Ford Transit USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who's got one and/or used one and/or can point me in a good direction?

The solar panels are finally up and running and now I need a bit of wind deflector for the front. Picturing something like our Yakima rack had back in the day (plastic thing) but need it to be close to 6' wide, I think?

Thought maybe someone would have done this and could point me in a good (read, "easy") direction. 🤷‍♀️
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I didn't take a photo from the front - the rack sits just behind the antenna thing - but it's a bit thick. The kids have the van for the weekend - and the kids report a bit of wind noise. It seems like a deflector would be good.

Seems like? 🤔

Found Thule and Yakima options... $125-$150 or something like that. But 52" max. HMMMM...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone else have a wind deflector? Finding it harder to order a large enough piece of plastic. Bought the largest Thule but not even close. Back to wondering about options...
 

·
Registered
2021 Cargo T350 EL High roof AWD Ecoboost
Joined
·
269 Posts
Anyone else have a wind deflector? Finding it harder to order a large enough piece of plastic. Bought the largest Thule but not even close. Back to wondering about options...
Tap Plastics might be able to cut a large piece of HDPE or similar plastic for you at the dimensions you need, if you have a branch in your area.
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Doesn't look like TAP has a branch here; but there are a couple local-ish plastic folks. Really hoping I don't have to cut my own on this... it just doesn't come out with pretty edges. 😏
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Why do you need a wind deflector?
Why do you need a wind deflector?
I highly recommend getting a wind deflector. My front panel tore out of two Z clips, folded in half like a taco and shattered into a million pieces while I was driving across Utah. Thank goodness I was on "the loneliest highway" and no one got hurt.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I highly recommend getting a wind deflector. My front panel tore out of two Z clips, folded in half like a taco and shattered into a million pieces while I was driving across Utah. Thank goodness I was on "the loneliest highway" and no one got hurt.
That is another good reason to have one. I wonder if it would've helped. That's a pretty interesting failure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
That is another good reason to have one. I wonder if it would've helped. That's a pretty interesting failure!
Gregoryx,

I'm thinking it would have helped / prevented it altogether. The wind comes right up the windshield and under the panel. As I mentioned above, the clips stayed put, but the panel ripped right out of the frame - even leaving bits of aluminum still attached to the bolts.

And now I have another 'interesting' problem: My panels are/were Renogy 200 watt 39" x 44 1/2". The remaining panel is fine, but I can't find a replacement panel the same size. Apparently, Renogy now makes the 200-watt panel 63.8 x 25.9...So, I finally decided I needed to remove the surviving panel and replace it with two new 63.8 x 25.9...but my custom rack is only 47 1/2 inches wide and I need at least 52 inches.

There is space between the passenger-side rack bar and my awning to make the panels fit, 55 inches, but will that work? Can the panels hang over the sides of the rack? Mounting holes are located in each corner, so if I used a piece of angle iron to extend it, would it be sturdy enough with mounts only in the front and back of the panel and not on the sides?
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...
And now I have another 'interesting' problem...
You aren't kidding! That's a challenge, for sure. Sounds like replacing both is the right choice. I'd probably try not to overlap them if possible... especially given the failure you saw. Maybe some other brand will have some combo that fits?

FWIW, our last rig panels were only mounted on the sides - three 180W in a row with no overlap on the edges. But they sat very tight to the roof - the Sprinter roof is more flat than the Transit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,128 Posts
I highly recommend getting a wind deflector. My front panel tore out of two Z clips, folded in half like a taco and shattered into a million pieces while I was driving across Utah. Thank goodness I was on "the loneliest highway" and no one got hurt.
What do Z clips look like? Picture of how panel was attached to the rack?

What design is the solar panel extrusion? I wanted a tubular extrusion instead of an angle or channel. Saw both styles before I bought a panel. More important for my install because I bolted the panel to the roof without a roof rack.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Probably not relevant, but since I do not have a van yet (thanks Ford), I am using my X3 to experiment. Attached a NEWPOWA 200W to a Yakima bike carrier and made custom brackets. Since the rear cantilevered portion was a little too long and vibrated with about 1/2” amplitude at 80mph, added some straps with 3M tape to the roof. Result is no wind noise and no movement of the panel. Pushing around 220W under Wyoming sun. And yes, there is a 1” gap between the panel and deck lid when open.

D8D77199-32DA-4DEC-A058-D5F1ECB50D2A.jpeg
90D98012-F2CE-4DDB-90CC-E13B70DC88BD.jpeg
0F189C7C-A192-408A-8245-9D486612784B.jpeg
DE5523F8-5843-4E34-8A44-0E78D20E8DA4.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
What do Z clips look like? Picture of how panel was attached to the rack?

What design is the solar panel extrusion? I wanted a tubular extrusion instead of an angle or channel. Saw both styles before I bought a panel. More important for my install because I bolted the panel to the roof without a roof rack.

154530
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Curious, did the nut end of the bolt have a large washer? and is the hardware from Renogy Z Clips?
154534
 

·
Registered
2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What do Z clips look like? Picture of how panel was attached to the rack?

What design is the solar panel extrusion? I wanted a tubular extrusion instead of an angle or channel. Saw both styles before I bought a panel. More important for my install because I bolted the panel to the roof without a roof rack.

Here's a Z-Rail: McMaster-Carr

Z-clips used to be just cut sections of z-rail. Renogy has their fancied up versions. Same thing, ultimately. Useful form - like two angle-90s connected together. More bolt-able than a rectangle shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,128 Posts
Maybe the height the panels are mounted above the roof is one of the reasons for the failure? The roof rack is about 1" above the roof and rack may be 1 1/2" thick. Panels are about 1 1/2" thick which puts top surface of panel about 4 1/2" above the roof. Can see why a front deflector is useful.

Another issue may be the front edge of the panel location relative to the curvature of the van roof. Suspect the closer a panel is to the slant of the windshield may catch more air under the panel than a front edge further back on the roof.

My panel is lower with top surface of panel about 2 1/4" above the roof.

Interested because my single panel does not have a roof rack and the four feet are bolted through the roof with four 5/16" bolts. I do have a 2" wide x 1 1/4" thick wood stringer between roof ribs glued to under side of roof so do not have a point load at bolt locations.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top