Ford Econoline Safari rack recommendations
May 28, 2010 12:39 PM   Subscribe

I have a 2005 Ford e150 van. I am going camping tomorrow and it would be nice to throw the clothes and sleeping bags on a roof rack. Yet the Yakima and Thule options seem terribly overpriced, and given the vehicle it should be obvious that fashion is not an issue. Is there a functional rack that I can get from a bricks-and-mortar retailer that costs <$300 and doesn't involve suction cups?

The van has gutters but no other rack to speak of. I would prefer a safari style basket rack, but beggars/choosers/desperation etc.

We have a small utility trailer but we're not supposed to take it over 60 mph and I haven't had time to put in a brake light wiring harness (we just bought the van). Thanks.
posted by mecran01 to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
If you have rain gutters, a bracket kit like this and some 2x4s can work. If you want something fancier, a ladder rack is pretty much the same thing. Just make sure you read your owners manual to see how much you can carry on the roof safely.
posted by procrastination at 12:46 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, I will see if I can find any of these locally.
posted by mecran01 at 1:15 PM on May 28, 2010

If you are stuck a full size van's roof is strong enough to handle light loads right on roof and you can buy ratchet straps with shallow hooks that will work with your gutters to tie stuff down. A couple good size duffel bags to keep stuff out of the weather and Robert is your father's brother.
posted by Mitheral at 2:01 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

When we went camping last month, we used a huge and cheap bag from Target to stow our gear on the roof. It had straps to connect to the roof rack but I ended up tying it down anyway just to make sure.

I think the total cost (which included a trunk organizer bag too) was like $20.

You could load it up on the roof and then use the straps through the doors to secure it and then really tie it down with ropes too.
posted by fenriq at 3:20 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I remember getting a pretty basic and ugly utility rack for the old Buick Riviera I used to have at a Pep Boys for less than a hundred bucks about ten years back. It was definitely not intended for my style of car, but would be perfect for a van. It was similar to this so it appears I may be underestimating the price I paid.
posted by Jawn at 3:36 PM on May 28, 2010

Procrastination got it right. I had a rack with those things and some 2x4s for 10 years on a truck. It worked superbly. I added a Bike Tight bicycle attachment and chopped an old ski rack up and screwed it on as well. It didn't look stylish but it worked great.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:16 PM on May 28, 2010

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