Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-05-2013, 01:06 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 33
Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Hello. I have a 2007 Sprinter with penthouse electric top, and I am planning on installing the Yakima tracks the entire length of the penthouse roof, as well as install a plug for solar to come down into the penthouse. (There is no room between the inside vertical side edge of the penthouse and the outside of the canvas for installing bolts and washers, hence why I must drill the holes for the tracks into the living space). I am thinking that I can remove the 11 bolts that connect to the clamp and hinge attachment points and lift the penthouse off the canvas, supports and thin ceiling board, so that I can install the tracks, seeing both sides of the fiberglass penthouse and being able to bolt them down strongly to the roof from the underside of the penthouse. Then reinstall the penthouse roof onto the canvas and supports and re-bolt to the attachment points. Anyone know if this is possible and how much work it is, as well as any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
__________________

__________________
Currently converting 2016 170" 4x4 w/custom interior, electric system, hot water and air, and many other things. Past owner of 2007 Sprinter 2500 144" w/Sportsmobile Penthouse, Van Conversions interior and
solar, inverter, charger, house electrical by self.
kcshoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 01:16 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,596
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

When I replaced my bolts it was done one at a time with the PH down and was no problem.

What are you planning to do with the canvas while the top is off? Because it seems like it would be easier, to me, to remove all the screws around the PH canvas top. That way the canvas would be out of your way and you'd have access to both sides of the roof without needing to lift the top.

If you're just pulling the fiberglass anyway, you'll have to remove the canvas in this manner anyway- not only does the bottom have sealant, but you can't keep it attached to the top itself without risking drilling through it in the first place. I guess height would still be an issue.

So I believe if you raise and detach the canvas, you can then lower and pull all the bolts to remove the top- but I haven't actually done that, there didn't seem to be any tension on mine with the top down, but like I said I only did one at a time.
__________________

__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 33
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Thanks Jage for your thoughts. Maybe you're right, I can just remove the outside screws that hold the canvas to the fiberglass top and then be able to reach under the top to screw thru from the top and bolt from below without having to remove the top. However, I'll have to check it out, as mine has a white fiber board (about 1/4" think) mounted across the entire ceiling within the canvas, and that is bolted to the fiberglass, so it may be hard to bend that back without breaking it, and still difficult to drill thru the top with someone on top of the top and another ensuring that the drill doesn't go too deep.

I'll check it out in the day light.

Thanks.
__________________
Currently converting 2016 170" 4x4 w/custom interior, electric system, hot water and air, and many other things. Past owner of 2007 Sprinter 2500 144" w/Sportsmobile Penthouse, Van Conversions interior and
solar, inverter, charger, house electrical by self.
kcshoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 33
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Here is a little more information:
-The Yakima tracks are bolted about every foot, and I want to put 10' of them along each side of the top length.
-There is no gap under the penthouse and outside of the canvas to bolt these, so they will have to go thru the roof on the inside of the canvas.
-On the inside top of the penthouse, it is entirely covered in a white 1/4" MDF type board, then strut bar mounts, handles, lights, and clamps all mounted on the inside/bottom of that.
-My Sprinter penthouse roof seems to have two ribs near the middle where the clamps and bars mount to making the roof thicker there, but none of any thickness to the sides, so there is a gap between this ceiling board and the bottom of the penthouse roof.

Therefore, if I drill thru the roof and the white ceiling board and bolt the tracks down, the force will likely break or crack the ceiling board and not really put any clamping force on the track bolts. Hence why I think I need to get between the bottom of the fiberglass roof and ceiling board with washers and bolts for each track mount hole. Make sense?

Any suggestions will help much. Thank you.

KC
__________________
Currently converting 2016 170" 4x4 w/custom interior, electric system, hot water and air, and many other things. Past owner of 2007 Sprinter 2500 144" w/Sportsmobile Penthouse, Van Conversions interior and
solar, inverter, charger, house electrical by self.
kcshoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
Site Team
 
Ford_6L_E350's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington - Ridgefield
Posts: 4,725
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Why don't you call SMB and see what they do and suggest? Probably the manufacturer has a better idea of the construction and constraints.

Mike
__________________
SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
Ford_6L_E350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 33
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Thanks for the suggestion to call SMB Mike. I have and Peter has not been responsive nor very helpful. Every time I call it takes days for a response and with little info other than we can do that for you and it'll cost this much. Quite frankly, I am not impressed with the quality of the work that Sportsmobile did, so I'm not real confident of using them for more work.

KC
__________________
Currently converting 2016 170" 4x4 w/custom interior, electric system, hot water and air, and many other things. Past owner of 2007 Sprinter 2500 144" w/Sportsmobile Penthouse, Van Conversions interior and
solar, inverter, charger, house electrical by self.
kcshoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East Bay CA
Posts: 1,013
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

I've wondered about this as well. I thought of using some bolt solution that didn't involve access to the other side, but although there are some good ones they all used up considerable space and would push against the liner. And the fiberglass is too thin to use alone.

But I was curious as to whether anyone has ever glued racks or mounts on, either directly or with brackets. Some stuff I've had to mount on fiberglass required backing or reinforcement anyway, so I've sometimes wondered whether it might actually be preferable to say glue strips of material with captured bolts on and then bolt to that instead.

Or is there a good reason not to?
__________________
2001 Ford E250 Sportsmobile with Salem-Kroger 4x4 conversion
rob_gendreau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 33
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Thanks for your thoughts Rob. I too have the same issue, in that the PlusNuts by Yakima and similar by Thule are too thick/deep and will push the paneled ceiling out, as well as risk drilling thru it. Plus not likely strong enough although they are made for that and for mounting to truck camper shells, which are likely less strong than the SMB Penthouse fiberglass top. So really it's the thickness and challenges not drilling too deep from atop the roof.

I too thought about glueing the tracks onto the top of the roof, but wondering if that non-mehanical fastener is strong enough to hold them, especially since the tracks are not entirely solid due to bolt holes and fairly narrow, there isn't a lot of surface to glue them on. However, I'm sure that there are strong enough adhesives to hold.

Anyone know or have thoughts? Thanks,

KC
__________________
Currently converting 2016 170" 4x4 w/custom interior, electric system, hot water and air, and many other things. Past owner of 2007 Sprinter 2500 144" w/Sportsmobile Penthouse, Van Conversions interior and
solar, inverter, charger, house electrical by self.
kcshoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,026
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

Are you the original owner of the Sprinter? If so, I'd seriously reconsider having SMB do the install, despite the cost, as (I believe) they "lifetime" guarantee the PH top for the original owner. That way they can't point fingers down the road if it starts leaking or something.

I'm hoping to install tracks on my PH sooner or later, too, but I'm the second owner so the warranty thing is a moot point for me. SMB Indiana quoted me something like $325 to install one set of Thule, so I'm probably looking at $450 or so for two sets. Expensive, but the tracks alone go for $100 or so.

Still trying to decide whether to drive out there and have them do it or to do it myself.
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 03:08 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,596
Re: Removing & reinstalling a penthouse roof

1. call a different SMB location
2. can you do vertical mounts on the PH sides s.t. the bolts are actually outside the canvas? (anti leak)
3. sounds like the sprinter top is slightly different, but I agree with going under the white board as opposed to through or bending it back
4. the thicker spots are likely wood ribs that build up the strength for the bolt mounts, so you might have a mix of under the white board and through it (through it being where the ribs are as there will be no space for the bolt head)
5. again I'm guessing at all of the above, but humans built this with hand tools, so it shouldn't being astronomically impossible or anything
__________________

__________________
and then
everything changed
jage 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
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.