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Old 10-29-2008, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default new and wondering about a raised roof idea

am new here and as i am always thinking up new things i was wondering has anyone ever placed a camper shell on a van top , cut out the top , leaving the room for the camper shell (from a pick up , fiberglass ) to bolt down on the van body top ? i thought this would make a good custom raised top roof for standing room and whatever end isn't enclosed could be fiberglassed in and painted to match . anyone ever done this or have any pics of it being done . i have a 1992 ford areostar van with a v-6 .
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

Not sure if this is what you mean, and it's not on an Aerostar chassis, but it may have been done already......
http://www.sportsmobile.com/
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

no that is not what i mean what i mean is a regular pick up camper shell (fiberglass ) the kind that sets even with the cab of a truck (box type camper shell. i am wondering if anyone has ever tried bolting one of these (they have an inner thick fiberglass lip on both sides of the camper shell that you can bolt it down on a truck bed ) set one of these on a van top , cut out the center in the van bolt down the inside edges to the van top to create a raised top for the van . the ends could be fiberglassed in (usuallt the front has a rubber boot lip to fit against truck rear windows ) the rear of truck camper shells have a glass rear window and aluminum frame . if bolted shut the rear window could be left in place and just put a curtain over it inside or open it to let in sunlight . the sides if my old camper shell actually have screened opening (sliding ) side windows for fresh air ! so has anyone done anything like this i think it would work ok if bolted down good and sealed around the edges .
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

A pickup truck canopy might be too wide to put on the roof. The sides of most vehicles taper in as they meet the roof.

Also, the "front" of most pickup canopies I've seen have a reverse slant so they fit up against the trucks rear window. It would be the opposite of aerodynamic - the force of wind (and rain) against it would be tremendous at highway speed if it was on top of a van.

I'd be most concerned with compromising the structural integrity of the vehicle as a whole by cutting the roof myself. A company that does that sort of work would know better what could be done.
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

Just back from FLA and saw the Endeavour launch. Absolutely amazing!
Whilst down there, did a night in a Walmart "campground" and happened to see this
parked in the "overnighter" area of the lot.
I think it was an Econoline, but no idea the year or any other construction details.
I didn't see the owners/occupants around either, so no one to ask about it, how they did it, etc. .
So, it looks like it's definitely possible, but not sure how practical or easy to do.
Sorry, pic quality isn't great, had to resize to reduce # of KBs.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg truckcapcamper 004.jpg (98.9 KB, 809 views)
File Type: jpg truckcapcamper 005.jpg (109.9 KB, 809 views)
File Type: jpg truckcapcamper 006.jpg (92.1 KB, 809 views)
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

Looks like someone figured out a way to do this but I would be concerned about air drag on the cap. The front surface is quite flat and would act like a big sail driving down the road. It would really cause drag going down Interstates. It would be nice if it could be made more aerodynamic.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

and it looks like, uh, well, it doesn't look very nice..
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

As a follow up comment, it was early morning, just after dawn, and we were just leaving the Walmart when the pics were taken. I didn't want to get caught peeking in windows to examine the installation close-up, so I can't say for sure how it was bolted down or sealed. No idea where it was from as we didn't check the plates (assuming it had them ) for the same reasons for not examining the construction up close. As you've said, it didn't look neat and tidy, and definitely did not look terribly aerodynamic. I just remembered this thread and had to get a couple of quick snaps of it on our way out to the coast.
We just got back up here and were greeted by the first snow storm (we think) of the season. Came thru Buffalo/Ft. Erie and it was coming down heavy. Hundreds of accidents, many in the Niagara region, but that's normal up here for a first heavy snowfall. No one gets the slow down and survive thing when driving in bad weather. Also normal for this part of the country.
The digital TV tuner seems to be working well, although it only scans for channels up to channel 69. Seems like a lot of PBS and Christian television broadcasts out there in the range above 2-13, however there were a few nice surprises depending on where we were for the night. Even picked up a UFC channel, although I don't usually watch that sort of thing.
Our furnace performed admirably, as the weather took a turn for the cooler after the launch Friday night, and we came back north thru South Carolina/NC/WV/V/PA/NY and overnights were frigid at the higher elevations as expected. We spent our last night Stateside in West Virg, and the temp got down to about 10F, but we survived with good sleeping bags and our furnace.

Mike.
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: new and wondering about a raised roof idea

hello and not sure who posted the pics but thanks and yes this is what i was taling about although some are right the way "he " did it would catch a lot of wind i imagine he did it because the back (which i think he turned forward on the van ) had a slant in it so thats why he placed it forward for arodynamics but because of the shape don't think it helped that much if at all. yes he used a full size camper shell what i am talking about was a ford ranger (smaller size for a smaller van ) that has side windows and was (if ) i used it to make a nice slant fiberglass front for it to be more arodynamic .
by the way most if not all fiberglass camper shells like these have a thick (on both sides ) complete inner lip that is about two ? inches wide and the full length of the camper shell some people use a vice clamps in different places (6) to hold the shell in place before when i used one i used self threading screw bolts and went into the body of the truck itsself !! held down good nice and snug and never came loose !! also a weather type strip is pit down first under the edges of the shell lip.
at any rate anyone thinking of doing anything like this would as some say need to check the top of the van for levelness and i would do a (dry ) run first having the fiberglass top placed on top in position and see how it looks and if it loks like it would work ok without to many problems . and as many know thei are many styles to camper shells .
and as far as this piticular one maybe he didn't have much money to be picky, etc. all i know is as this guy did and showed it can be done and a person then does have room to stand up inside . each job would depend on a persons skill and money , etc.
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