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Old 08-22-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Double deck arrangement - high roof and penthouse?

The high roof versus penthouse thread reminded me of the European Ducato-based (ProMaster) van that seems to combine a mid-roof Ducato (our high-roof ProMaster) with a tilting pop-up roof to accommodate an upper permanent bed.

I know SMB said they only plan to use the PH pop-up roof with the low-roof ProMaster van, but I'm interested to hear opinions on why it should be limited to low roof only. It may not be possible to lift a standard SMB PH roof from one end only, but if it tilted with either front or rear hinges, why not? Didn't VW Westfalias have a tilting roof? Obviously the space above would be tight but it could either allow two full beds in a van, or else open up the layout below for much more room and storage. Thoughts?
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:05 PM   #2
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Re: Double deck arrangement - high roof and penthouse?

Pleasure-way made a front hinge pop top for their Ford based Traverse, another lost model to the econoline leaving. The Penthouse appears to be the current calling card for SMB so I'd expect someone else to do this if there was interest. I personally dig the full height throughout the entire van. IMO, we're more likely to see a home builder bolt an AutoHome Columbus, or the like, to the top and cut an access hole.

-John
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: Double deck arrangement - high roof and penthouse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnandMandi
....cut...... IMO, we're more likely to see a home builder bolt an AutoHome Columbus, or the like, to the top and cut an access hole.

-John
John, isn't that essentially what was done to the Ducato pictured above except on permanent basis? Or are you implying that it would be better if removable instead of permanent?

Access to a temporary add-on unit through a moon or sun roof installed in van would give much flexibility -- provided temporary seal around opening didn't leak.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: Double deck arrangement - high roof and penthouse?

I was thinking permanent but temporary would be pretty cool. Preventing leaks would be the hardship but maybe a boot attached to the RTT that would compress around a sun roof? Having a sun roof in a camper van would be awesome as well foe those times the extra top isn't needed.

I do wonder about the sail effect of making those vans taller. It was as issue with the older Sprinters for sure. I haven't researched the new offerings from the US automakers to see what real life experiences are.

-John
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: Double deck arrangement - high roof and penthouse?

The FWD high-roof ProMaster with a SMB penthouse should still be no taller than a high roof Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit. Anything that tall isn't ideal but I wouldn't personally worry too much about the height other that it limits overhead clearance.

One way to make a temporary unit nearly leakproof would be to install a large hatch on van's roof -- similar to those on buses. They have a lip turned up that would reduce chance of rain leaking into van. While driving the hatch could be left closed so wind pressure couldn't drive rain into overhead bunk.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:22 PM   #6
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Re: Double deck arrangement - high roof and penthouse?

If it could handle the weight, wouldn't a hinged popup be a great way to angle pv panels toward the sun?
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