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Old 06-14-2011, 02:17 AM   #1
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Safari Rack Flooring

I installed a Weatherguard safari rack on an Econoline and looking for ideas what to floor it with. It needs to be cost effective, durable, not to heavy and esthetically attractive. I am also looking at adding e track as well.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #2
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

Polypropylene sheet available in black or white, 1/4" or 1/2" thick. up to 4x8 sheets. They also have it perforated and expanded (foam?). I would think the panels should be spliced over the cross-rails. It might sag in hot sunlight.



http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...3308&catid=711

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

I'd bolt some expanded metal in place.


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Old 06-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

im going with aluminum diamond plate for my custom rack. im using stock parts similar to weather guards standard ladder racks (not the safari).

not sure about the cost effective part as im not sure what cost effective means to other folks. the aluminum diamond plate isnt the cheapest method but its going to be a great mod for my needs.

i found a local source for the aluminum diamond plate at a price i thought was very reasonable. i can walk-in, tell them the size and what if any cutouts i need, and leave with it in short order.

i looked at other materials on mcmaster-carr's website as well...lots of ideas there
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:17 PM   #5
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

I like you idea of using E Track on the floor of the rack, maybe 3 or 4 running side to side and some 2" straps to hold things in place.

As far as the floor material goes:

1) Aluminum sheet will need quite a bit of support if you want to walk on it and could make quite a racket in cross winds. It will also react to mild steel and literally disappear over time and sometimes paint alone will not prevent this reaction. Stainless fasteners need to be used along with a good barrier between mild steel and the aluminum. It will also need support around the perimeter, if you want to minimize cross wind noise and maximize rigidity.

2) Expanded metal is not very ridged and when mounted horizontally, it will sag between supports. If you bolt it down, it will stretch and elongate the holes. It will also need support along the outside perimeter. The paint will wear over time leading to rust and rusty streaks running down the side of your van.

3) My preference would be 3/4 or 1" marine grade plywood. Easy to cut and shape, will not rot or rust, accepts paint very well, economical and low maintenance. Very rigid as well. When I get around to my roof rack, that is what will be used along with some Van Tech ladder racks.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:22 PM   #6
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

my design called for the low profile van tech ladder racks. i contacted them about the weight of diamond plate and they said no problem. i asked about fastening it to the crossbars and they gave it their blessing and as i expected, recommended ss screws. they said it would be a good idea to place some kind of foam tape between the cross bar and plate to take care of dissimilar metal issue.

i planned on using 4 crossbars, an 8' to 9' length of plate, countersinking the screws with about 6 across each crossbar as well as a low profile side skirt to tie things together to eliminate vibration. i didnt plan on walking up there (they said it would be no problem at all) but it will have lots of things attached to it.

.250 inch plate was the original idea to retain rigidity keeping vibrations down but im contemplating a smaller thickness. wondering if it will be ok. i will also have the plate cut out so snow and ice can melt/drain as well as relieve any "lift" that might occur at highway speeds.

the side skirt will have circular holes cut out of them to give it a cool look and break up air currents. the side skirts will be aluminum but not plate. i checked into sheets of ABS plastic cut to a specifc size to act as an air deflector for the front of the rack as well.

it should look great, keep most of whats up there either out of site from the ground or at least less conspicuous and offer a great way to mount things while keeping holes in van to a minimum.

i never thought about plywood however. it is a great idea and food for thought. even plywood with much thinner plate fastened to it.

these forums never cease to amaze me lol
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:27 AM   #7
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

If you really want to spend a lot of money there is a plywood with a fiberglass skin. Very rigid and weather resistant.

Kemply http://www.cranecomposites.com/indus...bp/kemply.html

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Old 06-23-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

.25 aluminum plate weighs 3.5# per square foot. 5'x9'works out to 157# for the floor alone.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver350
.25 aluminum plate weighs 3.5# per square foot. 5'x9'works out to 157# for the floor alone.
the ladder racks will support it easily, plus the solar panels and other things that might wind up on it.

ill probably wind up with about 300lbs max weight for everything up there including the ladder rack supports. and it will be spread out too.

yeah its extra weight so gas mileage will decrease but i dont think it should be an issue even with the added higher center of gravity...

i mean ive seen some safari/cargo racks as well as contractors rigs with a ton of stuff up there...



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Old 06-23-2011, 06:54 PM   #10
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Re: Safari Rack Flooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
If you really want to spend a lot of money there is a plywood with a fiberglass skin. Very rigid and weather resistant.

Kemply http://www.cranecomposites.com/indus...bp/kemply.html

cool stuff.
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