After the plan was consolidated , the first thing I needed to do is to purchase the material. With all sorts of hardware stores around, nothing was difficult here except for 2 pieces of galvanized pipes that would be 18ft long. My van can accommodate up to 11ft long if I remove the seats, but I didn’t want to hang 7ft-long pipe out of the back of the truck while driving on the freeway. So I decided to give them a ride on the roof. However, my basic model van doesn’t come with travel rack…..It’s time to build a track.
Since I knew I was going to transport pipes of 2-3/8″ in diameter, I drilled the holes of same size with hole saw on two scraps of 2 by 4’s — both to sit vertically, but with one on the front roof and another in the rear respectively. The pipes would “string” through those holes and hopefully, the wood would “clamp” down the pipes on the roof.
In order to secure the 2 by 4’s on the van roof, I drilled some smaller holes to let my tie-down straps string through and then I wrapped those straps around the roof very very tightly.
Those methods made me feel comfortable about the vertical stabilization, I also needed something to secure on the horizontal direction. Just think what if I got rear-end or emergency brake. I didn’t want to see those pipes got shot out off the roof while driving on the free way. So I made another two similar “clamps” for both ends and used ropes to pull them from the engine mount and the rearmost pillar.
And don’t forget the red flag! Before I took off, I intentionally test with hard brake, just to make sure those pipe stayed on the roof rock-solid!