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Old 08-07-2022, 07:52 PM   #1
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Schedule 40 vs 80 pvc pipe

So I have a homemade kayak rack made from 2x4’s that I put in my pickup bed to carry my kayaks. It has served me pretty well for years, but weather, time, and abuse had taken its toll on it and finally a nasty wind storm put it out of its misery. Needless to say, I need a new one. But, the wood rack was heavy, bulky, and a pain moving around, especially by myself when I needed to. So I’m looking at making a new one out of PVC pipe. Quick, easy, cheap, and lightweight.

My question: Which pipe would be a better one to use? 1 1/2” schedule 40 or 1” schedule 80? Price and availability are about the same for either. The 80 has slightly thicker walls making it more rigid, while the 40 has more surface area and might be more stable.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:05 PM   #2
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I'd go with the sch 40. Mostly to get more surface area for glue.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:16 PM   #3
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Why not 1 1/2” Sch 80?

The, typically white, Sch 40 is less UV resistant than the, typically gray, Sch 80. Eventually it will become brittle when exposed to sunlight. When used for irrigation it is usually buried.

The thinner walled 1 1/2” Sch 40 will likely be more rigid than the thicker walled 1” Sch 80. A function of the larger diameter.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:22 PM   #4
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4 minute video that should help you decide

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...tail&FORM=VIRE






Spoiler alert.....Schedule 80
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:29 PM   #5
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Why not 1 1/2 Sch 80?
Price and availability constraints.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:46 PM   #6
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I'm trying to picture in my head what the rack would look like. My first thought was that it might sag unless it has quite a bit of support bracing incorporated into it.

Edited: Ok, I bet you're building the rack to support the kayaks on their sides. If so, I'd buy the cheaper of the two.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:12 PM   #7
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I'm trying to picture in my head what the rack would look like. My first thought was that it might sag unless it has quite a bit of support bracing incorporated into it.

Edited: Ok, I bet you're building the rack to support the kayaks on their sides. If so, I'd buy the cheaper of the two.
Its going to be built almost identical to this, except the top rails will extend more out to the sides to accommodate both kayaks to be set on their tops. And the over cab extension will not be as long.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:10 PM   #8
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By eye it's 2" he used. You could rip on a table saw a 8 sided 2x4 to slip in horz.ones the kayak will touch and therefore try to bend.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:43 AM   #9
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White pvc will harden and become very brittle in sunlight without painting it. Grey electrical won't. But it's also more flexible. Grey schedule 80 waterpipe is made, I just installed a 20ft 4" piece of it for sewer. Don't know about it's sun resistance but you can check.
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:02 AM   #10
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Nope, what you are proposing just isn't a good idea. Just not enough sheer stability. Your kayaks will probably slice thru the air so driving shouldn't be a problem but in an emergency braking situation all the weight from two kayaks will exert a significant amount of torque on the frame. Not to mention the force from side winds. I'd re-engineer.
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:13 AM   #11
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As a structural engineer (retired) I would be surprised if either choice would safely keep your kayaks in your truck.

Round sections are not very efficient in flexure, plastic is not very stiff, and the small diameter pipe has low moment of inertia.

A better solution (alas, a much more expensive solution) may be 80/20 aluminum extrusions. That might cost more than a commercially built rack, but it would be light weight and adaptable to your needs.
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:20 AM   #12
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You could consider aluminum unistrut, although not as cheap as your PVC but it is up to the job
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
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By eye it's 2" he used. You could rip on a table saw a 8 sided 2x4 to slip in horz.ones the kayak will touch and therefore try to bend.
FWIW: 1.5 pipe has an o.d. of 1.9.
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Backcountry1 View Post
Its going to be built almost identical to this, except the top rails will extend more out to the sides to accommodate both kayaks to be set on their tops. And the over cab extension will not be as long.
That looks to be larger pvc, maybe 2". But even if 2", I'm kinda surprised it's holding up under that canoe's weight. As in the image, you'd need to secure it in multiple places to minimize flexing. I think I see a spacer between the frame and the cab, something I'm sure would be needed to keep the front from flexing excessively. Do you know how long that particular setup has been in use?

I don't think you need to be concerned about the pipe's UV resistance since I'm betting you're probably only going to use it occasionally.
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