16ft pieces of trim/lumber occasionally. Appreciate the idea, was definately worth looking into! Hopefully someone who has done something custom will post up some pics.
 

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I know I've see some roof racks that bolt to the top of the cab for holding cargo, spare tire, etc. Sorry, don't have any links. Seems like you could use one of those and two of the back racks like the one you already have. Might have an issue leveling them all up. Or use the hitch extender but I've always thought those looked pretty flimsy and mickey mouse.
 

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I had to drill a hole through the roof for my CB antenna & i wonder every time that it rains when the water will seep in.

I just don't like drilling anything into the roof & how many people do you know that wants to buy a truck with holes in the roof
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am actually looking at the roof rack carrier options now. I didn't initially want to drill thru roof for reasons GTYankee stated, but the rack I am looking at is very well built and has a good way to seal the mounting brackets which mount inside the gutters. I am big into boating and there is a great marine sealant called 3M 4200 that I think will work quite well and last a long time, its made to seal penetrations in boat hulls that are under waterline. I don't plan to sell this truck for many years, so not too worried about resale.

Most of the roof racks carriers attach to roof racks....not being an option for me and not liking many of those carrier racks anyway cause of how high they would mount off roof which makes them unusable for my purposes (plus most of them look like cheap crap, the ones that dont are still made of steel and will rust), the one I found is made for the previous generation Ram roof and curves with the roof profile, very sleek looking and you can add LED light bar if wanted. Only catch is the company (Expedition One...called the "mule ultra rack"), has not made one for a 2019 yet, so I am in process of getting very detailed measurements so they can confirm that the one they previously made for a previous generation Ram 2500 will work on my roof cab and if not, possibly using my measurements can make me a custom one and then also offer it for sale to others. Didnt expect to spend this amount of money, but to get a high quality rack that will last a long time and stand up to weather exposure (made of aluminum so it wont rust) AND look sexy on my truck will be worth it since I plan to keep this truck long term.

If this option works out (dont know yet that it will), I will post up pictures of finished product. Will take a while since it will take them 6-8 weeks to make one for me. Here is a link.

https://expeditiononestore.com/products/dodge-ram-mule-ultra-rack
 
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