2010 3500 RV build

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
I really like GeorgeRA's solar panel cross bars made of rounded 80-20. I want to make some custom end brackets but need to know if the 80-20 can be tapped in the corner 'holes' rather than the center. If so, what thread size would be appropriate?

Only 10 series can be tapped as it has solid (not pre-holes) material, 15 series already has trapezoid voids that can't be tapped.

Using 10 series, I'd only tap one as the maximum dia. is abooot 0.1 inch, and only to the keep the bar from twisting, and in conjunction with the main or middle hole which offers very good fastening strength. Even using three tiny taps would not need my requirements for longevity.
 
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pfflyer

Well-known member
The holes don't look round from the picture. If it is what is the dia? If not what are the dimensions? I had a customer tap a non-round hole before but amount of threads engaged is compromised which effects holding strength as well. For his application it worked. I like Dave's idea better.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
10 series does not have corner holes and 15 series does not have round corner holes so roll pin is not that good an idea. Why worry about rotation? My 1 1/2" sq. 80/20 cross beams only use the center tapped hole. The solar panel prevents the beams from rotating.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I would drill these holes with 0.219" pilot holes and tap 1/4"-20. The drill bit will offset toward the center and 0.571" could be a few thousands off. I did move the center of the pilot hole inward. There is enough material to accommodate 14"-20 thread.

George.

edit - I would likely use the center 5/16"-18 bolt and 1 or 2 1/4"-20 bolt(s) for additional strength and to prevent rotation. I agree with Dave, solar panel will prevent rotation anyway.
 

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hein

Van Guru
Thanks for all the insights, advice and research. But alas, I may forgo the 80-20 or any sort of cross bar all together with the idea that the panel itself should be rigid enough.



(My van does not have roof rails and I don't really want to add them)
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Thanks for all the insights, advice and research. But alas, I may forgo the 80-20 or any sort of cross bar all together with the idea that the panel itself should be rigid enough.



(My van does not have roof rails and I don't really want to add them)
Yep... Adhesives/Tape!!

Nice bracket!
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Nice design. Once you decided to go away from mounting on the roof rail you could shorten the arm and have the footing closer to the panel. This would eliminate perhaps not desirable torque on the panel frame. AM Solar has different sizes of footings but they are all located closer the panel frame. http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page_24

The manufacturer of my solar panels emphasized the point of using factory holes for mounting.

I agree with OrioN that the VHB tape is great way to go.

George.
 

hein

Van Guru
Some VHB mounted feet would work nicely. I designed some peel & stick inserts for mounting foot straps on surfboards. I'm a huge fan of 3M VHB tape.


http://www.northshoreinc.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=236&idcategory=59
These little guys hold extremely well due to the hat cross section. It prevents a cantilevered load from trying to lift up the edge of the plate. I've used them in my build. There are two 10-32 inserts on 1" centers.

But I'm stuck on using the roof rail channels so I'll have my sheet metal guy quote the brackets. I could double up the vertical legs of the frame members that go across the van to make them a bit more sturdy.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Couple of comments:

1. Do not think you need to add structure to the solar panel. My Kyosera panel runs the long way between the 80/20 crossbars. 59" span between the bars. Panel has 1 3/8" x 1 3/8" x 1/16" angles that span the 59". No problems so far.

2. Do not think you need the support bent two ways where it meets the solar panel. The bolts used to attach the panel to the support will prevent side to side movement. Some day in the future if the panel fails or you need to replace with a different size panel, the existing support could still be used with an flat adapter. I would not want to have to remove the supports from the roof.

3. On my next conversion, I was going to just make a formed SS leg that sat on a flat part of the roof near the edge of the solar panel. The horizontal portion of the legs at the top and bottom of the support could face toward the van centerline or out toward the side of the van depending on where the roof corrugations were located relative to the edge of the panel. Or one leg toward the centerline and the other out toward the side. If roof strength is a concern, locate the forward foot close to a Sprinter interior roof rib.

4. Another choice would be two 80/20 3/4 x 1 1/2 extrusions bolted through the roof near the edge of the solar panel with legs between the panel and the 80/20. 80/20 slot up and smooth side down against the roof. The bolt head would be inside with a nut in the channel. Drill a hole in the non-slotted side of the 80/20 so bolt can reach the nut.

My existing support works well but I would like to make next van more stealth by eliminating the supports close to the side of the van. Less seen from the street the better.
 

hein

Van Guru
Covered the wheel wells with 3M Thinsulate today. I have a 3500 and it took a 24" x 48" piece for each side. The basic shape is a D with a couple V shaped reliefs cut in where the material wraps the corners. I screwed a 1/8 x 3/4 wide ABS strip to hold the top/outer edge and worked towards the corners where I made the cuts. (The ABS strip is really not needed; I didn't use one on the other side due to lack of access under the refrigerator.)

I applied 3M 90 spray the fender well (they were Rhino-lined earlier) and the non-scrim side of the Thinsulate and let that tack before putting it down. I used Gorilla tape to seal the edge against the floor and cover the relief cuts. The tape stuck better if I sprayed some 90 on the outside of the scrim and let it dry. I did that to the edge of the floor as well. Really makes the tape stick.



Scrim makes it look pretty nice even though it will be covered by the galley cabinet.
3M Thinsulate SM600L is for sale. Please send a PM for details.

Driver's side under the fridge:


Got a bit of plumbing routed. (along the wall)
 
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Danny van

New member
Hein:
Scrim out looks like the way to go- thanks for the progress notes.
Are you still happy with your rear view camera setup? Do you have any adjust-ability as to camera angle?
Would you consider making another floor extension (for sale)?
 

hein

Van Guru
Thanks for posting and asking questions!

I agree that the scrim does look nice in places where the insulation doesn't get covered by something else. It also makes it easy/nicer to install behind the door panels and pillar trim.

We are quite happy with the rear view camera positioning. It's not adjustable. We often drive with it on to keep track of traffic behind and coming up on the sides. To get it aimed, I used some VHB tape to temporarily mount the camera and dial in the location. Then bent the bracket to fit over the top. I can trace and post the profile if you want to make the same thing. Sometimes when it rains, a drop of water hangs on the lens and distorts the image. I may have to put a little air deflector over the mount to blow it off.

I have material on hand to make floor extensions and would be happy to make one for you. Are you asking about just the plywood extension that you glue to the existing floor? -Or the whole install with the support box and OEM covers? There are a couple of extra fronts that I machined while I was working on developing the panel.



Black one is 3/4 thick Celtec.
Grey one is 1/2 thick Celtec.

Both are functional parts. They are ~30" long. The grey one would benefit from a reinforcement on the back along the top. On the black one, the round over around the openings was cut too deep so there is a slight ridge. Both may need to be shimmed (height is 5 11/16") depending on the elevation of the floor it's going under. I'll sell either one for $15 plus shipping. I can also machine a custom part to fit a particular build for additional $$. Please call (fivefor1.4nineO/5Onine8), email or send a PM if interested.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Someone had a problem with black water coming up through their shower pan when they came to a stop due to water movement in the tank. Can not clearly see where your inlets are located but it does appear they are on the top which allows the above problem to occur when you come to a fast stop. Less of a problem from acceleration rushing water to the back of tank since a Sprinter does not exactly snap your head back at full throttle. I do not have a black water tank but do have a gray water tank. To prevent back flow I had the sink inlet enter the tank low as possible on the back end of the tank and have the shower drain enter the tank at the center again as low as possible on the tank side. No openings on the front half of the tank. By entering low on the tank side a water trap on the sink and shower drains are not required. As soon as there is 1" of water in the tank, a trap is created to seal off the gas from the drains. The low inlet locations keeps the drains from being exposed to the water wave. Seems to have worked since I have not observed any smells or had any backflow up through the shower drain.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showpost.php?p=193531&postcount=1
 

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