Van Build Phases

Roof Rails

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: $

481.00

Total Time (hrs):

4

Easy Van Tech Roof Rails shown installed on the roof of sprinter van

* Disclaimer: This page contains various affiliate links that provide a small kickback to me, at no additional cost to you.

Materials

Tools

  • Hairdryer (works just as well as a heat gun for this)
  • Flat head scredriver
  • Pliers

Process

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.

You can see the melted glue around it

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.

Notion Board

Click on the image above to go to the full data base.

The Notion Board is my brain-dump database. I've been keeping meticulous track of every purchase, complete with receipts.

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Van Build Phases

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