I purchased roof rails off of Amazon and I'm glad I did! I was originally going to try and manufacture them myself out of 80/20 half profiles, but this was looking to be a similar price point to the premade ones. Additionally, after needing to drill holes through the half profiles to create all my framing, I decided I was over the faff, so the additional cost was absolutely worth it to me.
Though the manufactured ones don't feel quite as robust as 80/20 profiles, I don't need them to be that strong anyways. The predrilled holes made assembly super easy, and I was able to easily mount my solar panels.
Total Cost: $
Total Time (hrs):
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The Sprinter luckily comes with factory holes already on the roof. These are sealed off by little plastic discs that need to be peeled off. To do this, I used a hairdryer to heat up the glue around it, and then used a flathead screwdriver and pliers to pry it off.
Exposed hole with the disc pried off. Repeated for all the holes on both sides of the van.
I then placed a square of butyl tape around the holes to help with creating a waterproof seal.
The rails also come with a black weatherstripping foam which I applied to the backs and pierced through with the bolts.
I put the rails in place then headed downstairs to complete the install.
From the inside I peeled off the excess butyl tape that the bolts pushed out.
Then, I finished the assembly with washer + lock washer + nut. I think I went around the whole van three times, tightening everything down little by little.
One of the quickest and easiest installs in the van! Now, I was ready to install my solar panels on top.
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