Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > Sprinter-Based RV's & Conversions > Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk

Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-12-2020, 12:09 AM   #11
00frux
'16 2500 170ext high 4cyl
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Posts: 19
Thanks: 8
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Roof Rails

Glad I'm seeing this now. I made a roof rack for my LR3 a long time ago out of unistrut (it bolted to the factory roof rails though). If the unistrut sits nicely where the factory rails would otherwise go, this is golden. Unistrut is infinitely expandable and with aluminum, it's more practical. Galvanized steel adds up in weight quickly. The only thing I will do differently (than Greg in ) is use hex head bolts using the factory holes instead of self tapping screws. Butyl tape sqaures under the unistrut for each area a bolt goes through the roof, then..., dicor 501LSW lap sealant on top of the hex head bolt (and around the butyl tape)? Also thinking the 13/16" version of unistrut (even more low profile) vs 1 5/8" but haven't looked if the 13/16" comes in aluminum.

Last edited by 00frux; 02-12-2020 at 12:12 AM.
00frux is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to 00frux For This Useful Post:
sparkplug (02-12-2020)
Old 02-12-2020, 11:27 AM   #12
sparkplug
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 469
Thanks: 94
Thanked 212 Times in 159 Posts
Default Re: Roof Rails

I saw a follow up interview somewhere where Greg said that he would have used the factory holes if he'd thought about it in time but he'd already installed all the ceiling cladding and insulation and cabinets etc and that he didn't want to take it all out again just for that.

I'm planning on putting some Unistrut on as it's very versatile so I'm interested in your suggestion for the butyl / dicor lap sealant combo. Sounds like a good solution to me.
__________________
MWB 2008 Mercedes Sprinter 311 CDi (UK RHD) in the faster DHL Yellow colour
sparkplug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2020, 11:49 AM   #13
MartyGras
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 23
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Roof Rails

I just installed 80/20 on mine using the factory holes and 3m 5200....it was an easy project and looks good..... next I will be installing 4 160 watt solar panels

Gary
MartyGras is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MartyGras For This Useful Post:
00frux (02-12-2020)
Old 02-12-2020, 05:27 PM   #14
00frux
'16 2500 170ext high 4cyl
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Posts: 19
Thanks: 8
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Roof Rails

@MartyGras if you have any pics please share! Did you use any Butly tape or just the 3M Marine Adhesive 5200 under the 80/20, then bolts into the factory holes?

@Sparkplug, yes, they're extremely versatile. Just like 80/20. So versatile I might run them down the entire length of the fan for any future ideas. I think 80/20 is the new Unistrut, I'm just not familiar with it or pros/cons between the two. If I went with aluminum unistrut I'd likely powder coat them arctic white or whatever color the van is. Can you powder coat 80/20?
00frux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 05:53 PM   #15
00frux
'16 2500 170ext high 4cyl
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Posts: 19
Thanks: 8
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Roof Rails

Upon searching for aluminum channel struts, it seems they are not as common as galvanized steel. How long does galvanized steel last in the elements? It would be nice if they made aluminum fittings in addition to the struts; seems like everything is steel which makes me worry about rust. I plan on powder coating the aluminum channel strut white or black, but the fittings? (https://www.homedepot.com/s/channel%2520strut?NCNI-5)
00frux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 08:17 PM   #16
sparkplug
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 469
Thanks: 94
Thanked 212 Times in 159 Posts
Default Re: Roof Rails

Most zebedee nuts (aka spring nuts) are zinc plated steel and will be fine outdoors in many conditions.

However, if you live near the sea or are going to expose them to anything resembling a marine environment then you should source some stainless steel ones.

I've also been looking into the unistrut itself. I like the light gauge 1.5mm option as it's strong enough to hold anything I'm going to attach to it and will be a weight saving over the standard 2mm or heavy gauge 2.5mm.

However, I have only been able to find the 1.5mm in a pre-galvanised option which is not really suitable for outdoors. For outdoor use your really want the HDG (Hot Dipped Galvanised) but I can only find that in the heaviest 2.5mm thickness.

There is also the option for stainless rails, but I can't really justify the extra cost.

HDG steel should last a very long time outdoors. You can also paint it for extra protection if you want. There are specialised paints for this such as Hammerite's "straight to galvanised" range.

80/20 would be the obvious alternative. Light weight, strong, versatile but you also have to consider the possibility of galvanic corrosion as aluminium and stainless steel would be prone to this.

It wouldn't be an issue with the HDG rails and stainless fasteners though.

So many things to consider....
__________________
MWB 2008 Mercedes Sprinter 311 CDi (UK RHD) in the faster DHL Yellow colour

Last edited by sparkplug; 02-14-2020 at 08:20 PM.
sparkplug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 12:07 AM   #17
00frux
'16 2500 170ext high 4cyl
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Posts: 19
Thanks: 8
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Roof Rails

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkplug View Post
So many things to consider....
Tell me about it! One idea leads you 5-10 steps back. Oh I'll just install this Espar S2 D2 and MaxxAir fan. Oh wait, don't want to install that to the starter battery, I should connect them to house batts first. Oh wait, no electrical yet. Oh wait, no solar yet. Oh wait, no roof rack yet. Oh wait, no roof rails yet. Oh wait.... I will admit it is all still fun though! Just...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkplug View Post
So many things to consider....

00frux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 04:19 AM   #18
MartyGras
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 23
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Roof Rails

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00frux View Post
@MartyGras if you have any pics please share! Did you use any Butly tape or just the 3M Marine Adhesive 5200 under the 80/20, then bolts into the factory holes?

@Sparkplug, yes, they're extremely versatile. Just like 80/20. So versatile I might run them down the entire length of the fan for any future ideas. I think 80/20 is the new Unistrut, I'm just not familiar with it or pros/cons between the two. If I went with aluminum unistrut I'd likely powder coat them arctic white or whatever color the van is. Can you powder coat 80/20?
I used the factory holes with a liberal amount of 5200 around each hole. I slid 5/16 x 1 inch carriage bolts onto the 80/20 and set it down. From the bottom in used a washer and a nut.
Nuts, bolts and washers were all stainless.... the whole job took less than 2 hours, if I had to do it again I could probably do in an hour.

Last edited by MartyGras; 02-15-2020 at 04:23 AM.
MartyGras is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MartyGras For This Useful Post:
00frux (02-15-2020)
Old 02-15-2020, 01:49 PM   #19
Gsand31415
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 19
Thanks: 10
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: Roof Rails

For a fairly long rail, wouldn't the thermal expansion of aluminum be a problem when continuously bonded to the steel roof? The thermal expansion of aluminum is nearly 2x steel.
Gsand31415 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 05:09 PM   #20
Shawn182
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 306
Thanks: 7
Thanked 130 Times in 98 Posts
Default Re: Roof Rails

https://www.mcmaster.com

FYI McMaster Carr is a great source for aluminum strut
Shawn182 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Shawn182 For This Useful Post:
00frux (02-16-2020)

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 06:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.