Can it be done? roof modification on an egg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-13-2003, 09:34 AM   #1
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Can it be done? roof modification on an egg

Hi Folks,
While waiting for the temperature to rise abit to be able to work on The Love Bug, I have had lots of time to dream about modifications. I am an avid aircooled VW busaholic and I thought it would be neat to put a Westfalia pop top on my egg. Is it feasable to cut a 43" X 35" opening in the roof of my TT? I would like to get more ventilation and The Love Bug already has many Westfalia odds and ends. Let me know. If any one has a line drawing of an egg, please send it to me, so that I can show everyone what my idea is with a picture. Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2003, 10:37 AM   #2
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pop-top egg

I'd be mildly concerned about having the contours be a reasonable fit. I say 'mildly' because as all the owners of the older ones know - anything is possible with fiberglass. :) You can just build it up to force it to match.

Anyway - the only SERIOUS concern is that of weight handling. I don't know about the more modern eggs - but I think the roof of my Boler would bow if I let too many leaves drop onto it in the fall.

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the purpose behind the pop-top in this case. Is it solely to gain additional ventilation or is it for more headroom or something else?

BTW: I'm personally a big fan of the 'pop-top' concept. Takes about 15 seconds to pop up, and it typically lowers you down enough that you'll fit in a normal garage. Kinda wish the modern eggs did it.

mkw
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Old 02-13-2003, 11:21 AM   #3
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Without having the actual dimensions of the top in question, I'd say it almost certainly could be done. As Mike said, you would have to build up the edge of the roof to fit the contour of the top, and to get a sealing edge. The build-up, if glassed in properly, would strengthen the edge to compensate for the material removed. It would be a project, but if you have some glassing experience, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:04 PM   #4
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Here's my Prototype

I have been working on my dream camping set up. Here is a picture. I understand about getting the roof to be able to seal with the top. Luckily VW buses and eggs have a similar roof line. It is I want the poptop for looks and ventilation.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e4bde18de921Prototype.jpg/>
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:16 PM   #5
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Trailer poptop considerations

Do you already have a Westfalia top that you want to put in the Love Bug or are you contemplating constructing one?

I'm sure your project could be done, but doing it totally from scratch would be a bear. Thoughts and questions that come to my mind: The photos of the trailers with poptop roofs usually have some sort of scissor/spring or baffle/bellows mechaism for lift. How are you going to prop the top up? Strings? Sticks? How do you envision water sealing the top?

The smallest poptop trailer that comes to mind most readily is the Eriba Puck. The roof of the Puck is fiberglass. There are some photos of the restoration of one on one of the member's websites: www.lbin.com/puck/index.html

Maybe Sportsmobile can coach you? They claim to have designed the original VW poptop. Plus they have an active business retrofitting vans with poptops. The poptop retrofits are secondary to their minimotohome van conversion business. http://www.sportsmobile.com
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:20 PM   #6
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Structural

I'm not sure what kind of a trailer ''Love Bug'' is. Fiberglass?

In any case, I would be concerned about retaining the structural integrity of your trailer when cutting out that big of a opening. :shg

But---there's only one way to really find out!

(Let us know how well it worked.);)
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:29 PM   #7
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pop-top egg

I seem to recall that the pop-top on the westies is where one of the beds is. Is that correct??? If that's what you're intending for the roof of the egg - then my serious concerns would become MUCH more serious. I imagine it COULD be done - but would require much more serious modifications than I'd be willing to try. Basically - the entire roof would have to go (no biggie - it's being replaced by the westie's roof anyway). Anyway - I'd replace the roof with a plywood sheet. The plywood would need to then be supported by additional structural elements which would have to be built into the walls. This would be reasonable simple for the area of the closet and kitchen (I'd suggest floor-to-ceiling plywood bulkheads on either side of both). That would leave the rear end (assuming the entrance is near the front) relatively unsupported. These are harder to do because of the curved walls. Additional bulkheads could be added near the dinette - but you'd lose some dinette space.

Wait a minute... have I just convinced myself this is do-able???
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:31 PM   #8
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[quote]Orginally posted by Benita

"Do you already have a Westfalia top that you want to put in the Love Bug or are you contemplating constructing one? "

I have access to a couple fiberglass tops. They have all the mechanisms needed to pop-up the top. The Vws have a rubber seal that keeps weather out. I just have to make sure that the roof contours to the top. Thank you for the Sportsmobile idea. I will give them a yell. I actually know where I can get on of those tops. I am trying to make my bus and Love Bug twins ;0)
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Mike Watters

I seem to recall that the pop-top on the westies is where one of the beds is. Is that correct??? If that's what you're intending for the roof of the egg - then my serious concerns would become MUCH more serious.
Mike,
I am not willing to take that project on! I want to do this for ventilation and aestectic (sp) purposes. I'm not that kooky!
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:44 PM   #10
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ventilation and looks

For ventilation:
Wouldn't it be a lot simplier just to add a powered roof vent? or two?

Looks:
Hard to offer an alternate that would address that one of course. Seems to me a pretty herculean effort to go through just so it'll match the van. If I was going to try doing something that drastic - I'd want to make sure it offered drastic advantages to match.

mkw
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Old 02-13-2003, 03:00 PM   #11
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Jamie ... as Mike pointed out, you would really have to watch how much weight you added to the roof.

Some of the earlier fiberglass rigs, like your Love Bug , didn't have a particularly strong roof.

Folks trying to add roof a/c, for example, found that while the roof may support the weight in the short run, in the long run (bouncing down the highway) the extra weight was more than the roof could bear. The flex constantly broke the seal, causing the roof to leak, and sometimes collapse.

There have been a couple of cases where heavy snow accumulations caused a roof to collapse on an older fiberglass trailer.

I'd proceed with caution, if I were you.

Like Mike also says, a couple of dc-powered vents, like the Fantastic Vent Fan, really sucks air through one of these little trailers.
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Old 02-13-2003, 05:41 PM   #12
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HI
I don't want to discourage you but I beleive you are stepping on slippery ground.These older units were not made to carry any extra weight on roof.All you have to do is look in my back yard.In fact I will go get a picture for .:wave

Just took photos.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e4c2fa9e0d80boler.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e4c2fb9ab845boler1.jpg/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e4c2fcaa22b2boler2.jpg/>

This is result of snow load.

;)
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Old 02-13-2003, 05:55 PM   #13
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Wow! That is not pretty.

Thanks to all that replied. It would be a difficult but neat modification. It does not hurt to dream ;0) I'll keep everyone updated on The Love Bug's makeover.
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Old 02-13-2003, 06:30 PM   #14
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Ah jeese

Ah jeese, Ches ... tell me that's your spare Boler ... will you! I'm hoping and praying that's not your primary rig!
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