Spring 2020 Update

The Last 9 Months

 

I will be the first to admit it:  We have been horrible about blogging and sending newsletters to our subscribers. 

By last summer we were inundated with van builds, and since that time we have been hard at work building vans and developing our product line.  With up to 4 active builds in our shop at a time, we had little time for much else throughout 2019 and early 2020.    

It is funny how a crisis can sometimes help us focus.  We love building vans in our shop, but our vision involves much more than that!  Our goal is to develop a comprehensive, versatile, and affordable line of products, that are shippable to DIY customers and local installers throughout North America.

When the shutdowns began in early March, we decided to take the opportunity to reassess.  At the time we had 4 active builds in the shop.  We immediately stopped taking on new builds, and first focused on completing them.  We were lucky that the conditions of our shop, and the orders of our Governor allowed our installers to continue to work.  

 

 

The Last Few Weeks

 

As we have completed each active build, we were increasingly able to shift our focus toward development.  We have released several new products on the shopping cart, with many more coming soon.  We have made major improvements to the web site including more content, better images, CAD illustrations, and much more detailed information about our products.  Recently we have been taking a lot of video footage, many of which can be seen on our Instagram page and will soon be added to our Youtube channel (please subscribe for updates as content is added).  We have a lot more work to do, but there has been a vast recent improvement in each area.

 

 

What’s Next

 

Portland Shop Accepting New Builds:  Effective immediately we are ready to take on 1 or 2 new van builds.  For the coming months we are going to limit ourselves to two active bays, which means that soon our lead times are probably going to be a little longer for shop builds.  However, as of right now we are ready to start our next new project within the next couple weeks.  If you are interested in a new or updated quote, I encourage you to check out our new Shop Installation section of the web site, and fill out a shop build quote request.

Balance & Focus:  Though we will keep 2 active builds in the shop, we are going to continue to put more energy into bringing more products to the shopping cart, standardizing shop build elements, and communication.

New Normal:  For the foreseeable future we will be maintaining the same workplace standards we have followed for the last several weeks.  For van pick up and drop off, we will be conducting a thorough disinfecting wipe down of all surfaces, and additionally we will be adding a 72 hours quarantine for each new van in and out.

 

With a new focus, and a much stronger line of products, we look forward to the coming months.  We invite you to check out the recent changes and videos, for much, much more!

Rails Vs Tracks

Rails Vs. Tracks

 

Smooth Rail Mounting System

 

 

L Track Mounting System

L or E Track is commonly used by DIY van builders and some professionals, as an interior mounting system.  Customers regularly ask about the differences and advantages of our smooth rail system over these ”X Track” systems.

First, to be clear:  A properly mounted L track or E track system with the correct support bracketing, sufficient metal to metal contact and ample attachment points, can be a functional, strong, and safe mounting solution.  If you are a DIY van builder this is a perfectly acceptable solution.

However, when Dennis (our founder and CEO) built his first van as a family project, his frustrations with the limitations of these track systems led him to develop a better approach.  His close attention to detail, and eye for aesthetics inspired him to develop our Smooth Rail Mounting System and ultimately the origins of Roost Vans itself.  Below are some of the key reasons for this decision.

 

Precise Positioning

L Track and E Track systems are basically cargo tie down systems that have been adapted for mounting interior van components.  One of the biggest draw backs is that they are only incrementally adjustable, typically in 1” intervals.  This is fine for a tie down system, but when trying to position interior components in a van build, we find more precise positioning necessary.  Our mounting system is infinitely adjustable, allowing each component to be dynamically placed in a precise position.  This is particularly important when trying to flush mount multiple cabinets, or trying to maintain a specific gap between components.

 

 

Overall Aesthetics

Our mounting system is a continuous powder coated rail, and largely recessed into the paneling in our typical shop builds.  For a finished interior build, our customers find it far more visually appealing.  Further, the insides of the tracks systems have relatively abrupt corners and can have jagged surfaces that are less than ideal when traveling with small children.

 

 

Flexibility & Versatility

Our entire ecosystem of products is designed with the DIY customer in mind.  Though some may want plug and play solutions, others want a simple platform upon which they can build and create their own solutions, specific to their individual needs and circumstances.  This is where our mounting system really shines.  Not only do we offer plug & play solutions, but any bracket or material that sits flush on the rail surface can be attached to the mounting system with a simple 5/16-18 insert nut and bolt.  When building custom brackets and accessories, the savings really start to add up when shopping at the local hardware stores, rather than having to purchase specialty supplies specific to the chosen track system.

 

Overall L Track and E Track are excellent tie down systems, and can be an acceptable interior mounting solution.  However, for a robust and versatile interior mounting system for a Sprinter van conversion project, we prefer the Smooth Rail Mounting System for our builds.