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Old 06-11-2021, 08:34 AM   #1
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2017 30' Classic
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Interstate X Roof Rack

Hi

Ok, I get that the rack is mostly there for looks. No need to get further into that. They *do* indeed toss some things in for "bling".

Here's the question:

Santa drops off an X in your driveway. You now have an urgent need to *use* that roof rack. What would you use it for? How would you go about doing that?

I see one very obvious issue. It's 10' off the ground with no ladder to get to it. Even if you are 6' tall, it's going to take a ladder of some sort to get there.

Next up: You have a bunch of solar panels up there. Is what you are covering them with more important than the solar output?

One thing that might be nice would be a 270 degree awning. You see them on a lot of "overland" rigs. As long as you and your helpers are all at least 9' tall it should be pretty easy to work with. Otherwise, you would need to bring along a couple step ladders.

I've tossed kayaks up on the roof of SUV's using various approaches. Using any of them for a 10' high roof .... yikes ....

So far I haven't seen any ratings on the rack. It is not uncommon to see a static rating (like for people in a tent) and a dynamic rating ( like for moving down the road), Until we see those numbers (if and when .... maybe Santa will drop them off ...) there's really no way to fully evaluate things like a platform tent.

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Ok, I get that the rack is mostly there for looks.

Bob

Just for looks; but also good support for 4 x 100W solar panels. Getting up there at our age would be suicidal
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SilverBamby View Post
Just for looks; but also good support for 4 x 100W solar panels. Getting up there at our age would be suicidal
Hi

Ok, so there's another side to this. Even if you *could* do something with the racks, would you feel safe doing so?. I hadn't though of putting that on the list.

I'm thinking it might work as a place to park your pet Bald Eagle ....

Bob
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:45 AM   #4
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Mine has a roof rack, of sorts, and I have always thought it was mostly to protect the AC unit up there.

Maggie
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:59 AM   #5
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Mine has a roof rack, of sorts, and I have always thought it was mostly to protect the AC unit up there.

Maggie
Hi

It might also protect the solar panels a bit. I'm betting the Max Air fan can defend it's self pretty well

My fear is that a tree branch might be as likely to rip the cross bar off as anything else. Damage / stuff hanging from the roof is a problem no matter what sort it is.

Not having wings ( and not thinking of going up to the second floor of the showroom !!!) I really don't know how much clearance there is between the rack and the stuff on top. I *assume* it's above it all. I have absolutely no evidence to back that up ..... I *think* it's above everything but I don't *know* that.

Bob
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:42 AM   #6
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In addition to being cosmetic and adding to the rugged adventure ambiance Airstream is going for, it appears the rooftop "rack" (which isn't really a practical rack IMO) provides a mounting point for the awning and the various exterior lighting systems.

The "regular" Interstates obviously also have a mounting point on the roof for the awning but it is sheathed in cosmetic cladding. On the X, the mounting is out in the open, just like the trailer hitch, and for consistency they carried the theme around the entire roofline and used it to mount other things as well.

I think the X is pretty cool but at this point in life our Globetrotter is much more practical.
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:46 AM   #7
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Our roof rack is completely separate from the awning.

I also have no solar panels, thus the deduction that the structure is there to protect the AC.

Or, maybe it’s just for aesthetics.

Maggie
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Our roof rack is completely separate from the awning.

I also have no solar panels, thus the deduction that the structure is there to protect the AC.

Or, maybe it’s just for aesthetics.

Maggie
Understood with respect to your 2007. But, on the new Interstates the awning is mounted higher up on the roof than on your rig. From the photos it looks like the X "roof rack" on the awning side is at the same height as the awning mounting point for the 24GL and GT so they obviously used it to mount the awning. Also, like a rooftop light bar on a 4x4, it facilitates mounting the various auxiliary lighting systems.

It may provide some AC protection and no doubt you're correct; it also contributes to the "rugged" aesthetic. But it does seem to serve other functions too, even if being a useable roof rack isn't one of them!
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:12 PM   #9
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Hi

I wound not in any way argue that it is *not* there for looks.

I keep trying to work out practical uses for it. Just what those are is still a bit unclear. There's already enough lights mounted up there to illuminate a small city. No need for more as far as I'm concerned.

I'd like to say that you could put the "viewing lounge" up there. Park at the races and go up there to sit and sip margaritas while you watch the race. I can think of a long list of reasons I would not go that way ... You *do* see folks who have done that and made it work.

If somebody could make a 270 degree awning work from the ground, I'd go for that in a heartbeat. It would have to be pretty darn easy to manipulate, but I'd go for it if it was.

So: Would I go for a driver side power awning that worked same / same as the existing awning? ..... hmmm .... probably not cheap .... Twice as many power awnings to spontaneously deploy at 80 MHP

Bob
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:27 PM   #10
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Hi

I wound not in any way argue that it is *not* there for looks.

I keep trying to work out practical uses for it. Just what those are is still a bit unclear. There's already enough lights mounted up there to illuminate a small city. No need for more as far as I'm concerned.

Bob
Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that the rack is there to mount more lights, but rather that it's there, in part, to mount the lights that Airstream installed from the factory.

Could they have found a different way to do that? Sure. But the blacked out rack fits with the vibe of the black cladding, black steel wheels, exposed trailer hitch, open interior storage bins, basic velcro fastened window shades, etc.

So the rack isn't completely without purpose (lights and awning mounting point) and even if it's also an element for looks, IMO there's nothing wrong with that.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that the rack is there to mount more lights, but rather that it's there, in part, to mount the lights that Airstream installed from the factory.

Could they have found a different way to do that? Sure. But the blacked out rack fits with the vibe of the black cladding, black steel wheels, exposed trailer hitch, open interior storage bins, basic velcro fastened window shades, etc.

So the rack isn't completely without purpose (lights and awning mounting point) and even if it's also an element for looks, IMO there's nothing wrong with that.
Hi

I'm not saying the rack "as is" has no purpose, far from it. I did not mean to imply that it's there only for looks. The question is - what do you add to it?

Bob
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:41 PM   #12
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Hi

I'm not saying the rack "as is" has no purpose, far from it. I did not mean to imply that it's there only for looks. The question is - what do you add to it?

Bob
I get it. That's a very good question. I suggest that we take up a collection, buy me an X, and I'll see what I can figure out!
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:43 PM   #13
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I get it. That's a very good question. I suggest that we take up a collection, buy me an X, and I'll see what I can figure out!
Hi

Sorry, I can only afford one ....

Bob
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:53 AM   #14
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Hi

After watching the various videos a few zillion times ...

There are no "flood lights" on the driver's side. I've certainly been in places that were a bit "interesting" to back into. Having light on both sides of the RV while doing this would be a plus.

So maybe there *is* a reason to add more lights

It also has been pointed out that they might come in handy for the mandatory "bison check" one does before walking the dogs in the evening. After the first herd of Bison beds down for the night around your RV .... you get a bit paranoid .....

Bob
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:59 AM   #15
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The problem is that you forgot to tick the box for the fold-up climbing wall option. It stores in the rack, and you just flip it down over the driver’s side when you need to work on your cragging and crimping.
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:07 PM   #16
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The problem is that you forgot to tick the box for the fold-up climbing wall option. It stores in the rack, and you just flip it down over the driver’s side when you need to work on your cragging and crimping.
Hi

Maybe a cargo net that you could scramble up ....

I'm still not sure there's any room on the roof once you get there. Looking at the pictures, they have it pretty well packed with "stuff". Hanging on a ladder / cargo net / climbing wall with one hand and tossing the 20' long kayak up with the other *really* sounds like fun .... not ....

Bob
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Old 06-12-2021, 01:08 PM   #17
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So: Would I go for a driver side power awning that worked same / same as the existing awning? ..... hmmm .... probably not cheap .... Twice as many power awnings to spontaneously deploy at 80 MHP

Bob
Well with the power awnings spontaneously deployed at 80 MHP you would get your wings.
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:05 PM   #18
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Then you just need to go to full military power and select all 4 stages of afterburner to climb out…
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:37 PM   #19
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Then you just need to go to full military power and select all 4 stages of afterburner to climb out…
Hi

I'm *sure* afterburners are on the build sheet somewhere here .....

Bob
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Old 06-12-2021, 10:05 PM   #20
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Then you just need to go to full military power and select all 4 stages of afterburner to climb out…
Shucks! My afterburner was either full on or off. Of course, that was nearly 70years ago. F-86D Sabre Dog. It did yield 2 miles a minute climb and that was great then
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