Roof bars for a camper.

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applejack
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Roof bars for a camper.

Post by applejack » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:55 pm

A few months ago I bought an ex AA van VW Transporter camper conversion. It has a raising roof and I can't figure out how I can possibly fit roof bars on it? The raising roof is no more than six inches above the main roof but with no gutter etc, I'm flummoxed. I wonder if anyone has got around this on a camper?

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john.ruston
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by john.ruston » Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:08 pm

From that photo it looks like you have space to drill through and bolt on a heavy duty commercial rack. Might want to unload before raising the roof.

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applejack
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by applejack » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:58 pm

Thanks but I'd rather not go down that route. It's been professionally finished inside and I don't fancy bolting through the trim. I guess a trailer might be the only solution until I get a new car capable of taking bars.

Rainshine
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by Rainshine » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:28 pm

Its not just a matter of finding a way to fix the roof bars/rack on a van conversion where the roof integrity has been affected by the insertion of a pop up roof.

You need to find out what the new maximum load carrying capacity of the van roof is. Often when these VW transporter vans are converted and pop-up tops are put in, the roof no longer has the structural integrity to carry a roof rack and boats. The roof simply isn't strong enough to take the weight without bending or warping. Unless it has been specifically strengthened when the conversion was done, its quite possible that it won't now take the weight of the roof rack and boats. Finding a way to attach a roof rack is the least of your concerns until you know what work has been done to the roof during the conversion and can establish that the roof is capable of carrying the load.

john.ruston
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by john.ruston » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:05 am

Words of wisdom, Rainshine. The engineering bottom line on this one.
However Applejack ,,, if ever you DO want to mess with such things - I recall the trade you might want to involve here are 'auto-trimmers' or coach trimmers. These folk know how to handle things like upholstery or "headlining" and can do amazing work of modification or restoration. Just a thought. J.

yabbadabba
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by yabbadabba » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:54 pm

Can you still see the front 2 and rear 2 x fixing points for the roof rack? It looks like you will have lost the middle 2 only.

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applejack
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by applejack » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:49 pm

yabbadabba wrote:Can you still see the front 2 and rear 2 x fixing points for the roof rack? It looks like you will have lost the middle 2 only.
Actually I can't see anything at the moment because it's in the garage getting new cam belt and recon alternator! Will look when I pick it up.Ta.

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Jim
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by Jim » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:28 pm

As has already been mentioned fitting the roof rack may only be half the problem - when you get it back from the garage find the label on the pop top and contact the manufacturer to find out if it is still safe to use a rack with that top.

yabbadabba
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by yabbadabba » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:11 pm

If you still have the front and rear mounting points in place there are roof racks for the T4 that dont use the middle mounts.
As for the structural strength my personal opinion is that as the rack mounts are very close to the edge of the roof and in a purpose built recess for extra support the load is not spread across the entire roof so I wouldnt worry about it too much.

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Jim
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:40 pm

As I pointed out in another thread, the vertical load is only part of your concern, if there are transverses missing from the roof it might be severely weakened in respect of lateral loads going aorund corners or when you have a side wind tugging at the boats. The pop top manufacturer will have considered this and be able to advise if their design is suitable to use with a roof rack or not.

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applejack
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by applejack » Sun May 29, 2016 6:59 pm

A while ago I posted about the difficulty I was having working out how I could get a sea kayak on the roof of a camper with an extending roof. My rather unconventional solution has involved a bike rack support; the type you drop a tubular support with bike arms into. Some steel tubing, some box steel sections, a mig welder, some pipe insulation and Bob's your Uncle. A rear support which stands clear of the roof and obviously puts little stress on the camper roof. The front end is less satisfactory, involving an inflatable 'Handi Rack' and some foam but it will do for now. I don't think I need to patent the design as I can't see manufacturers fighting over the design but hey ho!
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nigelhatton
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by nigelhatton » Tue May 31, 2016 8:38 am

Are you confident it will take strong side winds?

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applejack
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by applejack » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:51 am

I wouldn't be bombing up the motorway with it for sure. Just fairly local transportation.

Sheepskin
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by Sheepskin » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:49 am

I bit the bullet and after years of vans complete with battle scars I bought a nice T5 with a factory fitted hi roof ( yeah I can stand up) and now I have the challenge of working out how the kayak goes on, figuring j bars in the side as there's way to much height

lincoln
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by lincoln » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:51 am

Sheepskin wrote:I bit the bullet and after years of vans complete with battle scars I bought a nice T5 with a factory fitted hi roof ( yeah I can stand up) and now I have the challenge of working out how the kayak goes on, figuring j bars in the side as there's way to much height
Got any pics Sheepskin?

Sheepskin
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by Sheepskin » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:47 pm

Not yet, I have found someone else's project and I mean to do something similar http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.p ... &_k=qft3ki

And it uses these
http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk/Product.d ... ArQI8P8HAQ

Sorry for the delay I moved home recently and still playing catch up

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MikeB
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by MikeB » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:27 pm

Just in case anyone doesn't follow the link to the VW forum noted, there is a post in the thread referencing the quick release tie-downs mentioned which reads as follows:

"I just thought I'd post my experience of this quick release roofrack.
At first sight it is an ideal solution but when I got the anchors I was a bit concerned about the one plastic part, the main locking component. I have been using it this summer but not on the motorway as I just didn't trust it. As expected, the plastic locking peice snapped, luckily it was when I was removing them and not after a gust of wind.

Take note: The motorbike anchor points are not designed for the angle of strain enforced using them with your J-Bars. The plastic part will fail, especially in Winter. Please get the plastic peice replaced - go to an engineering company and get them made out of metal.

Better still, fit yourself some decent J-bars and forget about what they look like, or put your board inside when you are travelling."

Mike

Sheepskin
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Re: Roof bars for a camper.

Post by Sheepskin » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:03 pm

Cool for the info, I'm figuring I go and see Wynne at AWP engineering near narberth, he's a rally car engineer see what he can come up with

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