Hey Meps - Sorry for the delay here. There are some really great options out there for mounting your panels. In my first build, I just used the renogy z-brackets and went directly through the roof of the van with screws. This works just fine, but if you ever want to turn around and sell the van, you've now got a bunch of holes in your roof.Vangineer, the engineer nerd ... sounds like you may be just the person I'll be needing to ask questions of!! I am definitely not an engineer and am super anxious about installing all the parts needed for solar, batteries, inverters, controllers, relays, etc. I hope you don't mind ... I'm just about to purchase a 2019 159wb high roof and my first question is about roof racks. Do I need them for the panel installation? How do most people attach them to their roof? I don't intend to put anything else on the roof (i.e. kayak, surf board). I will have a fan installed. The roof racks I've looked at are expensive so if I don't need it then I'll save that money for something else. Thank you for your help!
I'd check out this other thread, started by Scalawag (linked below). He came up with a great, low profile system which uses the factory roof rack points already installed on your roof and some low-profile unistrut to make a small rail system. This is what I've done on my current set up and I really couldn't be happier with it.
Low-Profile Unistrut Rails for Large Solar Panels
Feel free to reach out any time with questions though! I actually started a company specializing in van conversions and tiny house builds, so I love talking through this stuff.
Best of luck!