building a pop top

Discussion in 'Expedition Builds' started by rideglobally, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. the camper on my cruiser now opens in clam shell style. i want to explore the possibility of having it raise in four corners without loosing the simplicity and stability of a clam shell style. i believe my pop top is heavier than normal it is about 300 pounds. any idea on how to get the mechanism to do this? i want to explore this idea before i put the canvas. i would also appreciate comment on the pros and con of a clam shell vs lifting the top on four corners. sorry having problem uploading picture.
  2. In oz they sell those kinds of scissor contraptions at caravan and trailer builder suppliers.
    Mine has 3 scissor lifters ,I though one was missing but many other slide ons have 3 also.
    With the weight you migth need 4;)
    The springs support the load and assist with the lifting and stop it coming down too fast.
    No idea of the weight of the roof on my camper,but I guess it must be 200lbs.
    I got stuck under it one day:mad:
    You also need to sew some elastic into the corners of the canvass to pull the sides in as it closes and stop it flapping in the wind.
    The pros are obviously more usable headroom and you can have mosquito mesh sewn into the canvass with zip up windows on all 4 sides
    No real cons except more cost
    Pop tops
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  3. sseaman


    Nashville, TN
  4. soenke


    Germany at the baltic sea
    Hey, don´t know if it´s still of any interest...

    after been using an Innovation-Campers sleeping roof on a HZJ 78 with the hinge in front for some years, we wouldn´t build it again that way.

    It has been uncomfortable in wind, letting me park the front of the car in winddirection in the middle of the night or even let us move downstairs...
    With a lift in all 4 corners it would be even more instable.

    The roof itself shold not be more than 50 to 60kg heavier then the original cut away metall roof. How Did you build your roof, that it became so heavy?
    I think the best way to build a pop-up roof with canvas walls would be to have the hinges at one side, it´s more stable, the canvas is not flapping in the wind and the lee space along side the car is cosy enaugh for sitting outside even by wind and the space inside increases magnifizient.
    Here an example Offroadschmiede Marcus Haase | Seitlich angeschlagenes Aufstelldach
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  5. Abitibi


    New Westminster, BC
    Has anyone doing something similar in the US or Canada? I'm in tre process of moving from a Delica to a HZJ77 and my only worry is all the space I'll be loosing. So I would surely consider a pop-up roof for the cruiser.

    The sideway opening seems like a better idea over the "Westfalia" style but I'd still be quite worried about cutting such a big hole in the roof!

    Thanks for all and any info.
  6. yes this looks great and i think will be more stable, but i don't know of a place in the US that will build the inside structure for it. if there is a place in the US that i can work with i would seriously consider this....... thanks
  7. hawkeye


    Socal/ I.E.
    I have been researching and preparing to build a pop top, I also have some ideas for a cruiser based camper.
  8. pm send
  9. I would love to do something like that to my 80 series someday. I've seen the clam shell style on european 80's before and wondered if anyone had something like this in NA.
  10. it was great visiting with you today hope we can make something work

    you should pm hawkeye at warfield off road. i agree with you, i have been looking for someone that does this in NA.
  11. Lugboot


    A Westy-style top on a Cruiser would be very useful.

  12. RuffinIt


    Los Angeles, CA
    A pop-top is exactly what I had in mind when I bought my 80. I'm planning on just cutting a small-ish hole in the rear of the roof and doing something similar to a sportsmobile pop-up. It's is going to be a couple years before I have the funds to knock this one out though. I like the flip-pac style simply because it also provides shade while open, but grafting a Westy top on would probably be easier. For the time being, I am working on an internal zip-in tent that will use the rear tailgates as part of an enclosure to extend the interior room when sleeping in the back (the same basic principle as those cheesy slip-over-the-rear SUV tents, but decent quality, without the gaping holes and without the leaks). I'll probably make 3 or 4 extras to sell in effort to off-set the cost of the proto-type and slowly start on the pop-top once I get a place where I can do some fab work. There is a kid that just jumped in with his Jeep Cherokee and seems to have some good ideas (some not so good to) here: Jeep-a-gon Build Thread -

    I would happy to help someone else if they are sort of close with this project just for the expereince. I'm not a great fabricator or anything, but I have a little MIG welder and a willingness to make mistakes.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  13. fj404life


    Central Oregon
  14. Bogo


    On the farm
  15. The Lovely Boyo

    The Lovely Boyo

    South Wales, UK
    I spotted this Toy in the south of France a couple of weeks back - said he has recently met Soenke - small world eh!


    I like the simplicity of this design - but I like the idea of tipping it sideways as Soenke suggests.

    I also thought that I would build one that firmly attaches to my roof rack - using the sunroof for access and a false floor in the tent - but to be able to remove it for most of the year when it is not being used. A couple of pieces of 8 by 4 marine ply and some waterproof materials et voila!!!

    The rack is strong enough but not that heavy

  16. i also like this simplicity but attaching it side ways will create more stability and room. my cruiser is 80 inches wide so when i attached it side ways it is a lot of room. i am very close to making this decision infact i already created a model or a mock up. see picture below..... thanks. if i do this it maybe this weekend.:bounce::bounce2:

  17. The Lovely Boyo

    The Lovely Boyo

    South Wales, UK
    Aw man, you just gotta love duct tape and some bits of wood to help you visualise - like being back in school lol

    Go for it - if you think about it - those two arms that hold the tent up could be engineered to fold back in on themselves when you have to collapse the tent. Maybe have to make them a similar length? Unequal length then you could just jump into the tent and connect them together.


    When the tent is erect (ooo, err matron!) then rigidity (lol) of the structure could be realised by connecting A to B (externally) with a fixed length of aluminium, front and rear of the tent. Access issues?
  18. home made mock up, that is the fun of it. the "B" is a gas spring that will hold the pop top up, two of them one on each side. same gas spring that i am using now when my top is up. the "A" is a rod maybe aluminum that will hold the rectangular structure to hold the canvas up, that rectangular structure folds on to the ceiling of the pop top when the top is down. i am thinking of putting a gas spring on that rectangular so that it will swing out when you open the top but i think this will add another level of complexity that i don't really need. without a gas spring on the rectangular structure i will have to manually swing it out then put "A" the post to hold the rectangular structure up. there is also the danger of the rectangular structure swinging out unexpectedly if it is not secure correctly with a gas spring. the pop top and the rectangular structure will be attach with as aluminum piano hinge........ thank. sorry i don't know how to put lettering designation on the drawing.....

  19. The Lovely Boyo

    The Lovely Boyo

    South Wales, UK
    Ahh, the old simplicity (potentially not so good) vs. complexity (potentially prone to failure) argument.

    Build a small model, bits of wood etc, but properly to scale and try it all out.

    You really can't beat having something you can spin about in your hands and see what pops out of the 'woodwork'!

    Your project (plus that green Cruiser) has really got me switched on to doing one myself.

    A mate used to take people on expeditions around Western Oz. He said all they used to do was nail a normal tent to the plywood on the roofrack, and then just thread the poles into the tent when they wanted to set up camp..... simples ha

    One other tent set up I seen in Spain last week was one of those pop up self contained tents. Nailed to the plywood. Attached to the roof..................

    Do a search on youtube, I'm sure someone would have filmed it

    This kind of thing
    Camping Tents and Camping Equipment Sales


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