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Noganav T3
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you dramatically hurt your resale value when you install racks like this. Drilling holes and mounting brackets all over the pop top are going to be difficult to get back to factory condition later. Not to mention additional cracking and structural damage to the fiberglass top. I personally would never buy a westy that has had racks installed on the fiberglass.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
I like square bars for square vans, so Im into Thule, not Yakima.

in any case, the Thule artificial gutter is stronger than the Yakima, see the bent Yaki gutter in photo in this post
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4370691&highlight=yakima#4370691
to the Yakima gutters. (which require 4 holes per gutter, more holes is NOT better)
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Yikes - That is really old Bracket! FWIW, new Yakima brackets look nothing like that, also mount with 2 bolts, and have backing plates.
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I have a set, and they seem plenty strong.

John
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noganav T3 wrote:
I think you dramatically hurt your resale value when you install racks like this.


Depends on who your potential buyer is.
If you are trying to keep your van 100% OEM in show room condition, then yes. If you are trying to use your van as intended and camp and play in it, then one could argue that a proper rack install raises the value.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noganav T3 wrote:
I think you dramatically hurt your resale value when you install racks like this. Drilling holes and mounting brackets all over the pop top are going to be difficult to get back to factory condition later. Not to mention additional cracking and structural damage to the fiberglass top. I personally would never buy a westy that has had racks installed on the fiberglass.


Many Westy owners have installed these artificial gutters and not a single report of cracking so far. Those gutters are designed for camper shells for pickup trucks, usually thiner or same layer of fiberglass than the one we have in the westy. Use a backing plate if you worry.

About resale value, the least of my worries but I understand people have different opinions and tastes.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanagonjr wrote:
Yikes - That is really old Bracket! FWIW, new Yakima brackets look nothing like that, also mount with 2 bolts, and have backing plates.



there is also a newer Yakima 4 bolt version than the one shown in the pic above, with carriage bolts, no backing plates. If you abuse the system, whether is Yakima or Thule, you'll end up with a bent gutter, who knows how that gutter got bent? how much weight on top? did the load hit something with van in motion?
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would personally pay more actually for a van that had a good rack install. I think 50% of westy owners would.
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noganav T3 wrote:
Not to mention additional cracking and structural damage to the fiberglass top.


The fiberglass top is seriously tough, with a static load on a roof rack you would have to have your boat anchorand or gold bar collection on the roof before you would get it to crack, considering that one 5/16" bolt in the fiberglass top can support well over 250 pounds the vehicle would be past GVWR before you could load roof racks enough to bet the fiberglass to crack.
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Gas struts to pop your top easily!

Pop Top strut kits now available for late Bay window Westies Smile


Samba ad here.


DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plummerdesign wrote:

Question is which lift system works best?


Mine is absolutely superior in every way.










































Laughing


Bu seriously, see my for sale add, link in my sig, for more details on the differences between the 2.
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Gas struts to pop your top easily!

Pop Top strut kits now available for late Bay window Westies Smile


Samba ad here.


DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noganav T3 wrote:
I think you dramatically hurt your resale value when you install racks like this. Drilling holes and mounting brackets all over the pop top are going to be difficult to get back to factory condition later. Not to mention additional cracking and structural damage to the fiberglass top. I personally would never buy a westy that has had racks installed on the fiberglass.


Not only are there no cracks on my top after 24 years of loading canoes, kayaks, etc on top, but if I wanted it to look like new I could take it to any good fiberglass shop and for a couple of hundred bucks, it would look original. How do you think they fix Covettes and boats. Thats the beauty of fiberglass.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noganav T3 wrote:
I think you dramatically hurt your resale value when you install racks like this. Drilling holes and mounting brackets all over the pop top are going to be difficult to get back to factory condition later. Not to mention additional cracking and structural damage to the fiberglass top. I personally would never buy a westy that has had racks installed on the fiberglass.


I have toys to haul on my trips. One of the selling points for my van was the fact that the rack came with it, instead of the possibility of having to install one later on. Like others have said, some want and use the racks, some don't; it's ultimately your choice what to do with your van. No cracked fiberglass and no bent gutter brackets on mine, and it was used regularly for many years up until I bought it.
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bjrogers86auto
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: racks Reply with quote

And on that note I just ordered my shocks from Mark today.

And on another note, a thin carpet double face tape works nice holding the brackets in place as you drill. I used what's called "turners tape" from Lee Valley because I had some. I simply measured from the edge of my poptop seal and from landmarks like the hinge bolt heads. It's not that difficult.

After they were installed I put a small bead of silicone around the bracket. Call me crazy...a van with racks on it looks WAY better, a van with racks and gear on it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Brian.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love My Westy wrote:
Not only are there no cracks on my top after 24 years of loading canoes, kayaks, etc on top, but if I wanted it to look like new I could take it to any good fiberglass shop and for a couple of hundred bucks, it would look original. How do you think they fix Covettes and boats. Thats the beauty of fiberglass.
That's good to know - thanks for posting. My old Westy had the fake gutters, I been just ever so slightly hesitant to add to my new one. There seems to be little to no occurrence of cracking with properly mounted brackets. Now to figure out spacing, two or three, racks etc. I guess with all the snow/ice on the van, I have some time to figure it all out.
John
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option:
Cheap, versatile, and really strong.
Anybody could make these brackets with a vice and a hammer and a drill.

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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vanagonjr wrote:
Now to figure out spacing, two or three, racks etc.


As far back as possible, IMO, to reduce the distance you will be lifting the weight on the roof which makes a really notable difference in how hard it is to lift the roof.

Many people mount their rocket box towards the front of the roof on the passenger side, which works well for a couple reasons, it counteracts westy lean, and you can get into the box easily by standing in the open slider door. But if you have more than a bit of weight in the box its does make for quite a bit more work/effort/force when lifting the top. A set of shocks addresses that, but with the weight farther forward you will need stronger shocks than you would need if the weight was farther back. With the stronger shocks getting the roof down when the rocketbox is empty can be a bit of a hassle.

With the weight as far back as possible on the roof you will end up with less difference in how hard it is to pop the top/get it down with and without weight on the roof.

Having a rcketbox mounted far back on the passenger side is a good location IMO, far back for reasons explained above, and on the passenger side to couteract westy lean. It works pretty well to stand on the tire to get into the box in that location too.
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Gas struts to pop your top easily!

Pop Top strut kits now available for late Bay window Westies Smile


Samba ad here.


DIY artificial rain gutters (ARGs)
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With an awning deployed, anyone have any serious problems accessing their box, either in the forward or rear (preferred), passenger side mounting position? Any lessons learned?

and...

Is a ladder necessary in reality?

Would the ladder sold by GW http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=3810&category_id=&category_parent_id= work ok as an outside ladder against the van?

Or is Gary Lee's specifically made for this better http://www.telusplanet.net/public/gary2a/rack/sladder/sladder.htm?

Does RW's ladder get in the way of the slider http://www.rockymountainwesty.com/Rocky_Mountain_Westy_Vanagon_Ladder_p/rmw-ldr01.htm?

(I will gladly move this to a new thread if need be).
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to give you an example of how strong the top is with the rack bolted to it, I'll tell you what happened in my head on collision. I was traveling along at about 40 mph with my van fully loaded. I had a Mad River 16' canoe strapped to my rack (75lbs) and a Thule cargo box fully loaded (120 lbs). I looked down for a second and when I looked up, another van swerved into my lane last minute coming right at me. A split second after the impact, I looked up out the windsheild and saw a canoe, cargo box, and complete roof rack flying over my head, all still strapped together as one piece. It flew about 20' before hitting the ground and coming to a stop about 100' down the road. The entire thing was ripped from the top at impact and the momentum kept it moving forward.

After inspection of the fiberglass top after the accident, there was not one crack in it. The rack ripped from the mounts and the towers were mangled, but the four bolt wide body mounts held firm and stayed on. No damage whatsoever. You'd think they would have ripped right through the top, but nothing happened.

I can't imagine a more stringent test than a collision like that to testify to the strength of the mounts and fiberglass top.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singler3360 wrote:
With an awning deployed, anyone have any serious problems accessing their box, either in the forward or rear (preferred), passenger side mounting position? Any lessons learned?

and...

Is a ladder necessary in reality?


This is why my box is mounted drivers side. So I can get in it with the awning out.
A ladder is handy. I can get to almost everything by standing on the wheels, but I'm tall, and it's precarious. I carry a small step ladder. $20 for a good one at Home Depot. It fits in the Yak box sideways and has other handy uses around camp. It also fits in the luggage rack if your box is extra full. Getting a bike on top of a westy w/o one would be sketchy. I've fixed lots of bent dropouts on bikes being damaged like this. On a mountain bike, there is no fixing it.
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to mount my rack as far back as possible, as per JackBombay's recommendation for easier lifting and also to one day make access with an awning easier.

While trying to use the rear bolt of the rearmost rack mount, to double as the attachment point for the Pop Top Shocks, it appears to mount the rack about 6" farther forward. Is this a big deal?

Also, the strut ball mounts in the kit are a little too short to double as the rack bolt so I would have to source slightly longer ones. I see many are pulling this off, so how?

Combined with the relative position of th rack and the shorter bolts, I'm tempted to drill the third hole and be done with it.

Feedback? Thanks.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singler3360 wrote:
I want to mount my rack as far back as possible, as per JackBombay's recommendation for easier lifting and also to one day make access with an awning easier.

While trying to use the rear bolt of the rearmost rack mount, to double as the attachment point for the Pop Top Shocks, it appears to mount the rack about 6" farther forward. Is this a big deal?

Also, the strut ball mounts in the kit are a little too short to double as the rack bolt so I would have to source slightly longer ones. I see many are pulling this off, so how?

Combined with the relative position of th rack and the shorter bolts, I'm tempted to drill the third hole and be done with it.

Feedback? Thanks.


Be very careful when you do this. I mounted my rack first, then the pop top shocks years later. I bent a pair of shocks because my rack mount bolts interferred with the shock travel. If you don't have them figured out ahead of time, you could be in trouble. My rear mount was almost back as far is you could put it too. You can see in the photos below what happened with the bent mount for the shock. When the top closed, the shock would hit one of the mount bolts. My rack was mounted long before pop top shocks were available so I didn't consider this in the placement of the rack. That's why now you can combine function of one of the bolts if you place your rack properly. I had to take out a bolt for the mount and seal the hole. Plan ahead!

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singler3360
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:


Be very careful when you do this. I mounted my rack first, then the pop top shocks years later. I bent a pair of shocks because my rack mount bolts interferred with the shock travel. If you don't have them figured out ahead of time, you could be in trouble. My rear mount was almost back as far is you could put it too. You can see in the photos below what happened with the bent mount for the shock. When the top closed, the shock would hit one of the mount bolts. My rack was mounted long before pop top shocks were available so I didn't consider this in the placement of the rack. That's why now you can combine function of one of the bolts if you place your rack properly. I had to take out a bolt for the mount and seal the hole. Plan ahead!



Thanks for the caution and photos PDX. Are you saying that the ARG mounted to the rear of the strut mount is NOT a good idea then? I have drilled and mounted the poptop shocks but stopped short of drillling the second (or third) holes for the ARG until I can source longer strut mounts or get this relative positioning figured out.
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