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Old 08-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #11
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Sort of on topic:

Saw one of these (Safari Condo out of Canada) in Yosemite earlier this year and thought it was really well done and an interesting solution for some. Top lifts and exposes hard side walls with operable screened windows. Warning: Proceed to their website with EXTREME caution due to envy generating photos. I take no responsibility for furthering our addictions. I will not post the link.... but you know how to get there

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Old 08-16-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Yeah, I've seen a few of those Safari Condos here on the east coast. Very nice, and some cool innovations. Can't buy them in the USA, unfortunately, although I think you can take them a van you own and have them convert it.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:44 AM   #13
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viva
My 2WD SMB always got on underheight, but then it was only around 7'1" or so.

I thought of one more thing. This is dependent on how you camp, etc. (as it all is, really). But for me the SMB is my only vehicle when camping. So any trip to town or to go explore means taking the top down. That in and of itself is not bad at all (just pull it down and do three latches). However, there is invariably stuff up there (bedding, gear, etc.) Also windows might be open (unzipped), curtains down, etc. So that all has to be zipped up, and then everything taken down from the bed, before getting underway. Then all set up again when you get back.

Not that it is a huge big deal, but it can be a pain when it happens repeatedly, or when you want to get going in a hurry.

I'm trying to think of the various pros and cons to the pop top. Many of the pros are pretty obvious - the cool factor, the view and breeze, the small form factor when down. Some of the things that can be a little bit aggravating (again depending on use) are not as obvious until you have one (and presuming you camp like I do, which you may not).
Yeah it's an issue for sure. When I have a friend who has a tent set up and I have to break camp when they don't, that it is a disadvantage. I do stow my sleeping bag and blanket on the PH bed and drop the top right down on top of it. There is room for that on most builds. I do have to fold it up each time but it does make for less storage in the end.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:29 AM   #14
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

We have a penthouse but have never stealth camped so that has never been a factor. Yes, it can be noisy up there in some campgrounds but earplugs easily solve that issue. But the best reason for having a penthouse is being able to camp with the shades up and watch the sun come up in the morning while laying in bed!
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:30 AM   #15
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
Yeah, I've seen a few of those Safari Condos here on the east coast. Very nice, and some cool innovations. Can't buy them in the USA, unfortunately, although I think you can take them a van you own and have them convert it.
Whut? They don't do Fords? Oh well, I guess they're actually planning for the future.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:01 PM   #16
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Pretty well covered above, but I will add that my voyager top is very high off the ground when it comes to hauling kayaks on top, and at 6'8" tall, I have a head start. Plus a pop top would be nice for the extra sleeping space. But the fixed top sure is nice in rain and snow, and for storage.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:34 AM   #17
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

I found pictures of the Fiat Ducato-based van with high roof and also penthouse, and it made me wonder if Sportsmobile ever leaves part of the van's roof under the bed intact on Fords and Chevys. I'm guessing not but I'm curious if it's been done before. And if so what would be advantages other than added structural integrity and not having to lift and lower bed.

Also, on low roof Sprinters, where standing height under bed may be just enough for shorter owners, would there be an advantage to leave part of the roof, or a permanent platform structure, under the bed?
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:38 AM   #18
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Other than a plus in cold weather, a hard top has no moving parts to fail, no canvas to worry about holes or rips, and a fan/vent is easier to install.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:02 PM   #19
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Are you talking about this one?? If not, this one seems like a good deal and looks super clean.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/4614597035.html

You could build a sleeping platform across the rear captains for him to sleep on as well. Some people do build sleeping platforms for their small children that goes across the front seats.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:13 PM   #20
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Yes I am, I called and left voice mail as well as text stating I wanted to secure that unit. Well no response. I checked out the business through the department of revenue and there was no listing. It kind of smells fishy right now....
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