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Some of you may be aware of a DIY solution for a shelf to go above the OEM shelf for the Sprinter made by a company called Vancillary. Transit owners like me who want to add an auxiliary shelf to place bulky but light items must either purchase a costly plug and play unit, or fabricate a DIY system to hold up a shelf. I contacted the Vancillary people and asked if they thought about making a similar product available for Transit owners. Turns out, they were working on it, and asked if I would be willing to be a tester for the prototype.

Working with them was a great experience. They were willing to listen to and address my concerns, and provide any assistance I may have needed. When they told me the product is now available on their website, I went to check it out and discovered another product I thought could be very useful. They sell a door stop for the slider door so you don't have to open it all the way, yet you can still open past it if you want.

Please forgive me for sounding like a troll, but that's not the case. I am not affiliated with Vancillary in any way, nor did I get paid for any endorsement. I did, however get to keep the prototype. I'm just glad to see someone supply a more cost effective alternative than what we had.
 

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Looks interesting. Does the OEM shelf attach to the upper shelf you install in any way? My OEM one jumps around a bit on bad bumps and I am looking for a way to make it more solid. I assume I could drill my own holes and attach it to the upper shelf, if I find a solid enough material for the shelf.
 

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Looks interesting. Does the OEM shelf attach to the upper shelf you install in any way? My OEM one jumps around a bit on bad bumps and I am looking for a way to make it more solid. I assume I could drill my own holes and attach it to the upper shelf, if I find a solid enough material for the shelf.
One the passenger van they made a kit that looks like a peg that attaches the cubby hole area to the headliner. I was thinking about going that route with mine.

The shelf from Vancillary looks promising.

-Mike
 

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This is genius. I've been wanting the Van Compass/RB Components, but $500 plus shipping is a lot of money for not a lot of space. This seems more practical.
 

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Thanks for sharing, any idea what the weight limit is? I don't see it on the website. The van compass shelf says it's rated to 50lbs.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Wait, $115 and you still have to build it yourself? What a deal.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion and to share it -- as am I. $115 for multiple metal plates that required engineering, fabrication (in USA) and hardware??? Yes -- it is a deal. A piece of plywood (or whatever 'bridge piece' YOU want) is easy enough. But then again -- that's just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks interesting. Does the OEM shelf attach to the upper shelf you install in any way? My OEM one jumps around a bit on bad bumps and I am looking for a way to make it more solid. I assume I could drill my own holes and attach it to the upper shelf, if I find a solid enough material for the shelf.
It does if you want it to! There is a hole in the OEM shelf accessible if you take out one of the cubbies. When I installed my vancillary shelf system, I put the plywood where it would rest, and marked the plywood through the hole in the OEM shelf. I then drilled a hole large enough for a 1/4-20 bolt, then fastened the two together.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You are certainly entitled to your opinion and to share it -- as am I. $115 for multiple metal plates that required engineering, fabrication (in USA) and hardware??? Yes -- it is a deal. A piece of plywood (or whatever 'bridge piece' YOU want) is easy enough. But then again -- that's just my opinion.
I agree. I was not willing to pay the $450 to $500 plus shipping for a complete shelf. If I can do the work on the conversion to a camper van, I can certainly spend $115 for some brackets and hardware plus another $20 for a piece of plywood to build my own shelf. And yes, it is engineered and fabricated in the USA!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for sharing, any idea what the weight limit is? I don't see it on the website. The van compass shelf says it's rated to 50lbs.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
I do not know what the weight limit is, but I personally would not put more than about 25 lbs on it. The brackets themselves are inherently strong due to their "Z" design, but the weak point is the attachment to the headliner. It uses the same screws as the grab bars. Only one of those is a machine screw, and the other is just a sheet metal screw. Then again, those grab bars are for pulling on, so what do I know!

The Van Compass can support more weight due to the addition of an L bracket on the back side. I suppose you could add an L bracket like on the Van Compass to increase the weight capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for sharing, any idea what the weight limit is? I don't see it on the website. The van compass shelf says it's rated to 50lbs.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
I checked with them and they told me they had issues with their website last night, but all is well now. They were never out of stock. To verify, I was able to add one to my cart.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There was an install video on the page you linked.
The video is for a Sprinter install. The only thing different for the Transit is how the brackets are attached. There are only two brackets, one for the right side, and one for the left that are mounted in between the grab handle and the headliner. You take out the 2 screws holding the handle, pry it down far enough to get the bracket in, and re install the screws.
 

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Hello,

We put in an order for the brackets earlier this week and a few days later they were at our doorstep. The brackets are well packaged and extra fasteners were included in the box. I am impressed with the brackets as breaks for the bends are crisp and clean. The finish is good. Oh, they also fit perfectly. I kid you not, it took less than ten minutes to install the brackets. Included in the box is a full size print for the shelf outline. One really only needs the max width dimension, the max depth and where the front arc meets the side. Then just strike an arc with a yardstick or spline.

Boom, Done, Easy

Bottom line, I have a grin on my face that at least this project is out of my hands and now in the hands of the 'interior decorating department' deciding on what material will cover the shelf.

One down and only a thousand to go;-)

Thanks @WanderingDolt for posting information about the resource to get the brackets.
 
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I like the idea of this shelf but I’m weighing the added (much needed) storage vs. headroom when walking from the front seats to the back. When we are underway one of us often needs to play “flight attendant” to the kids in the back seat. It’s already awkward to walk between the front row seats but how much yoga is required with the shelf overhead?
 

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Hello, We had a similar trepidation about hitting our heads on the added shelf, as we walk between the seats. We don't have enough mileage, with the shelf in, to provide an informed opinion yet. However, so far I have been pleasantly surprised and I have not been hitting my head on the shelf. (no special yoga moves needed;-) If one does run into a head banger issue one has the option to either cut back the entire back edge of the shelf by a few inches or cut a crescent curve in the back edge so one has more clearance in the middle. We shall see. The comforting thing for me is we options and that space can start being used.

@dustboy Keep in mind our experience is with the high room and it looks like you have a midroof. Might be a different experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm not very far on my build out, and have not yet used it for any excursions. Therefore, I have not needed to traverse between the cabin and cargo area. Then again, I'm only 5'6", so I don't believe any contortionist moves should be required. That said, I covered mine in headliner fabric that has a foam backing, so any hits to it shouldn't leave any red stains:)
 
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