- anyone had a pop top fitted to their van ?
On the latter point, the rear seats in my LWB Trafic are easily removable so I can get a couple of bikes in where they would be and still get a double air mattress down in the back. I’m just about to build some sort of sleeping deck (at wheel box height) so that I’ll have storage space below.
Of course, that assumes you have somewhere to store the seats when they’re out of the van.Posted 3 years ago
hahaha bruneep – in true redneck style i will just throw them in the garden……
colin – the 5 seat stipulation comes from mrs-TR………… shes planning for the future if you catch my drift. good chance we will need some of the back seats and the bulkhead in place for transportation of mini rats – isnt that a scary thought.
i could do it in an LWB with a high level shelf the same depth from the roof as an offshore bunk……ie not that high – only need the LWB for my height to lie down – the bikes will go into an SWB fine behind the seats – same space as my wee pug.Posted 3 years ago
I’ve a SWB with pop-top by Vamoose, near Sheffield. I sleep up there with 2 small kids or alone easily. Two adults would be tight as getting up there isn’t that straightforward. I slept in the van on the 3/4 width RnR bed at the weekend with 2 XL 29ers inside (wheels off). We don’t have any other furniture etc in there. Road noise fine and not soggy.Posted 3 years ago
Pop top great to pitch kids into when camping – play/reading room
Speak to Vamoose! The did an outstanding job on my brothers. He’s an ex Reimo, SCA bloke who left to design his own stuff….and it’s very good. Single piece metal frames, no wood (like reimo, where the main problem was leaking, so wet wood and consequently staples dropping out), you can stand on the roofs so they’re robust and the gas struts enable one handed operation even with 2/3 kayaks on top. Integral LED, Colour coded; sub £3k.Posted 3 years ago
L2H2 Ducato is my dream van….fits in a regular parking space, sleep transverse with a garage beneath, kitchen half across the sliding door for that open air/let fumes out feel, 2 belted seats in the back, and 4 people can sit whilst someone cooks (standing up) which you cant do in a classic side kitchen VW format……still saving…..Posted 3 years ago
Looking at a new van.
main criteria is 5 seats and room for bikes and to sleep.
with an LWB there is plenty room in the back for all three to happen but its a bit of a chav for day to day driving – it would be our “main car” (but not racking up miles as we use the bike most of the time)
Im tempted to buy a fairly new SWB and have a pop top roof retrofitted by someone like dairsy autopoint – this would give us the option to sleep up top without having to punt the bikes out – and swb kombis are not long enough for us to sleep in the back.
has anyone done this and how has it worked out ? does the road noise increase ? does it feel like a soggy blamange like early cabriolets?
Would a sleeping platform in something like a transit custom/vivaro/traffic etc be big enough for 2 adults or is it more of a kids go up in the roof type of thing ?
lastly what sort of cost would i be looking at – im seeing prices of around 4k just to buy a reimo roof ? are any of the “less known” brands worth having ?Posted 3 years agomartinbMember
Got a SWB T5 with a SCA pop top, bought it like that and no experience of others, but suggest you get what you pay for, independent gas struts for top and bed. to be able to walk about and cook is really good, can’t imagine not having it, good to sleep up there, lots of room, solid bed.
Some pop tops you see don’t look too clever, but I’m sure were much cheaper.Posted 3 years agokonabunnyMember
How about a rooftop tent? Four grand seems like a lot of money to spend for savings on the ferry! (As I am sure you have already considered).Posted 3 years ago
i know of roof top tents how ever id just camp on the ground if it was simply a case of wanting somewhere to sleep.
the joy of a pop top is that the bed doesnt have to be out – so it gives you a full height van to hide in when the weather is shit when your away or at events etc.
I could just buy a high top van – would be cheaper but then your over the magic 2m for carparks and such like.
those SCAs look cracking martin.
When i get back im off to look for a multispace version of my van as a first thing to get out the way. im also going to pop in past dairsy autopoint to A. look at their stock and B look at the quality of their work.Posted 3 years agoElShalimoMember
I could just buy a high top van – would be cheaper but then your over the magic 2m for carparks and such like.
The magic 2m isn’t a consistent measure nowadays. A lot of barriers are lower now e.g. 1.8m to compleyely stop vans entering. It seems that there are either low(ish) barriers or no barriers. It really depends where you live.Posted 3 years ago
My theory is that in large towns the barriers are lower than you think but in semi-rural areas or small towns they’re aren’t many barriersalpinMember
i’m looking to do this soon for our T5…
even thought it is a LWB and the GF and i can sleep behind the second row of seats (have removed the thrid row) it is still a bit of a squeeze and means that the bikes have to go on the rack outside which isn’t always that great, IMO.
it would also mean we can leave the downstairs as a seating/cooking area and not have to clean up each evening before bed. and to leave all we need do it pull the top down and start the engine.
also, for a motor to be classed as a motorhome you need a standing height of 1.7m here in Germany. the 2,5k it costs for a roof would be recouperated after 4-5 years on the savings made with tax and insurance.
be aware that a SWB T5 doesn’t give you that much room with a pop-top. friends have a T4 and matey can’t sleep up there as he is too tall, his feet touch the canvas and his feet get wet.
our van:Posted 3 years ago
[url=https://flic.kr/p/nTPHBt]DSC_0371[/url] by sod_the_taxman, on Flickr
looks nice , im still not buying a vw :d
for the carparks i want to use most often 2m is the magic height. – most are forestry carparks in the hills.
been foxed a few times in my mates high top transit – hence my reluctance to go to a high top (not to mention the fact he gets 24 mpg)Posted 3 years agowillardMember
A modern-ish T5 that’s been remapped will get you 40-ish mpg (or at least mine does) and I assume that a Vito will get you about the same. I went for a T5 because it just felt better than the Vito and the space was a bit better too.
As far as pop-tops go, (and this is T5-centric again, sorry) the HiLo one seems to get a lot of good reviews on the T4 forum, both for being good quality and for being a lot lower profile than the conventional Reimo style.
Right now, my T5 barely, just barely scrapes under the 2m limit on most car parks. If I dropped the suspension slightly it would be easier, but with a pop-top or roof bars on as it is now, I’d be stuffed.Posted 3 years agoalpinMember
my fully loaded (three mtb bikes, four people plus gear for a whole week away, three crates of beer) T5 returned over 38mpg over 700km… only 180km of that was motorway driving at 145km/h (90mph) with the rest a mix of open road and mountain passes.
i’m sure i could easily get that up over 40mpg with a more sedate drving style, but the 130bhp is fun, especially on steep mountain passes… watching our friends in their T4 disappear in the rear view mirror was part of the fun. 8)
will get it chipped to 160ish at some point, too.Posted 3 years agopedalheadSubscriber
Hey Terry :-). You probably saw the pics I spammed on FB, but we had a pop top fitted to our T5 SWB Kombi a few months back and we love it! Same as you, the idea was to be able to sleep upstairs and keep bikes etc safe inside the van downstairs. Works a treat in that respect. I’ve not noticed any increase in road noise at all. In fact, the only downside I can think of is that it increases the height of the van a bit so we have to be more careful with multi-story car parks :-).Posted 3 years agoScamperMember
We went for poptoproofs.co.uk reimo style – seems fine to us and good quality. I think quality of the installation is just as important too. Our roof has three bed boards rather than the gas strut thing. They can be simply be moved and stacked on top of each other for head room or to provide a storage shelf during the day.Posted 3 years agothegeneralistMember
I’d recommend a SCA Roof. I’ve got the Reimo roof and it isn’t great.*
50kg roof rack rating instead of 75kg for SCA.
The roof strengthening isn’t as good as SCA. It really flexes when going over diagonal bumps.
The low end of the roof is too low for my size 45 feet.
It doesn’t look as good/well put together as the SCA.
I did loads of research before buying mine and was put off the SCA by one story of the fabric leaking. I’ve regretted it since.
Mine cost £4,400 fitted, painted and roof rails (which bloody Torbay put on in the wrong place)
It does make the van much more airy inside when it’s up, and breathable when it’s too wet to open the windows at night.
Definitely wouldn’t want to sleep two adults up there though, much comfier down below.
* When considering this input, bear in mind that people usually say “get what I’ve got, it’s great”. The fact that I’m saying the opposite hopefully caries some weight.
The 2m thing makes very little difference. My T5 was over 2m even with no roof bed. With the pop top it must be around 2m10. But almost the only time it’s made any difference was parking at Rocher Cannon at Easter when the bar was too low. On Erotunnel, Peages and Ferries the difference between pop top and no pop top has been non existent.Posted 3 years agoPimpmaster JazzMember
Our Bongo has an elevating roof. Makes a massive difference inside when up. While travelling we slept in the roof too while stealth camping.
Flipside is that the van + roof is 2.1m – 10cm over the magic 2m (a regular tin-top Bongo is 1.8m IIRC), which makes ferries off and back to the IoW more expensive. 🙁Posted 3 years ago
see i wanted a bongo when i was buying my van first time round …. but even back then everything i saw was getting long in the tooth.
the 2m thing for me was referring to the alternative being a high roof version of the van instead of a pop top …
ive just looked at pedal heads wagon …. i want ….even if it is a t5 i really like it ….. he has the extra lift pop top and it looks plenty fine inside for 2 skinny malinks.Posted 3 years agoPimpmaster JazzMember
I think the newest is a 2000 (X plate), which is still pretty old by anyone’s standards. The flipside is that the engine is a pretty basic 2.5 diesel or 3l V6 petrol, which were a joint Ford / Mazda venture – I believe a lot of the running gear is from the Mondeo too.
They are thirsty though – we went for the 2WD to try and get a little extra MPG, but I think we’re lucky to crack 35. Buying again I’d go for a AWD. The manuals are also quite low geared from what I was told – I was advised to go auto as it’s a pretty bulletproof box.
All said and done though, there’s a great scene and spares are generally available. Mileage varies massively – ours in on an N plate but had 38k on it when we bought it – it’s on 50k now and has been to southern Croatia and back. It’ll sit at 80 happily, but I try and keep it to 60 to help fuel. The turbo kicks in at around 55mph on the motorway, which is a little annoying!
On the whole though I have no regrets buying one over a v-dub. All the ‘dubs we could afford were at least 10 years old, and everyone I know with an older ‘dub spends a lot of time under them. I can’t help thinking, for the money, there’s better options out there for pop-top vans, but then it also depends on your budget.Posted 3 years ago
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