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Old 12-11-2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

We are putting together our plans for a van, and in considering what we want to spend, we are weighing options.
A van with a lid already on it, probably a fixed top.
A van with no lid, and buying one possibly from a parts yard and putting it on ourselves.

A van with a lid is hard to find, so far. And expensive when we do find one.
A van without is pretty easy to find, and I like projects.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

I went with a Fiberine 24" bubble top on our 2010 Chevy AWD 1500 RB van. We had a local van shop (Van Specialties in Lake Oswego Oregon) put the top on. I think we paid about 2300 installed?? We really like the setup.



Best wishes on the project.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

I paid $12k but it came with a van attached.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:13 AM   #4
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

Fiberine ( google em)
has several good choices
and good quality

thier install is questionable
from what i have read here


depending on where you are, there are
some great installers

also van specialties has some offerings
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

The biggest challenge for the homebuilder will be how to finish the inside of the top, and how to attach things to the top. On our van, the builder glued wood stringers on the underside of the top and then attached the ceiling plywood to that with screws. They used silicone caulking for glue. I'm not thrilled with the idea but they would fix it if it falls down.

On a previous build, we used a Fiberine top with a Fiberine fiberglass headliner. That gave really good headroom and a spacey feeling, but was a little cold and very noisey. It was also difficult to attach things to the top.

I think the best homebuild option would be to have Fiberine or another fiberglass shop build the top and have them glass in 3/4" plywood pads wherever you need ceiling supports. Then install the top yourself for a good savings in labor.

A lot of used high tops have steel roll cages, which reduce head room substantially.

Our 24" top cost $2500 installed, plus $450 for a window and $1,000 for paint.

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Old 12-12-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

Thats almost $4000 for another $1000 you could have the penthouse top from sportsmobile!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
The biggest challenge for the homebuilder will be how to finish the inside of the top, and how to attach things to the top. On our van, the builder glued wood stringers on the underside of the top and then attached the ceiling plywood to that with screws. They used silicone caulking for glue. I'm not thrilled with the idea but they would fix it if it falls down.

On a previous build, we used a Fiberine top with a Fiberine fiberglass headliner. That gave really good headroom and a spacey feeling, but was a little cold and very noisey. It was also difficult to attach things to the top.

I think the best homebuild option would be to have Fiberine or another fiberglass shop build the top and have them glass in 3/4" plywood pads wherever you need ceiling supports. Then install the top yourself for a good savings in labor.

A lot of used high tops have steel roll cages, which reduce head room substantially.

Our 24" top cost $2500 installed, plus $450 for a window and $1,000 for paint.

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Old 12-13-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdee
Thats almost $4000 for another $1000 you could have the penthouse top from sportsmobile!
The OP was asking about fixed tops. We test drove a van with the penthouse top and definitely prefer the fixed top ourselves.

It is shocking how much all the converters charge for labor!
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

Got mine from a wrecking yard for under $100. Had to remove and install myself. It has wood, fiberglassed into the bottom for attaching to.

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Old 12-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally

It is shocking how much all the converters charge for labor!
I thought the same thing when shopping my Sprinter build out. Van Specialties wanted almost $30k, Sportsmobile about the same. I decided to home build. What I'm finding is this stuff takes A LOT OF TIME to get it right. I'm a little over half way I'd say(build over on Sprinter forum, I'll start a thread here as well).

Next van, well, I'd probably have SMB in Austin do it.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:35 AM   #10
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Re: What have you paid for a fiberglass dome top?

Great replies, thanks everyone. Next year will see our plans pick up pace. If I can't find a used fan with a top, I will likely keep my eyes peeled for tops in the wrecker yards.
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