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Old 08-06-2016, 03:12 PM   #21
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Thanks Mark. Makes sense on all points. I think I can be pretty creative on a penthouse bed.

No one has mentioned what to me is the biggest benefit of a fixed top: no moisture intrusion from the outside. When I had a poptop, rain and dewy mornings left it wet, no matter how I tried to dry it with a towel. That led to mustiness and eventually mold. No bueno.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:55 PM   #22
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When I had a poptop, rain and dewy mornings left it wet, no matter how I tried to dry it with a towel. That led to mustiness and eventually mold. No bueno.
Really? I've never had that problem at all. I don't have a propane heater and I do keep the windows open all night. I will admit I run away from warm humid weather though.

I am glad to see somebody producing tops specific to these type vehicles. I'd like to build a RB suited for sub-0 weather.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:55 AM   #23
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I think the dew and mold issues are specific to the climates we use a vehicles in… wet damp and dank climates are tough to deal with… I had this problem in Oregon 8 months or more a year with my toy hauler if it wasn't left in a climate controlled space moisture an mold were major issues.

Like I've said before think there are + and - to both set ups. The goal with my rig will be to build a sub zero rig for winter ski trips and with the added insulation will bring a cool rig in the summer months.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:45 PM   #24
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I think the dew and mold issues are specific to the climates we use a vehicles in… wet damp and dank climates are tough to deal with… I had this problem in Oregon 8 months or more a year with my toy hauler if it wasn't left in a climate controlled space moisture an mold were major issues.

Like I've said before think there are + and - to both set ups. The goal with my rig will be to build a sub zero rig for winter ski trips and with the added insulation will bring a cool rig in the summer months.
I will admit that canvas can mold up fairly easy. I like camping in (cooler) stormy wet weather but usually am back in a dry zone after a week or more so I've never had any mold issues. Cold is a different issue and when in weather nearing 10* it's unreal how cold the canvas gets. You can feel the cold radiate off it from about 6" away. My heater keeps up at that temp so I don't line the canvas like others do with an insulation barrier. I can imagine how much better a hard top can handle cold. Snow load is another huge factor to think about.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:24 PM   #25
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I will admit that canvas can mold up fairly easy. I like camping in (cooler) stormy wet weather but usually am back in a dry zone after a week or more so I've never had any mold issues. Cold is a different issue and when in weather nearing 10* it's unreal how cold the canvas gets. You can feel the cold radiate off it from about 6" away. My heater keeps up at that temp so I don't line the canvas like others do with an insulation barrier. I can imagine how much better a hard top can handle cold. Snow load is another huge factor to think about.
It's funny when I lived in the coast range of Oregon I had to worry about snow load on my toy hauler when left out… I never worried about my van but it was just a tin top 2wd e350 so really no issues there were plenty of times it would have 3+ feet on the roof.

I never really thought about snow load for SMB with a Penthouse top, but I'm sure heavy wet high sierra snow or coast range snow could pose an issue. But pushing off snow would be pretty easy on such a small rig really. I won't be to concerned with a fix top especially with the added strength of a mixed media top like fiberglass, kevlar and carbon. It will be plenty strong.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:03 PM   #26
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First Post here, so hello everyone! I'm in the market for a fixed high top of at least 24". Are you going to be making these with a chopper gun? I would really love to have one made with some Vectorply quadraxial fiber and Lantor Soric XF6 core. Due your molds have a suitable flange for vacuum bagging? I looks like you have a weight of 150lbs so far, so I'm guessing that you are not using the chopper gun. I'm excited to have another potential source for a quality high top.

Thanks
Mike
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:29 PM   #27
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Welcome Mike,

I have a chopper gun but do not use it for the tops, tops are currently being made by a business partner in RI and I do the carbon/Kevlar lay up hear at my shop in Loveland, I make bicycles and bike parts among other things… this is currently a side venture. Not I deal I know, but this is where we are at right now...

Vectorply C-4QX 9400 is an excellent fabric I have not worked with it, but it an excellent standard modulus carbon with isotropic reinforcement that is great for tooling, panels and thicker composite applications. It also has a low coefficient for thermal expansion (CTE) which can happen with lager panels… they tend to experience large temperature changes. So it would be great for tops.

Lantor Soric XF6 core is great and cheap (unlike Vectorply C-4QX 9400) but my supplier only offers it in 50" widths and right now I am not doing resin infusion but could be an option in the feature.

Both these options would push the price up compared to where things are at right now.

As things progress I'll keep you in the loop.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:22 PM   #28
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I would say maybe try to make a mold for sportsmobile top but jsut for the replacement fiberglass part. I have one that's almost 20 years old and you can see some bowing in the top part I would love to replace just the fiberglass but as we all know SMB want arm and a leg for a new whole top they will not jsut sell you fiberglass part. I think if you could make a mold a lot of people would buy it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:38 AM   #29
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That's a great idea, I didn't realize you couldn't get a replacement top for a SMB and had to go all in so to speak. I'd just need to acquire a top to make a mold and then think about making a few changes to possible improve it...

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I would say maybe try to make a mold for sportsmobile top but jsut for the replacement fiberglass part. I have one that's almost 20 years old and you can see some bowing in the top part I would love to replace just the fiberglass but as we all know SMB want arm and a leg for a new whole top they will not jsut sell you fiberglass part. I think if you could make a mold a lot of people would buy it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:16 PM   #30
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That's a great idea, I didn't realize you couldn't get a replacement top for a SMB and had to go all in so to speak. I'd just need to acquire a top to make a mold and then think about making a few changes to possible improve it...
hmmm could you make a rough mold around top that is already mounted on a van? I think that would be possible and yes I would like to see few changes on the top maybe even make one of out carbon fiber
I wish I could help by my top is already caving in a little bit that's why I asked if maybe you could make some replacement because I know there is a lot of people out there who could go for that deal
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