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I went with 8020 for it's versatility, thinking that I wanted the flexibility to attach any manner of things to the roof of my van (awning, gear racks, etc). Using 8020 also made sizing for my solar panel straight-forward (though I haven't actually installed it yet). The max length of 8020 available was 102", and so I started there and didn't go all the way to the back of the van (yet). I used the Vantech mounts (Hein's weren't yet available), and drilled through the 8020--first with a through-hole for the bolt and then a hole saw for the washer and nut--and used SS carriage bolts with thin nylock nuts for a low-profile look. 8020 makes a nifty drill guide that attaches to the track for centering the hole. I did make some semi-cylindrical aluminum spacers to put underneath the nuts and washers so that they wouldn't just fold into the t-track when I tightened down the 8020. Aluminum spacer stock and 8020 drill jig came from McMaster-Carr. I had to do a little shimming under the Vantech mounts to level the longitudinal runs of 8020, and for that I just used a little 2mm Sintra (PVC sheet). Overall I'm very please with the results, and I'm waiting for some more of the 8020 to ship so that I can mount the solar panel and tidy-up the appearance a bit. The rack feels rock solid, and I haven't noticed any increase in wind noise at highway speeds.
 

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Has anyone used 13/16" aluminum strut channel for the rack sides? I'm wondering about the strength of 14 gauge aluminum vs steel strut? I'm just planning to mount 2 collectors and have room for light weight extras.

Here is the link. They also have black steel.
https://www.zoro.com/zoro-select-strut-chan-10-ft-l-half-slottd-14-gauge-fs-500ss-al-12000/i/G2388928/#specifications
I saw a pdf load tables for unistrut channel on the website, maybe compare steel vs aluminum.
I was interested in seeing how much weight it could take before it folded, spanning 2 roof mounts.
I'm think the orientation of the channel may matter, don't know.
 

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What are the lengths you used for your rails? I can't find 8020 longer than 102"! And where did you get it from?
 

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Below is a recent 480 watt soar install using our mounting kits with 8020 15 series LS rails and crossbars. The rails on this 159 are 132" but we ship those in two sections that are joined at one of the tower locations. Panels are Renogy 160 watt.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan.com
541 490 5098

Fully assembled prior to placing it on the roof.
 

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Below is a recent 480 watt soar install using our mounting kits with 8020 15 series LS rails and crossbars. The rails on this 159 are 132" but we ship those in two sections that are joined at one of the tower locations. Panels are Renogy 160 watt.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan.com
541 490 5098

Fully assembled prior to placing it on the roof.
I want this, but want to attach a Fiamma awning to it. Have you guys done that? Maybe use a wall mount version, and the plates get secured to the 8020 rails?
 

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We are working on brackets to attach the Thule rack mount awning. Brackets may also work with the Fiama wall mount.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
541 490 5098
 

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@Hein The rails on this 159 are 132" but we ship those in two sections that are joined at one of the tower locations.
I have a 159 & am looking to do this exact roof rack setup (although likely with different solar panels).
What are the two size rails that combine to make up the 132" length? Also what length are the cross bars? (to save me putting these up & then taking my own measurements)
I assume you used 4 sets of the "Promaster Roof Rail Attachment and Bracket"?

Cheers!
 

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I have a 159 & am looking to do this exact roof rack setup (although likely with different solar panels).
What are the two size rails that combine to make up the 132" length? Also what length are the cross bars? (to save me putting these up & then taking my own measurements)
I assume you used 4 sets of the "Promaster Roof Rail Attachment and Bracket"?

Cheers!
You can pickup 145” pieces of 8020 from grainger.
 
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