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Old 01-05-2014, 05:27 PM   #1
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So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

This is just a question, don't slam me before reading. I know about SMB's warranty etc. but I have an older SMB with a bunch of holes in the top from a defunct roof rack already. The top needs patching and painting and I just so happen to have a roof air unit to spare. They aren't that heavy (about 90 lbs), and if you read my previous CCV build, I built a support and put one in that pop top with no problem. That top is NOT as beefy as the SMB one. Is the only other issue the ridges in the PH that I would have to build around? I'm just about tempted to try this, simply because I already have a roof air unit to use.

Someone enlighten me.

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Old 01-05-2014, 05:44 PM   #2
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

No personal experience, but I would be careful about keeping somewhat centered on the PH top so it doesn't create weight imbalance issues front to back as you raise or lower the top.

BTW, does your top have the ribs or is it flat.


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Old 01-05-2014, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
No personal experience, but I would be careful about keeping somewhat centered on the PH top so it doesn't create weight imbalance issues front to back as you raise or lower the top.

BTW, does your top have the ribs or is it flat.


Herb
It has ribs. It shouldn't be a problem to build around that. It is done on plenty of van roofs to add vents or roof air conditioners. The hole for a roof air is just your typical 14"x14" roof vent hole, so it seems to me that worse case if the roof air didn't work out (weight or balance wise) that you could just put a roof vent there, which is not a bad thing to have either.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

I just picked up my van after having a PH installed at SMB-T. I learned that their mould is different from SMB-W, which uses one w ribs, like the metal roof. They also don't build-in as much internal support as SMB-T which puts 1x4's lengthwise about 3" apart. These are inside the fiberglass. I was told I could put the MaxxFan I want up there wo adding addl lumber supports. However, I'll still frame the opening w some 1x2's just to make me feel better.

What SMB-T did caution me vigorously was not to put >200 lbs up there. I bought the electronic lift; so, spring adjustments are not necessary. The actuators and all parts are probably capable of 3x200; but the weak point is the tubing. It just won't take more.

The only weight I'm attaching directly to the top of the PH is the 14-lb MaxxFan and a solar junction box. The rack I'm having made will be attached by "legs" to the canopy sides. It and its contents will still count to the 200-lb limit, but their weight won't be over the center.

I'm sure you can find a way to do what you want, but after you add the necessary DIY wood supports, you'll be over 100 lbs. I can see why SMB-W doesn't want an A/C up there.

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Old 01-06-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

I think there are three (maybe more?) penthouse top designs on SMB's. I would say they main concern would be weight and the top dishing. You could do it but would need to add lots of stiffening to get the load transferred to the sides of the top.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

Oughta be just fine sitting still, but about 3 hours of badass washboards are gonna bring...

So why DID I put a roof air in a P/H top?
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:30 AM   #7
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

My main concerns would be:

- Can you lift the top with the load up there?

- Will the top stay up if additional load (snow, tree branch, etc) was there?

- Will the top support tubes support the weight without bending?

Even adding a 30# solar panel had a major impact on raising/lowering our top. I'm not sure you can adjust the springs enough for 100#.

Test it by putting some weight up there and see if you can make it work. Maybe 100# of sandbags. And then some more to simulate heavy, wet snow. A couple years ago in Yosemite we had over 100# of snow on the top. Fortunately, we had left the top down because of the chance of snow, so it didn't collapse on us, but it took an hour to get all that weight off the top.

Good luck,

Mike
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

Thanks guys, I would definitely mock up the weight first, and I'm planning to tighten my springs anyway.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

I've seen some huge racks on EB pop tops, with cargo boxes and gear to boot. I know those things must be heavy!
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:10 AM   #10
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Re: So why can I not put a roof air in a P/H top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
I've seen some huge racks on EB pop tops, with cargo boxes and gear to boot. I know those things must be heavy!
I'll bet most of them have electric lifts, and maybe doubled support tubes for strength.

Mike
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