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Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop
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noelleon
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

So after using our NAHT for about a year and half now...I'm looking to add a rack system. I wanted it to be aluminum, lightweight, modular, and to increase the available solar area up top (also deleted and replacing the fan up there).
So this is what I've got so far! Curious as to feedback (NAHT owners as well!)
Right now the unit calculates out at under 20lbs (unloaded of course).


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Rear unit:
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Front:
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Red Beard
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

WANT! Let me know if you want to make two of them Very Happy

I really like the idea of a lightweight, form fitted rack.
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noelleon
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Red Beard wrote:
WANT! Let me know if you want to make two of them Very Happy

I really like the idea of a lightweight, form fitted rack.


Will do. Planning to waterjet so it shouldn't be too tricky to make a couple.
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dsdunbar
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

The non-structural engineer in me asks:
How thick? is it tubular or just solid pieces of Aluminum?

The sketches look awesome...but structurally, how are you determining load capacity etc?



noelleon wrote:
Red Beard wrote:
WANT! Let me know if you want to make two of them Very Happy

I really like the idea of a lightweight, form fitted rack.


Will do. Planning to waterjet so it shouldn't be too tricky to make a couple.

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noelleon
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

dsdunbar wrote:
The non-structural engineer in me asks:
How thick? is it tubular or just solid pieces of Aluminum?

The sketches look awesome...but structurally, how are you determining load capacity etc?



Going to be a mix. It's designed to hold most of the weight as low as possible, with the top panel for solar acting like a truss for the larger spans. It's weakest spot currently is a side load against the top in the middle: shown here:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'll be reinforcing the rear span of the front unit and the front span of the rear unit to minimize that. Most likely tube sections welded in. So far it's modeled in 1/8 6061 sheet. We'll see what needs to change after the first mockups.
I also need to measure and account for the degree of flex in the top itself, which the first mockup will also help me do.
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h00drat
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Bitchin design. Following just so I can see what comes of this. I wish I had a NAHT just so I could have you build me a rack Wink
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TequilaSunSet
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Me like... I like the rear one, even if I didn't ever use it, just looks damn cool to me Very Happy
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tates1882
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

I don't like it, Aesthetically I'm not one for a bunch of racking. Also the center of gravity would increase quite a bit, especially with liquid sloshing around in the cans. The roof gutters may also be stressed especially if the naht installer butchered the roof up. My van a 2.2 subie with 225/55 tires would not be able to run in 4th gear with that much more drag and any kind of headwind, it struggles now with just the naht and awning. Every time I see a westy or naht with swing aways, bikes, roof racks and hitch platforms I wonder just how far over the gvw they are or just how pitiful is their fuel mileage. Just my two cents.
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tosimplify
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Points for the cool factor alone, but...If your main reason for doing this is to increase solar capacity, consider flexible panels instead, secured to the top with 3M Dual Lock. I managed to fit 255 watts on my hightop using just the middle and rear sections, and it's held up great during the past year+ of full time travel. I'll be adding another 100 watts to the forward section soon, using the same method.

Having said that, I do like your idea of a rack that would allow one to mount stuff to the rear of the top. Never been a fan of how that bare wall looks.


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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

It would be useful to cut cleat-like shapes here n there along edges since your jetting it. Those could then be bent up at 45 deg and provide stout tie downs. Or loop shapes. It might also be useful to make provision for people to bolt on existing gear carriers such as having false rain gutters up the sloped back to secure an everyday bike or ski carrier. And perhaps holes drilled along edges likely to be used to secure obvious wire runs up to solar or the light bars you mocked up. Heck, how about half moon cutouts where you'd lay a ladder to climb up for best 4th of July viewing. Dang, possibilities are endless! Bravo.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Can you point me to the source of your panels? I'm particularly interested in the one on the rear deck. I'd really like to find modular panels in strips two cells wide to install around my Fantastic fan on the top of the roof.

Thanks.

tosimplify wrote:
Points for the cool factor alone, but...If your main reason for doing this is to increase solar capacity, consider flexible panels instead, secured to the top with 3M Dual Lock. I managed to fit 255 watts on my hightop using just the middle and rear sections, and it's held up great during the past year+ of full time travel. I'll be adding another 100 watts to the forward section soon, using the same method.

Having said that, I do like your idea of a rack that would allow one to mount stuff to the rear of the top. Never been a fan of how that bare wall looks.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Red Beard wrote:
WANT! Let me know if you want to make two of them Very Happy

I really like the idea of a lightweight, form fitted rack.


I'm interested also. I understand tate's points, but I'd really like a rack to carry SUPs or a kayak.

The rack looks great! Looking forward to seeing how it develops.
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noelleon
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

tosimplify wrote:


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Those are very cool panels. I'm also working on moving the venting system to the slanted area before the step down. I dig our fan but I'd love to be able to vent air in the rain. My thought is to make a cover for the lower shelf to hold that system.

I did a version using just rails and there definitely some advantages, but...I can save weight and just kinda dig first method...

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so I combined the two and some of your thoughts:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The partial rail system gives strength in the weak spot and allows for hidden cable routing.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now I only have about a 3/4 Inch deviation with a 100 pound push on the weakest spot.
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Type17
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Very cool idea, I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
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chachi
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

love it, best design for a NAHT rack yet. i especially love that you could just have the front or back racks.
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tosimplify
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Can you point me to the source of your panels? I'm particularly interested in the one on the rear deck. I'd really like to find modular panels in strips two cells wide to install around my Fantastic fan on the top of the roof.


I bought these panels from dhgate.com, though I've since checked the site, and it looks like they're not available anymore. The two bigger panels are 90 watts, and the smaller one is 75.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

Ok, I'm subscribed! Interesting design and looking forward to seeing pics of it in the flesh.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

That rack appears to make the NAHT design much more palatable from an aesthetic perspective and adds functional load bearing and attachment points to the top. That's a solid conceptual approach and I can't wait to see a working prototype.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

I've been wanting something like this for my '87 NAHT Syncro, make it!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum rack for NAHT hightop Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Can you point me to the source of your panels? I'm particularly interested in the one on the rear deck. I'd really like to find modular panels in strips two cells wide to install around my Fantastic fan on the top of the roof.


last time i talked to NAHT installer kevin gratton, he was or already had ordered some sets of custom solar panels that fit either side of the Fantastic Fan. might check with him and see if he has any left. they were 25w each. instagram: @veedubdayspa
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