Moon Roofs and Hail

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by Bob Hartig, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Bob Hartig

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    I just bought a 2006 Camry, and it drives like a dream. Finally I've once again got reliable transportation that will get me off the bench and back out to the Plains. But I have one concern: the car has a moon roof. That may seem like a really sweet feature, but it's not one I'm crazy about for the obvious reason that it and large hail don't seem like a good combination. I try to avoid getting into the big stuff, but I can't tailor-make a storm or a road system to my specs.

    So, my question: Who else here has faced this concern? Is it truly a concern, or are moon (or sun) roofs tougher than I think and hold up pretty well? What kind of inexpensive (i.e., dirt-cheap) solution have you come up with to protect your moon roof from breakage due to hail?
     
  2. James Hilger

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    I'm using a yoga mat on the wifes car til my new vehicle comes in. Tennis balls haven't bothered it and I've been in several hail events that's lasted more than 15 minutes. I love hail. You can see small indentions in it. I just used one layer.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Stormtrack mobile app
     
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  3. Bob Hartig

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    That's a great idea! Thanks.
     
  4. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    When I chased with TWISTEX one of the mesonet vehicles had a sun/moon-roof. They used a mesh of wire fencing (like that in a chicken coop) and used PVC piping to hold it up about 2" above the top of the window. Not sure how easy that would be for you to do on your own, but it's another possibility.
     
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  5. Bob Hartig

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    Thanks, Jeff. That sounds feasible too. Anything can be accomplished with duct tape. :D
     
  6. Todd Lemery

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    Another option would be to use 1/2 inch Lexan and magnets. Various online resources will send you Lexan cut out to the size you prefer. You can order washer shaped magnets that have a nut and bolt assembly on top of them cheaply from Amazon. All you have to do then is drill out holes for bolts on the magnets to go through the Lexan and tighten down the nuts. Just make sure that you leave enough room around your Lexan measurements for the magnets. You can then easily remove or stick on the Lexan sheet depending on if you are chasing and leave no marks on the vehicle.
     
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    #6 Todd Lemery, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  7. Shane Adams

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    It's not a popular suggestion, but simply staying clear of hail works. A good forecast/approach can lend itself to some good closer-range chasing without hail....as long as storm mode cooperates :)
     
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  8. Warren Faidley

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    As least you would know the size of hail to report when it comes through!

    Seriously, I might suggest some thick rubber matting -- the kind with round or octagonal holes. Multiple ways to attach it as others have noted.
     
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  9. Michael Towers

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    Definitely a concern for me and even though I try to avoid big hail I’ve gotten nailed on a few occasions over the years. When that monster hailer on June 7, 2009 took a sharp turn and dropped baseballs and even grapefruits a lot of folks took a beating but by some miracle I kept both my windshield and moon roof. I did take a few craters in the body though and they still remain to this day. I’ve gone through 3 windshields due to hail but not a single moon roof, smaller target and luck of the big ones missing it have spared me so far. I don’t recall a moon roof ever getting nailed but I’m pretty sure any of the stones that cost me a windshield would have cost me a moon roof as well. I don’t use any hail guard protection but I do make sure I close the sunshade when the stones are falling.
     
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  10. Bob Hartig

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    Frankly, that's my preferred approach. I'm not an extreme chaser--not afraid to get fairly close, depending on the storm, but I'm conservative by today's standards, and I'd just as soon stay out of the hail. It's just not always possible to do so; sometimes it just finds me.

    Today I picked up an exercise mat. Next step: find a big RubberMaid lid that will cover the moon roof; then double the mat over, cut it to size, and glue it to the bottom of the lid; and then figure out some way to affix the thing firmly over the moon roof when I need to and remove it when I don't. I'd like to avoid using duct tape--part practicality, part pride.
     
  11. Ben Holcomb

    Ben Holcomb Digital Janitor
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    I haven't ever had a moon/sun roof, but the glass is super strong it seems. Bart has been in many baseball+ hail storms this year and his sunroof hasn't smashed out yet.

    The Lexan + magnets thing seems like the best idea though.

    And that whole "staying out of hail" thing isn't so easy, especially when you're chasing an HP storm with SE motion in that area north of DFW like on Friday.
     
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  12. Bob Hartig

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    Rob had mentioned that about Bart, and it made me wonder whether moon roofs aren't extra tough.

    I think I've found my solution (described above in response to Shane's input). Thanks to all of you for your ideas and advice.
     
  13. Eric Hassfurther

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    This solution has been amazing for me. Spare wire shelf was purchased from Amazon as well as the magnets. The other small hardware was from Home Depot. $60 cost total and it works like a charm! I like it more than the Lexan, because the grating doesn't act like a sail and catch wind and want to lift off.

    2ede674c6c2682e43e06dde3aae9ee55.jpg 80459d899140cbfc2cf96254b4675564.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Stormtrack
     
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