I am condidering a bolt on solution so that I can run a chain link fence top rail from my front rack to the rear rack. I am trying to figure out how to have a quick pin release at the front and something similar at the rear but I haven't had the time to really invest in it yet. Maybe I will have more time this weekend.
I found a bolt on top rail end cap and I can do something similar on the other end if I can keep it supported. The problem I am seeing is that there is a lot of flex both up and down with the tolerances in teh standard receiver hitch setup. When I tie to the hitch mounted rack I have a lot of movement in the receiver just by the nature of the slip fit of a receiver. By having this much slop in there I am afraid that I will have issues with the cross bar trying to pull out so I will have to bolt through or pin it to keep it together. Not a big deal, it just adds to the parts to have to keep up with.
I have several family members that are welders so when I get home I may make a stronger bed extender piece anyway. I can deal with the additional weight because it is in 3 pieces. I can't deal with the welds breaking. I am pretty surethat the only piece I need to make stronger is the bottom piece. The top piece seems to be fine. I may make it differently because even with the setup I have, I can make it stronger and lighter by removing some of the bolt on parts and just welding collars on the vertical pieces. This will clear up some of the slop in the movemement as well.
I have a picture of me in it that I will try to post just for fun. Reality is, I was just a little bored and thought I could get something to work while I have been traveling. If I get it to work, I can have a stronger solution built when I get back home in a couple months.
Thank you all very much for the suggestions. I will post up the finished product as well.
As far as costs, I had a coupon for the bed extender and it cost $31 plus tax. I bought a 18" receiver tube for $14 and the piece of steel that connects the two cost $20 at the local brick and mortar because they had it in stock and I didn't have time to shop around really. Total cost of the functioning parts is about $65 so far.
I added another $15 worth of bolts and washers and the other support fixes that will be discarded. Those won't factor in to the cost of the finished product, when I get it working.
The 5/8" drill bit to drill the steel was another $18 for that one stinking bit. You don't have to go 5/8" but that is the standard hitch pin size on a class III hitch. I had the rest of the bits and tools handy.
Yes I will eventually end up with more in this than I would have in a cheap hammock stand. the thing about this is that I can hang wherever I can park my truck which isn't always where I could put a hammock stand in addition to my truck. It is also just a fun conversation piece and the bed extender will work with the kayak.