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Low-profile roof tracks for the Transit?

1092 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Ranger Robin
I'm looking to add a couple of crossbars to the roof of my HR transit for kayak/surfboard transport. I'd love to use the Yakima LandingPad/Skyline rack setup, which makes it super easy to remove the crossbars when not needed. However, the location of our vent fan makes it tricky to get there whese I want them if direct-mounted to the M8 fixed points.

A solution would be some north-south tracks, to which a rack could be mounted at any point along its length. I see that DIY van has something like this to allow mounting of 80/20rails, but TBH it's higher off the van roof than I'd like:

Omac also has a rail system, but again it's higher profile than I want/need:

Is anyone aware of a system or adapter to allow mounting of a T-slot-style track flush to the roof of a Transit?
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A solution would be some north-south tracks, to which a rack could be mounted at any point along its length. I see that DIY van has something like this to allow mounting of 80/20rails, but TBH it's higher off the van roof than I'd like:
IIRC I read where there is a way to mount the 8020 underneath the bracket with the cross bar just clearing the high point of the roof by a minimal amount. Check with @Hein at Diyvan.
 

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Yes, you can use our towers and place the extrusion underneath.

I would also recommend looking at our new angle rails where 8020 15-LS crossbars can be placed anywhere along their length with our new rail clips which we should have by the end of this week. The crossbars will be hidden by the rails and clear the roof in the middle of the van. The rails for the 148 are 94" long and mount with 4 towers on each side. The crossbars are 59" long. Please reach out to Kim at DIYvan for a system quote. Solar panels mount with the same clips.

All the best,
Hein

 

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Even with the lowest mount, adding a kayak on top is going to cause some wind load. I went with a Front Runner roof system, added the Yakima Landing Pad and rails, then mounted a Thule Hullivator to the cross rails. The top of the Front Runner rack sits 3 1/2“ above roof center and the Yakima rails are about 6” above center line of roof. Solar panels are recessed into the rack below the cross rails. The Hullivator adds about 4” to the bottom of the boat. It is a solid mount with no wind noise carrying the boat upright. Easy to load on a mid roof, but still need a step. View attachment 180173
Automotive parking light Vehicle Grille Motor vehicle Automotive tire
Plant Wheel Tire Car Vehicle

Creating a lower base will still add about 3-4” to the rail height using Landing Pads and then getting the boat up safely and secure will add a few more. Not the cheapest or lowest profile but I feel comfortable at 75 and on the trails.
 

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A solution would be some north-south tracks, to which a rack could be mounted at any point along its length. I see that DIY van has something like this to allow mounting of 80/20rails, but TBH it's higher off the van roof than I'd like:
Hein's brackets when paired with 8020 length wise on top of the brackets and then 8020 crossbars is about as close as you can get to the roof in the center. With a solar panel mounted using Hein's solar brackets that place the panel in between the cross bars, the screw head will touch the surface of the van in the middle of the roof, that's how close it can be. I'm putting my rack up today and can take some pictures to give you some ideas. I'm doing solar panels / deck and then cross bars for some surfboards, but if you are not doing solar panels I think you can get about 2"-2.5" above the center line of the roof and leave room for straps.

Here's a few pictures of how close the crossbars are to the center of the roof.

Car Vehicle Window Wheel Hood


Automotive tire Wood Gas Asphalt Freezing


Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Windscreen wiper
Window Building Wood Asphalt Sky


Tape measure Plant Measuring instrument Wood Font
 

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I used the Weatherguard system in my build (link in my signature) and am pleased with it. Cheap & simple. BUT getting the parts from various vendors with huge delays, no support and a disdain for DIY van builders from Weatherguard makes me say go with Hein @ DIY Van. They have great support, ideas and products. I really like the latest version & versatility of his racking system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I used the Weatherguard system in my build (link in my signature) and am pleased with it. Cheap & simple. BUT getting the parts from various vendors with huge delays, no support and a disdain for DIY van builders from Weatherguard makes me say go with Hein @ DIY Van. They have great support, ideas and products. I really like the latest version & versatility of his racking system.
Thanks all; I'd prefer to mount Yakima towers/crossbars (I have a whole ecosystem of Yakima accessories from other vehicles), so they'll have some lift above the levels of the north-south tracks.

Given this the Weatherguard seems like the option that'd be closest to what I want. But as @Ranger Robin says, this seems hard to get. All the Weatherguard online options want like $300 for "freight shipping" (lol) and I've had little luck calling local sources.

I'm thinking the OMAC USA rails could fit the bill, coupled with Yakima Timberline towers/bars. Anyone have experience with the OMAC product?
 

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Thanks all; I'd prefer to mount Yakima towers/crossbars (I have a whole ecosystem of Yakima accessories from other vehicles), so they'll have some lift above the levels of the north-south tracks.

Given this the Weatherguard seems like the option that'd be closest to what I want. But as @Ranger Robin says, this seems hard to get. All the Weatherguard online options want like $300 for "freight shipping" (lol) and I've had little luck calling local sources.

I'm thinking the OMAC USA rails could fit the bill, coupled with Yakima Timberline towers/bars. Anyone have experience with the OMAC product?
I don't have experience with that OMAC product but I've purchased their front window guards for the Transit and they OK.
 

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Thanks all; I'd prefer to mount Yakima towers/crossbars (I have a whole ecosystem of Yakima accessories from other vehicles), so they'll have some lift above the levels of the north-south tracks.

Given this the Weatherguard seems like the option that'd be closest to what I want. But as @Ranger Robin says, this seems hard to get. All the Weatherguard online options want like $300 for "freight shipping" (lol) and I've had little luck calling local sources.

I'm thinking the OMAC USA rails could fit the bill, coupled with Yakima Timberline towers/bars. Anyone have experience with the OMAC product?
I wonder if you could contact a professional van upfitter place and see if they could just get you the tracks you want. WG seems to work only with those upfitter type businesses. The ebay pack of parts is also necessary it it doesn't come with them. 👍🏾
good luck.
 
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