Friday, May 4, 2018

The Mother Of All Roof Racks.

____ With the weather finally warming-up; I take some time away from the road and get stuck into work on the Mack. It has been sitting in the yard all Winter without turning a wheel and I haven't done much to it. But now I get a chance to get on with the build and use all the bits I have been buying during the last six months. The roof rack and the solar panels are the number one priority. Here are some photos of the progress.
The frame is made from Unistrut 1 5/8 inch steel channel. It comes in 10 foot lengths and will fit in the cab of a Kenworth W900. It comes in Hunter Green, which is handy when you cut all your lengths and can spray the sawn ends with an aerosol.

I made it in sections to make it easy to lift on to the roof. It is 13 foot long, 8 foot wide and 12 inches high. it takes the running height of the Mack from 11 foot 6 inches to 12 foot 6 inches. 

I used some of the alloy sheet that came out of the Mack for panels on the rack. These were storage cabinets from in side the living area.

I don't have a lot of room to work in and the rack covers most of the deck. If you drop anything; you can bet it will go down one of those cracks between the boards.

The front of the rack has an angle of 45 degrees to help with aero-dynamics.

All ready to come to pieces and be carried up the ladder to the roof.

Building on the roof which is made of thick steel chequer plate and quite capable of carrying the extra weight. It was not easy joining up the sections when they were so close to the edge but the straps helped.

The tow-balls are the fixing points for the frame that will hold the solar panels. They will hold it firm when driving but can be easily disconnected to tilt the panels in any one of four directions when parked in the sun.

The solar panel frame [upside-down] with towing hitches at each corner and some alloy angle to hold the panels level.

The two 150 watt solar panels fit snug in their frame. I just hope the hitches fit snug round their ball.

The frame in position on the rack on the roof. Just undo two hitches and lift the frame to tilt towards the sun. 
____ That's the story so far. Next job is fitting the solar panels, running the wires down inside the truck, putting in the house batteries and the controller and a 100 other little things that are bound to crop-up.

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