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Roof rack: FVC vs AVCRIG V2

2447 Views 27 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  cjdudley
Anyone have any thoughts on the newly redesigned AVC RIG V2 roof rack vs the Flatline Van Co rack? This would be the one for 148 HR EX.

The AVC rack now overhangs the rear of the van a little, which I like. The hardware is now stainless. But I think the towers are are still regular steel whereas the FVC ones are stainless (both are powder coated). And the tower angle issues have been rectified.

The new V2 rack is so new that I wonder if anyone even has it yet.

I need to get a rack soon and I’m leaning towards the AVC one, unless I hear some compelling reasons to go a different direction.

AVC: AVC Transit 148 High Roof Extended Rack V2
FVC: Transit 148" High Roof Extended Low Pro Roof Rack
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I have am having the save dilemma. I like AVC design but they don't have a matching side ladder and I would rather not use the modified mounting of the Aluminess or drill more holes to mount another brand. A big plus for me is that FVC designed it so that the Fiamma F45 bolts right up with no modifications to the rack. I do want to support AVC, I think what they are doing on their YouTube channel is amazing but the benefits of the using accessories with the FVC rack without adding additional holes in it will probably win out.
 

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2021 T350 Cargo HR 148 AWD
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AVC's website says full alum roof rack. I have the FVC rack with side ladder and it's a great rack but I would get the AVC rack if I could do it again. AVCs full width and rear ext are desirable features. The FVC side ladder should be super easy to install on AVCs rack. Contact AVC about this - they have been very responsive. Cant go wrong either way... someone will come out with a better less expensive option in 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Take a look at Unaka i just put one on and really like it.
I really like the concept behind this rack. The 8020 in the side rails makes a lot of sense.

They do state that if you want a different configuration of solar panels then send them an email and they will make it happen. That implies that this crossbar design, while being more low profile, may also be less flexible. I don’t know if or when I’ll add solar. And if I add a/c it will be midship, not over the bed.

Any thoughts on the flexibility of this design, where the solar panels fit IN the rails vs the others where they fit ON the rails? Seems like the latter would be more flexible but would keep the panels higher up the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AVC has more open width between the sides, and the FVC crossbars are lowered some so you can mount panels on top of the cross bars without sticking up over the rack sides as much.
Yes, it does look like the AVC rack has the crossbars sitting flush with the top of the rails, resulting in everything mounted to them sitting above the rails, unless I come up with some interesting brackets.
 

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I am always piddling around with ideas, and one of them is to build my own roof/solar rack. (My first impression is that I like the Unaka a bit better than the AVS. )
Before this morning, I hadn't read or heard about either of these. Yet each of them is about 80% the same as the design I sketched up on my own. This means to me that there are only a few ways to logically design/build these kinds of racks.

I have a different problem. My 350HD XLT dually extended HR van has/had a 3-in-1 antenna mounted on the first flat roof section on the driver's side. After I installed my large screen Radio/Android unit, Android based rear view mirror and 4G DVR for my cameras, I ended up with qty 3, 3-in-1 shark fin antennas mounted across the front flat roof panel.
(These antennas specifically state that they have to be mounted on a flat surface and as high up as possible, otherwise signal loss will occur.)
Therefore, if I move forward with a roof rack build that extends to the front curved section of the roof, I will have to figure out where to relocate the antennas higher up on a flat section of the rack. Additionally, I will have 3, 1" holes with 3 cables each running through the holes to plug and seal.
This makes fabricating the rack and installing it a relatively easier job than removing my interior ceiling panels, (again!) lengthening cables...

Since I live in snow country, I am thinking I want my rack to end up being flat and as smooth as possible so I can easily and quickly clear snow off the top. (Or when I drive the van snow will fall off.) Depending on how many solar panels end up there, I want to fill in the gaps and keep as much snow as possible from filling in lower gaps/open areas of the rack.

Therefore I still have a lot of thinking and planning to do before I head down the roof rack path.
 
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It seems that the FVC rack, while allowing you to mount panels flush with the top of the rack - doesn't make it easy to do anything but. If your panels fit nicely "inside" the rack, that's great, but if you want to maximize your panel sizes and utilize the full width of the van, you've got to come up with your own support above the rack. ? I have almost ruled out the FVC because of this, but I've not looked at panel mounting bracket options much yet, nor do I know what panels we're using, so it may be a moot point anyway. As it is, we're leaning towards building our own, looking at Unaka's and DIYVan's tower mounts.

While talking about roof racks, does anyone happen to know the approx length you have behind a typical front mounted MaxxAir fan on an extended length 350?
 

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2022 AWD MR Cargo Eco Boost Abyss Gray
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I have the AVC rack + FVC ladder + Fiamma awning. This is one of the few things in the van that I installed myself and was pretty simple. If it was complicated, I would have hired a friend.

AVC Rack is rad. I have their deck panels + solar panel drop brackets. From the photo here, you can't even see the solar. Nice!

Installing the ladder was simple, but I did have to drill two holes into the rack. Being that the rack was aluminum, it was very easy. I love the ladder, and everyone at FVC is super rad. I've been to their HQ a few times as they are local.

Fiamma awning was a little tricky, but the tips from the AVC helped a bunch. I definitely recommend ordering the tools they have in the video!

I don't think you will be disappointed with either rack but I personally lean toward the AVC + FVC combo.

Wheel Tire Sky Car Vehicle
 

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Take a look at Unaka i just put one on and really like it.
I installed my FVC rack about two years ago. At the time it was the best option at a more reasonable price point. It did have limitations because of the width concerning the optimization of your solar panels. I just took a look at the UNAKA web site, and I like that they are aware and providing solutions for better solar optimization. Every inch gained in a van build can be presious. It appears UNAKA gets that. Definately worth taking a look!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have the AVC rack + FVC ladder + Fiamma awning. This is one of the few things in the van that I installed myself and was pretty simple. If it was complicated, I would have hired a friend.

AVC Rack is rad. I have their deck panels + solar panel drop brackets. From the photo here, you can't even see the solar. Nice!

Installing the ladder was simple, but I did have to drill two holes into the rack. Being that the rack was aluminum, it was very easy. I love the ladder, and everyone at FVC is super rad. I've been to their HQ a few times as they are local.

Fiamma awning was a little tricky, but the tips from the AVC helped a bunch. I definitely recommend ordering the tools they have in the video!

I don't think you will be disappointed with either rack but I personally lean toward the AVC + FVC combo.

View attachment 180263
That’s nice to know the panels sit flush with the rails. However it looks like the drop brackets to make that happen are quite pricy: $100 per set of 4.
 

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That’s nice to know the panels sit flush with the rails. However it looks like the drop brackets to make that happen are quite pricy: $100 per set of 4.
What's not pricey in the van world? Made in the USA and cleans up the roof of the van.
 

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I installed my FVC rack about two years ago. At the time it was the best option at a more reasonable price point. It did have limitations because of the width concerning the optimization of your solar panels. I just took a look at the UNAKA web site, and I like that they are aware and providing solutions for better solar optimization. Every inch gained in a van build can be presious. It appears UNAKA gets that. Definately worth taking a look!
Don't buy their bike mounts. Great idea but executed super poorly. I have two sitting in a box and would not recommend.
 
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