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Roof box, solar panel and surf board, is it possible?

California4x4

California4x4

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I’m on a trip to Europe and will be carrying mountain bike, snowboarding gear, surfboard and more. I will be working on the road and prefer to wild camp, so I also need some solar.

I modified the roof box to allow the single 120W pannel to be removed from the roof rails and mounted to the box without modification. I put an extension in to lengthen the cable.

It is possible to mount the roof box and the surfboard side by side (just). However I found the weight of the box when loaded is all over one side of the roof. I didn’t want this to cause the roof to malfunction with the uneven load. So I needed to centre the roof box and find a way to mount the board on its edge.

This is the solution, 2 x steel fabricated brackets that allow the board to slide between them and then a bungee to secure the board for short trips to the beach. For travel, there are 2 Thule steel core lockable straps that both wrap twice around the board and the roof bars.

End result is 2.6m tall with the board and 2.4m with only the box. The board can be stowed inside when getting on a ferry etc if there is a height issue.4FBFFFEF-E418-4F66-81C0-9E2E4FFC7416.jpeg62DDF130-29A1-4B89-9EEB-EB52CEBCA548.jpegA40199C4-219C-4A5E-8160-029991720284.jpeg2BF36D6F-4BF0-4D78-A4D8-6487CCBD06AA.jpeg47C4C645-99A2-493D-B8F6-2B8A3E6FEDF2.jpegA729BCDD-0478-4875-9A97-04424B30C4FC.jpeg39A2DDB1-4AFE-4FC0-A463-83FDBA67981B.jpegFBDA0469-72A0-4536-972A-C54C92A6DAD4.jpegFE6388CE-E800-4B59-8A72-8C8C55AFA42E.jpegD343DABF-37F1-4424-8986-9A1BB497BB49.jpeg
 
B

Beaker

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Somerset
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Looking to buy
Looks similar to canoe j-brackets for those that cannot fabricate.
To mount your solar, did you just take a standard panel and rotate through 90, then Drilled through the box? Did you have to reshape the side struts to get the right bend?
 
California4x4

California4x4

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Looks similar to canoe j-brackets for those that cannot fabricate.
To mount your solar, did you just take a standard panel and rotate through 90, then Drilled through the box? Did you have to reshape the side struts to get the right bend?
No modifications were made to the panel. The roof box is broad with little bend so it has worked out well. I did a full build thread on it when I did it but it was taken down for some reason.
 
flying banana

flying banana

T6 Ocean 204ps manual
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Could you get a bike rack and mount your boards on that? I've seen them adapted for skis and snowboards before . The van does look cool with the board on the roof though
 
Johnboy

Johnboy

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Looking at this thread made me wonder how much weight can you lift with the electric roof. I have seen other posts with Kayaks lifted etc.
With my Beach I can lift 23Kg (roof bars and box), but no more because at that weigh it is starting to drop from fully raised. Have you checked the weight you are lifting? it looks a fair bit more than my 23Kg.
 
California4x4

California4x4

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Could you get a bike rack and mount your boards on that? I've seen them adapted for skis and snowboards before . The van does look cool with the board on the roof though
The board is 7’8” so a little long for a rear mount. 7EEB40EC-8926-434B-984C-600D35E47C48.jpeg
 
California4x4

California4x4

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T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
Looking at this thread made me wonder how much weight can you lift with the electric roof. I have seen other posts with Kayaks lifted etc.
With my Beach I can lift 23Kg (roof bars and box), but no more because at that weigh it is starting to drop from fully raised. Have you checked the weight you are lifting? it looks a fair bit more than my 23Kg.
I’d estimate between 50 and 70kg.
 
andyinluton

andyinluton

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I’d estimate between 50 and 70kg.
Looking at this thread made me wonder how much weight can you lift with the electric roof. I have seen other posts with Kayaks lifted etc.
With my Beach I can lift 23Kg (roof bars and box), but no more because at that weigh it is starting to drop from fully raised. Have you checked the weight you are lifting? it looks a fair bit more than my 23Kg.
I’d estimate between 50 and 70kg.

The handbook suggests Zero weight when lifting the roof & max 50Kg in the closed position.

Vws Position on this changed in around 2014, prior to that it was 50Kg in the raised position as well.
 
Ch1pbutty

Ch1pbutty

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Burgess Hill
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T5 Beach
Looking at this thread made me wonder how much weight can you lift with the electric roof. I have seen other posts with Kayaks lifted etc.
With my Beach I can lift 23Kg (roof bars and box), but no more because at that weigh it is starting to drop from fully raised. Have you checked the weight you are lifting? it looks a fair bit more than my 23Kg.
You can get uprated struts for the Cali from one of the Roof rack suppliers, but once fitted you need to have semi loaded roof otherwise you might find it difficult to close (ie - similar to removing bike rack, and then trying to close boot...works well as a catapult). Will try to find the link for the uprated roof struts..

Our Beach is 2012, so can take up to 50Kg according to VW Advice (although doubt VW changed anything on the roof design after 2014, probably just changed the wording to make the roof idiot-proof!).
 
California4x4

California4x4

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The handbook suggests Zero weight when lifting the roof & max 50Kg in the closed position.

Vws Position on this changed in around 2014, prior to that it was 50Kg in the raised position as well.
If the wind picks up I am lowering the roof as there is now a larger surface area and all sorts of strange forces act on the roof mechanism in the wind while there is a load on the roof. Otherwise I’m counting on the initial tests VW did to say 50 kg with the roof up will be okay. If the roof fails it will be an expensive fix but cheaper than buying a larger van.
 

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