I am bringing this blog out of hibernation to post something that will eventually help maybe one or two people, many years from now. If it does, leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it.
We have an upcoming project that will require a bunch of building things, involving 4x8 sheets of plywood. These cannot fit in a Honda CRV (at least not mine, a 2009 model).
I was inspired by this post on Mr. Money Mustache about building a DIY roof rack. I love this idea vs. paying for delivery, and unlocking future utility in my vehicle.
MMM's solution is to build a rigid square, strap/bungee the square to the frame, then load it up. I wanted to aim a bit higher and have something more durable - I'm too paranoid about a load flying off.
I started Googling "DIY roof rack Honda CRV" and didn't find much out there. The first thing I learned is that the 2007-2011 CRV has 8 bolts available for attaching roof racks. Plastic covers can be simply popped off with a flathead screwdriver:
Identifying the bolt type was another challenge. I found a great video by "James" on Youtube who identified conclusively the required part to make a rock-solid homemade roof rack:
M8 1.25-pitch coupling nuts
I looked all over Saskatoon but no one carried them. I found
these deez nuts at Canadian Tire but they are only a few mm tall; they are not "coupling":
I brought them home and verified that yes, these conclusively fit the 2007-11 CRV.
Note: Apparently the bolts on top of the CRV are painted at the factory. This means the nuts are a bit hard to screw on at first. Installing a nut all the way and removing it makes it easier next time.
Then I ordered a 10-pack of these coupling nuts on Amazon at a cost of $16, plus extra for fast shipping
I don't have a good close-up of how the frame is attached to the car, but here's how I stacked all the components:
- CRV: M8 bolt built into car.
- Flat metal washer just less than 1" in diameter - this ensures the first nut is about the right height.
- M8 1.25 nut from the package about (this gets the coupling nut a but higher)
- M8 1.25 30mm coupling nut from the Amazon link above.
- 2"x4" plywood block to stand the roof rack frame over the car roof
- M8 1.25 50mm bolt (just the right height to go through a 2x4 and into the coupling nut