Andys Pop-top

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
I though you may like these photos in this photo section as well. The 10,000 hour pop-top project is still "under construction". Working on wiring and interior. It sleeps 5 and has full dining room and kitchen with sink/running water, built-in microwave, 2 burner stove, 3-way fridge and propane central heating. These early photos do not show the installed monster sized rear side windows. One side has the awning style and the other side the slider style. Rear door windows are screened sliders as well. Doktor A

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sikwan

06 T1N Can
Thanks for sharing DokAndy!

The cover looks like it's a transplant from a VW Vanagon camper van. Is it true? How does the material perforum during a downpour?
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
I did not want to mold an entire roof from scratch. I started with the vanagon fiberglass top and modified its length and added a front bulkhead (vanagon pop roofs are open at the front and close against a luggage carrier). The roof raising mechanism was extensively modified and the Sprinter received an inner and outer superstructure to reinforce the roof and it's new opening. A inner rear superstructure was also added to allow for a secure mounting surface for the rear scissor hinges and a raised steel mounting perimeter was fabricated to allow mounting of an unmodified, new, replacement vanagon tent(now available with generous zippered front and side windows). 10,000 hours is of course a stretch of the facts, but not much of one. Doktor A
 

Llarry

Llamasine driver
I want to know more about the pushout on the left rear as shown in this photo, Andy. Is that the basement den or something?

Incredible work and I am still amazed that you can sell these conversions for only 3K...! :bow::bounce:
 

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abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Larry, I thought you would be more interested in the built-in basketball court. And yes, price is still $2999.99 AND your first and second born. First and second born humans, that is. NOT llamas. Doktor A
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Thanks for sharing DokAndy!

How does the material perform during a downpour?
The tents are available in a variety of materials-this one happens to be Sunbrella. The various materials don't allow water leakage under the heaviest of downpours (but still breathe)-as long as you remember to close the sunroof and screen cover zippers. Doktor A
 

worksofman

where's my hovercraft?
Beautiful to see your pop-top. Drove a VW Westy for a long time; if someone hasn't really experienced the good side of the pop-tops, they might not get it. Of course, being an old VW, there were a few issues, heat, power, friends deciding electrical fires weren't an accepted part of the journey, gas-fed auxillary heaters dropping little balls of fire as I drove down the road....

I'd been dreaming of doing what you've done to your Sprinter, and then saw yours (thanks, Google.). I should be picking up my used Sprinter next week, a 2004 140' 2500. But... I needed to go with the higher roof, as this will be a rolling studio for me at times, and it gets really old crouching.

Here's the big question... would it be insane to put a pop-top with the higher roof? I realize I may need to add extra support, but before I follow along this mental path too much, I guess I need to figure out if it's a pipedream or a possibility. Seems you, or others out there, might have a sense of it. And I'm sure there will be opinions... which is great.

Thought this was an interesting/modifyable option: http://www.loftyshelters.com/IndexFrame.htm
 
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BaywoodBill

pre-Yuppiedom
And the reason for a poptop on a taller van is for another bed? :hmmm:

Maybe put up a tent outside, since you can already stand up inside.
 

worksofman

where's my hovercraft?
And the reason for a poptop on a taller van is for another bed? :hmmm:

Maybe put up a tent outside, since you can already stand up inside.
Really, there's a couple of reasons.

What I do: I drive around the country quite a bit, selling my metalwork/jewelry at art shows.

The sprinter goal: Hopefully I'll be converting a section of the sprinter into a usable camper. I'd like to have a bit of space for food storage and prep, small fridge, running water, possibility of a shower if I can squeeze some sort of fold away solution in there (yep, I did see the video in the forums)

What has to come first:
Another section will be a work bench area, where I can work while on the road. Nothing too major - 4' bench and some upper storage. Some of it will likely fold-away.

And, yet another section is storage for my display cases, packaging, tent (not camping tent, big display tent, 10x10') and misc. business/travel/art show necessities.

So - sure, a fold away bed inside is fine, and even preferable when I'm sleeping in the middle of a city somewhere, downtown. But - if I'm in-between, and the van is loaded - not always room. And, occasionally, I end up in a really beautiful place where it's wonderful to put the top up, camping at a show in some wonderful park.

I've made it a tight fit due to it being a 140", but I'm in a lot of cities. I've been doing this in a 16' box truck. I want easy parking, to make it all a bit more pleasant.

last but not least - the more comfy I make it, and the more fun it is to be in, with plenty of sleeping room, the more likely my wife is to wander a bit with me.
 

hkpierce

'02 140 Hi BlueBlk Pass
YOu might want to look at some of the suppliers and ideas at YahooSprinterVan's DIY camper section.
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
And the reason for a poptop on a taller van is for another bed? :hmmm:
Maybe put up a tent outside, since you can already stand up inside.
Being able to go to bed at a moments notice(10 seconds, actually)-when really, really tired after a long days drive-without having to stow cargo blocking the downstairs sleeping area or pitching an extra tent outside, is priceless. Fresh air, sunshine and all that comes with a roof top penthouse is icing on the cake. Doktor A
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Beautiful to see your pop-top.
I'd been dreaming of doing what you've done to your Sprinter, and then saw yours (thanks, Google.). I should be picking up my used Sprinter next week, a 2004 140' 2500. But... I needed to go with the higher roof, as this will be a rolling studio for me at times, and it gets really old crouching.

Here's the big question... would it be insane to put a pop-top with the higher roof? I realize I may need to add extra support, but before I follow along this mental path too much, I guess I need to figure out if it's a pipedream or a possibility. Seems you, or others out there, might have a sense of it. And I'm sure there will be opinions... which is great.

Thought this was an interesting/modifyable option: http://www.loftyshelters.com/IndexFrame.htm
Thanks for your comments. Now, regarding a pop-top on a high roof-the biggest engineering obstacle is the roof load rating. 300lbs for the high roof. The low roof at 600 lbs rating makes this achievable. It will probably be too expensive and involve too much weight in the wrong location to make this project viable. Doktor A
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
Beautiful to see your pop-top. Drove a VW Westy for a long time; if someone hasn't really experienced the good side of the pop-tops, they might not get it.

Thought this was an interesting/modifyable option: http://www.loftyshelters.com/IndexFrame.htm
Sorry-I didn't address the link you provided. The lofty shelter looks like it would meet weight limits of the high top-especially if the 2 occupants are petite. The question remains is there a ladder long enough? DoktorA
 

BaywoodBill

pre-Yuppiedom
Hi Andy and worksofman,
Thanks for your explanations of the value of a poptop.
 

worksofman

where's my hovercraft?
Thanks for the thought, Doktor A. The loftyshelters are really pretty light - 150lbs or so. Doesn't seem like it would take a major amount of reinforcement... I've got to get the rest started first, anyway. I'll bring it back up when it's time, and keep things in mind as I plan the "1st floor". Also - didn't mean to hijack your thread. I was so excited about what you've done, I jumped in.

Hi Andy and worksofman,
Thanks for your explanations of the value of a poptop.
On a real primitive level, it's almost simple as this... ever have a treehouse? Now, make it portable, and move it to the best places you can. And, as DockorA says, if the van is full, and you need a quick bit of shut-eye, it's still always right there. Nothing like it.

Again, great work DoktorA. I'm in Pittsburgh a lot for shows - I'll buy you a cup of coffee sometime if you're around.
 

abittenbinder

Doktor A (864-623-9110)
didn't mean to hijack your thread. I was so excited about what you've done, I jumped in.

I'm in Pittsburgh a lot for shows - I'll buy you a cup of coffee sometime if you're around.
Adding great info to a thread is certainly not hijacking.:thumbup:(First time I've used one of these little faces) Do look me up if you're visiting the Burg. Have enjoyed meeting quite a few out of (and in) town Sprinter owners. Everyone is always welcome. Doktor A
 

BaywoodBill

pre-Yuppiedom
Can a pop top conversion be performed on a 118 standard?

Here's your post, nearly two days without a response. That's not like this forum.

From me, who knows next to nothing about the correct answer to your question, I don't know why you can't put a poptop on a 118 Standard or any other Sprinter. It all comes down to making certain you retain structural integrity.
 

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