Half inch galvanized steel pipes form the bars of the roof rack. The Cross bar is protected by bar guard on cross bars. He helped us design a DIY van roof rack for our specific needs and hopefully we can do the same for you! The design itself couldn’t be more simple. This homemade roof rack system cost only $50. Among many other awesome features they built a custom roof rack out of Maker Pipe and conduit! I used CVCs aluminium bars, but any generic ones from your friendly car accessory store will also work. Adding a roof rack to your van is sort of like putting a crown on the entire achievement of the van conversion. Truck & Van Racks. Van & Truck Racks are a core segment at Rack Attack. 4. DIY - Roof Rack Fairing / Wind Deflector. 48. This was considerably cheaper than commercial roof racks we were looking at, many of which started at upwards of £500. I bolted through using stainless steel fittings and big washers, but you could use U bolts and bolt around the bars instead. I do not load or unload unless it’s fully down on the gutters. Follow The Little Red Bus on WordPress.com. Will your roof rack run front to rear, side to side, or both? Once you have double and triple checked your measurements, use a pencil, draw a circle around the flange and in each of the screw holes. As the solar panels were to be a permanent feature of the van, making a roof rack that would be permanently attached to the car wasn’t a problem. The Vantech H1 system uses 2″ X 1″ rectangular bars. It's a simple and cheap way to make a solid roof rack. The fittings are removeable and reconfigurable, so are very versatile. In this episode, we decided build our own roof rack and deck for your Sprinter for around $200. Insert bolts, provided with your van tech roof mounts, into your bottom brackets pointing upwards. Ensure its sits properly and no further adjustment is required. don’t forget it when entering ferries or passing under low bridges or entering underground car parks! We have a wide selection of Van and Truck Racks for most models of pickups and vans. As we only wanted to mount three rectangular solar panels, our simple design required just two 4 foot roof bars running front to back on either side of the vehicle. Drilling holes into the van is not something you want to get wrong so be sure to measure twice drill once! 2. Roof Racks are one of the easiest ways to add extra space to your tiny home. Ours are very heavy duty, but CVC have now produced a lighter version. The “U” cups the bar and is bolted into the solar panel itself. Wood can be the least expensive option to go if you're on a budget. They are bolted through the fibreglass and have beefy spreader plates on the inside and stainless steel fittings. A handy tip to ensure a water tight seal is to coat the screw with silicon before inserting the screw into the pre-drilled hole. This post is going to show you how YOU can make your own pressurized, roof rack solar shower for your vehicle. For this DIY roof mount, you can find all the materials we used listed below and purchase them online in advance from Home Depot. I would have used 1/4-20 hardware, but it wasn't a good fit for the 40 series extrusions, so I'm mostly m8. Dependent on your design you may need to fit pipes together using T or right angle connectors. After realising flexible solar panels wouldn’t quite fit, it became apparent we would need to mount rigid panels either directly to the roof, or more likely to a roof rack that was in turn mounted to the roof. Installing a DIY Roof Rack for Solar Panels : I wanted to add solar panels to my travel truck, which meant installing a sturdy rack to mount the panels on. The Mounting uprights are 8″ X 2″ extra wide base and a total possible height of 29″ from base to top of endcap. Required fields are marked *, Have you thought about chucking it all in to hit the open road? Your email address will not be published. For our solar panels, we used U-bolt to secure them to the round pipe. They simply sit in the rain gutter when the roof is down, spreading the load, especially when you climb up to load the roof rack. Obviously, you’ll need to the same thing on the other T-track. Importantly Home Depot will cut your steel pipe to size, saving time and effort. Our racks are designed to be the Ultimate DIY Van friendly system! The next thing that became apparent was that we would need to be able to create a custom roof rack suitable for our vehicle and needs. Everything is bolted up using marine grade stainless steel nuts and bolts, or aluminium pop rivets. I have imposed a rough 50 – 60kg cargo limit for the roof which is well inside the roof rack and bar limits. Thank you for your support! I bolted through using stainless steel fittings and big washers, but you could use U bolts and bolt around the bars instead. Check out our other articles for more tips on customizing your car, van or truck! With the screws fastened tightly, use silicon again to cover the tops of the screws. I wanted a solar panel and somewhere to store either another spare wheel or several cargo boxes, dry bags, etc. For our solar panels, we used U-bolt to secure them to the round pipe. Deciding on flooring in a van is difficult. The front one however, I kept as it provides protection for the solar panel, lifting overhanging branches over the edge of the panel. The second person holds the bolt in place inside the van, so it does not move when tightening from above. But, firstly I would throw away the feet, they’re ok but on a wide campervan roof they are at the limit of their reach and I found they sagged quite badly. These are the ideal racks made by Thule, Yakima, and TracRac for carrying lumber, ladders, kayaks, canoes, bikes and so much more. So, to improve access, I removed the rear one. Top 7 Best Gutter Mount Roof Racks for your SUV, Van, or Truck! Now you can play around with the configuration. SportRack Complete Roof Rack … Next, we need to secure the rack to the vehicle. I then bolted the roof rack through a set of roof bars, just like normal cars use. If you are extending the roof rack to the front of the van, consider adding a tee bracket in the middle. I used CVCs aluminium bars, but any generic ones from your friendly car accessory store will also work. The van roof racks and a ladder rack for van may come as one piece, or as several individual pieces that are installed at an interval along the roof. The fittings aren't cheap, but I've changed the configuration a couple times for very little. No additional mounts are used or required with this custom DIY van roof rack. Set the assembled rack atop the vehicle. It is not an uncommon sight to see some type of roof rack on the top of conversion vans. If it needs significant work I will remove it, do the work and refit it. Here is a roof rack i build from a ladder and some roof rails i didn't use. Or you might prefer roof bars such as the Van Guard Ulti Bar system, or Rhino Kammbar or Delta Bar. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 3. 1. But I am considering the strength of the fibre glass. FREE Shipping. Looking for more DIY conversion inspiration? Basically, Jeremy just gets a Kamp-Rite Overside Tent Cot with a Rainfly and then mounts the whole system to the top of his Land Cruiser. So I have fitted a roof assist kit, which is just a set of HD gas rams. All in I think I spent less than £350 for the whole thing, (£500 including the solar panel, the boxes etc). Once your happy with it, go inside the van, find the holes and use a good marker to draw on the underside of the T-track where the holes will need to be drilled. We decided to take matters into our own hands and so should you. The template indicates pre-drilled holes which can be used to drilled holes directly into the roof of the car. Sounds good right? When looking for your roof rack, you will also notice they are incredibly expensive, for what is often nothing more than a base for bolting on a myriad of ancillaries at additional expense. Roof rails are a handy addition to any Sprinter but not all vans were ordered with the rails factory installed. Of course, what you really need is a solid safe and secure roof rack. VAN-RACKS range of heavy duty commercial van roof bars and roof racks comes from RHINO, SAUNDERS, CRUZ and THULE PROFESSIONAL.All come with their own distinct range of accessories such as pipe carriers, load stops, ladder clamps, rollers, ladders and more. Description. How to Install an Awning Without Roof Racks, How to Build Your Own Hardwood Floors Using Plywood, 2x – 1/2 in x 4 ft (13mm x 1200mm) Galvanized steel pipes, 4x – 1/2 in x 8 in (13mm X 200mm) Galvanized steel pipes, 4x – Galvanized steel 2 in (13mm x 50mm) nipples, 16 x – Philips round head bolts w/ nuts to secure the flanges, 12x – 3/4 in (20mm) U-bolts to secure solar panels to roof rack. First step, establish your needs. Hardware is important. Highland 2006200 Black Heavy-Duty Bar Carrier. More information... More ideas for you Pinterest. Below is a How-To article on installing the factory roof rails so you can mount any number of items to your roof. Saved from youtube.com. Your email address will not be published. I used four 2" pieces of angle iron to attach it to the factory roof rack rails. Roof rack brackets. We carry strong and lightweight aluminum roof racks to carry all your gear. Thule Roof Rack Gutter Mount Foot Pack. A couple of fellow diyers who turned their Ram ProMaster into a fully custom camper van! Apply two coats of paint on each side of all components. They run just about the full length of the van roof and are pre-drilled in … Repeat this step for each flange. . Much less than many of the other offerings available. (DIY Solar will follow in separate article). To secure the cargo, I bolted on a set of Unwin cargo tracks from eBay again and bought a selection of cargo ring fittings. perusing the web for a couple of hours and trolling YouTube for instructional videos) we still were at a loss for how we were going to construct and install a roof rack. 144" Vans come with 6 mounting brackets, 4 crossbars, and all hardware needed to install the rack to your van. DIY Rooftop Camper Made From The Simplest Of Materials. Sprinter Camper Conversion Cargo Van Conversion Sprinter Van Cargo Roof Rack Van Roof Racks Diy Camper Camper Van Motorhome Platform Deck. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Simply screw together the poles with the tees with the flanges and viola! Eighteen months later, we quit our day jobs in search of a more nomadic life style. Attaching the rack permanently to the van is the scariest part of the whole build. We have drawn together a basic picture of how each supporting piece should look. Unistrut is so versatile that you can adapt this system onto any other van like a Sprinter or Transit. Using a flat head screw driver, assemble the roof rails to the top of the car by sxrewing the side rails and the cross bars together. Pin it! A DIY Roof Rack: Make your Small Car Carry Big Stuff. Do you want the roof rack to extend the length of the car or only the cab? Our rails will ultimately be used to attach a roof rack to the van and support solar, an awning etc. We hope, through our wanderings, to inspire you, to travel, to explore and to get out there and experience the world. Plus it’s exactly how I wanted it. The rack is incredibly lightweight and easy to assemble. My rack is about the same height off the roof as the factory rack. Make use of the factory specified template. DIY Unistrut – Superstrut – Powerstrut DIY Van Roof Rack. How many bolts you use and the kinds and directions of load is important when figuring out the hardware. Mounting solar panels on our curved van roof was one of the more puzzling challenges we faced during our build. You can also adapt this layout to fit different brands or sizes of solar panels, or even to fit around 2 MaxxAir fans. More cargo, solar panels, or a road shower are just some of the possibilities available when adding a roof rack. The rack holds three adjustable solar pan Instead of buying an expensive roof rack system, I commissioned a simple steel rack at the SLO MakerSpace, and then installed it on the fib… Drilling the roof rail. Apr 4, 2019 - Sprinter Van DIY $200 Roof Rack and Deck | Vanlife Hack. It is better to keep your weight low on the truck, remember 1 litre of water = 1 kg and fuel is approx 0.8kgs. Here’s a list of everything we used for our DIY van roof rack: While preparing your tools is important, so is preparing your materials. Thankfully, Charles, the resident family handyman/engineer, dropped by at the perfect time to help us to create our very own DIY custom roof rack, suitable for permanent installation to all vans, even those with a curved fiberglass roof. I'll measure this am. Once all holes are drilled, it is now time to mount the roof rack. After conducting thorough research (i.e. It gets significantly more difficult to raise the roof due to the increased weight, especially for Fiona. You could make something yourself if you have access to metal bending facilities, but given the effort and cost, I utilised the Westfalia pop top brackets made by Camper Van Culture. While there are plenty of options for standard cars and SUVs, finding one for a high fiberglass topped conversion van was little more difficult. Make sure to tighten the bolts as securely as possible to avoid losing a panel (or a roof) in your overlanding journeys. Excluding our solar panels our DIY van roof rack cost us £251.98 inc vat. If you're looking for ways to add some extra storage to your car, these 10 easy DIY roof rack ideas are the way to go! Let’s get started! Maybe add a sticker to your dashboard with the new heights in loaded and unloaded configurations? Using a measuring tape move the rack into the desired position. Once you have designed the roof rack, now you need to measure the roof accordingly. However, steel and aluminum are more durable and stronger, so they will last you a lot longer! Especially considering our particular needs and sizing. 170" Vans come with 6 mounting brackets, 5 crossbars, and all hardware needed to install the rack to your van… With the roof rack complete, you can now mount solar panels or whatever it is you want to attach. DIY Road Shower ROOFTOP SOLAR SHOWER SPECS: Capacity: Approximately 18.5 Liters (5 gallons) Total Length: Approximately 2.3 meters (7.5 ft) Weight When Full: Approximately 21 kgs (46 lbs) Sprinter Van DIY $200 Roof Rack and Deck | Vanlife Hack. This will help support the weight instead of one long piece of steel. Saved by Carol-Ann Mulkey. A fully custom, DIY solar panel roof rack for a Promaster van! These are available to buy as options when you place your order. 4.5 out of 5 stars 131. We also own a 2010 Mazda 5 van which, unfortunately, didn't come with a roof rack. By DoItYourselfRV Car Campers, DIY, ... A roof top camper usually consists of a rigid bottom and heavily reinforced tent. An important decision can be choosing between steel, aluminum, and wood. Finally there is the spade holder, it’s made by Quick-Fist, but there are many other brands out there. I cannot tell you the number of times, we started a project only to find out that we did not have all the pieces. Ours are from Jack Bombay in the US, but you can get lift kits in the UK or from eBay. This is fine when you have a solid roof, but in our case we want to fit our rack to the fibre glass pop roof, which is strong but shouldn’t be overloaded. Camper Van Conversion With a No Weld DIY Roof Rack! This step requires two people. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the screw to bolt the flange to the fiberglass roof. The Completed DIY Van Roof Rack. Let us know below! Don’t go mad filling your roof with jerrycans! Vanarack can offer a range of high-quality roof racks from recognised and trusted manufacturers like Van Guard, and Rhino. There are a lot of different options for expedition roof racks, but unless you intend fitting a roof tent, then you probably don’t need to carry more than 50 to 100kgs. Using our van would be more economical to haul skis, a kayak, and other camping equipment around. Do you want the roof rack to be mounted high enough that you can slide something, say a surf board, underneath the rack? The storage boxes are the Really Useful Boxes reviewed elsewhere on this site and the straps are generic cargo straps from your local DIY or hardware store. Firstly, if you have a fibreglass pop top like we do, then you need something to attach the rack to and to distribute the load. Jeremey Adventures’ method for making a DIY rooftop tent is pretty darn simple, especially if you already have a roof rack mounted to your truck or SUV. ... Then, you can just use straps or bungees to attach the rack to the car/van, and leave those attached as long as you need the rack in place. The flanges are then secured directly to the fibreglass roof using bolts nuts and plenty of silicon to waterproof. We needed to design a DIY van roof rack, from cheap materials available from the hardware. The “U” cups the bar and is bolted into the solar panel itself. The roof of a Ford Transit is not flat, it has a slight arch, which meant that if we wanted to attach anything to the roof we were going to need a roof rack. AA-Racks Model X37 Heavy Duty Rain-Gutter Van Roof Rack Round Bar Three Bar Set Steel Matte White. Having the right tools is key. Have you had a go at making your own DIY van roof rack? So as we only usually want to store wet or infrequently used kit and a solar panel, neither of which is heavy, or perhaps a spare wheel, we went for Aluminium for lightness and modified it to suit our needs. Thanks for wandering with us! The solar panel is a rigid 120w Biard panel from eBay (no surprise) and as you can see from the pictures, it all fits very nicely on the roof using extruded aluminium L section and bolts / pop rivets. However, if there’s nothing on the roof, it makes closing the roof a practice ground for a trapeze artist! Having removed the feet, I needed a method to mount it. All of these things must be considered when determining how to design the roof rack. Just ensure the bars are for gutter mounting, as the feet are needed to work with the brackets. Measure the roof two or three times to confirm the measurements because once you cut the steel, there is no going back. Does your roof rack sound like a wind tunnel while driving down the highway? If you have a curved roof like ours you will obviously need to ensure that the racks clear the roof at it’s highest point. 462. Out of a love for travel, we met one snowy Christmas night in Estonia. Solar panels, surfboards, kayaks, rocket boxes, these racks are sturdy enough to carry anything you need on top of your van. Place the T-track on the roof and position it exactly where you would like it to be. Don't have the dough to buy a wind deflector / fairing? Remove each bar of the rack and grab the cordless drill! Take some time to align them correctly before drilling holes and you won’t have a set in the wrong place…… . Recently we met with Joe and Erin Bacon. This depends greatly on the make and model of the vehicle as well as the type of rack and its intended purpose. $189.99 $ 189. The unit mounts securely to the roof of a car or SUV. Then you can attach whatever you want be it solar panels, cargo box, tent, whatever (keep in mind if you have a fibre glass roof like ours it isn’t going to bear a huge amount of weight). These days, it’s rare to find a converted van without some form of rack mounted to the top. (Obviously, unless you are making the exact same roof rack for the exact same vehicle us as your design will be different and your material needs will change). 99. Need a roof rack for your van? Saved by Julius pepperwood. We set out to try our hand at overlanding in a converted van (#vanlife). The construction of the DIY van roof rack itself is easy. This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we genuinely recommend. I've got about $400 in it. Learn how to build your own hardwood floors using plywood in just four easy steps! The roof rack significantly increases your height, especially when loaded…. Roof deck instead of rack... Hmm. Van Roof Racks Truck Roof Rack Truck Tent Truck Camper Roof Rails Roof Top Tent Jimny Suzuki Land Rover Discovery 2 Jeeps. Self tapping screws into the rails, and 1/4 20 bolts up to fittings on the rack. One person screws the screw from the top using a Phillips head screw driver. Apr 4, 2019 - Sprinter Van DIY $200 Roof Rack and Deck | Vanlife Hack. The previous MMM car – a 2004 Subaru Impreza wagon. I then bolted the roof rack through a set of roof bars, just like normal cars use. Or are you interested in meaningful self-directed travel? Want to save this DIY van roof rack for later? With the roof rack complete, you can now mount solar panels or whatever it is you want to attach. Sign up to get the latest stories, tips, and information on van life, travel destinations, and more…. Rhino-Rack RTS523 Sprinter Van Roof Tracks for 144″ Sprinters The kit includes two, 113 1/4″ extruded aluminum tracks, black plastic end caps, and all the mounting hardware. Instructions for Installing Rack: Prime one coat on each side of all components. Maybe a smidgen shorter. Steel has always been a popular DIY roof-rack option, as it is easy to acquire and relatively inexpensive. There is nothing like getting halfway through your project and realizing you forgot something. We hope you’ve found this post useful. Slide mount bottoms on to the first, second, third, and fourth knobs located on the roof of your promaster. The roof bars will connect to the roof with a tee junction, ‘nipples’, short bits of pipe which connect to the junction at one end, and screwed into flanges at the other. Secondly, the structure is very light and the transverse bars at the front and rear of the rack don’t take being kneeled on by a 120kg man! Your order needs and hopefully we can do the work and refit it of van and Truck Racks for SUV! Accessory store will also work get lift kits in the middle we can do work! Mazda 5 van which, unfortunately, did n't come with a no DIY... In this episode, we used U-bolt to secure them to the vehicle well. Refit it before drilling holes into the pre-drilled hole steel, aluminum, information! 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