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Old 10-20-2021, 02:55 PM   #1
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AmbuLand V.2 aluminum poptop

Hi all

It's been a while and I really need to create a proper build thread for my new ambo but thought I'd share my current project...

Poptop V.2

Some might recall my 1st poptop on my previous ambo; AmbuLand (1st pic).

It was simply a fiberglass RTT that I had cut the floor to create a pass-through. Worked well enough, much cheaper than other options (CCV...). One thing that I didn't like with that design was closing it back to travel mode. Not as easy as, let's say, a Westy. Also the bed platform was made of 3/4" plywood (3 pieces) and was a little heavy and awkward.

Now that I'm building another ambo it is time to get the 2nd bedroom going!

This time I'm building from scratch! Clamshell type, all aluminum & fully insulated. Total cost will be similar to my 1st one but quite a lot more involved.

Outside box is 108" long by 62" wide. Habitable dimension will be 96" x 52"

1st was to bend and shear two 8x4 aluminum sheets (6061, 1/8"), cut some ends and get welding.

I made 2 frames, 1" x 4".

The lower frame will be welded inside the giant hole in the roof and will act as reinforcement for the box structure. It will expend 2" above the roof, stop water ingress and the canvass will attach on the outside.

The upper frame is welded to the poptop part and again acts as reinforcement plus mount for the canvass. Inside the frame I welded side to side U channels and glued in some 3/4" plywood. It will be the thermal barrier for the inner ceiling.

Some pictures to better explain and last picture to show why a poptop was likely a better idea... lol

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Old 10-20-2021, 03:24 PM   #2
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Almost forgot to post a few pictures of the actual van!

This one has the longer wheelbase (158"?) is about 10" longer and 6" wider than my old one. I don't really notice it as it has less overhang than V.1

I'm almost done on the interior but will put more details on the proper build page...Click image for larger version

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Old 10-20-2021, 03:26 PM   #3
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I didn't realize that your ambo was green. Looks sharp. [EDIT: this is in response to the last picture in your first post. I hadn't seen your second post when I initially wrote this post]

Seriously though, I'll be following this build.


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Old 10-20-2021, 03:27 PM   #4
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How far above the ground are your awnings? I like that idea, but deploying them might be a challenge for me at 5'7"


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Old 10-21-2021, 02:22 PM   #5
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Looking great so far.
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
I didn't realize that your ambo was green. Looks sharp. [EDIT: this is in response to the last picture in your first post. I hadn't seen your second post when I initially wrote this post]

Seriously though, I'll be following this build.


Herb
Thx Herb

Painting it green was probably the 1st thing I did on this ambo!

On my 1st one I really wanted to paint it but I was way too far into my build to make it a reality. With all the adds on (awnings, windows, racks...) it would have been a royal pain!

So I knew not to delay with this one.
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
How far above the ground are your awnings? I like that idea, but deploying them might be a challenge for me at 5'7"


Herb
I'm an inch shorter than you and I manage, lol.

Opening it is not a big deal but putting it back is a bit more challenging. Nothing a foldable step can't fix though.

I might mount a small folding step between the rear tire and side door just for that purpose but so far it hasn't been an issue. I really like this awning, so much easier than an ARB so I don't mind the small inconvenience...

The back awning is electric

Cheers
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Looking great so far.
Thanks bro! Hopefully you'll get to see it in person soon! Airshow?
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:50 PM   #9
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Got a bit more done these last few days.

This thing won't be light, I'm guessing close to 200lbs plus another 100lbs of solar or so.

That's why I'll be using electric actuators to raise and lower it.

I insulated the outer part of the upper frame to minimize as much as possible condensation. I used 1" closed cell foam boards. Looking back I should have used 2" closed cell foam boards all over instead of the spray foam, would have been simpler and cheaper!

The canvass is all ready, I just bought one for a VW Westy and built around it as I'm not much of a seamster, lol.

On one of the picture it shows how I'll mount the canvass on the upper and lower frames. A thin aluminum strip will hold it in place.

Next I need to sand/rough up the surface and paint it (battleship gray) and pre-drill the stainless piano hinge. Then cut a giant hole in my roof!!!

Cheers
David

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Old 10-21-2021, 08:56 PM   #10
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Looking good.
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