My next task on the van is insulating the sides and ceiling. Since I don’t expect to ever spend more than a single night in snow (and that will only be by mistake) I’m not too concerned about super-insulation. While I’m working on that though, I could use some advice for a roof rack to mount my solar panels to (2 each @ 37.5″ x 62″).
The NV has these nice mounting brackets built into the roof. Four per side with the idea of being able to run up to four bars crosswise over the roof to hold ladders.
But, in order to do this, you need these special mounts that raise the bars above the curve of the roof (I’m estimating about 1.5 inches). Even with these special mounts, the placement of the horizontal bars would restrict how and where I can mount my solar panels.
The ideal option would be to create my own rack, custom fit to my panels. I have two (big) 200 watt panels that will overlap the edges of these mounts by about an inch on each side. I’d also like them mounted as far forward as possible, meaning that they will stick past the front-most mounting bracket by about 30 inches, so whatever I use to create the rack with will have to be pretty strong (I want to leave room for a future roof fan and/or a third solar panel) toward the back.
I’m thinking I could find two 2″ square metal… what are they called, tubes (but square), and mount them (one on each side) lengthwise on the four mounting brackets so I’d end up with two, 10′ long metal runners, one on each side of the van roof. This should make the base of the rack high enough that I can run crossbeams (maybe 1″ square tubes) to use to mount the solar panels to. (See my comment below for a clearer picture).
If worse comes to worse, I guess I could use the store bought rack and mount the panels toward the rear, but then the (possible) fan would be toward the front (not as good a cross breeze) and I’d probably not be able to add another (possible) solar panel. Maybe this is the way to go at first, and modify it later if the “possibles” turn out to be needed.
Anyway, if anyone can think of something better, I’m all ears. Please note, I want to avoid drilling holes in my nice new roof.
It's Time To Wake Up
Mystical Oneness and the Nine Aspects of Being is a step-by-step guide to enlightenment and beyond.
It's Time To Be Happy
It's Time Let Go
Imagine I have only seven days left to live.