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Old 12-23-2010, 04:26 PM   #11
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

For some extra information check out badgertrek.com

They showed some problems with their top.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:46 AM   #12
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

Thanks! They had a lot of great information and pictures.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

This thread is very helpful. I'm looking at a van with a penthouse top and will be sure to check these bolts. Has anyone ever heard of one of these tops collapsing on a sleeping human. I can't imagine it happening as Sportsmobile would be paying a lot to settle the lawsuit. Is the only backup in case these bolts fail while the top is up the set up badgertrek came up with?
Thanks, L.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:57 AM   #14
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

No one has posted any info. but I would guess the bolt failures are mainly on auto. penthouse tops where the people also store 200-400 pounds on the roof. Probably lots of stress on the X supports even though the electric motor has enough power to raise the top.

Ours is manual. We do use 4 corner braces when the top is up. They raise the roof another 1/2 inch to an inch. Our awning is attached to the roof and of course our bed with all bedding hands from the roof. Without the corner braces the roof just stays up. Maybe 20 more pounds and it would tend to come down.
Awing when not deployed adds 30 lbs to the roof and the bed with all bedding maybe 80 pounds. So our manual top mechanism has to support the penthouse itself plus another 100-110 lbs. Corner braces make it all a non issue.

Let me know if any of you with manual tops have snapped bolts. If so I better carry a field fix kit with me.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:48 AM   #15
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

Len, Thanks for the info. I'm a total visual person. Do you have any pics of your four corner brace set up in your gallery?

Thanks, L
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:00 PM   #16
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

Here are the ones we have:



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Old 02-10-2011, 08:16 PM   #17
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

Ours are free standing. I used 3/4" electrical conduit, plastic end caps from hardware store. Because they fit snug into the corners I put 2"x2" wood blocks under the bottom of the poles so that they do not mark the SMB installed cloth covering.

My pics:

Page 5 bottom row 2nd pic shows that front penthouse supports.
Page 8 top row 4th pic shows the rr penthouse supports and the net bag we attach.

When getting ready to lower the top just pull them out and lay each under the nearest window.

We always install them prior to hanging the bed from the penthouse roof.
On take down we always remove them after setting the bed down onto the penthouse side rails.

Cost: $3-$4 total
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:29 PM   #18
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

Because I have solar and a rack up top, I worry when it snows...makes it hard to sleep thinking something might go wrong. So I made my supports from 1" aluminum tubing and added those rubber caps that go on the end of chairs and cains. Another more expensive solution is the devices that mechanics use to keep the hoods on cars up. They are adjustable.

I inspect the bolts but always have that worry in the back of my mind.

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Old 03-19-2011, 04:31 AM   #19
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvrr
Here are the ones we have:
Yvrr, did you install those or did Sportsmobile? If Sportsmobile did it did they come standard with the top?
L
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:42 AM   #20
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Re: Penthouse support bolt broke, van roof collapsed...

SMB supplied them when we had our manual penthouse converted to an electric penthouse. I installed them when I got home. I thought they were standard equipment with the electric penthouses but had to ask for them when they got done with the conversion so I'm not sure about that...
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