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Old 11-18-2018, 05:43 PM   #11
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Looks really nice. From a family perspective, the big issue I see is the three rear seats being mounted sideways. This is a huge no-no for traveling with kids, especially those in a car seat (itís illegal for car seats I believe). Also, pretty miserable even for adults to drive for any period of time sideways like that. Do you have an option for seats oriented the standard front-back manner?
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
I looked through some of your tech ("News") and like what you did to design and make the pop top.

1) is there enough structure to support a Yakima/Thule rail system?
2) have you determined a preferred solar panel mounting mechanism?
3) I love that you install a frame around the cutout
4) is the pop top raised and lowered manually, or is it powered?
5) if powered, what do you use to lift/lower the top, and where is that located?
6) love that you made custom molded fresh and grey water tanks!

Will be interested to see more of your conversions, especially more photos of completed vans.
Disclaimer: I am not in the market, just curious.
Herb
1) Depending on options (Solar, Rooftop A/C), our popup top can lift 150-350lbs of cargo (maybe more as we make improvements). We include a two bar rack in our base model, but you could omit that and install any rack system capable of being mounted on a flat surface.
2) We integrated solar panel mounting into our roof rack. Check out the photos at https://www.modvans.com/cv1/floorplan-items/solarPanel. We use a 300 watt panel that is tough to purchase except directly from an electrical distributor (mostly due to shipping issues).
3) Thanks! Very strong!
4/5) It is powered (only) and controlled via a rocker switch. We lift and lower the popup top with 2 linear actuators - you can see them at the front of the lift mechanism on photos with the popup roof up. Very simple. Very strong.
6) Thanks! These are expensive but custom tanks were the only way to maximize weird spaces.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
Looks really nice. From a family perspective, the big issue I see is the three rear seats being mounted sideways. This is a huge no-no for traveling with kids, especially those in a car seat (itís illegal for car seats I believe). Also, pretty miserable even for adults to drive for any period of time sideways like that. Do you have an option for seats oriented the standard front-back manner?
Thanks! Yep, been there, done that and so the forward facing mounting position for the 2nd row is included in our base model. You can see a photo of it at https://www.modvans.com/cv1/floorpla.../passengerSeat and a video of it at (jump to 3:20). We also recently added options for 3rd row seating with the driver side storage cabinet removed. We don't have any photos of the 3rd row options yet.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:27 AM   #14
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Impressive PJ! I really like your pop top shape and design. I noticed the durable flex conduit for pop top wiring, a definite improvement from previous pop tops.

@BrianW, check out the video and you'll see how the seats are swappable from sideways to forward facing 'transport mode'. Pretty cool.

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Old 11-19-2018, 08:39 AM   #15
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Hey, welcome! Nice design and execution for sure.
There might be several limiting factors I see for any of your builds being used outside of the California market place, or being used anywhere other than in moderate climates. Since you mount your tanks, is it both fresh and grey? underneath the van, how do you winterize? Can you still have access to use them in winter or cold/freezing climates, option for heated/insulated tanks? Iíd imagine thereís some exposed water lines. Do you put in any insulation in the walls? Pop top? Sorry if any of these things are addressed on the website, took a quick look, didnít see it. Thanks
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:50 AM   #16
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Impressive PJ! I really like your pop top shape and design. I noticed the durable flex conduit for pop top wiring, a definite improvement from previous pop tops.

@BrianW, check out the video and you'll see how the seats are swappable from sideways to forward facing 'transport mode'. Pretty cool.

Thanks! It might be hard to see in the photos, but in normal lighting, especially the dark colored popup top really blends in with the Transit lines. I've driven right by one without realizing it was ours and that was the look we were going for.

Good catch on the "non-metallic direct burial conduit" for the popup top wiring. We are required by the RVIA to use it for any wiring that goes under the van, and the color grey is our jam, so it was a natural choice. It is pretty stiff, which is good for keeping it up and out of the way when the top is down, but it means you have to make sure both ends are well anchored. For that, we CNC custom brackets that are epoxied into the popup top (upper) and bolted into the cutout frame (lower).
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:03 AM   #17
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Hey, welcome! Nice design and execution for sure.
There might be several limiting factors I see for any of your builds being used outside of the California market place, or being used anywhere other than in moderate climates. Since you mount your tanks, is it both fresh and grey? underneath the van, how do you winterize? Can you still have access to use them in winter or cold/freezing climates, option for heated/insulated tanks? Iíd imagine thereís some exposed water lines. Do you put in any insulation in the walls? Pop top? Sorry if any of these things are addressed on the website, took a quick look, didnít see it. Thanks
Thanks! We do insulate. One of our personal use scenarios is camping at the base of a mountain in the middle of snowstorm so we can be there the next morning to ski or snowboard. You can read about some testing we've done at https://www.modvans.com/cv1/floorplan-items/heaterVent. Since that test we doubled the furnace BTUs, so now you have a choice - you can take along extra insulation (for windows and popup top) or you can just crank up the heat and blast the cold away. I'm not sure what the lower limit is yet without insulation, but we have one customer that forgot their blankets and said they were fine camping in the 30s.

Our fresh water tank is mounted inside so it doesn't freeze. The grey water tank is mounted outside, but the sink drains into the top and it has super thick walls, so it should be OK to freeze (though you will have to defrost it to drain it). To camp at below freezing temps with hot water, you will have to leave the hot water heater on. It is small and efficient and designed to be left on, so that should be OK. We do have some PEX running under the van, but it is all run inside duct work that can have warm air flowing through it. So basically, you'll have to leave the furnace running and make sure it doesn't run out of propane if you want to use the water system below freezing. Our propane tank is 10 gallons, so you should be able to go for a while.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #18
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Looks like some serious competition for SMB and other Transit builders now! Nicely designed setup. Good luck! Just be careful with the customer experience, because we've seen that be a challenge with other vendors on the Forum who had a great product but got ahead of themselves with workload.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:26 AM   #19
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Looks like some serious competition for SMB and other Transit builders now! Nicely designed setup. Good luck! Just be careful with the customer experience, because we've seen that be a challenge with other vendors on the Forum who had a great product but got ahead of themselves with workload.
This is our biggest challenge right now and why: A) We are running an investment campaign to help us add production capacity and B) We went with a modular, standardized floorplan. Building a CV1 is a ton of work! I don't want to even think about how much more work it would be if we were building a unique floorplan for each customer.
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:19 PM   #20
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Glad to see you on here! More important, I'm glad to see the detail and updates being posted.

Can your top be installed on a jumbo (high roof extended) van?

Do you have any plans to sell components (like cabinets etc) direct, for customers to self-install?
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