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Jteerlink
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: Post Your Roof Rack Setup Reply with quote

Just wondering what rack options have been tried/recommended for a Westy pop top. Interested in the following:

Rack Maufacturer and setup?
If Yakima or Thule, what spacing did you use between mounting points?
Also, your opinions as to what a weight limit could be on a poptop?
Or, is the OE cargo bin and a tailgate bike rack been sufficent?


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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I hate to be so vague, but there must be a dozen posts covering this topic from just the past year. The search is somewhat hard to use, but if you search "roof and rack", you'll get a list of posts. You don't have to read them all, but scan the titles for those posts that seem to fit your topic. You'll see that people have used bar spacings all over the place. One, two, three bars. Gutter mount, roof mount, track mount, etc. You just need to determine what works best for you and what attachments you want to use. It's all a matter of personal preference. Some people even go so far as to make there own rack. Those of us that read this forum regularly know this has been discussed a lot and all the answers to your questions are already out there.

Here's just a couple;

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=249942&highlight=rack

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=307996&highlight=rack

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=341488&highlight=rack

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=276328&highlight=rack
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Jteerlink
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

didnt use the "and" feature.

Thanks a bunch
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Boegrrl
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read the threads.

Used blend of 2 types racks Yakima artificial gutters, Yak short towers, and used Thule cross bars.
I also have JACK BOMBAYS Heavy duty ptop shocks installed.
I favored the 2/3rds rear placement to be able to lift the top with a light load on the racks - carry a lightweight kayak on the poptop only.

I can carry 2 kayaks if I like.

Figure what you will carry, thus where to place, and how many cross bar tower sets to use.
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Bruce Wayne
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Two kinds of Thule towers and Thule crossbars. Larin cargo basket. (closeout from G.I. Joes) Yakima Hullraisers for the kayak. jackbombay poptop shocks.
can't remember the spacing. PDXWesty helped me with that,and more when I did my rack.
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thewump
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce, What's the value /purpose of the front bar?

K
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HeftySmurf
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Bruce Wayne
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewump wrote:
Bruce, What's the value /purpose of the front bar?

K

some have that front bar for a canoe or other long boat. I added it for hauling lumber and "other long things" when I need to.


Last edited by Bruce Wayne on Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When shopping for Yakima/Thule type, rack systems, it's smart to look first at Craigslist or the sports resale / used gear shops. Vans use rain gutter towers, and hardly any other cars do these days. That means there are a LOT of used, cheap rain gutter towers available. Don't pay retail for the towers.

Also, be sure and get cross bars that are long enough. My '86 Westy takes 66" crossbars, shorter ones will not work. Used bars are around, but you may have to search a bit. They do not wear out at all, so used bars are a wise choice, if you can find them.

Good luck!
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crukab
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a good shot of the rack, but it hauls a bunch !!
Yakamia towers & cross bars, w/a Bekowa 1/2 rack bolted to the cross bars. The Bekowa was bolted to a ladys Chevy van, I asked her to contact me when she was going to sell the van, a year later & $ 50 I had a sweet ( legless) Bekowa.

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westynova
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am using a Yakima set up with extra long bars. Ias Pop Top Shocks help with the lift.

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Vanarchist
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just picked up this little guy on craigslist for $150. It's called the MegaMule by Bajarack. It weighs about 40 lbs and I can stand on it with little to no flex and comes out to a nice 68"x48" I'm pretty stoked on it and can't wait to get to travelin' with it.

I apologize for the really great cellphone pictures.

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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a pic of my setup being test fit before installation.
I made the brackets. They bolt thru the sides of the top with 1/4" flat head screws. There is a 1/8" thick backer plate. It is very stiff. While I made mine fancy and used a TIG welder and mill, you could make the same functional piece by bending a some steel in a vice and drilling some holes.
Unistrut is then mounted to the brackets.
I then use homemade split blocks to hold my Yakima bars. Again, you could use Unistrut conduit clamps if you don't have a mill.
Or, you could use unistrut as your cross bar, though this limits what attachments you can mount. It works great for the Yakima box though. I have that setup on my truck right now.
It doesn't really have any advantages over a complete store bought setup, except it's very modular and it was cheap. I was all set to use fake rain gutters but the price seemed steep. I figured if I was going to make my own, I could do a bit better.
Once painted up and w/ stainless hardware, I think mine looks cleaner too.




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WW_Victoria
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anyone care to talk about how they load a canoe?

I just picked up a set of used Yakima racks and would like to mount them for using a cargo box... but I have a feeling they will be too close together for my 16' prospector.
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westynova
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you take a look at my set up I am using extra long Yakima Bars. I think they are 72". I was able to install my Yakima Box and a small canoe with a narrow beam on it. Worst case just buy a longer bar. Not sure if Yakima makes them longer than 72" or buy a piece of pipe and have it welded on. One thing that i do like about the Yakima system is that you can buy Canoe holders. If you look real close on my van you can see them on the ends of the pipe. You set it up to grip the canoe. I use only two ratchet ties down, to keep a canoe on. it will not go anywhere. if you must, put on a V bow line to stop it from moving left or right. I don't go fast enough to build up enough pressure that it will rip it off. I put my canoe on my car using the Yakima system and I have yet to need bow or stern straps, even though I have them.
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Carleton
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WW_Victoria wrote:
anyone care to talk about how they load a canoe?

I just picked up a set of used Yakima racks and would like to mount them for using a cargo box... but I have a feeling they will be too close together for my 16' prospector.


The consensus I've seen is to mount 3 sets of artificial rain gutters into the westy top. One is positioned near the middle, one 36 or 32 inches behind that towards the rear (check your box spacing), and one 32 to 36 inches in front of that.

Then, place the bars on the full spread (64-72 inches) for the canoe, or use them on the back two rain gutters for a box. Having the weight towards the rear with a westy makes it easier to pop the top.

Sort of like this one:
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a roof bag that I used to put on my various cars roofs. Can I continue doing that with the van. Already I have problems lifting the hatch, I realize that anything up there would only add to it.

MPG difference between on top, behind trailer or rear platform?? Anyone know?

I'd need a ladder to get anything up there. I needed one for the front luggage compartment, tried thru the leading window to no avail.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Thule racks, I like the square bars, Yakima bars are round.

I prefer the Thule artificial gutters (requires 2 holes per gutter:
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to the Yakima gutters. (which require 4 holes per gutter)
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My A1 towers are set in the middle of the indentations of the pop top molding. Note how the top does not drop under its own weight with the pop top shocks.
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Major Hint!
Plan on using the rear bolt of the rearmost rack mount, to double as the attachment point for the Pop Top Shocks.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3903917&highlight=lucked#3903917
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: racks Reply with quote

Check out Gary Lee's racks - http://www.telusplanet.net/public/gary2a/rack/vanagonrack.htm
his support towers extend right down to the rain gutters on the van so all weight is transferred there. The fibreglass top is supporting little or no weight.
The forward rack/bar on mine is a clever boat loading bar - makes putting an aluminum boat, kayak or canoe on top pretty easy.
His rear hatch racks are great as well.
No pic's right now of mine - maybe later today.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:25 pm    Post subject: Yakima Reply with quote

I did quite a bit of research, like all you van-o-geeks out there! This project worked out exactly how I wanted, but I have yet to really load up the rack and find that the fiberglass fails. You will notice this mounts on the top rather than the side (I have a set of the four side moutns from yakima, which I think are discontinued now if you want to buy $-still in the package). I think that side mount set up is fine, but I opted for this because I can pop this entire rack off in about 20 seconds if someone is with me - it just lifts off and you can set it on the ground and take off. This makes a significant difference in weight and MPG.

Notice it is mounted to the back of the top. this makes it easier to lift the top. Even empty, there is a significant weight. Crap, I have the weight stats written somewhere, I will find that info and edit this.
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img
This rack has an extension for length...it is the road warrior (or is it load warrior?) anyway, the more narrow of the two. It has a net that clamps over the top, and ski racks attach nicely. It is also locked on the the bars, and the bars locked to the top.
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This is a close up of the attachment footing. It mounts clean to the top with a waterproof gasket. The footprint seems big enough to displace the weight evenly so the rack does not kill the fiberglass (we will see about that). Hee, I inserted my key, unlocked, open the caliper thing and lifted so you can see how easy (keys did not need to be in the unlocked lock).
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Rear view:
The sides of the bars @ 78" line up perfectly with the width of the van.
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Front View (damn rusty grommets!):
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The gas struts would be helpful with this set up, as it is a lot different when popping up the pop top. I will buy those in the next few. One of my other requirements was that I leave the moonroof area open for the wonderful day when I replace that POS moonroof - I want to see the sky in a big picture frame. when I get kayaking again, or any larger boat, I will need another rack (3rd) bar. I will tackly that if/when needed.

So with this setup, I can store things that can are bulky on the open rack, and store nicely packed more delicate things in the box. I even have a luggage bag that fits perfectly in the rack floor if I need extra element protection. It straps down nicely, and looks clean. I talk about looks here and there, I am just tryong to not propogate the rolling yardsale vanagon image everyone has in their heads. I think I can build a vehicle better (for my needs) than anything out there. We will see. I am sure you are all thinking the same thing...carry on good people!
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