Hambo aluminum poptop

Abitibi

Explorer
Poptop V.2

Some might recall my 1st poptop on my previous ambo (AmbuLand).

It was simply a fiberglass RTT that I had cut the floor to create a pass-through. Worked well enough, much cheaper than other options (CCV...). One thing that I didn't like with that design was closing it back to travel mode. Not as easy as, let's say, a Westy.

Now that I'm building another ambo it is time to get the 2nd bedroom going!

This time I'm building from scratch! Clamshell type, all aluminum & fully insulated. Total cost will be similar to my 1st one but quite a lot more involved.

Outside box is 108" long by 62" wide. Habitable dimension will be 96" x 52"

1st was to bend and shear two 8x4 aluminum sheets (6061, 1/8"), cut some ends and get welding.

I made 2 frames, 1" x 4".

The lower frame will be welded inside the giant hole in the roof and will act as reinforcement for the box structure. It will expend 2" above the roof, stop water ingress and the canvass will attach on the outside.

The upper frame is welded to the poptop part and again acts as reinforcement plus mount for the canvass. Inside the frame I welded side to side U channels and glued in some 3/4" plywood. It will be the thermal barrier for the inner ceiling.

Some pictures to better explain and last picture to show why a poptop was likely a better idea... lol



















 
Last edited:

iggi

Ian
NIce to see progress on this David! 1/8th? Holy cow, is it going to double as a dance platform? ;)
All kidding aside, great looking job. I suspect it's going to be more work than my roof raise... but given you need more room than I do I think the poptop was the better choice.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Keep up the great work, I’m waiting to see all your ideas become reality so that I can learn from the wisdom you gain. Perhaps one day I may follow in your footsteps and imitate one of these great designs.
🍿
 

RVflyfish

What comes next?
NIce to see progress on this David! 1/8th? Holy cow, is it going to double as a dance platform? ;)
All kidding aside, great looking job. I suspect it's going to be more work than my roof raise... but given you need more room than I do I think the poptop was the better choice.
1/8” with cross ribs. Dance platform and external roll cage. :D
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Thank you guys!

Not sure about dancing on it, wont have much space left once I mount the 660w of solar panels.

It won't be light either, I'm guessing close to 200lbs plus another 100lbs of solar or so.

That's why I'll be using electric actuators to raise and lower it. :D

I insulated the outer part of the upper frame to minimize as much as possible condensation. I used 1" closed cell foam boards. Looking back I should have used 2" closed cell foam boards all over, would have been simpler and cheaper!

The canvass is all ready, I just bought one for a VW Westy and built around it as I'm not much of a seamster, lol.

On one of the picture it shows how I'll mount the canvass on the upper and lower frames. A thin aluminum strip will hold it in place.

Next I need to sand/rough up the surface and paint it (battleship gray) and pre-drill the stainless piano hinge. Then cut a giant hole in my roof!!!

Cheers
David



Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
 

eporter

Adventurer
Following closely along with this one. It gives me wonderful dreams of a project for my Excursion.
I keep looking at gas excursions and thinking maybe they’re the secret 4wd camper bargain? Not quite as big as a van, but add a pop too and...
 

Abitibi

Explorer
The top made its way up! She ain't light, lol. I'm guessing close to 250lbs but I can easily walk on it without any issues. Still need to secure it in place by installing the rear hinge, mount the electric actuators, paint (battleship gray), put back my two 330W solar panels... but it's getting real close! With the bed frame removed I have 6'4" of clearance. With the bed in place I'm down to about 5'10". Interior pictures to follow...

20220307_165056.jpg20220307_172444.jpg20220307_172500.jpg20220307_172539.jpg
 

iggi

Ian
I'm disappointed you didn't make the corners match the Crestline corners, but I sure can understand not wanting to do that much fabrication work. All kidding aside, looks good.
 
Top