Unistrut Rail Along Bed Walls - Page 2 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:08 PM
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I picked up a 10' Superstrut and some 3/8" spring nuts to start my project. I'll likely skip using my OEM tie down locations. I don't like the idea of giving them up so I'll use some 3/8 toggle bolts drilled into the bed to mount the rails. I'll use this system on our work Canyon to mount the XBull traction boards inside the bed as well.
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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got her done. To attach the ammo boxes and jerry can I just used bolts that will fit into the unistruct nut assembly (the ones I used had a blue plastic frame around the brass rectangular nut - located in the unistrut section at Lowes), flat washers, rubber washers and nylon lock nuts. The ammo boxes used the frame system I fabricated. The bolts, washer, rubber washer, flat washer and nylon nut is what attaches the box to the frame. Hope that makes sense. Not pictured but I swapped out some of those eyebolt tie downs with some boating cleats. Makes it a lot easier tying things up.
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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:23 AM
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Here what mine looks like using the 3/8" toggle bolts for mounting.

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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the idea



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Where did you get your side rail from and the mounts


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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 12:30 PM
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Where did you get your side rail from and the mounts


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Just about any hardware store will have the rail.

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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 01:19 PM
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Where did you get your side rail from and the mounts


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The rails are $20 for a 10' piece at Home Depot or Lowe's in the electrical section.

Mounted with these knockoff GM tie downs.



I swapped out the eye bolts for M8 stainless bolts and washers.


I bolted these tie downs to the rails




They sell the nuts for bolting things to the rails right next to them in the store.

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Last edited by foghelmut; 04-21-2019 at 01:33 PM.
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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 05:38 PM
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Just finished installing those unistrut rails along the wall of my bed. Turned out pretty good if I say so myself. Now I have a lot of options for storage around the bed. Made a mounting frame out of the rails for a 40mm ammo can. It's much more secure and stable then just attaching the can to the side. Any comments?
So I just ordered some unistrut and hardware today, with the intentions of doing something very similar. I'm sure I can improvise if necessary, but did you need to space the strut out, away from the interior of the bedside, or did you just bolt it flush to the bedside? I suppose it depends on what you intend to attach to the strut, but from looking at my bed today, I was unsure if there would be enough clearance for mounting things like tools or a gas can if I just bolted it as flush as possible.

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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 05:46 PM
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So I just ordered some unistrut and hardware today, with the intentions of doing something very similar. I'm sure I can improvise if necessary, but did you need to space the strut out, away from the interior of the bedside, or did you just bolt it flush to the bedside? I suppose it depends on what you intend to attach to the strut, but from looking at my bed today, I was unsure if there would be enough clearance for mounting things like tools or a gas can if I just bolted it as flush as possible.
I bolted it flush using the low profile strut. There are full size strut rails with more depth/thickness. I want it to be as minimal as possible for when I don't have anything attached to it. But it's a solid base to build off of.

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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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So I just ordered some unistrut and hardware today, with the intentions of doing something very similar. I'm sure I can improvise if necessary, but did you need to space the strut out, away from the interior of the bedside, or did you just bolt it flush to the bedside? I suppose it depends on what you intend to attach to the strut, but from looking at my bed today, I was unsure if there would be enough clearance for mounting things like tools or a gas can if I just bolted it as flush as possible.
For my ammo cans I wanted them to be away from the top rail so that you can open it upwards. To accomplished that I just used the original full length rail as a base and then used a secondary rail that i cut down to the length of the item you are attaching. I used the unistrut hardware to attach the secondary rail to the original rail. This will give you the right amount of clearance to miss the top of the bed. Let me know and I will provide pics if that will help.
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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:29 AM
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For my ammo cans I wanted them to be away from the top rail so that you can open it upwards. To accomplished that I just used the original full length rail as a base and then used a secondary rail that i cut down to the length of the item you are attaching. I used the unistrut hardware to attach the secondary rail to the original rail. This will give you the right amount of clearance to miss the top of the bed. Let me know and I will provide pics if that will help.
Typically, I would say that mounting the unistrut secure against the bed and then using spacers as you describe to offset items would be the best route to go. Add rigidity to the very thin bed walls and let the mechanical sturdy unitrust be what takes to stress.
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post #31 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:48 AM
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So I just ordered some unistrut and hardware today, with the intentions of doing something very similar. I'm sure I can improvise if necessary, but did you need to space the strut out, away from the interior of the bedside, or did you just bolt it flush to the bedside? I suppose it depends on what you intend to attach to the strut, but from looking at my bed today, I was unsure if there would be enough clearance for mounting things like tools or a gas can if I just bolted it as flush as possible.
As stated above, I would keep the unistrut as flat against the bedwall as possible and space out the item you are mounting. You could use something like steel/aluminum bolt spacers to give you the extra room needed to open the ammo box lid. Here is an example of a 3/8" by 1.5" spacer at Home Depot. I'm sure you can find longer ones if needed. ACE Hardware usually has a better selection of this kind of thing.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/The-Hill...0418/204726193
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post #32 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:17 AM
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Another thing to consider with uni-strut: If you mount a piece horizontally like shown, now mount a piece vertically to the original strut, and you have spaced the mounting point out another 1" (or more, depending on the low or high profile strut you use.)

Electricians will often hang a couple of pieces of uni-strut from the rafters in one direction, and then hang a second set of uni-strut underneath from the first set at 90 degree angle. This gives the electrician complete adjustability in two directions. The struts are hanging often from all thread, supporting electrical conduit (or plumbers, piping). Works great in an environment where the mounting point is not in motion, like most buildings. Of course, I doubt any of this meets California building codes, since your buildings do move. Maybe that is why some of you have never seen uni-strut.
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post #33 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:03 AM
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Another thing to consider with uni-strut: If you mount a piece horizontally like shown, now mount a piece vertically to the original strut, and you have spaced the mounting point out another 1" (or more, depending on the low or high profile strut you use.)

Electricians will often hang a couple of pieces of uni-strut from the rafters in one direction, and then hang a second set of uni-strut underneath from the first set at 90 degree angle. This gives the electrician complete adjustability in two directions. The struts are hanging often from all thread, supporting electrical conduit (or plumbers, piping). Works great in an environment where the mounting point is not in motion, like most buildings. Of course, I doubt any of this meets California building codes, since your buildings do move. Maybe that is why some of you have never seen uni-strut.
Along these lines, you can attached another L bracket to the L bracket holding the ammo can but face this one backwards toward the bed. Cut it proper length so that it rests against the bed wall so it will help keep the can stable. Basically your bracket looks like and upside down T with the can mounted on one side.

This is overkill for something as small and light as an ammo can but if you fill it with lead and or use thin flexible L brackets it would help. I plan on doing this for mounting my traction boards with the bolts at the top to ward off flex.
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post #34 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:39 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I bought 20' of unistrut, because I wanted to not only put a couple rows on each bed side, but I also planned on mounting some around the outside of my toolbox as well. If the bed begins to look to much like an erector set, I may not install quite so much, but I figured if I want to have lots of mounting options, I might as well create LOTS of mounting options! I will primarily be using the strut with some eye-bolts, as tie down spots, but I do want to mount my rotopax gas can and hi-lift jack. I already mounted my traction boards to the underside of my toolbox, but I may also try to mount the small shovel or the ax that I currently keep in my tool box. I have a bicycle cable lock on my jack, but is pretty ugly looking. I have thought about fabricating something like the locking mount that Hi-lift sells for their jacks and I figured I could do something similar to lock my shovel. My rotopax gas can already locks, but has anyone found any sleek ways of locking an ax in the bed?

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post #35 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:01 PM
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Quick Fist are great for mounting that kind of stuff but it's not for things you want to leave unattended as it's rubber and doesn't lock.

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post #36 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quick Fist are great for mounting that kind of stuff but it's not for things you want to leave unattended as it's rubber and doesn't lock.

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An option to reduce the likelihood of a quick and easy theft is to wind a cable lock around the handle of a tool and or drill a hole though a non-structural part so you can run the cable or a lock though. For something like a shovel you can wind a cable around it from end to end and lock it down to a tie down. Sure the thief can dismount the quick fist clamp but trying to unwind the cable is going to be a pain if you wind the cable tight enough. It's not going to stop a concerted effort but for the opportunist with no heady duty tools it will work.

You could also drill a hole through the top portion of the blade and run a cable or lock through it and bolt it to a rail or tie down.

Example
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Last edited by F8LZ71; 04-24-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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