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Old 11-28-2023, 12:04 PM   #1
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Mounting traction boards on the side ?

Hi all -

I am considering mounting traction boards (ARB Tred Pros) on the side of the van using the Yakima mounts, mainly because I don't like the idea of pins sticking out when not in use and also that these would intuitively spread the load better. I already have the mount and test-fitted the boards, the strap and custom buckle are very solid and it would be an ideal location (I don't have a tire rack or roof rack).

Does anyone have experience mounting anything on the sides in general, I am thinking using blind M8 rivet nuts (or possibly plus nuts) into the body sheetmetal, unless I can locate some kind of vertical structure at the spacing I need. The load would be a mainly downward ~10lbs each side - so not a lot, but of course subject to higher dynamic loads on bumpy roads. The mounts comes with a 3 screws and special washers that fit into the channels (triangle pattern) but could go 4 or even more.


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Old 11-28-2023, 12:51 PM   #2
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Aluminess makes some brackets that go top-to-bottom. If my van was clean this would be the sort of solution I would look into before drilling holes in my clean van.
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Old 11-30-2023, 10:15 AM   #3
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I have no personal experience with mounting through the sheet metal, but I have seen a few other people/companies do something similar to what you are talking about on other vehicles. Seems like the key would be if you have access to the backside so you can add a backing plate which I would imagine would help a lot. That seems to be how these companies are mounting their traction board tables on the sides of sprinters and other vehicles.

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Old 11-30-2023, 10:25 AM   #4
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We had a ski rack on the side of our old van. It was attached with sheet metal screws. There was a rubber gasket to make it water tight. Worked fine, but I was always worried it would clip a tree.
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
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Old 11-30-2023, 10:55 AM   #5
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Yeah, no [easy] backside access, hence the rivnut idea, but I think this flat mounting plate should spread the load evenly across a large area in the first place (unlike pins would). If it feels sketch I can always add additional vertical strap hanging off the roof gutter, kinda like this (this is some VW with a window, I have no window there):

The boards weight 18lbs, the mount itself ~3.
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Old 12-03-2023, 01:22 PM   #6
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Did this 2 years ago but I pulled the window to do so. Put a top this year and 640ah power with shore hook up. Still building inside. Burrito bed done. I put the lower cabinets on the passenger side so I'm glad I did not do both sides. Still have uppers to do. I am presently building a side mounted 44" sofa bed behind driver seat for extra adults or grand kids.
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Old 12-03-2023, 07:41 PM   #7
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I had played around with an idea for hanging two 5 gallon fuel scepters off the rear drip rail = just above the rear tire on the drivers side using two 'side mount jerry can holders' (link below), and then attaching 4 high load suction cups to the bottom of the back panel plates (outer 2 corners)...I didn't want to drill any holes in the side of my van without access for a backing plate of sorts (I have no access either).
Same principle may work for you...I didn't proceed simply because I was sceptical when considering how secure it would be carrying 80lbs of fuel on a bumpy backroad. I could see the same principal working for 18lbs of traction boards though.
Here is the link for the racks that would hang from the drip rail (I was going to 'join' them by attaching a 1/4"thick x 3" wide x 24" long aluminum plate towards the bottom end and positioned between the two - so they would be secured together & to keep them from swinging.
You need to envision these racks without the sides and front which are intended for securing the fuel cans:

Then I was going to mount the suction cups to the bottom of the rack at each corner (placed so when the cans are in the rack you wouldn't see the suction cups):

You could easily make a similar hanging drip rail rack on your own that you could mount your Yakima's to. This would keep you from drilling holes, and would be easily removable.
Just sharing an idea.
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Old 12-03-2023, 09:20 PM   #8
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Magnetic mounts for traction boards

Just saw these the other day. Might be worth a look.
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Old 12-03-2023, 11:37 PM   #9
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Not sure I would install Maxtrax on the side of my vehicle, but I can see the utility. There is a company in Australia, or maybe South Africa, that manufactures a Maxtrax mount that secures to the side of a 70-series Land Cruiser. The cool thing about this mount is that it pivots down and transforms into a table/flat space- giving the mount a dual use capability. Given the fact that a 70-series LC's body is a giant box, like an E-series van, it may be possible to incorporate this product on an Econoline.

Here's a video I found via a quick Youtube search. If I recall, Andrew St. Pierre White (4xOverland) mounted this unit on the side of one of his 70-series LCs and I recall seeing a review video from him at some point years ago. It's probably on Youtube.

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Old 12-03-2023, 11:54 PM   #10
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Seasucker makes suction recovery board mounts. They should work fine on paint. Probably would not be my first choice since theft is easy. I have heard from many others that their bike mounts work very well so a few recovery boards should be no problem.
2013 E-350 6.8L V10 4x4 RB50, penthouse top, Aluminess bumpers
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