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External Towel Bar/Drying Rack


dhaig

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Nicely done and wonderful write-up.

I can attest to the holding power of those HF suction cups.  I hang waders and wading boot using them and have never had a single issue.

Note that the color of the suction cups helps in not forgetting to remove them prior to departure.😃

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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Love this!  My BIL is visiting for 7 weeks this summer -- he's always looking for a project, so I'm putting this one on his list!  🙂

@MarkV

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

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@johnwen, as I recall, the threaded end of the PVC adapter fit into the suction cup handle somewhat loosely.  I don't recall having to reduce the diameter at all.  The PVC cement bonding provides the greatest strength where the flange of the PVC adapter meets the cross-section of the suction cup handle.  I would also recommend using a generous dose of PVC cement into the suction cup handle, where it will likely bond to the threaded end of the adapter.

 

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spacer.pngNorth Texas | 2022 LEII, Hull #990, delivered 2/17/22 | 2014 BMW X5 35d

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, ScottyGS said:

Here is what we use... Not large but good enough for a towel or a couple of bathing suits. 

Towel bar.jpg

This looks permanently attached? Any info on parts or how you did this?

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Vincent, Ohio | 2022 Elite ll, Hull #1182, 2014 Ford F150 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Towing PKG

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Missy the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC

 

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On 5/30/2022 at 7:27 PM, dhaig said:

Cut the handle of the HF Dual Suction Cup Lifter in half transversely.  A hack saw or bandsaw is recommended.  File/sand the cut edges to remove burrs.

Unfortunately, I missed this part!

This caused me to be thinking about having never coming across any suction cup at Harbor Freight that looked anything like the ones shown in the picture above.  In turn, I happened to be at Harbor Freight this morning, found the suction cups but they (obviously) were in one piece that formed a "handle" between them.

It really helps to actually read the entire post!

Nicely done on both the post and the mod!

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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For those less industrious, "GO-STIK" products makes a single (4') aluminum towel bar that attaches with suction cups.  Major difference is that the GO-STIK only has a single bar vice triple. The GO-STIK product is obviously more expensive.  I have the GO-STIK myself and it suits my needs but I do like the OPs design.

Another note:  Make sure you avoid putting the suction cups on any graphics.

 

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2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2018 F250 4X4 Crew Cab, 6.7L diesel

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dhaig - IF THERE WAS AN “OLLIE MOD OF THE MONTH”  AWARD YOU WIN!!  🏆 🏆

Another option at a cost - a little spendy.

 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR”

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor 

North Carolina 🇺🇸

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/30/2022 at 5:27 PM, dhaig said:

I had seen the posting on 4/22/21 by @Calypso showing an externally mounted towel bar on the side of Hull #520.  The towel bar was made from a suction cup lifter and a piece of ¾" PVC tubing.  I thought this a great idea and made one for our LEII picked up on 2/17/22.  Due to nearly constant downpours in central TN the week we picked up Hull #990, we had immediate need for an external towel bar.  

We recently returned from a two week trip during which we also encountered several downpours.  We used the towel bar nearly every day, often not having enough space to hang damp items.  Upon our return I was about to make a second towel bar.  I was thinking of adding an improvement to offset the bar/tube further from the hull of our LEII, to avoid having towels in contact with dirt on the hull.  After mulling over a design for several days, I had an Aha! moment.  I could modify my existing PVC towel bar assembly and add additional tubes for greater capacity, while also moving the tubes further away from the hull.  Below are photos and a description of the result.

Materials (Quantity, Description, Source, Cost, URL)

1- 4-2/3 In., 125 Lb. Dual Suction Cup Lifter (Harbor Freight, $8.99, https://www.harborfreight.com/4-23-in-125-lb-dual-suction-cup-lifter-57501.html?_br_psugg_q=suction+cup+lifters)

2- 3/4 in. PVC Schedule 40 MPT x S Male Adapter (Home Depot,$0.71/each, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-PVC-Schedule-40-MPT-x-S-Male-Adapter-PVC021090800HD/203811638

4- 3/4 in. PVC Schedule. 40 90° S x S Elbow Fitting (Home Depot, $0.75/each, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-PVC-Schedule-40-90-S-x-S-Elbow-Fitting-PVC023000800HD/203812123)

4- 3/4 in. Schedule 40 S x S x S Tee (Home Depot. $0.85, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-Schedule-40-S-x-S-x-S-Tee-PVC024000800HD/203812197)

2- 3/4 in. x 10 ft. PVC Schedule 40 Plain-End Pipe (Home Depot, $6.98/each, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-3-4-in-x-10-ft-PVC-Schedule-40-Plain-End-Pipe-PVC-04007-0600/100348472)

1- 0.091 in. x 2-3/4 in. Zinc-Plated Safety Pin (2-Piece) (Home Depot, $2.31, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-0-091-in-x-2-3-4-in-Zinc-Plated-Safety-Pin-2-Piece-815408/204276312#overlay

 

The finished towel bar/drying rack shown in place below.

IMG_0648.thumb.jpeg.265cc7c3083c1d2fb1b80a0891c2d069.jpeg

 

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The disassembled parts are shown below:

image.thumb.jpeg.087648145577e56ff52be47130472a6a.jpeg

I chose NOT to cement the entire assembly, since it would be much harder to store when in transit.

Construction

  • Cut the handle of the HF Dual Suction Cup Lifter in half transversely.  A hack saw or bandsaw is recommended.  File/sand the cut edges to remove burrs.
  • Use PVC primer and cement to fasten the threaded end of each 3/4 in. PVC Schedule 40 MPT x S Male Adapters to each of the cut ends of the handles of the Dual Suction Cup Lifter. 
  • Cut the ¾" PVC tubing for the hanging tubes
    • I chose to make 3 hanging tubes, each 45" long.  This length easily fits in our rear cargo carrier and sags very little  Adjust length to suit yourself.
  • Cut 8 pieces of ¾" PVC tube to 1-½" in length.  These short pieces serve to couple the elbows, tees and adapter together.
  • Using a belt sander I slightly beveled the cut ends of the hanging tubes and the connector tubes so they would more easily slide into the tee and elbow sockets.
  • Assemble the two "manifolds" as shown above, each having: 2 elbows, 2 tees and 4 of the 1-½" connector tubes.  Use PVC primer and regular PVC cement to assemble one joint at a time.  Be sure to align the open sockets of the tees and elbows.  Hold each joint until cement prevents movement of components.  The manifolds should be identical.
    • NOTE: do not put PVC primer or cement on the short connector tubes which will be inserted into the adapters cemented onto each handle of the Dual Suction Cup Lifter.
  • When the manifolds are assembled insert the hanging tubes into the three open sockets on each manifold.  Again, I chose not to glue the hanging tubes to the manifolds for ease of storage.
  • Insert the connector tube on each manifold into the adapters cemented to each half of the Dual Suction Cup handle.  Again, do not use PVC primer or glue.
  • With all components assembled, do a test fitting on the hull of your Oliver.  Slightly dampening the suction cups significantly improves their grip on the hull.
  • The hanging tubes and manifolds assembled should largely support themselves horizontally.  I had leveled my trailer and used a level to also level the towel bar/rack.
  • When the towel bar/rack is level drill a 7/64" hole vertically through the adapter coupling joining each half of the Dual Suction Cup Lifter to the short connector tube of each manifold.  The purpose of the hole is to permit insertion of the zinc plated safety pin which will prevent the towel bar/rack from sagging, while still permitting the rack to be disassembled.
  • Insert the zinc plated safety pins through the holes drilled into the adapter couplings to maintain the towel bar/rack in a horizontal position extending from the hull.
  • I marked the suction cups and manifolds Left and Right to avoid difficulty later inserting the pins through the connectors.  I also put an index mark on the adapters and manifold connectors for easier alignment.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.417e2d590559679ba13cc4203ac00150.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.2f68e618979e87468f8686d6e2ea356d.jpeg

I have not yet tested this assembly in the field, but am confident it is strong enough to hold as many towels and clothes as will fit.  I expect it could also support wet shoes or hiking boots.  I hope this is useful to other owners.  I welcome suggestions for improvements.

As a final note, update your departure checklists to include removing and stowing the towel bar/rack.

can you post a link (or quote) the original modification for this towel rack, I saw it when it was originally posted but am having a hard time finding it now. I'm interested in seeing the difference between that one and yours. I'm planning on making one of these. Your comment of making it so the towels don't come in contact with the dirt on the trailer are spot-on. Since reading that I thought, how about if we make a fourth rail (proximal to the trailer) that one could hang something like a shower curtain (cut to size) that would act as a divider to keep the towels off the trailer surface?

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Albert & Terri Sterns

Paonia, Colorado

Elite II Hull #1125 Standard Floorplan / 2017 Ford F250 gas

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Screenshot_20220823-085634_Chrome.thumb.jpg.8f4c96dcbd78921a5e2af5de2a61ccc0.jpg

If you use 3 or 4 bars, I'd be sure to fasten the towel bar somewhere that the towels, shower curtain, etc. won't block the fridge vent, or exhaust vents.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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@AlbertNTerri, my apologies for the delayed response, we have been in transit.

The original post by @Calypso is included in the following thread: 

Scroll down about midway and look for the posting by @Calypso.  There is a picture of an LEII and a white pickup truck in a desert environment.  The towel bar referenced is visible in the middle of the curb side of the LEII.  It is a single piece of PVC with suction cups at either end.  This is what provided the inspiration for my expanded version.

You can choose the amount of offset for the first bar/rail from the body of the LEII by using 90 degree couplings.  As mentioned in my post, I have not yet load tested my three tube design, but am confident it can support a significant load of towels and other wet items.  I encourage you to experiment with four tubes and share your experience on the forum.  PVC tubing and coupling are inexpensive; time is dear.  Good luck.

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spacer.pngNorth Texas | 2022 LEII, Hull #990, delivered 2/17/22 | 2014 BMW X5 35d

 

 

 

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