Roof rail for solar, awning, etc. - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:36:PM Thread Starter
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Roof rail for solar, awning, etc.

Has anyone installed this: Weather guard mounting channel.

http://www.weatherguard.com/en/view/...0Kit/2102-0-01

Seems a perfect solution for solar, awning and other roof junk. Aluminum, predrilled, correct spacers, strong dimensions.

I'll order some in a day or two.
Ron
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:07:PM
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that is just a channel for mounting other things on the roof like roof racks, it would not work good for solar panels by itself because the channels are too low to make up for the curvature of the roof!

2016 transit cargo 250 MR, LWB, 3.5 eco, 3.31 limited slip
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:21:PM
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some kind of roof rack is usually the best choice for solar, maybe this catalog will give you some ideas? https://www.inlad.com/ford-full-size-transit-3

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:30:PM Thread Starter
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I've used 1.5" aluminum angle and shutter hinges in the past and liked the simplicity and ability to tilt if needed. Worked fine for several years.

Ron
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:10:AM
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actually that same kind of channel is what came with my Prime Design Alurack roof rack, used to mount it to the roof.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 01:24:AM
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Originally Posted by RonR View Post
I've used 1.5" aluminum angle and shutter hinges in the past and liked the simplicity and ability to tilt if needed. Worked fine for several years.

Ron
Angle type brackets need to reach a height of more than 3 inches (depending on method and height of crossbar attachments), to allow for crossbars to clear the roof crown.

Transit 250 Cargo MR LWB 3.5L w/3.31

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 01:48:AM Thread Starter
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1.5" is the dimension of the aluminum cross bar. The shutter hinge and roof track provide 2.25" of lift above the roof mounting holes. It seemed like that would be enough per initial measurements.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a wimp and it's been too cold to test fit the final assembly. I'll report when I do. I can alway add a spacer under the hinge if needed. There are larger shutter hinges available (I think the lift would be about 3" for those) but the metal thickness seemed overkill for this application.

Ron
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 08:47:AM
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The only thing that I plan on putting on top of the van are solar panels. Roof racks create a lot of drag and are expensive so building one yourself not unreasonable. My idea is to have angle aluminum down the side. 1x3, 1x4 whatever. The angle would be high enough to cover the thickness of the panel and the arc of the roof. Mounting clips welded on the inside of the angle to mount the panels. On the front some type of air foil. Powder coat and bolt it on.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:32:AM
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to each his own, the aluminum roof rack was a mistake on my part, but it was so pretty! but i managed to fit 650 watts of panels with little or no shading plus the roof vent. it is noisy but i seem to be averaging 15.9 MPG according to the lie-o-meter in the instrument cluster.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 10:06:AM
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Michael, if you had it to do over what would you do differently? For me the noise factor is big. Plus I want to keep it as low profile as possible with minimum hit on the fuel economy.
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