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Old 08-17-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

I'd like to hear from folks who have one or the other as to what they like, dislike, and possible do-overs....
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

Penthouse has a lower profile, can fit places the tall roof cannot. Slightly better mileage.

Raised roof has more storage.

Penthouse can have sleeping quarters in the penthouse. Bedding must be moved from the bed to put the top down or the bed up (storage) for day use.

Penthouse has lots of windows and screens for ventilation, fixed roof less so. We have slept up there everynight except two.

Fixed roof can have more roof top storage than a penthouse.

Fixed roof has better insulation, both noise and temperature.

Fixed roof is ready to go when you stop, Penthouse must be raised/lowered.

A fantastic fan can be installed in a fixed roof and some penthouse tops. Penthouse has less need for the fan.

Fixed roof with higher storage raises the center of gravity with some negative effects on handling.

They are both SMB's and they are both good.

Mike
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

Mike pretty much nailed the comparison. Only thing I would add that placing boats or a storage box on top of a Voyager top puts things way up there.

We have a Voyager top. I have actually been toying with the idea of converting to a penthouse to gain more sleeping space (anyone want to buy my Voyager?), improve handling, and make topside storage easier. Haven't done it, and don't know if I will, so take that for what it's worth.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:38 PM   #4
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

You can read about my views here:
http://autoramblings.com/blog/?p=635
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:43 PM   #5
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

What about weather, I do a lot of winter camping in NV. and the voyager top is the only way to go.Works great RB50 plan and a small bed above for two kids. Dave
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

We've owned a couple of 24" high fixed top vans but only test drove the penthouse.

It looks like there is a LOT LESS overhead storage available with the penthouse. With the fixed top, we stowed handy luggage like coats/hats, purses, briefcases and road food above the cab. All our permanent food went above the galley. And we stored bedding in the rear upper storage.

We also noticed that the width of the opening in the roof is quite a bit narrower in the penthouse than the fixed top. So with the top up, there is as much room for two people to stand up and move around.

And finally, with the penthouse lowered and the upper bed installed, I couldn't sit up straight in the back seat. I'm thinking that this would also cause low headroom for the lower bed when also using the upper bed.

I do like the idea of a lower top when driving, but in reality we had very few issues with the raised top.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

My rigs:
VW panel no top (lived in it 2 years)
pick up slide in "sleeper" ( was just a bit higher than cab)
converted the sleeper by adding a stand up-able center section (lived in 2 years)
full cab over slide in camper for pick up (lived in one year)
VW pop top westy
SMB cruiser top

1) headroom better with fixed top for me
2) drove, sat in, raised and lowered PH smb's

Our decision after One look at Angels Cruiser was the fixed cruiser top

- instant camp set up
- abilty to walk around while driving
- tons of storage, meaning have a Ship Shape rig at all times
- headwinds cross winds are not an issue for us (wider wheels, deavers, lightweight cabinets)
- 70 mph up and down hills w/ ac all day long with the V 10
YES i lose MPG, but the trade off is worth it for Us

Cruiser tops out of production
Do not know who made them for SMB
Fiberine makes Voyager style top

bw out
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
VW panel no top (lived in it 2 years)
pick up slide in "sleeper" ( was just a bit higher than cab)
converted the sleeper by adding a stand up-able center section (lived in 2 years)
full cab over slide in camper for pick up (lived in one year)
VW pop top westy
SMB cruiser top
Wait, let me pull a "billwilson"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
VW panel no top (lived in it 2 years)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
pick up slide in "sleeper" ( was just a bit higher than cab)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
converted the sleeper by adding a stand up-able center section (lived in 2 years)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
full cab over slide in camper for pick up (lived in one year)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
VW pop top westy
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
SMB cruiser top
OK, we've seen pics of this one.


Herb
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

LOL
i WISH i had pics
I was a straight and narrow short haird kid with Old School Parents
at 16 i found out about cheap wine and pot
managed to graduate from High School at 17 1/2
went pretty much off the deep end (had a rockin' time

Sadly the pics were lost over the years

Got a couple from family events when i surfaced
Hair down my back full beard charly manson eyes

I even lost the log and pics from a trip i took sailing from San Diego to Austrailia over 2 years

That said and done, by the grace of God, i just celebrated 16 years clean and sober
...but still no pics ;(


Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
VW panel no top (lived in it 2 years)
pick up slide in "sleeper" ( was just a bit higher than cab)
converted the sleeper by adding a stand up-able center section (lived in 2 years)
full cab over slide in camper for pick up (lived in one year)
VW pop top westy
SMB cruiser top
Wait, let me pull a "billwilson"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
VW panel no top (lived in it 2 years)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
pick up slide in "sleeper" ( was just a bit higher than cab)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
converted the sleeper by adding a stand up-able center section (lived in 2 years)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
full cab over slide in camper for pick up (lived in one year)
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
VW pop top westy
So where are the pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
My rigs:
SMB cruiser top
OK, we've seen pics of this one.


Herb
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #10
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Re: Penthouse vs. Fixed Raised Roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
That said and done, by the grace of God, i just celebrated 16 years clean and sober...
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