What's new

DIY truck bed SXS rack

CarterKraft

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 21, 2020
Member Number
892
Messages
3,125
Loc
DFW
After towing my toyhauler for years with just dirt bikes in the garage we added a SXS for the wife/daughter. The SXS I picked just happened to be the longest of them all at 118" and just BARELY fit's in the 120" garage. IT is a first class pain in the ass to load/strap and leaves very little room for the rest of the gear even though it is only 50" wide. The SXS and usual cargo also puts me over my trailer axle rating of the TH which I am sure is not that great for the chincy RV components.

I the two dirt bikes and gear fit fine in the 8' bed of the truck but don't leave much room for anything else (generator ramps etc.).

Since I am now pulling the trailer with a Dually I figured I might as well use all the capacity of the truck instead of the trailer so a SXS rack was needed.
There are several commercial options, ToyUp, Ramptek, Marlin etc. but I am more of a roll your own type so I started drawing one up.
I figured I could make it two inchs lower to the bed sides than ToyUP and possibly lower the CG some (this bites me in the ass later).

I bought some 1x2 14 ga tubing and started building. I wanted 16ga but really there should be a mix of 14 and 16, it came out heavier than I would have liked but oh well.

Pretty quickly I had the base frame tacked up and most of the frame pieces cut.
With only a month before we left for the trip to Colorado I started getting cocky that this went together so fast.
View attachment MxgXP_B9u7f-T6oJQZVygIZ70nx8vIsIYTS7gEWJ69BHk0L2WMisL7JHrxwjuS_5P5RvViwuWfInwkdPyHc5ZsR7v7M1cUuZmBCJ

View attachment DxHMsPj_tawnFJwI15vQ-I0nzzJ4zIl_XU26K_sENysc7W2JRRW51pzoT4uuXtrE1OeH4SiZN20CAIQi7Nk3S6aojgp22Oskoh5Y
View attachment M6h-KkAOOtI2ShOi93Vh4P8p5driAeJiKk7lFep1bazwXnqkbfUAPNfWqdO4ZFlB5Vr07aRPuj4fcBsLf5qVaQCl69yl828OmxuB
 
Can you turn full lock with the toy hauler in-tow? Did you have to use a hitch extension?
 
Can you turn full lock with the toy hauler in-tow? Did you have to use a hitch extension?

I use a Hensley Arrow/Pro Pride style hitch, I can go full 90 no problem. The SXS rack has no effect on that though. Even with a shortbed a 2' tailgate overhang would have plenty of clearance to the trailer.
 
With the base tacked up and fitting in the back of the truck I started trying to figure out the overhang/ramp. I wasn't able to confirm any dimensions from any pix I found so this was sort of up in the air at the time of construction.

The rack might be pretty 17+ Ford Superduty specific as that's all I have to measure. I made the runners long enough to run up against the bottom of the front of the bed bulkhead. The hope was along with the front upper portion spread the load out all accross the bed so it doesn't accidentally taco the bed in a panic stop, Alumi-Duty and all.

About this time is when I discovered a flaw in my design. I had the side members measure out to 1/2" clearance to the top of the bed sides and the rear tail gate. That tight clearance sounded awesome to me and looked better than the pix of the ToyUp decks I have seen but when prototyping the overhang/ramp I found there is close to zero clearance for your hand/fingers on the top of the tailgate. In other words if you close the tailgate with your hand on the edge it is going to severely fuck up your hand/fingers.
I tried to convince my self that would be ok and I would remember but I knew better and it bothered me about the potential.

As I kept brainstorming I also found the rear of the rack was not supported by the longitudinal rails and sort of just hung off the back only supported by the last cross member and the side rails. That will point load the entire SXS and ramp landing weight when loading, 2 strikes against this design...

So at some point in these pictures I cut the bottom off and increased the heigth 2" and made the longitudinal members the full length to fully support the rack. It works better and I feel a lot better about it knowing I won't mash the shit out of my hand.

View attachment 3tosJh_UZhAB0cWS457r9nV5yOJhq_Sj7SHs2KW_R4Qk4A5_VadLKwndN9R_CmR_Q3qma0sqvqtrgMSbJ5JG7HvmzMZCiKYmBdDV
View attachment Tuqjkc_xziJD10VR94jxt4qfUsYouF1WbtTT1LoWkrE2NjINwBS-_vmLqcg-OCAOwEIaCeNVdMWW09zh6O3EcYtj7yWtWJqyc5fB
 
I had some circles from a giant gate I built that were perfect for lay out of the wheel chock boxes on the overhang.
I am not sure if this is far enough to the front or not but it works fine for my machine wheel base and should fit a buddies Maverick Max 4 seater no problem.

I added some more tube to support the front and got it loaded back in to the bed to check for sunroof/cab clearance. I have no idea if there is enough room for full flex situations. It seems like there is a ton, 3" inches in every plane.
View attachment -PoJK2UUeGvxgn-fpt2Qj3EZuwSQSFsKr0WCuMvqe_B0DmLtCRJgrlABywItH3lUG_oKutwxCf074UCItgSgd7a2qq4EXLK4BG1K
View attachment f5hAvMSV4xcXT0d9Q4JgrVQNIe_V3_guIUCdaqHgwcZVlrHrVMUjbtFWzyz3PsYzDmHExNO4qWwwlX_aBWBPfRVegybj5MJ-jL5V
 
The other decks are hit and miss with lateral support so I used some 1" EMT and made a cross brace. Basically zero weight added and should provide a ton of structure. It also gives me a place to strap my water tank to for boondocking.

I got all the rest of the track crossmembers tacked in and some more of the miscellaneous supports so we used the old ATV ramp and loaded the SXS up on the deck to see if it actually fit.
View attachment YpHvMt30vdk-du7Qgkb95eY81iq-vGIdaBzxnlVst4B_jaP57d6g-9nkzjEBOY8pGcflbBwuirVKW6dpBga8V8lIkrWcrS7Nen4h View attachment y9MeYZq6C6tqcam_ujHVXWL3X51L656wZqIMXb2m75SEgZrJlqGwMAXrIxYJM1p06_lXDgsRCaF4Yv0lc3f5pjAM5CQEdRf-Y03z View attachment jWNcvnIq1mPAQqpLaWCoa6dB5eZ04v7ZvVHL4C79ZHjplkcvDT42VsLZ9MH8tQLmPG6Ao-i9dxgkYbFU5JdNLU73toQSROV0Qw7z
 
I started on the ramps. WAY underestimated what it took to build the deck AND ramps. There is a lot of welding here.

I used the ToyUp ramps and Longramps.com 11' ramps for the inspiration. I didn't want to have to Tig all the ramp stuff so I got a Teflon liner for my 6' welding cell mig gun and some aluminum wire. I still tigged the hinge parts and the high load pieces of the landing transition as I am way more confident in my Tig welding than the mig.
This was the first Mig Aluminum I had ever done. I used all my cusswords dialing in the AL mig but once I figured it out it was pretty cool and easy.

The ramps are made from 3x2x1/4 angle however I could not locally source the 3x2 so I bought 3x3 and ripped 1" off using the table saw. There are still aluminum chips everywhere!

I used 3/4 tubing for the rungs on 7" spacing. I tigged the bottom rung and doubled them up at the bottom for extra torsional insurance in rough terrain.

FYI The material for the ramps cost more than the steel for the deck...
Just buying the ramps for $459 from Longramps would be my suggestion.
View attachment 6cLxKXPZOVWVgTLL6nWMT99VmthE6zd8Du-w4bpGODo6p_Rz0spvNLBC7sjbStgAlal2oyW0U-_8jliDG0DlQR6X9pCcg5zyDarQ
View attachment hwaA9up6ExRqRV3yWFVenhvH_5hDNpIIJeI7uIn6YRXeFRICRap07yvNY-odcSdY37Zvbu6GF4K3VKKIkaAmgKwUY4IWwSjkFl8k View attachment z47b0vAeWfv4BOv-4-RDNDc5rV92KAPuf3wrTwOo-v1TJK9MGGeiI7P2Th7DYFEQA9-EP44rMetcu3CjuFFiJMrvmKjfPwN8j_2n View attachment 3C1-LvBELR0bVX1H5Y36qOINpSsGDEfEPBk5zMqrRnTRkmaiWos5BbjUHlQbpotjLNyPegTsQ8-M4C2FTjN9YWkP2am1jvj6E2Uy View attachment G3_paVX4q6nraGUpNYLZuV-HnuKs2VBix9FWDncJSn_OvXKwprNVUx4IfuHgnn0922IgBOpswEy7nnQwyo6YIih5yY_IwXlahOzo
 
First test load.
I added some more arch to the ramp hinge by welding in some 1/4" blocks under the fold point.
I still have some rubbing of the underside of the SXS on the top of the ramps where the apex is but I hope going to 27" or 28" tall tires fixes that.
I tried to round the transition off but I took off all the offending material I could and it still hits slightly.

The truck sagged almost 1" with the sxs in vs out.

View attachment hAlD-5cf1StZT6mRB_Xuyaxz8z846bd0hvGhHljeyMXyKG7X-FBLIVXj9TVkA2aWPz5CqPbvvZA28SAeKsB5KkgBFS0WmtcBy_Z8 View attachment 7vu9KxKEDBaD4bdTY8j0IgUjmDW5PiioVqtL9LKq91sypwRPFGUBQpXbxJmE6jGE_jTnFxT0kD_9R8DLhVsgOhoG4q7EmqJ18vww View attachment 1aqOcXODRhNBT9soCA7w7jbcVW_D6E0jxKPJUbENevz0dPCWk6dxk3lY0FbNX76cojAKQY2So-N2EvKFshLqNft17T2qmKmr58OD
 
Then I got the wife to paint it black. She even used some Rustoleum marine deck traction additive on the rung surfaces for wet loading/unloading and so I don't die getting in/out.

You can also see the tie down points, I used the 3/8 fence stirrups welded in a few locations for securing the tie downs.
You can also see the mounting point for the 1 1/2" ratchet straps. The ToyUp and others use turnbuckles securing the bed to the truck.
I thought that was a perfect setup but I couldn't find turnbuckles I was happy with so I bought a set of 1.5" ratchet straps and bolted them with grade bolts to the rack. I cut the straps down to the correct length and can easily remove the fabric from the rack for storage outside.

View attachment y1HBPkxQ7z4oQiKWFjhA_KS_4rcV2BIOpqtCjtZzZKytzzbVtab2lJQGXbBYB_h06OYSLAZVKG8B2Uwyk95Tc4jYJU8gr_L58IvB View attachment X1s0M-fcoamhdIzUohf20zGvrRLjVwQz1k5FkTtHPmnLLgHLpbZDdZYIoh7015u-9fsEQ2x-6t72HC-aRfDz5UxkjYVgcKTUdQT5 View attachment ACtC-3dBG2hKYz77vLX7y7hAqQW8EUtvmvy-5DLoJDl0QBPRFJqZ8BiEHoVDpoUgKRtSI6kZuc6OPIGEudNW6-5lb_OMJ6XLLUH7
 
Last edited:
Cool project, you might have too much shit though. :laughing:

Do you expect it to drop your fuel mileage any while towing the trailer?

Biggest potential issue I see with it is that even a minor mechanical failure (blown tire bead, burnt up clutch, shorted starter solenoid, etc) would leave you SOL.
 
THATS the longest sxs? Most 4 seaters are 117" wheel base, x3's are 135" wheelbase :eek:

Rack looks cool, that thing wouldn't just fit in the bed?

Cool project, you might have too much shit though. :laughing:

Do you expect it to drop your fuel mileage any while towing the trailer?

Biggest potential issue I see with it is that even a minor mechanical failure (blown tire bead, burnt up clutch, shorted starter solenoid, etc) would leave you SOL.

That's what the winch is for.
 
Cool project, you might have too much shit though. :laughing:

Do you expect it to drop your fuel mileage any while towing the trailer?

Biggest potential issue I see with it is that even a minor mechanical failure (blown tire bead, burnt up clutch, shorted starter solenoid, etc) would leave you SOL.

Too much shit = confirmed.:laughing:

Mileage actually increased on this year's trip, non issue but I was worried.

Thats just a normal problem though, always someway to get screwed. In a pinch I could use ratchet straps, ropes etc to pull it up.
 
THATS the longest sxs? Most 4 seaters are 117" wheel base, x3's are 135" wheelbase :eek:

Rack looks cool, that thing wouldn't just fit in the bed?



That's what the winch is for.

I should have said longest 50"...
It would fit in the bed but the rear tires would be on the tailgate and that's a no go for me. I would also lose all my storage in the bed that way.

I have more pix to add of how it all loads up. It worked extremely well for us. Even allowed the upper bunk to be used at a halfway stopping point on the trip up. Many advantages over the previous reversed setup.
​​​​​​
 
I should have said longest 50"...
It would fit in the bed but the rear tires would be on the tailgate and that's a no go for me. I would also lose all my storage in the bed that way.

I have more pix to add of how it all loads up. It worked extremely well for us. Even allowed the upper bunk to be used at a halfway stopping point on the trip up. Many advantages over the previous reversed setup.
​​​​​​


Ya, I kinda figured that was the case.

I'd like to have something similar for my samurai, but I'd probably have the front tires sit on top of the rails and the back sit on a platform even with the bumper. I'd have it mount to the hitch and be a hitch extension also, but I'd also be limited on trailer size.
 
Great build. Non slip paint will be gold on those muddy/wet climbs up and down

One thing I never have enough of on my trailer is tie down points. Always hauling different things and in different configurations.
 
Ill try posting from my phone...
​​​​​​This is what the bed looks like loaded for various trips. Still having the full bed for storage is pretty awesome.
20201125_082938.jpg

20201125_082938.jpg
 
Here are some shots of it all loaded and hooked up to the truck.

You can see how much bullshit fits in the garage, this trip is camping Thanksgiving, turkey fryer, shrimp boil pot etc.

Also a shot of the Hensley hitch if y'all haven't ever seen a pivot point projection hitch, they are pretty weird but make towing these huge bumper pull trailers stress free.


20200724_153152.jpg
20201125_082947.jpg
20201125_083020.jpg
20201125_083020.jpg
 
What's the GVWR for that truck? That scales out heavier than my 20' 14k deckover, one ton fj60 cruiser, and f550 loaded up for a week long trip.

For sure an impressive setup.
 
What's the GVWR for that truck? That scales out heavier than my 20' 14k deckover, one ton fj60 cruiser, and f550 loaded up for a week long trip.

For sure an impressive setup.

14k GVWR on the truck

The trailer has a 13k GVWR

Ford towing guide says GCWR is 40K and max conventional trailer weight is 21k, I know those are subjective numbers for payload etc. but the rear axle weight shows me I have plenty left for flexibility in loading.
 
That stuff will be mighty brown after towing your junk home in a thunderstorm :laughing:

Too late LOL,
Left riding early on Saturday to try and beat the rain... Didn't make it and the truck sat outside all night and it rained mud off the SXS all night and absolutely covered all that shit with it.

Since it was sand based mud it was easy to clean but I did make a mental note for it in the future.
 
Freaking nice work! I can't believe that trailer is that heavy with just a couple of dirt bikes and 4k of camping gear... :flipoff2:

I would consider some through-the-wheel straps to tie down that Maverick, I think. It might make the truck feel a little less bouncy, and would at least make me feel more confident that it wasn't going to try to work any straps loose.

Very well done. And that's hilarious about the mud dripping all over your stuff. No sweat--you have plenty of room for a HF electric power washer!
 
Too late LOL,
Left riding early on Saturday to try and beat the rain... Didn't make it and the truck sat outside all night and it rained mud off the SXS all night and absolutely covered all that shit with it.

Since it was sand based mud it was easy to clean but I did make a mental note for it in the future.

:laughing::laughing: glad I could help :flipoff2:
 
Freaking nice work! I can't believe that trailer is that heavy with just a couple of dirt bikes and 4k of camping gear... :flipoff2:

I would consider some through-the-wheel straps to tie down that Maverick, I think. It might make the truck feel a little less bouncy, and would at least make me feel more confident that it wasn't going to try to work any straps loose.

Very well done. And that's hilarious about the mud dripping all over your stuff. No sweat--you have plenty of room for a HF electric power washer!

Agreed, I am sure we have a ton of shit we don't need but it is basically built like a fifth wheel with a tongue.
I added 7k lb electric leveling jacks, 400w of solar, inverter, 2x 6v Golf cart batteries etc. plus all the "camping" shit.

I don't mind it being heavy so as long it doesn't cause problems :rolleyes: which is why I try to keep the trailer GVW in check.

I'll look into the wheel straps, I have seen that has become a lot more popular as a way to strap them down.

The mud sucked, I should have took pictures... I could have pulled it up in to my RV stall and not had that problem but I was ready for some couch time haha.
 
Top Back Refresh