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roof top deck solution

568 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Tijoe
I've never really been happy with any of the deck solutions ive seen, and most of the DIY decks of just screwing a cedar plank down--um no. So i collaborated with a friend at Flagwerks who i have worked on other projects with and he is good in CAD. We talked about my ideas, he threw in his etc and i think we came up with one **** of a nice roof top deck that works with modular racks (most use 80/20 cross bars), this one happens to be a Remora. 3/16" aluminum plate with a fold on edges for strength. This one also happens to be on a Sprinter, but modular roof racks all have the same concept. 200 lb man standing in the center of largest panel create less than 1/4" deflection. Before all the comments start flowing about why a roof top deck is needed, this was something my client wanted for ease of snow removal as first criteria. secondary was ease of loading and strapping down a kayak or paddle board (see aircraft/l track style tie down points), 3rd was a place to have a sunset cocktail. Also know form my past career working with photographers a lot, decks are super handy. so not everyone has same needs is what im saying.

Anyway, this can be applied to anyones build, until we see more sizes repeated across various roof configurations we are considering each one a custom consultation. of course next level would be powder coat for traction and corrosion resistance, but this client wanted it raw for now
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Looks good, but I suspect it is very, very expensive. I priced 1/4" aluminum plate for my itty bitty rack, and the cost kept me from going that route (although now I wish I had just coughed up the dough). So, give us an idea of the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Looks good, but I suspect it is very, very expensive. I priced 1/4" aluminum plate for my itty bitty rack, and the cost kept me from going that route (although now I wish I had just coughed up the dough). So, give us an idea of the cost.
in Canadian $ (which is comical) each panel is roughly $185 give or take depending on final size, plus stainless hardware, plus powder coat. 1/4" would be to thick for common L-track fittings, 3/16 is the winner and we feel 1/8 would flex to much. toyed with 5/32 but since its a weird size probably more $
 

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in Canadian $ (which is comical) each panel is roughly $185 give or take depending on final size, plus stainless hardware, plus powder coat. 1/4" would be to thick for common L-track fittings, 3/16 is the winner and we feel 1/8 would flex to much. toyed with 5/32 but since its a weird size probably more $
Thanks, not as bad as I feared. And in the scope of cost of the entire build, it seems completely reasonable.
 

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Looks really good raw. I did something similar out of 1/8" AL and Camel Roof Racks I believe makes some of these as well. They're a great solution for 80/20 roof racks. Yours look better though.

1/8 does have some flex, especially on mine since I made the slots a little too big, but it still supports me and doesn't flex enough to hit the roof.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We use 1/8" Aluminum for our deck panels, but they span the van from driver to passenger side and require an 80/20 crossbar at each meeting.

It's difficult to keep the costs down on these; our come to retail at $185 per panel with hardware.
1/8" for sure works if you reduce length of the panel (i see yours are 12" span between bars) by putting more 80/20 cross bars up. there is a fine line between is a 3/16" longer panel being lighter than throwing an extra cross bar in? Ive seen one upfitter place a 80/20 cross bar every 8" to keep flex down, i calculated it had close to 200lbs of 80/20 on the roof with everything going on, plus modular rack sides and punch plate deck (which is the reason for all the 80/20-no structure) and solar. but yours is a great solution as well
 

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I often get excited/interested in installing a deck on the top of my HR van, then when I realize how much a deck would cost versus how much it would ever get used, I crunch a few numbers and it would be a much better investment, and likely cost less money, to purchase 4 solar panels, some 80/20 or angle aluminum, and fabricate mounting brackets/pads. Add in a battery and charge controller, and it would still cost less than the majority of Transit decks/racks being sold on the market.
 
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