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Old 09-08-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Everyone,

I am in the process designing a rack system for my EB, camper top. As you know the roof rack system by Aluminess is designed for each specific owner's needs. A thread expressing feedback regarding design benefits and issues for each rack system and what each person may do to improve the design in the future.

My issues are:

1. To use 1.05" diameter tube vs. the standard 1 5/16" diameter tubing and saving 25% in frame weight. This may lead to minor give in the system when walking on it but no overall structural limitation given the use for a camper top, per Dave at Aluminess. He personally uses the lighter system on his SMB. Aesthetics would be affected somewhat with a ladder having the larger diameter tubing. However saving 25 lbs in overall weight is significant. Any thoughts on which way to go on this?

2. Using a solid Diamond/Tread Plate flooring behind the solar panel mount, figuring a system to tie down gear on 80" of sheet metal. Some options are pop up rings that may rattle when driving or having threaded mounts that allow the removal of fixed rings when not in use. This would allow me to comfortably sit, hang out, sleep up there. I would place these mounts midway between the width of the van and every 2' or so. Any thoughts of a better system or design?

3. All cross bars will be removable to allow future flexibility, such as solar panel replacement requiring different mounting dimensions. Remove or add a Thule rack system, as needs change.

4. Have owners experiences issues with air drag and compression noise? If so, how did you resolve this?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Regards,

John.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

buddy

PH or Cruiser top?

I am unsure about walking on, sitting in a chair and sleeping on a PH
in the Down position maybe, dont know

lets start there

FWIW, aluminess are GREAT engineers, if you are exceding limits, they will tell you

how about some sketches??
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Penthouse top. I would rest on it only with the top down.

My idea stems the photo below, using solid floor in place of the expanded metal seen in this photo.

Dave at Aluminess assured me that the rack would hold up for my intended use.

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1.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Diamond plate would sure cut down on solar heating-like reflectix on steroids.

I would put a slight crown in the plate to keep water from accumulating.

Maybe a series of holes with round stock welded underneath and use standard tie down straps.

That would be an awesome place to sleep under the stars. Let us know what you e d up with.

Brian
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Brian,

I like your idea on tie down straps.

Appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

25 pounds on the roof is pretty insignificant.

I load up to 2,500 pounds on my roof.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:34 AM   #7
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigduke6
Diamond plate would sure cut down on solar heating-like reflectix on steroids.

I would put a slight crown in the plate to keep water from accumulating.

Maybe a series of holes with round stock welded underneath and use standard tie down straps.

That would be an awesome place to sleep under the stars. Let us know what you e d up with.

Brian
Ours has diamond plate on the rear 1/3 (slats under 2 solar panels up front). We didn't specifically ask for it but the diamond plating has a crown in it for water run off. We had them add Yakima diameter cross bars at the front and rear of the solar panels and rollers for hauling kayaks. We just use the supports as tiedowns.





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Old 09-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

What size solar panel do you use (wattage too) and how do you have them oriented? They make a 215 watt panel that is 59" length, 39" width (185 Watt panel is 53"x39"). The 185 W is currently unavailable by SMB.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:09 AM   #9
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Mine are 185 W oriented on the long axis of the rack side
by side
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Aluminess Roof Racks - Design Feedback from Customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomesd
Mine are 185 W oriented on the long axis of the rack side
by side
I'm probably hijacking this thread a bit, but how do you get your kayaks on/off the roof without the solar panel being in the way? We frequently travel with two kayaks (15 - 16') and I've avoided the solar panel because it seems like it would make the kayak loading a true PIA.

Back on topic, I also really like the idea of holes for tie down straps. No moving parts, zero maintenance, and not obtrusive when you are not using it. The rattle of a ring would drive you crazy after a while. Having to thread rings seems like a bit of a pain, but more importantly a potential failure point if not threaded properly. Not to mention I could imagine something hitting the bolt and messing up the threads so you couldn't put on a fixed ring in the future. I would definitely trust Dave's recommendations regarding tubing diameter.
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