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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Carry 4x8 sheets of plywood on the roof rack?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 porcupine73


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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:27 PM

Can you carry 4'x8' sheets of plywood in/on a Subaru wagon? I have a 94, 96 and 00 Legacies. I think they might fit inside the tail at an angle, but with maybe 2 feet sticking out the back.


How about on the roof rack? Can you somehow strap them down tightly enough to make it home without losing them if driving carefully? I was thinking something like these ratchet straps? Maybe keeping it to just one to three sheets at a time to keep the weight up there down? I did it once with an Explorer many years ago but I just was afraid I was going to lose them on the road the entire time.


The local store wants $69 minimum for truck delivery so I'd like to avoid that if possible.

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Edited by porcupine73, 21 February 2013 - 04:27 PM.

#2 2X2KOB


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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

On a 2000 Outback, I would, if it was just a sheet or two of 3/4", 3 or 4 sheets of 1/2".  If the distance was short and I could keep it under 35 mph or so.  Probably cut a couple 48" lengths of 2x4 to use as extra crossbars and strap it down good.  You can run those straps through the interior, too.  I'm used to hauling my canoe around on top of the Outback though.  I think the sticker on that roof rack says not to exceed 100 pounds or something like that.


I had a 1984 Subaru wagon when I started building the house, and I made a permanently installed 48" wide wood roof rack for it out of oak 2x4s, lag bolted up through the roof.  They dinged me on trade-in for that a little bit.  But it would haul 16 12 foot 2x12s.  Drove funny though. 

#3 shadow



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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:10 PM

Sticking out the back is far better than on the roof rack IMO.  Most states that I know of will allow that during daylight hours with a red safety flag attached.  Factory roof racks really aren't very good lumber racks, and 32 sq. ft. of plywood can generate a lot of lift going down the road.  The other problem specifically with plywood is it will cut those nylon straps like a hot knife through butter at the edge of the sheet - it's too sharp.  You need to protect the straps with a radius edge of some kind.  I make my own corner protectors out of dimensional lumber on a router for that purpose.

#4 lmdew



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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:07 PM

No  problem, I've had 15 or more up there.  Make sure they are strapped well, ratchet tie downs work well.

#5 Fairtax4me



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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:50 PM

Buddy of mine hauls stuff on the racks on his Honda Accord sedan all the time.
Plywood, doors, 16ft lumber, you name it he's hauled it at 55mph from Lowes or Home Depot 14 miles back to his house. He uses three 400lb rated straps. Two crossed over the front and one over the back. Never had an issue, but you should stop every so often and check the straps if going a long distance (50 miles or more).

#6 Subruise


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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:19 PM

I will add that when utilizing  strappage of any type to put a twist in the strap anywhere it flaps in the wind. if you dont, you get huge vibrations from the strap acting like a parachute rather than, say, a spoiler. The strap then wears and tears on the edge of whatever you wrapped it around. 

#7 2X2KOB


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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:14 PM

And you can use folded hunks of cardboard for sharp edge strap protectors, maybe 2 or 3 thick, works fine.

#8 porcupine73


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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

Thanks for all the great tips, I appreciate them. I'll have to see what I can come up with. I want to build a nice size walk in coop for ducks, like 8'x8' at least or 10'x10' maybe. But it looks like to build that out with plywood covering would cost more than just getting say a metal shed of the equivalent size. Though I hear the cheap sheds tend to rust out within five to seven years.

Edited by porcupine73, 26 February 2013 - 01:07 PM.

#9 CNY_Dave


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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

if you have a hitch, you might think of building an elevated T so the sheets have a rear support, and they could be moved back a bit (less upwards hitting wind).


In any case, at least one rope going from the front of the wood to under the front bumper (counteracting the upwards force) is very helpful.

#10 88wacaroo


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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:14 AM

I use Thule racks w/the square Bars-The Best!!! You can pretty much carry Anything on the Roof of a Subie-Gotta Be A WGN. :headbang: I haven"t tried to carry another Subie though-I not that Brave OR Stupid!! But I have carried Most of A Subie UP there :bouncy:

#11 Blue Whale

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:40 AM

I did a lot of this with my old '93 Legacy, and some with the '96 Outback.  The latter had Thule crossbars, which are much better for holding plywood sheets.  In either case, there was no problem at all; and a pair of ratcheting nylon tie-downs kept the load well attached.  Lumber, furniture, appliances, camping gear, and of course people...station wagons are rather useful.

#12 johnceggleston


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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:34 AM

i would suggest:


run one strap under the rear hatch and snug it up to the hinges, then close the hatch. this is a much more secure tie down point that the rack itself, i think. plus it will make your tie down points longe, farther apart.


run another strap through the windows of the front seat with the windows down a bit. again, this will give a longer, more secure stance. you can do the same in the back seat if you have an extra strap.


and finally, as mentioned at least one line, rope, strap, from the shipping ''tie down'' on one side of the front under the car to the ''tie down''  on the other side of the rear under the car.


this way the rack is only being used for the weight load, and as a stand off to protect the roof. not as a secure tie down point.


and go slow, do not brake hard except in an emergency, life or death. if the load starts to shift forward , not thing you do is going to stop that except taking your foot of the brake and maybe putting it back on the gas. 


good luck.

Edited by johnceggleston, 01 March 2013 - 09:37 AM.

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