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Old 05-26-2018, 12:09 AM   #21
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You were basically in my back yard. Could have had a van meet with the three of you and the other locals here. Nice build!
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:51 AM   #22
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Oh... !
Fantastic.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:07 PM   #23
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As this version 2.0 comes to it's conclusion it is bittersweet. It's cool to see my dreams and plans come to fruition, but I'll miss the challenges a project like this brings. One of the appealing components of being a DIY guy is figuring out the engineering of each step of the process. I still need to find an appropriately sized fresh water tank to mount under the couch.

So as I approach the finish line it makes sense to me to move that line further out... Version 2.1 officially began today.

I've been watching the online inventory of the Pick-A-Parts around me. I'm fortunate to have 18 Pick-A-Part yards within 100 miles, and I've watched them all for an extended van high roof. The profile I wanted recently showed up in the San Bernardino yard. My wife and I went by and looked at it this Saturday morning. We brought a few tools but not enough to finish the job. Plus I didn't know how I was going to carry it out with just her. While in the yard I found a small side door popout window to buy.

This morning I went back with two buddies and removed the top from the donor. It has a little damage on the top and has the cutouts for tall back doors. The donor was a wheelchair mobility van. I don't think it will be that difficult to fiberglass in a new rear area to meet my rain gutter. I have some experience with fiberglass on prior projects.

This high top has an inner and outer skin with about an inch in between them. The gap should work pretty well as insulation. I'm guessing there is foam in between the layers.

I'm planning on ordering a MaxxFan motorized vent fan and already have 2) Renogy 100W panels to mount on the new roof. Currently the van has 1) 100W panel.

To trim the interior we'll pick up some grey headliner material hopefully matching the stock headliner. LED strip lighting running front to rear, with storage over the front seats and rear couch.

This will be a major upgrade to the camping experience. In the donor van, I stood upright and had about 2 inches of clearance. We may look to put some side windows in. Haven't decided yet.

Should be fun!
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:57 PM   #24
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You didn't want the rear doors? would be an awesome entrance/exit point
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:37 PM   #25
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Not really. The tall doors have a metal surround that meets up with the fiberglass. To transfer that surround to my van would require metal work and a respray around the upper rear doors. I can’t see any reason to go to that trouble when I don’t need the tall doors.

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post. One of the best parts about the timing of finding this particular top. The salvage had a 40% off sale for this extended weekend. Which means I purchased this top for $37.00. At that price, even if I screw it up royally and have to start over, I’m only out $37.00.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:00 AM   #26
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$37 for a hightop? Screaming deal.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:51 AM   #27
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Wow, that is a screaming deal. I've often thought of how useful to me one of those wheelchair high tops and the tall rear doors would be because I haul tall freight on occasion but I didn't think about all the metalwork to cut and reshape the rain gutter, etc.

Fiberglass work is much easier, I think you made a good choice.

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Old 05-29-2018, 09:05 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
...I've often thought of how useful to me one of those wheelchair high tops and the tall rear doors would be because I haul tall freight on occasion...
You remind me we all buy and use our vans for different reasons. One of the drawbacks of my new interior is it isn't as flexible for hauling stuff. Mainly because I don't want to risk scarring up the laminate and butcher block. Will definitely be using the trailer to pick up plywood in the future.

This high top is an exiting project for me. For the interior the projects ranged from woodwork to plumbing to wiring and even welding. Now we get to play with fiberglass and paint.

Last night I ordered the MaxxFan Deluxe Hooded Fan that can be left open in the rain. It's the ten speed model with thermostat and manual lift. 900 CFM should do a good job as an attic fan. I already have the pop out windows on my rear doors, with screens, and am dreaming of laying there with the fan pulling cool air over us.

I considered their top of the line model with electric lift, but didn't like the reviews where the thermostat closed the vent when it got too cool. That's what I've got blankets for. With this model it will modulate the speed of the fan depending on temp, but the vent will stay open until I close it.

Ironic the fan cost almost 6 times as much as the roof itself. But then, dinner cost more than the roof too! That roof price is going to make me laugh for quite a while.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:36 AM   #29
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killer deal on the high top! i'm jealous!
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:04 AM   #30
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Last night I ordered 6 tubes of SikaFlex 252 adhesive and a Milwaukee 12v caulking gun. Can’t be getting cramps from caulking the length of the van. This top was originally screwed down around the perimeter using an aluminum and vinyl strip to hide the screws. Some of the tops I see on the freeway don’t use those strips, which leads me to believe they are held on by adhesive only. I like the look of no screw strip better. In the VW Vanagon world they use the SikaFlex 252 without any screws. Any concerns? On this install I’ll be able to lay a bead to set the top on, then come back from the inside and make sure there’s a good amount of product tying the roof to the van. Anyone have any experience with this?
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