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pengyou 07-15-2009 02:02 AM

Pop top for my van?
I have a Chevy Astro van that i love dearly - especially because it gets 21 mpg on the highway and will still tow. I would like to add a pop top (similar to the VW camper) to it so that I can make a place up above to sleep in. I know this is not an automotive forum but I have been really impressed with the knowledge and suggestions I have seen here.

I have ideas on how and what to do to make it raise, how to make the tent material for the side, etc. I am stuck with how to actually make the "pop" part, the part of the roof that will go up. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? There are a couple of companies that will sell these but they charge about $6K for a complete conversion :(

ratherbefishin' 07-15-2009 10:55 AM

Hey, "friend", you might try salvage yards for something restorable that will fit.

Don't see the use of Yale romanization often, are you a DLI grad?

pengyou 07-15-2009 04:37 PM

Pengyou is hanyu-pinyin :) I lived in China for 10 years.

ratherbefishin' 07-15-2009 07:11 PM

Same in Yale. I had the pleasure of spending a few years in Taiwan, though a long time ago.:yes: I believe hanyu-pinyin was pretty much limited to the mainland back then. Wade-Giles was more common elsewhere, with Yale being used in the military schools.
Sorry I can't be more help with your camper lid. Good luck!

ratherbefishin' 07-16-2009 10:36 AM

pengyou, don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. I was installing a fish finder on a fiberglass boat when the lightbulb clicked on. You could build the cap with 1/8 or 1/4" marine plywood, depending on weight considerations, then fiberglass and paint or gelcoat.

mboxwell 07-17-2009 01:24 AM

You can buy pop-top roof kits for lots of vans. Not sure who will supply them in the US but here in Europe, Westfalia do them for various vehicles.

One of my friends recently purchased one for a new VW that he is converting.

If you really want to start from first principles - and full marks for you if you do - I'd suggest going to a couple of RV specialists and seeing how the professional systems work.

Good luck, and if you do go ahead, post up the photographs - it sounds a great project.

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