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I got the 2010 Patriot and I'm brainstorming how to build a roof rack system with the existing side rails.

I'm trying to resist buying a system since they are way over priced.

Has anyone done this?

What are the side rails made of? Aluminum or Steel? Can't find that info anywhere.

I'm thinking of drilling holes for bolts into the side rails for 1/4" bolts to fasten a piece of wood or aluminum plate, but I don't want to do this if the rails are steel. I also don't want to use any steel components for so nothing rusts.

My second attempt will be to make some sort of clamp to fasten to the side rails, either out of wood or 3/8 aluminum plate. This is difficult though because the rails are trapezoidal and the top is slightly rounded.

Let me know if there's someone out there who made their own and it worked out well. I'd rather use an idea that worked than "re-invent the wheel"
 

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I started making my own roof rack and then decided it wasn't worth it. I wanted it powder coated and that cost plus time and materials, it didn't make sense. I ended getting a Rola sent to my door for under $150. Anyway, the rails are steel, at least for a 2009 sport, I ended up doing a small modification on them.

Welcome to the forum BTW.
 

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I built surfboard racks using 1.5" conduit drilled, then attached with U-bolts. I used 2.5" - 3/16" U-bolts because there is very little clearance under the factory rack sides. I attached padding (pipe insulation) and straps to finish the job. They are painted black and very utilitarian.
 

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another option would be to take of the factory rails and use the mounting holes to go totally custom. They're just threaded inserts.

Pop the four caps off the ends of the rails and you'll see the screw heads.
 

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Got a Mopar Rack coming! I just think the Mopar parts and accessories work the best.
 
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