PDA

View Full Version : Roof Rails for T1N?


segler
01-16-2013, 08:51 PM
The very first post in Dave's Orton DIY roof rack thread shows 2 photos of his roof hardware. Nice and clean.

I have a 2003 3500 158" high-roof RV with a high awning on the starboard side. This prevents the use of gutter rack risers.

So, I would like to find and install full length roof rails (or "tracks"). Apparently these are available stock for NCV3, but what about T1N?

Can anybody advise on where I can source these rails/tracks and how to install them onto the roof?

Colorado_Al
01-16-2013, 09:59 PM
I don't think there is an OEM roof rack for the T1N. You might be able to make something work aftermarket, but depending on your load, you would probably have to drill through the roof to secure it. You might be better off removing your awning from the drip rail, installing a rack that attaches to the drip rail, then secure your awning to the rack.

surlyoldbill
01-17-2013, 12:50 AM
Yakima and Thule have bolt-on tracks. http://www.amazon.com/Yakima-Tracks/dp/B002IAJD58
I considered these, and may yet decide to use them. I seldom need to put anything on my roof

A.Hayes
01-17-2013, 02:44 AM
Here's what I did last year:
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19486&highlight=Yakima+rack

They've been great so far- I haul a 24' extension ladder up there pretty regularly, and have put a 12'6" paddle board up there some too (I can cram that inside if I'm going solo). It's a very versitile set up- much more so than a regular commercial lader rack I would say.

Good luck.

ECU
01-17-2013, 04:09 AM
Hmmm, I'm doing other business with a guy that works at Yakima. Now, do I really NEED roof rails?

barkor
01-17-2013, 04:41 AM
mine are bolted on at the joist/roll bars. bomber.

segler
01-17-2013, 11:46 PM
Thanks to everyone for the information. I am collecting all your comments. Looks like my 2003 3500 158" T1N RV will be tracked with Yakima or Thule.

The reason for all this is an intention to add solar in the future. The Orton DIY information about using 8020 looks good for this. Also, I may want to add cross-bars to carry one or two windsurfing boards. We are configuring the interior to carry all the masts, booms, and sails on the inside.

I already have Thule feet (from an old Aerostar for which they were bolt-on) and cross-bars, so I am biased toward going with Thule.

Yes, both Yakima and Thule make rails. They both come kitted with installation hardware.

1. The Yakima is installed with plusnuts. Access inside the van is not necessary.

2. The Thule is installed with bolts that require access on the inside to spin and torque the nuts. Also, the instructions state that this is only for fiberglass roofs (puzzling).

Question. If I stay with Thule, any reason why I can't go with plusnuts or rivnuts?

Thanks in advance.

surlyoldbill
01-18-2013, 01:37 AM
As long as the nuts/bolts fit, I don't see why you couldn't attach the Thule. I prefer Yakama to begin myself. Another option if you don't need to slide your crossbars around to different locations is to use the Top Loader or Side Loader Yakima mounts. I had th side loaders on a camper shell and they were great. Also, I would remove the headliner and use REAL bolts with locknuts just to make sure the rails/mounts were secure. Mounting into the sheetmetal and not the brace is just weaker, and you may be sorry later you didn't take the extra hour to remove and replace the headliners.

shortshort
01-19-2013, 02:37 AM
Yakima and Thule have bolt-on tracks. http://www.amazon.com/Yakima-Tracks/dp/B002IAJD58
I considered these, and may yet decide to use them. I seldom need to put anything on my roof

That was my situation. Like the idea of the tracks, rarely need a rack. I went with gutter clamp mounts from Yakima. Stupid simple on/off, plenty sturdy for carrying ladders, cheap.

surlyoldbill
01-19-2013, 04:03 AM
gutter mounts don't work with SHC.

shortshort
01-19-2013, 02:36 PM
gutter mounts don't work with SHC.

Maybe taller ones?

http://www.rackwarehouse.com/thule-953-super-high-foot-complete-rain-gutter-rack.html

Edit: Thule doesn't seem to recommend them for SHCs

surlyoldbill
01-19-2013, 04:00 PM
I don't think those are high enough. They need to clear about 12". There are some commercial gutter mounts for SHC on ebay, but they aren't very pretty. Using the Sidemount or Topmount landing pads with standard racks is a great option for SHC owners. Every once in a while I need to haul 16' or 20' boards, I can hang the 16' out the back, and have done it with 20' with a flag, but they have to fit between the front seats. I also chose my sea kayak based on it fitting inside my van; it's 12'7" and the nose goes between the seats and I can close the rear doors on my 140. That being said, for my needs I would be putting long, heavy boards on the roof, and would probably require 3-4 crossbars to support and distribute the weight. The rails offered are too short to do in one piece, it would require 4 to fully cover the flat section of the top, and then add the crossbars, so nearly a $1000 operation, but modular. I wouldn't want permanent racks because of noise and poor mpg, and the fact that I would only use them 4-5 times a year.
So, for me, I'll be looking at the Topmount options.

A.Hayes
01-19-2013, 08:07 PM
I wouldn't want permanent racks because of noise and poor mpg, and the fact that I would only use them 4-5 times a year.
So, for me, I'll be looking at the Topmount options.

I just got an Ultragauge that I had to send back due to a defective screen... Once I get it back and working I'll play around with my rack set-up and see what kind of mileage hit I take. I'm guessing maybe 1-2 mpg?

Will report back.

segler
03-26-2013, 05:57 PM
So, to fasten down Thule or Yakima rails onto the top of my 2003 T1N 3500 158", what do you recommend?

1. Rivnuts or plusnuts
2. Sheet metal screws

A.Hayes
03-26-2013, 09:07 PM
If you are not planning to open the ceiling, I'd use plusnuts. My cargo ceiling was bare when I did mine, so I used a mix of stainless steel Yakima hardare (black plastic covered nuts) and nuts with fender washers, etc, to attach mine and tightened it all from the inside. I also tried to hit the side flange of the roof ribs for a little extra grab beyond just the sheet metal roof. You should be able to see the spot welds from up top to locate the ribs, but it might be tricky to have the plus nuts work right if you're doing it blind.

johnschroader
03-29-2013, 02:51 AM
I made a set of racks for my 158 hi-top out of 1" galvanized electrical conduit. Also made a portable ladder that I haul inside and just hook over the rack when I need to climb up. Also included a brush bar to protect the roof AC when I'm driving through low hanging limbs. Have used them for years. Planning to sell the van pretty soon and may sell the racks seperately. They mount to the rain gutters. No drilling. The racks are equipped with walk boards and have hauled up to 10 kayaks at once. Too, the rack slightly overhangs the read door and I can hang my shorter whitewater kayas vertically over the back doors for quick access. If you are at all interested, please PM me and I'll send some photos.