I have an ARE V series rack on my truck, and am needing to build a rack for hauling sheet goods.
I do a lot of work with plywood sheet so I'd be sizing the rails to be at just a hair over 4' wide and then probably just go from the back of the topper to the front of the cab which at a rough measurement was just over 9' or so. That would give me a perfect platform for plywood to be placed on there off of a fork lift.
My thought was to weld a couple stainless steel lug plates to the bed, that way I can simply bolt and unbolt the rack as needed. I'll be getting the bed lined at some point and probably have them go up on the rails of the bed itself. As long as the threaded hole is masked off I don't think that'll cause any problem.
What I'm really trying to figure out here is just how I'm going to get this done and still retain the topper.
I've seen "topper racks" where the damn rack sticks out what seems to be an extra 6" on the sides, and that to me just looks like absolute crap. I'd like to get this as tucked onto the topper as possible. With maybe like a half inch clearance on top and an eighth or less on the sides.
The topper is fiberglass with, what I imagine is an aluminum rail going along the bottom. My initial thought is to just get some stainless plate. Form a couple bends and notch out the aluminum rail and a bit of the fiberglass to fit around the plate. Then once the plates are in place I can simply weld directly on to those.
What's in my head might not be translating too well here, so if there are questions or ideas or tips, let me know. I didn't come across anything here in the forums that fit this specific bill. That said, I'm still recovering from a concussion received from my old truck getting smashed up. So I'm slightly fuzzy anyway.