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I just finished putting together a roof rack for my business Element. I need to carry a Yakima Pod once or twice a year, I wanted a roof rack that was easily removable, clean looking and cheap. Anyhow, I used Kee Klamp and 3/4 inch pipes with some galvanized marine dock hardware. most of it I had on hand, so cost me next to nothing, buying the materials from scratch would be around $100.

Check it out: https://youtu.be/h1wOhylahtk
 

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Great video and idea
 

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Wow! So many DIY roof racks are such kludges I almost didn't click on this one. I'm glad I did. Good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the good feedback. I am really happy with it, the bars were humming a little bit, I installed some end caps to the bars and now the humming is barely noticeable.

Please note: If you intend to build it for an Element, the towers are slightly trim in an angle to make up for the roof curve. so the bars sit flat on the towers.
 

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Thanks for the design and the Youtube video- this rack is fairly cheap and really strong. I built this and have a few notes in case anyone else wants to try:

-Lowes has "Steeltek" brand structural pipe fittings which are much cheaper than Kee Klamps where I live

-The spray paint bed liner used in the video does not stick well to galvanized steel- any recommendations on something that will work and hold up to repeated use?

-As someone who is not an expert on using an angle grinder, the step where you cut a 1/4" slot in the shorter pipe sections was pretty dangerous- the blade wants to kick out every time it touches the side of the slot and my cuts came out pretty ugly.
Instead of using a slot design to attach to the angle mounts, I drilled a hole in the top section of the angle mount and used a 3/8" bolt with lock nuts to attach one of these to each tower:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/SteelTek-1-1-4-in-Silver-Galvanized-Steel-Structural-Pipe-Fitting-Floor-Flange/999931130
 

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It does look really clean. A couple more advantages to making it with the flange bracket instead of cutting a slot-

-No need to buy the 1/4" safety pins/snap pins - the 3/8" bolt replaces these

-No need to trim the angle mounts to match the curve of the Element's roof- they can stay flat and will be hidden behind the flange bracket.
 

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Did you still do all four sides with the pipe or are you only running crossbars?

It does look really clean. A couple more advantages to making it with the flange bracket instead of cutting a slot-

-No need to buy the 1/4" safety pins/snap pins - the 3/8" bolt replaces these

-No need to trim the angle mounts to match the curve of the Element's roof- they can stay flat and will be hidden behind the flange bracket.
 

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Nice video, and a great rack. And Im impressed with your steady hand on the 4 1/2" disc cutter. nice line. I have an OEM rack but always wanted something longer, almost covering the complete top. Still don't know how to have supports at each end of the car, and how to make sure that the supports don't screw with the roof finish. Im going with this thought because I put an assortment of ladders up there for work, and its a pain attaching and supporting.
 

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Nice video, and a great rack. And Im impressed with your steady hand on the 4 1/2" disc cutter. nice line. I have an OEM rack but always wanted something longer, almost covering the complete top. Still don't know how to have supports at each end of the car, and how to make sure that the supports don't screw with the roof finish. Im going with this thought because I put an assortment of ladders up there for work, and its a pain attaching and supporting.
My rack doesn't cover the entire roof but it is 5' front to back which makes a big difference. You could do something similar with the Kee Klamp design.

https://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76768
 
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