Vanagon – still testing the 7 rung tire carrier

I didn’t deliver it to the customer when he wanted, I wanted to test it out in my van for a spell. I’m sure it’s annoying to be told you can’t have something yet, but hey, I’m the boss 🙂

So the experiment of many rungs, what do I think? I think seven are too many. I mean there is nothing wrong with that many apart from maybe it looking a little busy. And the extra rungs are useful for lash points. The wheel carrier unit is remove able and can be shifted a couple of inches to one side of the rungs if so desired.

Here are the pics, I still have a little fussing here and there to do, some radii on sharp corners etc. That lanyard hanging from a rung is some 1/2″ Spectra line, using it as a safety back up to the wheel. It’s not needed, it’s just me being conservative. And of course the carrier is on the wrong side of the van, doesn’t matter for testing purposes.

And I’m thinking, I’m thinking of cutting the bottom rung and verticals to just below the bottom hatch attachment point. 


  1. #1 by Chris on May 7, 2016 - 6:42 pm

    It’s looking good .to me anyway
    Lower step is , well low . Seems redundant and not pleasing to eyeball.

    No hate your welding skill is amazing and I know how long this takes🚀 Could be doing other things .

    Has anyone ever asked for square step tube
    Sorry for another option , it would be less visually pleasing.
    However it’s less likely I ‘ ll end up on my head

    • #2 by albell on May 7, 2016 - 7:24 pm

      I agree about the lower step. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I didn’t draw or even sketch much of this out before making. That’s a mistake. I should be hunched over computer making solid works drawings and getting things right before cutting stock. But I have to admit enjoying making it up as I go along.

      The lower step is going.

      Square tube is an idea. It doesn’t immediately appeal to me but as I write this I’m thinking the soft corner tubing might not be that bad. I’ll certainly keep it in mind when I buy more stock. I bent up three pairs of verticals at one time so I have two pairs to go through before I get more material.

      As with most things, the devil is in the details. Even with this simple kind of fabrication there are key things that you don’t see right off, but bite you in the ass. It’s so much easier doing fab from engineered drawings, no matter how much I bitch at the designer’s approach to dimensioning.



  2. #3 by Nathan Ryobi Daigle on June 10, 2016 - 3:27 pm

    Omg it’s so good. I agree, line up the lower step with the bottom line of the hatch.. and it is dialled in. That’s it!

    Mine is performing flawlessly, although the padding on the lower brackets keep getting pushed out of the sides. Not sure why that is happening as everything is assembled tightly.

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