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Old 08-16-2018, 10:04 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 80
Anyone have an electric penthouse ?

Thinking seriously about going this route but would like to see a picture or video of the mechanism. We already have the penthouse but just want to convert it to electric. Google and Sportsmobile website were a bust. Thanks in advance for any postings of your electric penthouse and your thoughts on it. Not really interested in going the spring tensioning route.

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Old 09-14-2018, 10:44 AM   #2
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Location: PNW or maybe Baja Sur
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If you search the forum you will find a number of is a very different installation in terms of the crossbars being driven from two linear actuators in the back of the roof and a center small support extending to the pivot tying the front and back xbars. I have posted pics, and there are others.

Pac NW and warmer places
1995 E250 EB 5.8 2WD on to a new owner
2006 E350 EB Elect Top 2WD
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 33
I have an electrical penthouse and have been living full time in my van for three years. Move around quite a bit, so have a lot of experience with the electrical top. Please let me know what specifically you would like to see. I can send pictures or video.

Here is a YouTube video of the van tour With that said, it will probably not give you the specific angle or function you want to see. PM me if I can provide further assistance.

Van Tour

If not search Why I Moved into a Van (with van tour) Channel:
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:00 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 80
Thanks Feralgypsy. Cool video. Love the fingerboard in the penthouse! I mostly just want to see the mechanism, where it's located, and how it works. I'll keep poking around.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:29 PM   #5
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Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,097
If you are familiar with the std SMB penthouse setup.....the electrified version replaces the rear "helper" compression springs with Linak linear actuators.....and adds some small dampers (they appear to be air dampers-dashpots.....haven't inspected these close up) near the crossbar pivots.

Here's what the actuators look like:

..and here is a few shots of them installed in member Bmerritt's van when he was doing his top transplant/install:

The SMB actuators are custom for SMB, and are 12V units with about 1100lbf (I think) of force each. Linak sells an electronic controller that synchronizes the lift for precision applications but that precision is not needed for a PH top...the actuators have synchronization switches or encoders (can't remember-had a discussion with Linak tech support last year) for non-precision applications.
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:57 PM   #6
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Location: Boulder
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Here are some pics in progress the way they do it on Indiana. Not my rig.

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