Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6
Hard Top Raised Roof

Hey Guys,

I'm looking into hardtops for my Ford E250, both by SMB and by Fiberine.

http://www.fiberine.com/GVMR/Full_Size_Van_Tops.html#9

Fiberine has a 24" bubble top that comes with windows on the side for ventilation, but they also offer a 20" aerodynamic bubble top, sans windows. How much more fuel efficient would the aerodynamic model be? I'm 6 feet tall, so I think I'll lose quite a bit of height with a 20", maybe 5'8" on the inside, which is fine by be, and my girlfriend is only 5'0". So it shouldn't be a problem there, but I'm just wondering if anyone here has one, or seen one in real life and can offer any tips, advice, thoughts, or help, it would be very much appreciated.

Just for the record, I'm starting to lean more towards the aerodynamic model. For a lower profile and hopefully cheaper price of purchase and better MPG. But I know my lady would prefer more air, and more light. Hmmmm.

S.
__________________

sunshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,718
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

Welcome friend

ya might use the search function, heaps of stuff here

here is also a recent thread

posting.php?mode=reply&f=24&t=6121

IMHO
the gas savings are moot compared to roominess
__________________

billwilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 783
Garage
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

I"m 6'2" and the 24" bubble top was just tall enough to stand up in comfortably. We kept the curtains closed on top most of the time but the windows did add some ventilation.

Another thing to consider is storage space - the front and rear, upper storage shelves are fantastic with the 24" top, while the lower, more aerodynamic top would probably cut this space down a lot. Same with side upper cabinets.

Granted the higher the top the uglier, but the space is very nice.

As for gas mileage, our bubble top got 13 mpg and our Club Wagon with no top got maybe 14 mpg.
__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

Thanks Guys, great feedback,

Hmm, okay, so it seems like comfort (more height, more storage and more airflow) is a more important factor than saving a few inches of wind drag. 24" bubble top it is. Fiberine quoted me at $3415.00 with two 12x43 windows, reverse flange, and a liner, installed. Seems like a fair price, assuming they'll do a good job installing it. I've read that many owners like to do that part themselves, but I don't have the space for it. Dhally, you wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the inside (or out) would you? I can't seem to find very many at all, and it would be nice to know what exactly I'm getting into before I throw down the deposit. Cheers.

S
sunshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011, 07:10 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Aldercrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 461
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

I have the Voyager top (~20") and I can't stand up, but I'm 6'8". If I was 6'2", it would be fine. There are pics in my gallery of cabinets front and rear. 24" should be great for you.
__________________
2002 E350 EB - Voyager top - 7.3 - Quigley 4WD
Aldercrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 182
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

I am having trouble posting the pics using my cheap old macbook but here is a link to a gallery with tons of interior pics for my Voyager top.
Now understanding I need netting for cabinet doors to make it easier on the disabled to access stuff.
I will look for any more interiror storage pics
please ask any questions
__________________
http://www.disabledexplorers.org
Go out and play in the dirt!
DisabledExplorers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,561
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
Granted the higher the top the uglier....
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 08:38 AM   #8
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 7,949
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

Ford van mileage: sucks
Ford van with penthouse mileage: sucks +1
Ford van with 20" bubble top: sucks + 1.5
Ford van with 24" bubble top: sucks + 1.5

Personally I think mileage concerns shouldn't be a significant determining factor in your decisions. You're starting off with something that has a slightly better aerodynamic coefficient than a brick. Adding anything to a base vehicle like is round-off error in the equation in my opinion. Go with whatever maximizes livability (and any parking limitations at home).

Adding 4wd and overall total weight are probably much more significant factors in the overall mileage equation.


my $0.02,
Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 10:55 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Advanturetrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 233
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

Herb,

Re:
Quote:
You're starting off with something that has a slightly better aerodynamic coefficient than a brick.
Brilliant.

Maybe I should follow the lead of Team Fly Like Brick and get one of these wingsuits to increase the SMB mileage:



From: http://www.flylikebrick.com/
__________________
The Yeti: SMB 4x4 Ford EB, super camper top, RVI interior build
http://www.advanturetrek.com
http://www.facebook.com/AdvantureTrek
Advanturetrek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 783
Garage
Re: Hard Top Raised Roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine
... Dhally, you wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the inside (or out) would you? ...
S
No, that was a previous van before digital cameras were invented. There are a few things to consider:

- The reverse flange looks better on the outside, and also appears to be connected to the roof better. However I think it may create a wider ledge inside the van, which may reduce the open width in the cabin.

- The fiberglass liner gives a nice white smooth interior finish. They say they put insulation in, but I don't know how much or what kind. The fiberglass liner makes it more difficult to attach things to the inside of the roof. There are probably wood reinforcement strips that could be attached to, but finding them could be a problem. The fiberglass liner may also be noisier than an upholstered headliner.

- The windows in the top on our van rattled, especially the longer one. We wedged pieces of cardboard in the window slots to stop the rattling, but then the window couldn't be opened. Hopefully they have a higher quality window available.

- Another thing to consider is an exterior coating. Bare fiberglass will oxidize fairly fast if it's not waxed, and waxing this monster would be a big job. We had a cheap paint job on our top and had to get it repainted within a few years. If appearance is important you may want to get a high quality (polyurethane) paint job on the exterior.
__________________

__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.