Frequently Asked Questions – Aluminess

Frequently Asked Questions

General Bumper information

Our bumpers are made from a combination of 3/16” 5052 and 3/8” 6061.  Pipe is primarily 6063

How do bumpers hold up to accidents?

This all depends on the type of collision and what you are hitting.  In most cases with animal strikes the bumper will survive and keep you on the road, sometimes only leaving a scratch.  Our bumpers are fully boxed and structural which makes them very strong.  It is good to keep in mind that the force from a collision has to be absorbed somewhere.  If the bumper is too heavy and strong then it will transfer the force to the frame, or even worse the person in the vehicle.  Our bumpers are exponentially stronger than the factory bumpers.

General Roof Rack information

Roof racks on most full-size vans are capable of holding 750 pounds evenly distributed.  It is best to refer to the vehicles owners’ manual to see what the roof of the vehicle is capable of holding.

Crossbars - Load Limits

Static: 300 lbs per cross bar
Dynamic: 100 lbs per cross bar

The dynamic load is much lower due to the fatigue limit of aluminum. However, please note that this is per crossbar. Therefore, if a customer has a 150 lbs roof top tent attached to two cross bars, there is only 75 lbs attached to each crossbar. Furthermore, if the vehicle is not going down the road (ie static), the roof top tent can be loaded to 600 lbs between the two cross bars.

Roof Rack Styles
Double Loop

Two rails that extend all the way around the roof rack. The top and bottom loop are connected by a 2.5” spacer/riser. The pipe thickness is 1-5/16”. The double loop rack adds about 7” to the height of the van. Total van height is always dependent on the customer’s tire, wheels and suspension. Double loop racks come standard with a 3” light slat to mount a 50” light bar. The rack weight/load capacity of 750# evenly distributed

Touring

This rack has an opened front, and the top bar extends towards the windshield. The touring also adds about 7” to the van height. The pipe thickness is 1-5/16”. A light bar can be added to the drop-down portion. The maximum light bar size is 40”. Total van height is always dependent on the customer’s tire, wheels and suspension.

Modular (Sprinter High Roof Models Only)

Roof rack is shipped in multiple pieces. Customer bolts flooring panels and side panels together. This rack sits 5.25” from the roof of the van. This roof rack is only compatible with the standard Maxxfan and Fantastic fan and AC unit locations on file. Rack comes in a full flooring option and touring style option for additional cost. The rack weight/load capacity of 750# evenly distributed and 500# for the Sprinter racks.

Modular Weights: 

  • 210300 – 144WB – ~ 130 lbs 
  • 210300.1 – 170WB RB – ~150 lbs
  • 210300.2 – 170 WB EB – ~162 lbs 
  • 210300.3 – 144 WB w/ Large AC – ~81 lbs
  • 210300.4 – 144WB w/ Small AC – ~95 lbs
Roof Rack Flooring Options
Perforated

This flooring option looks like a solid piece of aluminum but has 3/8” holes perforated aluminum. Customers often refer to it as “the mesh” flooring. Benefits include: walking, sleeping, tripods, using the rack primarily as a platform space.

Slats

This flooring has 3” wide slats with a 2.5” gap that run the length of the vehicle. This rack is also
walkable but the primarily benefits include its exposed crossbars which make great tie down points for
storage. The slats allow you to tie down gear anywhere on the rack.

Mounting Styles
Track Mount

Roof rack mounts to factory or aftermarket roof rails with hardware we provide. (07-21
Sprinter, Excursion). We offer VanTech aftermarket roof tracks for the 144” and 170” Regular Body (Not
the Extended Body).

Fixed Mount

Roof Rack mounts directly to the vehicles pre-drilled factory mounting points. No
additional drilling is required to install this rack. (Ford Transit, Dodge Promaster, Nissan NV)

Gutter Mount

Roof rack mounts directly to the van drip rail using four to five clips per side depending
on the length of the rack. (Chevy Express, Ford E-Series, 03-06 Sprinter)

Sportsmobile Penthouse (Pop Top)

Roof rack mounts to the pop top and still allows for roof to pop open and close. (Sprinter Sportsmobile Penthouse Tops, Ford E-Series Sportsmobile Penthouse Tops)

Roof Rack Noise

Noise on a roof rack can be caused by a number of factors.  Some we can control and others we cannot.  

The most common source of noise is a pipe that doesn’t have anything connected to it which will allow air to wrap around it and create a hum, howl, or drone.   This noise can be reduced drastically or even prevented all together a couple of different ways.  One way is to have your rack designed so that the flooring extends all of the way to the front of the roof rack.  Flooring connected to the front crossbar breaks up the wind as it is coming up the vehicle and over the pipe.  A majority of our roof racks do not have any noticeable noise for this reason.

Sometimes flooring does not run all of the way to the front of the rack.  This can be due to a solar panel, concern for weight savings, or even cost considerations.  In these cases if you experience wind noise we recommend trying a few different things.  A good starting point is to experiment with rope to find the root cause of the noise.  If you wrap rope around a pipe it breaks up the wind as it passes over the pipe.  Move the rope from one pipe to another to find out which one is making the noise.  Most commonly it is the lowest pipe in the front of the rack.  If the rope solves the problem then you can look at more elegant solutions available on the market.  A number of companies make wind farings that can be clamped to the pipe.  You can also look at the Yakima Wind Jammer product which will clamp to the pipe and break up the wind.

Wind noise can also be caused by accessories that are mounted to the roof rack.  LED light bars are notorious for making wind noise.  Some of the more reputable LED lighting companies are now making rubber pieces that attach to their light bar to help break up the wind noise.

Every rack configuration is different and can have different sources for wind noise.  If you experience any wind noise give us a call so we can help troubleshoot the cause.  It will likely involve some experimenting, but together we should be able to come up with a solution.

We make air dams (210564 & 210564.1) to assist with wind noise for our Double Loop rack. If a customer has our Touring Style roof rack, you can recommend Colorado Fairing Company: https://www.cofairingco.com/

Aluminess Air Dams
  • This air dam will help reduce the amount of wind noise

  • This air dam will add flare to our double loop roof rack and will help promote our brand

  • The product will NOT work with the following roof racks: Penthouse and Touring Style

  • The Air Dam is mounted to the front of the upper loop on a roof racks using custom stainless-steel brackets

  • Due to our varying sizes in roof rack, we will release two sizes: a small air dam that is designated to roof racks that have an inside width of less than 60”

  • a large air dam that is designated to roof racks that have an inside of greater than 60”
Products
Surf Hooks

Essentially J Hooks, designed to carry paddle boards and surf hooks. Are not wide enough to carry kayaks. Customer can mount two boards per van. The surf hooks clamp on to a surf pole and ladder. Another configuration is two ladders or two surf poles. The clamp is 1-5/16” outer diameter

Surf Poles

A bar that mounts either to the top of the van or our roof rack. 1-5/16” OD. Designed to work with a side ladder and surf hooks to carry a paddle or surf board.

  • Sprinter Surf Pole Mounts to Tracks
  • Chevy Express/GMC Savanna/Ford E-Series Mounts to gutter rail
  • Dodge Promaster, Ford Transit, Nissan NV require an Aluminess roof rack to mount – bar mounts to bottom rail with a 1-5/16 pipe clamp
Swing Arm Weight Capacity (Full Replacement Bumpers)
  • Full Size trucks, Ford and Chevy Vans – 150 Pounds per Arm
  • Small Pickups (Tacoma) and FJ – 100 Pounds
  • Sprinter Van – 100 Pounds
  • Ford Transit
    • Axle Style (For Vehicles without door magnet) – 80 Pounds
Swing Arm Weight Capacity (Stand Alone Rack)
  • Ford Van – 80 Pounds
    • We discontinued the box rack
  • Chevy Van – 80 Pounds
    • We DO NOT make a box rack for this vehicle
Rear Bumper Sensors (Back-up Sensors)
  • DO NOT WORK on Sprinter or Transit Rear Bumpers with swing arms 
  • Sensors ARE compatible with all rear door hinge mounted products
  • The sensors will read the box and tire hanging which extend past the swing arms.
  • Sensors are compatible with the rear door ladder, tire and box carrier. 
  • We can drill holes for the back-up sensors and the customer can relocate them, however, you will need to advise 
Aluminess Roof Racks and Satellite Radio
  1. Our roof racks will limit the performance of ROOF MOUNTED satellite antennas.  
  2. Roof Rack Flooring Style, accessories on the rack, location of the vehicle in relation to satellites, and many other factors will all have an effect on the performance of the satellite antenna.
  3. We DO NOT have a standard cutout size that will guarantee 100% functionality of the roof mounted antenna.  Adding a cutout above the antenna will help, but is not guaranteed to make it work 100% of the time.
  4. The best recommendation is to relocate the antenna to a spot on top of the roof rack, or on the hood of the vehicle.  Most antennas will have a quick disconnect on the inside of the van so the customer does not have to remove the antenna from the roof leaving a hole.  The customer can then use a product like this https://www.amazon.com/SiriusXM-NGVA3-Magnetic-Antenna-Vehicle/dp/B01HRCTD0G/ to connect to the wire that was removed from the roof mount antenna.
  5. A second option is to purchase a new OEM antenna from the dealer, but install it on the hood or roof rack.  The customer can then disconnect the wire from the old antenna and plug it in to the new antenna.
  6. We do not have information about every antenna on every vehicle and therefore we cannot recommend a specific product for every customer.  This is general information to give to a customer so they can be educated and prepared to relocate their antenna should they have problems with the roof rack interfering.