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Old 01-08-2011, 09:16 PM   #31
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Re: new van build

She's pretty big

Van sits on 33's and the 4x4 conversion adds 3 or 4 inches

Tundra sits on 34's with a 4 inch lift

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Old 01-09-2011, 07:02 PM   #32
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Re: new van build

I see the top latches are external. To me, the internal latches on an SMB are one of the better features. Our old popup pickup camper had external latches. Hated to get out in the rain to unlock the top so it could be raised. Of course I also hated to get out in the rain to get into the camper through the back door.

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Old 01-09-2011, 09:21 PM   #33
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Re: new van build

I opted for external latches. It creates a better seal
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:49 AM   #34
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Re: new van build

Is internal latching the standard setup?

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Old 01-10-2011, 12:28 PM   #35
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Re: new van build

i'll let Derek give an official answer but from my understanding it depends on your build. Your bed design may prevent internal latches. If the van isn't going to see to much off road use you can probably get away with NO latches because the actuators pull the top down tight.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:22 PM   #36
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Re: new van build

I wouldn't want to test that on the freeway...
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:10 PM   #37
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Re: new van build

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
I wouldn't want to test that on the freeway...

instant convertible.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #38
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Re: new van build

Quote:
Originally Posted by sledmods
i'll let Derek give an official answer but from my understanding it depends on your build. Your bed design may prevent internal latches. If the van isn't going to see to much off road use you can probably get away with NO latches because the actuators pull the top down tight.
Oh, you're right. I remember now that all his tops are electrically raised/lowered. If he is using a standard screw lift, it can't be opened unless the motor does it.

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Old 01-11-2011, 12:57 PM   #39
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Re: new van build

You can chose between interior or exterior latches, exterior are simpler, cleaner and hold better, hands down.
I ran my van with no latches and it worked fine on the road but after long harsh trail trips I noticed some
rubbing occuring where the body and top meet so I cured that with latches and a different seal design like
the one on sledmods van. You can also do an interior latch like a smb but it is more complicated and not as
appealing to look at. All of my tops go up and down using an electric motor for several reasons but the main
ones are, if you load down your top or put a roof rack on it you do not have to unload it to pop the top,
If it snows while you are sleeping you do not have to worry about getting smashed in your bed while sleeping.
I have had 5 adults standing on my while it was in the up position that is how strong they are when they are up.
Smb has a patent on there spring loaded scissor design and even though it is about to run out I do not feel it is a stout enough design for me to sell.
Since the tops are operated using a key fob you can walk around the van while you lower or raise it to be sure nothing is getting pinched during the process.
I get asked what if a motor fails, first I have not had one fail yet, even though I know it is a matter of time. if
one does fail you can remove 1 bolt and lower and raise it by physical strength. I do not recommend this however
you will never get stuck in a camping spot with your top up. Also I cannot imagine a actuator failing when it is lowering a top all of the stress occurs during the first 5 inches of the lift, so chances are if it failed it would still lower. I do not know this for sure it is just speculation I will find out when one actually fails.
Derek
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:20 PM   #40
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Re: new van build

Can you add your lift system to the SMB tops? I have been wanting to change mine from manual to electric. If you can convert them about how much would it cost?
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