Pop-top security

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Pop-top security

Postby Chris152 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:46 pm

Getting a bit old now and fancy getting changed in my van this winter, I've had enough of driving wind and rain in car parks. So I thought about getting a pop-top fitted to my T5, but wondered about security if the top's left up (which I want to be able to do in summer, so I can leave my dog in there safely (cool)) while we surf. Is it possible to rig something up to lock the top in a low position that people can't access but allows flow of air through the canvas windows? Anyone tried that? Would it damage the gas struts to be held in a half-way position? The alternative is a hi top with roof vent and smaller windows but they seem to come in more expensive (£4k-ish, opposed to about £2.5-3k for a pop-top).
Thanks for any thoughts.
Chris152
 
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Re: Pop-top security

Postby thechimp » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:59 am

I've had 3 vans with Elevating roofs or Poptops as you call them all on VW's, i never thought about security and left the roof up in summer. As the old saying goes if someone wants to get in they will. You could just use something to prop the roof up and use something like a steering lock or simply a chain and padlock through some brackets fitted on the subframe. The roofs are quite simple to fit yourself as the kits come with a subframe that can be pop rivetted or welded in, the problem is getting the roof into your garage to fit, you need help lining up the roof to drill the holes for the hinges. If you cut out the cross member in the roof the chassis may need strengthening, so the roof with just the area between the cross members is easiest and cheapest.
IMO High tops look awfull, unless its a factory conversion, they increase fuel consumption and are not good in cross winds.
Two horror stories, years ago i had a VW Dormobile D46, side lifting ER with the red and white canvas, crossing the River Plym on Laira Bridge a gust got under the front and ripped the external cips and both internal straps, the roof shot up, ripped the canvas and ended up crashing down the offside of the van, luckily it did'nt overturn.
A friend was parked on the cliff at Polzeath, 20+ years ago the wooden fence was not there then, he had gone for a surf, the roof was up, full length Devon Sundowner on a VW, he reckons his dog may have knocked it out of gear, the handbrake must have been off or on slightly, the roof acted as a sail and the van went over the cliff, It was at the highest point, about 50ft and went into that little cove area, the lifeguards got involved and it made the Cornish Guardian front page. The dog was ok and no one was on that part of the beach.
Maybe have a look on Transporter forums, loads of firms fitting roofs these days.
thechimp
 
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Re: Pop-top security

Postby Chris152 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:38 pm

Thanks thechimp - that's pretty sobering. And agree completely about retro-fit hard tops, they generally look pretty bad I think. Since I did that post I've been thinking about selling the T5 and buying a medium length citroen relay/ fiat ducat/ peugeot boxer with high or semi-high roof and doing a full(-ish) conversion - they can look pretty cool, much more functional for camping than a t5 and would already have a high top. Problem is the t5 hasn't missed a beat since we got it 3 years ago, drives like a car and we love it. Hmmm...
Chris152
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:34 am


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