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2015 Tiguan (German Spec) TDI
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After looking at the prices for Thule and Slimline roof racks and cargo carries I decided offering my first born in exchange for one wasn't really going to be an option. Checking out the offers on eBay and Amazon, the other end of the price range is cheap Chinesium that starts rusting before you've even finished installing it.

At a local big box warehouse, I noticed these large plastic pallets were stacked up off to one side, and they looked just about the right size for a roof rack platform. I checked with the warehouse foreman and asked if I could have one and he said sure as they were going to toss it in the dumpster anyway.

Over all dimensions are pretty standard for a Euro pallet; (L) 1200mm x (W) 800mm x (H) 30mm (not counting the feet). Once I got it home, the nine feet came off first. Then I removed the rubber trip in the OEM TIguan roof rack and installed M6 T-slot anchors and I now have a functional and low cost roof rack.

Only problem I discovered is that it tended to sag in the middle since the center was unsupported. So one trip to the local hardware store to source 1-meter length of U-profile channel aluminum (x2), flat aluminum bar stock (x2) and some M6 SST bolts and Nylock nuts to put it all together. The U-profile was simply drilled and bolted to each side with no modification. The flat bar stock had to be cut to length to fit the width. Couple of pilot holes, some assorted bolts and screws and Presto! Job done. Total weight is 4.7 kg (10.3 lbs) which is not to bad and very easy to get up onto the Tiguan roof rack. This platform works quite well with my roof bag carrier so it's just the ticket for packing the extra soft luggage.

With the additional aluminum side rails, the pallet is nice and rigid, doesn't flex and looks pretty good if I do say so myself. And best of all, it cost me all of about €20 in hardware.

This pallet roof rack is generic enough that it should fit pretty much any OEM or third party roof rack rails out there and can be easily customized to accommodate the position of the rails and fixing points.

These plastic pallets are used by all kinds of stores, factories and ware houses and are often discarded. Simply cut the legs flush to get this project started -

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M6 or M8 roof rack T-anchors can be purchased directly from eBay or Amazon or you can make them yourself. If you buy them, be sure they're long enough for the thickness of the pallet you're using. The square base is 20x20mm to accommodate the slot in the rails. Be sure to secure then with lock washers or use Nyloc-nuts -
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Here's the finished pallet with the side aluminum U-channel side supports and cross bars. The cross bars are positioned and secured after the roof rack has been centered fore-aft, left-right to ensure they're in the correct location for the T-anchors.

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Close up of the T-Anchor used to secure the roof rack to the slot in the OEM rails. Since I made my own, I've used the same base on the top and then secured a Nyloc-nut to it can't come loose. I cut the bolt flush to the top of the nut and covered each one with a black plastic nut-cap to give it a nice finished look -

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Another view shows how well this fits on the OEM rails -

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These roof rack bags come in various sizes and are much less expensive and take up less space than the hard shell carriers when not in use.
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For comparison, here's a Front Runner roof rack. Sure, you could spend 895-Euros for something you might only use a few times a year. But why?

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2015 Tiguan (German Spec) TDI
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Keeping your Tiguan OEM Roof Rack Caps in Place

For anyone who's used the OEM Tiguan roof rack and lost a plastic end cap, here's a very simply way to make sure they don't come off. A couple of small holes and a zip tie is all it takes to keep them in place.

If you have lost one check with your local VW dealership before getting one from eBay or other reseller. I first looked on eBay and they were asking anywhere from 25-35 Euros. The VW had it brand new for only €17.95. Sometimes VAG is cheaper than the resellers but you have to ask to find out..

These are the slots where the end caps snap into place (two on each side for a total of four on each support post). This is a pretty bad design which can allow the cap to either blow off it not secure, or get stolen by sticky fingers passing by -

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Drill two 5mm holes (or sufficient diameter for your zip ties) and put the zip tie in position as shown -

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With the cap in place, secure the zip tie under the cross bar and cut off the excess -

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The cap is now secure and will stay in place until you're ready to remove it. It also provides some protection from someone with thoughts of stealing your rack as they'll have to get these caps off first. Not the perfect protection by any means. But hopefully it will encourage them to look elsewhere if they can't easily get the caps off -

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