Roof rack/cross bars upgrade | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Roof rack/cross bars upgrade


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March 5, 2015
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2002 Ford ranger
Just copy and pasting my intro thread..

Long story short I've installed explorer roof rack rails on my ranger's camper shell to mount my cargo basket on and the OEM cross bars managed to snap with a spare tire in the cargo basket. The 3 piece design is pretty crappy so im now looking for a stronger alternative so im here to see what explorer owners do when they decide to upgrade their roof rack cross bars.

What my truck looked like about 15 minutes before they failed


and the aftermath... at least I fit in the garage now


I drilled and sealed all of the holes required to mount the factory explorer rails onto the shell so I'd like to either use them (are there aftermarket cross bars that attach to the explorer rails?) or use something that doesn't require me removing the explorer rails. Obviously there is no rain gutter to attach so I need something that works with the OEM setup on explorers or requires me to drill and mount directly to the shell. Either or.

Appreciate the help!

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I could probably fab something, but I just removed mine years ago.

I think Thule and/or Yakima make mounts that use the factory rails. My brother had one of those brands, mounts with crossbars, on his Explorer.

Too bad you aren't closer to me. I have some aftermarket rails I picked up at a swap meet years ago that you could experiment with. I can't recall the brand at this moment.

You can make some cross bars out of 1" round tube. Have to weld the uprights and pads on them tho. I would bet if you cut all the tubes to length and the mounting pads (tabs) and brought them to a muffler shop, they would weld them on for you cheap enough.

Just an idea for you ;)

I've been playing with an idea for a while now using 2" square aluminum tubing. I've got the rail point attachment down, just need to figure out how to get it high enough off the rail to clear the roof bulge in the center.