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Old 02-29-2012, 11:20 PM   #11
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

You pretty much nailed the pros and cons on the top. We have a fixed top. It's super convenient for quick stops, it's dry in the rain (and we live on the Oregon coast, so we get a lot of rain, warm in snow/cold weather, and it's secure. It's also very tall, very visible, hot in hot weather, and cuts the gas mileage. I've driven both styles in the wind and it doesn't seem to bother either style much.

Two signficant downsides for me for the hard top:
1. Still figuring out where the kids are going to sleep now that we have 2. (Note that the van is ideal for 1 or 2 people, but 4? Check back with me...)
2. Putting gear on top is a challenge, and I'm 6'8", so if it's a challenge for me... N/A for solar because you probably won't access them much.

If you can handle the appearance, and my two big downsides aren't an issue for you, it sounds like hard top could be a good option for you. Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:17 AM   #12
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

Thanks for the great input on the tops It's very helpful to hear from folks with both styles, and what they like/don't like for real-world use.

Viva
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #13
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

Striping:
I dont have any
However, i have some very custom Desert Pinstriping
I love em :a6:

Tops:
I came directly from a VW Westy pop top
I was sold on a PH
Looked at quite a few, stood in side
played with puting top up and down

Just before i wrote a check for one...
I went to see Angel and her Cruiser
Stepped inside and was sold!!

Yes it is bigger
Yes i lose MPG
however, i lose no speed with my V10 motor

Short version:
For me, mrs. wilson and cooper the butthead dog
the cruiser is perfect

Park, open door, we are camped
Two, 2 week trips over last two Xmas,
one to South Utah and the Snow
last Xmas up the CA coast in the Rain

For us no hassle, top up, down, brushing snow to raise or lower
Plenty of room for wet stuff
And the Elvis Storage over the cab keeps the living area free all the time

My two Satang:
Go get inside a PH, Voyager and Cruiser
THEN decide

bw out
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:10 PM   #14
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

LOVE my "stand up in SMB" with the cruiser top. No one knows I am in there where ever I stop. When I am dead heading to a far away place, I can stop at Dennys and get some sleep. They are always around and always open but I could not pop a top there.

I do not want to stoop over when I am stopped, even along side the road for a snack. This is my second high top van. Since I do not need the advantages of a pop top, although, sometimes they would be nice, I am very happy with my choice. My third van (they say it takes 3 to get it right) will be very much the same.

I got in and out of a lot of campers and camper vans before I bought mine. That was half the fun.

Good Luck! You will find what is right, if not perfect, for you, If not, the next one will be closer

Angel
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

Thanks for the continued input. It's great!

Viva
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #16
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

Viva

For what it's worth I have 75" of standup height in my van. That 75" starts at the steering wheel and runs the entire length of the van. I also have one of the tallest and most aerodynamically challenged van out of all the van's I've seen on this forum.

Feel free to check out my gallery for pictures of the aerodynamic brick.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #17
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

It's too bad I'm not seeing any "low high-tops" in my range, because I only need 65" to stand up straight! Now, I don't always stand up perfectly straight, but I don't think I slouch by 10" either (the height of the PH when lowered, with no bed there).

I'm finding that there are just not that many SMB's of any kind on the east coast where I am currently. There are a few, but very few. Even though I don't mind at all traveling to find the right van - I love road trips - it does make it hard to just get in some and see which top I like. I mean it's one thing to drive 5,000 miles to pick up THE van; but another to drive thousands of miles just to look at one to get a feel for it. Especially with gas at $4.

Not that I'm giving up though
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:19 PM   #18
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarvan
Viva

I also have one of the tallest and most aerodynamically challenged van out of all the van's I've seen on this forum.

ONE of the most :a3:
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:36 PM   #19
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Re: Used SMB shopping: Seeking top-style opinions + stripe i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viva
I have experience removing vinyl names and stripes from boats, but... at least in the photos, [the stripes on older SMB's] often look like they might be painted on and/or clear-coated? They just look so shiny and seamless in photos. Are they ever? Or are they always vinyl graphics?
I'm just following up to answer one of my own questions, in case it might help future readers/searchers.

I can't speak for all SMB graphics, but I can say that some of the 1990's SMB graphics/stripes were painted on, and were not vinyl graphics. I have looked at two SMB's that had a similar style of striping, and of which I have seen the same in photographs of enough other similar-vintage SMB's to be pretty certain they were "official" SMB graphics. They were painted on.

I also noted a post here (came up in search) where an owner bought an SMB with similar stripes, tried to remove them with the type of tools you would use to remove vinyl graphics/stripes, made a mess of it, then took it to a body shop where they told him "well, that's because these stripes are painted on, not vinyl "stickers."

So, just a note to others who might find this topic: Not sure how long it lasted, nor how wide-spread it was (all SMB locations or just one, etc.), but some of the vintage SMB stripes were definitely painted on and not "stickers."

The stripes I've seen that fit this category were typically a horizontal band at about mid-body line, and consisted of two or three "banded" colors making one stripe. On fixed/high-top vans they were also applied to the high top in a separate band or a looped-around-from-the-body-band pattern.

(Too bad as one SMB I really liked (age, layout, etc.) had extensive painted on graphics I really did not like. OTOH, painted is probably the "classier" way to go as compared to vinyl provided that they are in a pattern/color one likes.)
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