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Old 08-18-2019, 08:03 PM   #31
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Yep - I'm referring to dycor lap sealant (with the bald guy on the bottle). 3m 5200 is great - especially because it's an adhesive and sealant. And I know it's rated to work with plastics, but I've seen first hand how it will peel right off in one long piece over time from roof vents. Dycor remains more malleable and takes quite a bit more effort to get off. I use it to both seal the seem and seal the screw holes.

One tip - when applying dycor, do 1 nice thick bead, wait 30 minutes (longer when cooler, shorter when hot) and come back and push it lightly in to the seem with your finger. The outer will have skinned over, allowing you to make sure that it's pushed in to any cracks and all air bubbles are gone. You can always come back and add second bead if you feel it'a needed.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:05 PM   #32
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Where is everyone finding their Unistrut? My EB CCV high top is right at the bleeding edge of 10' between the front bolt and the back bolt. 10' is the longest length I can find online and that would be a squeaker. Which size is recommended, 1 5/8" x 1 5/8", 1 5/8" x 13/16"? Any preferred vendors?
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:14 PM   #33
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Commercial vendors typically stock 20' sticks. I've used Fastenal, Platt Electric, and ACME all successfully. Basically I just use whoever has the closest warehouse.

Keep in mind Unistrut is a brand name, but is used ubiquitously like Kleenex. The proper term is "structural strut channel". Other common brands are SuperStrut, Kindorf-strut, Hilti-Strut, Power-Strut and I'm sure others. If you order from a real person, they'll know what you mean. But if you limit your online searches to "Unistrut" only, you might accidentally limit your search results.

For a base-tracks, 13/16th thickness works great. It doesn't stick up very far, but is plenty strong. I call this "half-size". But if I'm building anything with long un-supported spans or carrying heavy loads, I'll use 1-5/8" or "full-size" sticks.
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:24 AM   #34
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I do not see the need to use the bolts that are used to attach the top to the lifting rails to also attach the tracks. I think it is better to have them separate. Sometimes the lifting rail is not parallel to the roof edges, or the rails are not equally spaced from the edges. So using the six rail attach bolts can create unistrut alignment/parallel issues. The fiberglass top itself is stout and if the tracks are mounted just inboard of the rail there is not going to be any issue unless the plan is to carry 10,000 lbs on the roof.

Get some finishing caps for the inside nuts, drill the holes accurately and use some high grade silicone to seal. Greatest care needed is being careful w the interior material. Best to drill the fiberglass first and either cut an X in the headliner material or “hot point” the hole to melt the material where the hole comes through. It will FAR easier to use this method than to remove and then reinstall those six bolts. (CCV now welds tabs to the inboard face of upper rail that are used to attach the tracks. They are not using the top attach bolts)

Independently mounting the tracks would also allow setting the tracks at different widths say for solar panels vs basket.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:58 AM   #35
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Hi, I've been scouring this, as well as other forums, to learn more about installing unitsrtut on my roof for mounting racks and and solar panels and this one seems to best reflect my personal situation so I thought I'd post my questions here.

I have a 2013 E350 econoline with an after market fiberglass hard top. I'd like to install two struts similar to the photos above. My questions are:

1. Would I use butyl tape along the entire length of the unistrut or just around the holes.
2. Over a 8 (ish) length piece how many bolts should I use? Or maybe a better way to ask, how far apart should the bolts be placed (regardless of length of the strut?
3. Recommended bolt size? My top has three 1*4 (ish) wood strips running the length of the top- one in the middle and two on either side. My plan would be to mount the strut directly over the outer of these strips, drilling and bolting through them.

And, any other advice anyone might have considering their experience and my circumstance.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Old 03-10-2020, 01:04 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewmay View Post
Hi, I've been scouring this, as well as other forums, to learn more about installing unitsrtut on my roof for mounting racks and and solar panels and this one seems to best reflect my personal situation so I thought I'd post my questions here.

I have a 2013 E350 econoline with an after market fiberglass hard top. I'd like to install two struts similar to the photos above. My questions are:

1. Would I use butyl tape along the entire length of the unistrut or just around the holes.
2. Over a 8 (ish) length piece how many bolts should I use? Or maybe a better way to ask, how far apart should the bolts be placed (regardless of length of the strut?
3. Recommended bolt size? My top has three 1*4 (ish) wood strips running the length of the top- one in the middle and two on either side. My plan would be to mount the strut directly over the outer of these strips, drilling and bolting through them.

And, any other advice anyone might have considering their experience and my circumstance.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
1. Butyl tape is only necessary around the holes. Its role is as a sealant. You could just use dycor/your RV caulk of choice as well. I'd probably recommend sending the bolts through a flattened, round piece of butyl tape. Then smother the bolt/hole area with caulk for safety.

2. I'd probably do a bolt very 12-16"

3. 1/4" would be fine I think

Just my 2 cents from following this thread. I haven't installed my unistrut on the roof yet.
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