Cargo Box & Basket Mounting Options for Fiberglass Shell on 1995 Ford F-150

Question:

Id like to purchase the Thule roof basket but I have no idea what I would need to mount it on a fiberglass camper shell which is on a 1995 Ford F-150 8 ft. bed or if it could be done.

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Expert Reply:

It is certainly possible to mount a rooftop cargo basket like Thule's Canyon # TH859XT or one of their enclosed cargo boxes like their Force XT# TH6356B on a fiberglass camper shell.

Either way a good starting point, if possible, is to check with the shell manufacturer for any guidance regarding its weight carrying capacity and for suggested mounting options for a carrier. You'll need to drill holes in the shell for mounting a cargo basket or box.

In terms of weight, keep in mind that the weight of the carrier itself also counts against the shell's weight limit. If the shell manufacturer says, for example, that it can handle 100-lbs then this means that the 32-lb weight of the Force XT or the 29-lb weight of the Canyon basket counts against that, leaving you 65- and 71-lb loaded cargo weight capacity, respectively.

Cargo baskets and boxes include mounting hardware for attachment to roof racks, but in your installation you may prefer to simply use your own hardware for direct installation.

Another option is to first install a rack on the shell. This will increase your overall height but it will also help to spread out the weight of the loaded basket or box. Rhino-Rack offers their Fixed Mount Sportz Crossbar system # Y05-460 which permanently bolts to your shell's roof (provided it does not have an interior headliner that would interfere with hardware installation). If you prefer a roof rack with adjustment capability you can use Rhino-Rack's Track-Mount Vortex Aero rack # Y02-490B whose bars slide to your preferred position in the tracks.

With a rack installed on your shell your cargo basket or box would then install on top of the rack.

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Adam R

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