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Discussion Starter #1
One of the first challenges of my conversion was to find a way of carrying my surfboards that was functional but did not spoil the look of the van.

Normally you would just put on a roof rack and be done with it but I have a factory fitted T5 hi top which is made of fibreglass and there are no gutters to fit a roof rack to. Having a rack on top also means having to carry around a ladder and climb all over the place to put the boards on or off.

So the obvious solution was to fit a couple of J bars to the sides of the roof and put the boards there. Now I've seen many vans over the years do this so was amazed when no matter how much googling I did I was unable to find anything ready made, so it was time to get to the old drawing board and knock something up myself.

The complicating factor was that I wanted them to be removeable so that when the boards were not on the van it id not look odd with bits of metal hanging off the side.

The solution involved some quick release tie down rings like these


and some kayak bars like these that I bent to shape.


Before I insulated and lined the inside of the roof I drilled and bolted the mounting points to the roof. Paranoid about the possibility of the brackets being ripped off due to wind resistance at high speed I made sure the bolts went through where the support ribs were on the inside and I put some bits of ply and a spreader plate on the inside to spread the load as much as possible.

This is how they ended up looking from the outside


From a distance they are more or less impossible to spot


I cut the rings off the tie down attachment, drilled a hole through the kayak bars and use a little carabina clip to secure it


It takes about 30 seconds to fit the rack, just a case of putting the tiedowns into the mounting points, place the j bar in place and clipping the caribinas on


I put racks on both sides so I can carry both my longboard and my paddleboard


Last summer I did about 2000 miles around France with both borads on, at speeds up to about 80mph and so far so good.
The boards are safe and when we are not going to the beach Mrs Gaffer is happy because the van still looks nice rather than like a roofers van. T:
 

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Very tidy Gaffer.

Your van is looking super smart... hope you didn't back over that cat :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mrs G would be most upset if I reversed over Silas Grey, he has taken a shine to Pebbles (the van), turn your back for a minute and he is in there.





 

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I've been wondering how best to do this for a long time. I've got a T5 factory high roof as well and up to now I've been using the bed boards and putting the SUP and longboard above it but then you completely lose out on being able to stand up inside.

I will definately think about doing this. I've already boarded out the roof area but could pull parts back out to strengthn and secure the brackets.

Cheers for the ideas.

James
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah it kind of defeats the purpose of having a hi top if you cant stand up because of the boards. Although it is not that much hassle when you arrive to take them out and chuck them underneath.

You could just as easily bolt right through the fibreglass, the support strut and the lining if you needed to (I had to buy longer bolts that the ones supplied in any case), but obviously it would look better hidden behind the lining.
 

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One of the first challenges of my conversion was to find a way of carrying my surfboards that was functional but did not spoil the look of the van.

Normally you would just put on a roof rack and be done with it but I have a factory fitted T5 hi top which is made of fibreglass and there are no gutters to fit a roof rack to. Having a rack on top also means having to carry around a ladder and climb all over the place to put the boards on or off.

So the obvious solution was to fit a couple of J bars to the sides of the roof and put the boards there. Now I've seen many vans over the years do this so was amazed when no matter how much googling I did I was unable to find anything ready made, so it was time to get to the old drawing board and knock something up myself.

The complicating factor was that I wanted them to be removeable so that when the boards were not on the van it id not look odd with bits of metal hanging off the side.

The solution involved some quick release tie down rings like these


and some kayak bars like these that I bent to shape.


Before I insulated and lined the inside of the roof I drilled and bolted the mounting points to the roof. Paranoid about the possibility of the brackets being ripped off due to wind resistance at high speed I made sure the bolts went through where the support ribs were on the inside and I put some bits of ply and a spreader plate on the inside to spread the load as much as possible.

This is how they ended up looking from the outside


From a distance they are more or less impossible to spot


I cut the rings off the tie down attachment, drilled a hole through the kayak bars and use a little carabina clip to secure it


It takes about 30 seconds to fit the rack, just a case of putting the tiedowns into the mounting points, place the j bar in place and clipping the caribinas on


I put racks on both sides so I can carry both my longboard and my paddleboard


Last summer I did about 2000 miles around France with both borads on, at speeds up to about 80mph and so far so good.
The boards are safe and when we are not going to the beach Mrs Gaffer is happy because the van still looks nice rather than like a roofers van. T:
We're you in Lacanau early August trying to get into Les Grand Pins by any chance? We stopped, to try and get in on our way back up from Biarritz (already had a week at Airotel), I has in white high top T5, step son in red T4?
 

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Just what my Dad's been doing with his T25 for his windsurfers for many years.

All my boards are 6'3" or shorter so fit in the back easily. Wife's is an 8ft Glide so it goes on bars on the roof (Cali). Ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes that was me in Lacanau, we had pre-booked for 3 days so got in ok and even managed to extend an extra 2 days (on a different pitch). A good site but a little pricey (especially the Bar) but the facilities were very good and being able to stroll down to the beach for an early morning surf is a big plus on the location side.

Feel free to introduce yourself and say hello if you ever see me out and about again.
 

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Hi
I just thought I'd post my experience of this quick release roofrack.
At first sight it is an ideal solution but when I got the anchors I was a bit concerned about the one plastic part, the main locking component. I have been using it this summer but not on the motorway as I just didn't trust it. As expected, the plastic locking peice snapped, luckily it was when I was removing them and not after a gust of wind.

Take note: The motorbike anchor points are not designed for the angle of strain enforced using them with your J-Bars. The plastic part will fail, especially in Winter. Please get the plastic peice replaced - go to an engineering company and get them made out of metal.

Better still, fit yourself some decent J-bars and forget about what they look like, or put your board inside when you are travelling.


Happy Trails
 

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Dear all,

I am digging out this old thread as my first post.

I recently bought a high roof LWB T5 and only realised afterwards there is absolutely no off-the-shelf roof rack solution for it. Feeling a bit desperate, as my hang glider won't fit inside. It is about 30kg and 6 meters long.
I have just bought 6 of these motorbike anchor points to make 3 sturdy J bars. Unfortunately, I only saw the last post on this thread after I had placed the order. So I am feeling a bit dubious now.
Any suggestion appreciated, if someone has made some progress on this issue. The van is great but is useless to me if I can't carry my glider! And I definitely don't want to have permanent J bars on the side.

Thank you for your feedback.

Alain
 
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