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Old 10-10-2017, 01:27 PM   #1
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Pop Top Flop or Slop when hitting a bump

So I have my SMB pop top retaining hooks pretty much bottomed out and the top seems tight when down. But when I hit a bump, even on highway, the thing will flop and make a dull banging noise. You can always see the side tracks flexing etc when on the highway.

I did get under it and push with the clasps closed and it does seem like there is some flexing that goes on with the actual top itself. Almost like it could use a couple clasps midway along the sides.

Anyone else experience and figure this issue out?? Have the electric option. Maybe the limit switches need some adjustment to bring the top down a little bit??

I know these things are rattle buckets, but I'd like to keep the big bangs from happening when I can.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
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Subscribing to this thread for sure...
...mine, too, makes all sorts of shifting/clunking around noises, no matter how well the clasps get battened down.

Been considering installing (on the outside of the penthouse) a set of four of the same cinch-latch assemblies that you see at the four corners of a conventional pop-up camping trailer. (That keep it all snug/secure when it's folded down.) I was thinking they could be attached to the vertical outside walls of the penthouse fiberglass cap, positioned at a height to be able to reach down and snatch the rain gutter for latching action.

EDIT / Additional info:

These things:

Camper Latch w/Catch, Metal, White, RV/Camper/Trailer, 1-pk #01163
RV Discount Suppliers Pop Up Tent Camper Latch locking adjustable white

Or alternatively something like a Jeep hood latch.


Just not getting the feeling that the original "three hook" internal SMB-installed latches are enough to really keep the top from moving around. (Especially when driving through rough off-road areas.)

An exterior set of auxiliary latches like this would make popping the top a bit more of a PITA though. (Getting out to un-latch all four....)
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:03 PM   #3
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At first I thought it was the bunk portion as it just floats, but I think it might be a bit more sinister. Need to get my kid out there to watch as I put some upward pressure on the center section to see if it's just pure flex. One would think that the Lift mechanism might help this, but then again, the lift frame floats too.

It get's really annoying when you are ripping down some washboard.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:50 PM   #4
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I regularly drive around with just the front two latched and the rear swinging free......hasn't been much of an issue. The donor van that the roof came from had cracks in the rear corners of the roof hole....so I seldom latch the rear.

You can slide some fuel line/heater hose over the hooks to do two things.....take up a little slack and add some damping.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainBikeRoamer View Post


These things:


Dude: You're scaring me a little..........there's gotta be something a little sexier out there.....
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
Dude: You're scaring me a little..........there's gotta be something a little sexier out there.....
Haha! Come on now, you're an engineer....surely you can see the "timeless form-follows-function beauty" of these elegant pieces of hardware....

Ok, yeah, of course I agree. Not sexy.
But they worked awesome on my parents' 1985 Coleman Pop-up camping trailer.

What's the better answer? This does seem to be a semi-frequent topic over the years here on the forum. The quality with which penthouse roofs drop into place (and stay there without squirming or making noises) seems to vary wildly from van to van. There's a reason a not-insignificant number of people end up having to do paint/rust repairs in the area where the penthouse seats on the steel roof of their van....and its because those tops are constantly moving all over the place, sliding and rubbing/wearing the paint off.

(The rugged latches on the hoods of Jeeps were definitely looking a lot more tasty, but I couldn't picture as easily how to implement them.....whereas the clunky white camping-trailer-style clamps would grab the van's gutter soooo easily.....fast install....probably pretty kickass functional results....?)
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