Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DIY PAP Carbon Pole Roof Rack PVC Case

I have a couple of different telescoping carbon fiber poles that I use for Pole Aerial Photography, a 11m and 12.5 meter pole.  I normally keep one of the poles in the back of my Toyota, but it's always in the way, and I had a feeling that it's going to get broken if I continued to transport it that way.  I have 2 Big dogs that ride back there, and I wanted to clear the space, but still have it with me at all times.  I decided to build a PVC container that is mounted to my Yakima roof rack securely, with he ability to lock the carbon pole inside.  Both poles have a rubber end cap, and they individually fit into a 2" PVC tube.  I allocated the proper tubing from the Home Depot with end caps, and used some old rack parts to mount it to the Yakima. 

I primed and painted the PVC black to match my car and rack.  The front end-cap is clued on with a bolt and lock nut securing it in place.

The back end-cap is secured with a larger bolt where the nut is hand tightened.

I drilled a hold through the bolt large enough to put a Masterlock on to prevent anyone from peeking inside without the key.

I put a small bolt on the end cap of the carbon pole so I would have a way to pull it out from the pipe.

The 12.5m carbon pole fits into the tub with about 1" to spare.

The PVC tube was drilled to enable 2 bolts a couple of feet up from each opening to mount to a standard Yakima rack plastic mount.  The enables me to lock the PVC tube to the rack a 2 mount points.

 Here's the complete rig mounted on the Highlander, and ready to go for the summer.  I always will a pole with me, and just have to remember to bring the camera! 


  1. Awesome mod. Can you please tell me what model yakima rack do you have and what parts did you use to mount the pvc to the rack securely..

    Thank you so much,

  2. Very nice. How did you put the bolts into the tube (the ones that attach it to the Yakima clamps) - without having the bolt heads inside the tube damage the the photo mast?

    Thanks -

  3. The carriage bolts have a rounded head, and have not had any affect on my carbon fiber pole. The PVC is slightly larger than the diameter of the pole, so there is a little wiggle room. If I were going to do it again, I might get a bigger PVC pipe so I could fit both of my poles inside. Since these pics have been posted, I have remounted the enclosure on the bottom of the yakima rack, versus up top. Less wind resistance, and it hugs the contour of the roofline.