Introduction and My Ford Fiberine Super Camper build

RocKrawler

Supporting Sponsor
There is some fitting to this top, nothing much. I will post something in the next day on how everything went. I would use a different procedure to get the top on there if I were to do it again, and I will explain in detail what I did.

Really looks good, and very curious as to whet you were referring to that you would do different next time. It seems like the overall height would be ideal for our needs (this was a 30" tall top right?) and save a lot of hassle with a pop top and the necessary mechanicals & rip potential of the tent material. It would obviously kill and future drive thru usage, but looks like it has great potential!
 

smugdoug

New member
Thanks for the comments guys.

Terry, what I meant by doing it different next time was that my procedure that I wanted to follow was thrown out the door when that storm came in on Saturday. The original plan was to have two fork lifts lift the top and I would cut the hole in the top of the van, lay down the butyl putty around the hole, drive under, drop the top onto the van. The problem: The fork lifts didn't come thru so it left me no choice but to improvise as you can see from the pics. The other issue was the weather, and my help was egging me on to drop the top on the van before the storm hit. Well as I was cutting a hole in the top the rain began. The van was protected by the top but because of the wind we put the top down on the van which did give me a chance to check the fit. Rob aka billwilson was hanging out and helped check the fit and he pointed out some areas that needed to be filed down a little for a better fit. Sunday came and left me a challenge, the top was down on the van and I needed to get it off the van a little to get the butyl tape down and file down some areas. I was able to do it but it was a pain. I guess my point is that it took me way too long to do everything just because I didn't have a good way to lift and drop the top. It's tough to do it with just manpower and I should have put a higher priority on a mechanism to lift and drop the top. If the weather would have been better then maybe it wouldn't have been such a pain. I would have liked to pull my van back out after test fitting it so I could sand or file down the top and to also be able to get the butyl(very sticky) down a little easier. Sorry for the long explanation, I'll post some more pics once I go through them and point out some of the areas of concern, at least for me.
 

nely

Adventurer
79" is good. That means i could stand up with a top on my van. Its another thing to look at now. Thanks for the measurment.

Sent from my SGH-T959 using Tapatalk
 

sixstringsteve

Explorer
^ x2. I'm in the market for a top, and I really like how yours turned out. Any regrets? Does it feel top-heavy? Any issues on onramps, tight turns, or windy stretches of freeway? Anything you'd do differently (other than the install changes)? Thanks again for posting this.
 

VanWilder

New member
high top

If anyone is curious what the inside of the hightop looks like, when reinforced with plywood, here is a picture. This is the square I cut out when i installed the maxx fan in my van.

I'm pretty happy with the hightop overall. I lost 1-2mpg when I put the hightop on, and it is noticeable if it is windy out, but I would definitely do it again. It is also a pain to find mechanics that will work on a 9.5 foot tall van. I don't know how much the hightop weighs, but my entire build out added 1300lbs to the van. So I am still way under the GVWR for an E250, and it drives well in the mountains.

 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Any chance you can provide another photo of that piece?

That certainly isnt plywood. It is some sort of OSB panel, but hard to tell for sure from the one photo.


For reference, this is a good plywood




And this is OSB

 

ujoint

Supporting Sponsor
Those tops with the reinforcement is the only way to go. Strong enough to walk on for sure.
 

bcaine

New member
Don't know the background behind your question, so apologies if I'm off base.

In case the concern is over the strength of plywood vs osb, the actual material used isn't of significance, it's the thickness of that material that matters. That's why surfboards can have cores made of foam. At your two connected skins of fiberglass are moved further apart by inserting a core material, any deflection under weight (such as standing on the roof) would force an elongation of one of the two faces. (The lower face in the instance of standing on the roof) This means that it's the tensile strength of the skins that matter, not the strength of the core.
 

Treenail

Adventurer
I think that the sheathing in the picture is made from a type of OSB that shreds the wood into strings rather than flakes. My guess is that it's stronger and more uniform than flaked OSB

A friend of mine made wood strip canoes. He told
Me that the wood only gave the the canoe form. B oils have mad a canoe with the middle layer being the funny papers and the fiberglass would have given it enough strength.

If insets going to add something to
Glass over I'd use foam sheathing. That is unless I needed the wood to
Hang cabinets or something

Go to TNTT and read what sort
Of "foamie" campers are being built
 
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