Fiamma 65 Awning and Roof Rack

Krenovian

Member
I've been investigating the Fiamma 65 awning. I'd like to install one of these on my 2008 144 High Roof but it appears that the standard placement would preclude the use of a roof rack that attaches to the factory track. I've contacted Bob at Fiamma USA and he confirms this. While looking at Robert Morehead's site, www.moreheaddesignlab.com/ I saw these photos of a van with a roof rack and Fiamma 65 awning. I emailed him and asked him how this was accomplished and he replied that there are adapters which will allow a Fiamma 65 awning to be installed on a Thule crossbar. However when I look closely at these pictures it doesn't appear that the awning is attached to the rack and the rack doesn't appear to be mounted on Thule towers. The photo from the back gives the impression that the towers on the right side are offset to the left and somehow attached to the roof without using the factory track. (I'm just assuming that the towers on the left are using the track). Do any of you recognize this van and do you know how this was accomplished and what parts are needed? In particular I'm interested in how the right side of the rack was mounted. I'm assuming that the awning was mounted using the standard Fiamma brackets for the 2007-2009 Sprinter roof track. Thanks

Curt
 

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Krenovian

Member
Here is the information I got back from Bob Snyder at Fiamma USA regarding racks and the F65 awning after sending him copies of the above photos:

We have a Thule bracket kit for an F35 awning. Not an F65. On the 2008
Sprinter you need an F65 awning. It mounts to the rail that runs along
the edges of the roof. These rails cannot be seen from the ground. If
your van does not have the rails installed, there are brackets developed
to mount it in the same channel on the roof as the rail would be
installed. As far as any roof racks go, regarding Sprinter vans and the
location of the awning verses the rack is a matter of figuring something
out yourself. The location of the awning and brackets cannot be changed.

Regards,
Bob Snyder

It's pretty clear from Bob's information the rack towers on the right side are not mounted in the factory track and that some work around was figured out.

Curt
 

NBB

Active member
Check out bracket 98655-770 from the fiamma.com site, - ie, not fiammausa.com. They're about $130 each special order, and you need 2.

This bracket, I believe, will get you pretty close to the same look with a less expensive F45 awning and a Thule or Yakima rack.

I think this option is cheaper - even IF you were able to find the PN for the pictured brackets...

I think there's a reason the x-770 bracket is so expensive and not in stock in the US - I think they would rather you buy the F65...plus THOSE brackets...

Good luck,
 
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Krenovian

Member
Thanks NBB. I missed that bracket when I was looking through the different sites. Even with the expensive 98655-770 brackets it still comes in about $100 cheaper W/ the 10' F45 than the F65 and it's brackets AND you still have use of the roof rail so you can mount a roof rack. I like it. Thanks again for finding those brackets.
 

NBB

Active member
I just ordered a couple of them myself, so I won't know for sure until I get them. Ping me in a month.

They also make a cheaper bracket for around $90 / pr that you can use with a Thule/Yakima bar. 98655-310, on the Fiammausa.com site. However, it places the awning up too high, IMO. So there's that option as well.

I haven't actually tried either myself.

My only concern with both would be the gap between the awning and the roof - wind and rain getting through. So, that's the trade-off. I'm hoping the -770 version will be the best comprimise. We'll see...
 
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Krenovian

Member
I saw the 98655-310 bracket and felt it would place the F45 awning up to high as well. When you get the awning mounted on your van could you post some photos? Thanks
 

NBB

Active member
I installed the awning this wknd, with the super special brackets straight from Italy. They were definitely designed for a Thule rack. I do not think they would work nearly as well with Yakima racks.
awning1.JPG
My main design goal was to squeeze what you see on to the roof. Well, it's all there. That's the largest solar panel I could find that would fit between the AC and the roof vent. It's a story for another thread, but I really like how that piece turned out. One of my goals was to be able to reach under the panel to clean things, and for the panel to sit high enough that the other things up there don't cast a shadow on to it. I didn't want it tight to the roof.
awning2.JPG
The brackets are as I had hoped. The awning is pretty tight to the roof. I don't expect a ton of rain to be able to get through, though some will. Fiamma does make a little flap that you can buy that would probably help with that issue. I would just put it over the door and let it drip down the side of the van elsewhere.
awning3.JPG
My particular setup doesn't extend over the door at the moment.

All that said - I'm only about 85% psyched in the final results. Here's what I would do different:

1) I probably will add a 3rd Thule rack bar in front of the vent, then attach the awning to that bar. This will allow me to move the whole awning forward another 8-12 inches to protect the sliding door opening in the rain. Since the van is egg shaped, it should bring the awning in just a little tighter as well. I've got a little play now in the back to move that in a bit, too. If you are not constrained like me with the AC, moving the rear rack bar back would also bring the awning in a bit. Right now the mounts are near the 1/3 points on the awning. It's definitely stable enough as is, but could be better. I wouldn't want to move the awning forward w/o a 3rd bar in front.

2) I would consider a longer model. Next step up is 11'8". That might be a little on the long side, though. The F65 comes in a couple other increments. Not sure exactly what is pictured in the first post. I'd say it's around 12-15" longer than mine, though, as a guess.

3) I *might*, if I could do it again, have gone with the F65 - as pictured in the first post. It's definitely a tighter package. I would have had to get really custom on the solar panel mount, though, and this particular panel would have likely hung off the side of the van a bit on the driver's side - not desirable. A large solar panel is more important to me than the awning.

Life is full of trade-offs. Hope this helps you decide on a few of your own.
 
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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Without supports on either end, isn't the awning twisting badly when you let it out?
 

NBB

Active member
That's a good question. I see what you are asking. I rolled it out today and didn't notice anything twisting, though. I'll have to look again. Another reason to get a 3rd bar.

EDIT: I feel a little better about the shorter awning as well now... Thanks for picking up on that.
 
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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
I ask because my 65 is attached to end supports which are 9" away/back from the center of the recommended mounting points. In the summer warmth, the ends of the awning housing can easily twist to a point where the arms rub as the awning is let out and if i'm not carefull the twist stays. In the cold it's not as bad as the aluminum is more rigid. In fact, I want to push the awning more forward to have it cover the door opening more when it rains, but before I do so, I will build an anti-twist bracket.
 
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NBB

Active member
I read somewhere they recommend you support the thing after 1 meter extended, though you could go all the way, they say, I assume, if you are mounted per their instructions. That makes it a 2 person job, though. I think that's where I'll end up. I wonder if the F45 is a little more twist resitant. Hard to say.

Oh the things I would do if I could just draw what's really on my mind and send it out for fab, all on some else's dime... It's fun working at home, but sometimes a little limiting working with what's out there on the market, within budget and time contraints, with the tools I have, etc.
 
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NBB

Active member
KD185GX-LPU

Kyocera.

I got mine from Northern AZ Wind and Sun.

I'm very pleased with it so far.
 

NBB

Active member
So far, just my tunes while I work on the thing. Design goal is convection oven for dinner (15 - 20 mins or so) furnace cycles throught the night, lights, charge some camera and phone batts, tunes, and a couple fans. I have 2 100 Ah batteries. The thing is, doing the "math" here to size the panel would/should involve predicting the weather and how much shade will be present, etc. Kind of hard to do that. Another of the goals was to have nearly infinite "stay power" out in the backcountry, even if the truck dies, and to have power to do repairs and restart if necessary. My experience is also that I will suck the most power on the dreariest days. Most of my trips involve the vehicle staying put for most of the trip. That said, I went with the largest panel I could put up there. So far, even on the cloudiest days with the worst sun angles, the thing is still puting out a half amp or so. We'll see...
 
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mofo989

Member
Dredging up this old thread....

I am looking to do the same, ie. add a rack and Fiamma at the same time. What's the difference between F45 and F65? It seems like they each come in difference sizes so it is not the length alone, is it? Does Fiamma USA now offer the mounts used as described here instead of having to order from Italy?

Thanks!
 

Legwound

New member
45 mounts on a rack, 65 mounts to roof with a kit.

I just bought the 65 and mount kit through upscale, no problems.

I'm a 144 low roof btw
 

mofo989

Member
45 mounts on a rack, 65 mounts to roof with a kit.

I just bought the 65 and mount kit through upscale, no problems.

I'm a 144 low roof btw

And you can't mount an F65 at the same time as a roof rack because the awning sits directly above the U-channel rails, right?
 

scubanw3

New member
We offer a mounting bracket that will allow you to mount a Yakima or Thule rack when installing a F65 awning. We hope this information helps. If you have additional questions, please call Mark or Foster at 503-692-0846 and they will be happy to help you.

Thank you,
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
 

mofo989

Member
We offer a mounting bracket that will allow you to mount a Yakima or Thule rack when installing a F65 awning. We hope this information helps. If you have additional questions, please call Mark or Foster at 503-692-0846 and they will be happy to help you.

Thank you,
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
Interesting. Is it a mounting bracket for the F65 or special foot for the Thule/Yakima? Os this the setup where the F65 mounts on the end of the Thule/Yakima bar?
 

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