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Are you looking for a DIY alternative to Sprinter factory roof rails? If so, we can help.
Check out our step by step guide to self installation of roof rails in your Sprinter camper. Enjoy!
- Part no. 1575 from 8020.net (for the roof rails themselves)
- Heat gun, rented from local hardware store
- Round file
- 5/16″ counter sink bit
- Drill Press, borrowed from a neighbor
- 5/16″-18 flat head bolts, 1 inch long
- 5/16″-18 nuts
- 5/16″ Fender washers
- 5/16″ Lock washers
- 3 in 1 oil
- Butyl tape
- Safety glasses
Total cost in 2020 was under $150 (excluding items we already had or borrowed)
Make a jig for using with the drill press.
This is dependent on the drill press or equipment that you are using. I do not claim to be an expert on this but here is a picture of what we used.
Place the 8020 on its side on top of the van and mark the 8020 at the center of each plug.
We used a mechanical pencil in order to have a very specific line for reference.
Use 3 in 1 oil to lubricate each drill site on the 8020.
Align 8020 in the jig and drill it at each line.
Consider looking in your drill manual in order to set it to the correct speed.
Check the weather report for rain. If the weather looks promising prepare the 8020 and get ready to remove the plugs from the roof.
Use the heat gun to soften the glue and remove the plugs one by one.
A second person can help by pushing the plugs from inside the van. Be aware that the plugs and surrounding metal will be hot!
Clean the roof but be aware that by the time you get up there with the 8020, it will be dusty again!
Dry fit the 8020 and bolts on the Sprinter roof.
Use a round file if fine adjustments are needed.
Line the 8020 with butyl tape. Be aware that the front and back of van have a slight curvature so you may need to double layer the butyl tape at the ends.
Additionally, be aware that your local hardware store may try to substitute putty for butyl tape. Stick with real butyl tape. There is a huge difference!
We ended up ordering more butyl tape online and waiting two days with holes in our roof because we ran out and could only get putty tape locally. This was less than ideal!
Using butyl tape, line the 5/16-18 screws and the 8020 drill holes in order to fill any potential gaps during installation.
With the 8020 on the roof, poke a hole through the butyl tape with a nail.
Step 12: Sprinter Roof Rails
Apply bolts and hardware and tighten. A second person may help by holding the hardware from the inside of the van.
Sprinter Roof Rails, Installation Complete!
Congratulate yourself on another Sprinter DIY project complete!
Please follow our blog for other Sprinter tips and adventures!https://ramblingfootsteps.travel.blog/2019/12/11/sprinter-shopping-list-stocking-stuffer-edition/ https://ramblingfootsteps.travel.blog/2020/01/02/sleeping-4-in-a-sprinter-144-sprinter-diy-camping-conversion/ https://ramblingfootsteps.travel.blog/2020/01/10/what-exactly-is-stored-under-the-kids-seats/ https://ramblingfootsteps.travel.blog/2020/01/03/child-carrier-for-hiking/
For further tips on installation we found the following blog helpful, as well.