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Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by fj62max, Mar 4, 2018.
Cant wait!!!!! Text me pics when you can.
I am interested for the 60 or 80.
Still kicking around this idea but not needing to reinvent the wheel if I don't have to, had me looking at the VW bus and Westfalia tops and noticed for $3-500 you can buy the canvas with windows and all. I don't know how close the VW vans are but if one of the models was close enough it would be convenient/cheaper to be able to have a big parts supply and not need to order custom or make your own.
GoWesty Camper Products - parts supplier for VW Vanagon, Eurovan, and Bus
Sorry I've gone quiet for a bit. Been really busy. I'll try to finalize a set of plans for a wood version. If I can I'll also draw a set of canvas parts. Using off the shelf parts is a great idea. I think the VW van canvas will be too small. Also it doesn't have a door in it. But it may be possible to find something pre-made that works - even if it's just half of a small tent that you cut apart. I'd have to start looking at some tents to see what's out there. If you have a sewing machine and some experience this isn't probably all that difficult to make yourself as an alternative.
I purchased a bus canvas with the idea of modding in a side door and possibly making it a bit wider. Its been sitting ina box on my counter for a couple of months so I'm really making huge progress here!
This thread has some design ideas, including dimensions.
Building my own pop top
Seems like the biggest deal would be getting a water tight seal on the closing mechanism etc. I've been very interested in building something so this thread is sweet!
I managed to score a pair of prinsu side rails, so i have been slowly considering how to do this. I bought them specifically to goof around with this idea. What I have come up with so far (ideas) is to basically make a front nose cone to fit the profile of the windshield and mate to the sides and front edge of the rack. I have an Alucab awning so I would like to be able to mount it on the side still. Using aluminum angle like 2x2 inch, .25 wall, you could make a frame for the top, and have a surface that would allow for the bulbseal to mate with. If you are not cutting a hole in the roof, then you would make basically a shallow box that would fit the matress.
On my particular setup the crossbars are 51 inches wide. But it would be possible to make the main box for the matress narrower to fit smaller racks. The front leading edge of the rack would need to be a bit wider to allow for room to have the hinge, and still be able to have a bulb seal.
I just drew this up here while sitting at a bar in NV.
The blue piece is the angle that would be used as the mating surface for the bulbseal, as well as the place to rivet or bolt the tent material to.
The orange piece would be the box, or if the roof is to be cut, it would be the support surface for the matress platform which would either be a hinged or sectional design, (maybe a 3x3" .25 wall, angle frame)
The purple is the top, this could be thinner walled, maybe .125, and for simplicity, angle stock welded to a solid upper sheet. Unless you had access to a big ole brake. You could also have a small lip on the inside maybe 1 inch, and then stick the bulb seal on that, this would stiffen the upper lid more, but would be more labor intensive if bending the material.
Ive had other ideas, to have a double bulb seal mating on two different surfaces, but that adds more complexity, material and weight.
The black piece is supposed to be the side rail, either prinsu or bowfin.
I like the idea of having the side rails have he blue piece protruding over the top on the sides and back, because that would allow to flush mount some lights and even slightly recess certain items like smaller awnings.
Where is this bar with that assortment of crayons? Im jealous
They just need a slide and a ball pit and it would be complete.
I like your idea of the top part out over the bottom. I actually had two halves made that came out pretty poorly due to miscommunication and some hurrying. I just haven't had time to work on it and fix since. These are pictures of the two halves on top of my daughter's 80 to give an idea of height stacked right on the cross bars. Kinda high but not terrible. Dropping down in would be sweet really but sort of permanent instead of a rack accessory. The bottom is 3" tall and the top 4", which is backward of what I want. The other way was intended to put an exped megamat in there (bought that too).Also each half is two pieces seamed due to what we could get our hands on in a hurry. One of the halves isn't even level, so kinda scabby. I have a brand new vw bus replacement canvas sitting in a box for this. I also bought aluminum channel and round plastic trim to sew to the canvas and attach to the halves. Also there is one pic with me in it to show how tight it is for someone 6'3". We (my lab and I) would fit, but barely.
Not really pursuing this actively but thought sharing might help.
I don't do selfies but this is for tech!
Yeah, I see what you mean about having it be more of an accessory. I am trying to make mine more permanent since I wouldnt mind cutting the roof if I had to.
Another thing I consider, is the abrasion of the aluminum. I have not read about any issues with any of the campteqs or AT Habitats. But being in the trucking industry, I see the damage it will do over time. On my trailer, the aluminum boxes will wear themselves out overtime from the dust and grit that gets between them and the bulb seals. As well and any rubbing with other or similar metals. But because my stuff gets alot more miles put on it, I think about these things.
Good point. And it seems like nearly everthing in the freight hauling world is aluminum. The tech on the newer trailers I see coming to my powder coat shop to haul product is amazing
Its also the reason I dont mind bolted together stuff vs welded. My Reitnouer Trailer is all bolted together, and is Rated for 105,000 spread out over the deck. Although Aluminum will fatigue over time, if properly engineered it will last a very long time. You just have to battle certain issues, like the abrasion, or the reaction between it and other metals.