Crazy idea? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-27-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
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Crazy idea?

Well I've nixed the idea of installing an automotive pop-up sunroof, or RV escape hatch, and am now thinking along the lines of a sliding ragtop. I'm thinking I could probably build my own version, making a frame of wood or metal, and then having an upholstery shop sew a snap on type of soft roof covering that could be completely removed, maybe using those riveted metal snap thingys? Am I nuts, or just creative????

Some good examples are found here: Sliding Ragtop Kits Homepage
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:43 AM   #2
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The kits shown looks nice and I thought were surprisingly inexpensive.

But, if you look at a real ragtops you will find that they are much more complicated that a cover with snaps over an opening.

Other than keeping it on while driving, keeping it from leaking when it rains and not destroying the structural integrity of the roof, all you have to worry about is that most
future potential buyers will not see it as a good idea either. And you would have to climb on an already weak roof to take it off and put it back on.


And there is always the issue of unwanted visitors when you leave it open, not to mention keeping warm when it gets cold outside.

Maybe you could just mount an action-cam on the roof and gaze at the sky on a flat screen monitor (LOL)
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:00 AM   #3
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With an opening such as you are talking about, I think that you are pretty much guaranteed to have some leaks. I would be especially worried about likelihood of leaks occurring while driving through heavy rainfall. Water in those situations seems to find every possible entry point.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:16 AM   #4
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Oh c'mon folks, I need some encouraging comments for my crazy ideas! I think the roof could handle a 24X40 inch piece missing out of it without it caving in. It's actually pretty strong up there, but would not withstand a rollover accident! Well I'm not planning any major cross country trips, but just weekend getaways near San Diego. As far as rain is concerned, we're in our 100 year drought cycle now And as for resale value, I'll be dead and gone before my trailer is ever listed for sale. Heck, they may have to bury me in it!
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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Why not just install a sun roof like on a car?
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:47 AM   #6
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The entire structural integrity of FGRV's depends on the entire shell remaining somewhat intact. Even removing some of the inside walls can make the entire thing somewhat shaky. With a big hole up there, the weight of the overhead cabinets bouncing around while towing could soon starts cracks in the sidewalls.

I forgot to mention in my first post, your proposed cover will turn into a small swimming pool liner in the rain and, when it fills up the water will run over the edges and into your coach.

And, did you happen to look outside this A.M.??? While the drought is far from over, the next two days promise to bring more than enough rain to SOCal to give any such cover a run for the money. I have seen what happens to FGRV's with a missing roof vent cover in a light rain and it ain't pretty

And keeping it forever? We have all said that...... I am now on my 9th FGRV, 4th towable. Only certain STD's are really "forever" .

I support you idea about the same that I support towing over towing limits, running generators on the tongue, and spitting into the wind..... LOLOLOL
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:32 AM   #7
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Wouldn't an escape hatch from a Scamp work for you? You can open it like a regular vent with a built in screen, or you can fully flip it open for that full no screen open look.
Dave & Paula
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
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Nuts!
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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Put a black one with pin holes in it and sleep under the stars during the day.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:46 PM   #10
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Respectfully suggest buying a second trailer to put the ragtop in, and keeping the first trailer so you still have something to go camping in.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #11
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When thinking about my new-to-me Amerigo on the other hand... I'm resistant to installing even a reasonable roof vent in it. Why? It doesn't have one now and I'd have to cut through that perfectly good - perfectly solid - perfectly waterproof roof to install it.

On the other hand... I've found myself looking at either Westphalia roofs or even some of the taller van raised roofs. Why? Fiberglass it to the roof, install a mattress and call it the trailer's "upstairs". I don't think I'm gonna DO it - but it'd be cool.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:04 PM   #12
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Tote & Tarry Compact, Jr?

In the spirit of brainstorming, providing constructive comments, and addressing the idea of structural integrity, what are the construction details for the FGRVs that have a pop-top (e.g., Hunter Compacts)?
Could reinforcement be created in the roof of the Tote&Tarry?
Could Filbert create something similar that could also be fully or partially flipped or slid open to provide the view desired?
Could the end result provide the desired modification, remain safe and secure during travel, and provide security against bugs & weather?
Just my $.02
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:05 PM   #13
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Yes crazy idea. You should do it.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lora View Post
In the spirit of brainstorming, providing constructive comments, and addressing the idea of structural integrity, what are the construction details for the FGRVs that have a pop-top (e.g., Hunter Compacts)?
Could reinforcement be created in the roof of the Tote&Tarry?
Could Filbert create something similar that could also be fully or partially flipped or slid open to provide the view desired?
Could the end result provide the desired modification, remain safe and secure during travel, and provide security against bugs & weather?
Just my $.02
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Because I don't know Filbert I can't even begin to guess what he "Can" do....

However, in the case of the Hunter Compact-II, there is a 3" high flange surrounding the roof opening that mates with a overlapping top that adds stiffness to the roof opening and pretty much precludes any rain intrusion.

In addition, there are at least four wall sections (2 on each side) that lend support to the sides and roof to support the roof and hold everything in place.

In short, unlike an Egg shaped camper, it was designed to be that way. But, in spite of that, the Hunters are well know for sagging roof sections and tops that make great wading pools for pollywogs after a good rain.

The best bet (if there is any best bet) might be the automotive sunroof idea because at least it is engineered to not leak, can be opened and closed at will, and appears to have a metal frame surrounding it that will put some strength and shape back into the top. That said, I wouldn't compromise a roof to install one.

And, at about $400 it seems a reasonable solution that might not result in the entire loss of the trailer.
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