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Old 05-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #1
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How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

Hey guys, First time poster here. I'm a fan of SMB but being on the east coast and out of the price range We have been trying to figure out our next setup (popup went to a new home).

I have a low roof 1991 ford econoline RB that has a bit of life left in her. Lots of rust and occasional issues, but still gets down the road. We also sometimes like to bring a motorcycle with us inside the van.

The SMB Pop-top seemes ideal, but driving to Indiana for a $5000 install on a 21 year old van just seemes silly.

I have thought about three other options. One being a small tow behind for the motorcycle, two a roof top tent, and three finding a used "super camper" glass top and cutting the roof.

We would like to be able to sleep in the van while on the road when doing "shifts" driving(yes i know the safety implications)

Is there really any other options other than set up the sleeping area in the van and tow a trailer? I figure at least the RTT could be taken to a new van when we finally retire this one.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

Another post on here pointed my toward these guys..

http://www.blazinbelltech.com/furniture.html#

One of there table, or couch to bed units might do the trick as well! sleeping/ sitting, and folds away for cargo.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

One thing for sure, you can't sleep on the road in a RTT!

However could you do a RTT and motorcycle on a small trailer and then just rough it in the van while driving? Might have to mount the MC sideways at the front of the trailer to make room for the RTT. Leave enough floor in the van to crash while driving.

The other option is MC in van, and more of an "adventure trailer" that could come with you to the next van... but seriously, what else are you going to do with the van inside that you don't want to sleep in there?
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

I think the problem was the first bed I made for the van was a big hulking thing made with 2X4's and a twin mattress. It took up so much space and it was heavy when we wanted to remove it. It became an obstacle, seemed everyone had a reason to hate it after a while.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

I think I would set up the van for sleeping/living, even if it's only a foam pad on the floor and then get a small flat bed utility trailer for the bike and extra camping gear. The trailer can also double for hauling trash to the dump, moving furniture, etc. Relatively low investment and good resale value.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

I don't think SMB has any tops that would fit the old body style Ford anymore, so putting a new top on is probably out of the question. Money wise it probably isn't a good idea either. However, on occasion you will find an older SMB top on a van in a wrecking yard. There is/was one for sale recently in southern Cali I believe for about $500. Keep your eye open for one of those. You can also find 2wd 80's era smb's for under $10k too if you like the idea of doing the poptop thing.

Not sure how big of a motorcycle you're talking about, but lots of folks here do the hitchrack thing and it works out pretty sweet.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

Well, if your motorcycle is small enough to fit in the van, it's probably a dirtbike right? Why not do a 3 point hitch (many on here) so you have complete stability and put the bike on the back, then live in the van?
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

Interested to hear from anyone who sleeps on a convertible dinette across the width of the van. Looks like Smb advertises 71.25 in across for "dinette W". I'm 72 in tall, but routinely sleep on a 65 in couch, seems very doable to me, but would like to hear some real world experiences and/or pictures of the dinette made up as a bed.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

I sleep across my rear dinette. I'm 5'10" and the width is marginal. By myself, I can sleep diagonally. When my wife is along, I can't really stretch out and am only comfortable on my side with my knees bent a little. Then penthouse is more comfortable for yhe two of us.

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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How to sleep, which setup(pop top, camper top, rooftop)

We have the same dinette that converts to a bed. I am 5-10 and fit just fine now. Originally used a normal size pillow but switched to a much smaller one and am now quite comfortable stretched across the dinette when alone. When my better half is among we just cuddle up to each other. One of us can lay on their back while he other is on their side.

Here is the dinette folded into a bed



Would be interested in sleeping up top but need to construct a bed first. To PO did not have the penthouse bed.




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