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Old 10-09-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
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Personally, I would go ahead and cut a hole in the roof right inside the side doors. Leave the old roof intact for 6' from the back doors. You could then load the boards from inside onto your 6' long shelf. No added doors outside that would need to be secured and/or sealed. The added bonus is the access hole you cut would allow you to stand up inside the van to put on your wetsuit.

When I installed my hightop I left the original roof intact over the front seats and about 36" deep over the back doors. Incredible amount of storage up there.

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Old 10-09-2019, 11:35 AM   #12
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What do you do about the sharp edges after leaving a bit of the roof?Sounds like a great idea as does finding a traditional style cap.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:03 PM   #13
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How you trim it is up to you. If you are on an extreme budget, slide a pool noodle over the edge.

In my case I built out the interior and covered it with trunk liner material.

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Old 10-09-2019, 12:09 PM   #14
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That is really nice ! Glued?
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
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That is really nice ! Glued?
Thanks. 1/4" Maple Plywood framing with Trunk Liner glued to it. Here's a work in progress shot.

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Old 10-09-2019, 12:46 PM   #16
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Looks great shadetree. Would love to have the dimensions of those storage areas

[QUOTE=shadetreevanman;261540]Thanks. 1/4" Maple Plywood framing with Trunk Liner glued to it. Here's a work in progress shot.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetreevanman View Post
Personally, I would go ahead and cut a hole in the roof right inside the side doors. Leave the old roof intact for 6' from the back doors. You could then load the boards from inside onto your 6' long shelf. No added doors outside that would need to be secured and/or sealed. The added bonus is the access hole you cut would allow you to stand up inside the van to put on your wetsuit.
^^^ great idea shadetree! Eliminates the majority of the concerns I had. Only thing I have to add is installing a access door on the inside to keep the boards in place. That way you can stow other gear around the boards and not have anything come out during a hard stop. Plus it would also completely conceal the boards if the windows weren’t tinted.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:50 PM   #18
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Based on the fatigue cracks I found in my van, I'd suggest drilling a hole at each corner of the opening before you cut it out. Otherwise the sharp point at the corner will create a stress concentration.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:09 AM   #19
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Based on the fatigue cracks I found in my van, I'd suggest drilling a hole at each corner of the opening before you cut it out. Otherwise the sharp point at the corner will create a stress concentration.
A great way to deal with the corners of the cut is to use a jig saw with a high tooth count (TPI) blade. This allows for a larger radius cut than possible with a drilled corner.

shadetree's idea is really good! I think cutting out more of the roof is better than leaving 6 ft. 12 to 15" from the back door all the way up to but leaving the cross brace just behind the front seats This would make attaching the fiberglass roof much easier. The storage shelf could be built to the desired size with racks angled (?) to make the interior space more flexible/accessible?
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