Land Rover ideas for Jeeps

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I don't know if the one-piece front roof panels from DV8 or Patriot Fastbacks work with the factory hardtop but assuming they do, one of their panels could be used as the front base for the DIY pop-top design in my last post. A DV8 panel:



The photo is from a current eBay listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/313667067431

With a panel like that as a base for the front of the pop-top, the rest of the installation of a DIY pop-top in a factory hardtop should be pretty straightforward.
 

JDaPP

Adventurer
I love this idea and wish I had the time/resources to pursue it. I love my Ursa Minor but I have always wanted something more modular. Maybe next year after I return from deployment. I hope you find a way to do the project and can show the progress here.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I love this idea and wish I had the time/resources to pursue it. I love my Ursa Minor but I have always wanted something more modular. Maybe next year after I return from deployment. I hope you find a way to do the project and can show the progress here.
I have the time and resources but not the need. I'm happy with my RTT and anyway my Safari Cabs don't have Freedom panels so I don't have a use for it. But it's definitely a buildable and practical idea, I'm surprised nobody has thought of it yet.
 

pith helmet

Well-known member
We are trying to get away for a quick trip soon and planning to go with the twill soft top that’s on now instead of changing over to hardtop. There is actually a little more headroom with the soft top.
I find myself wondering what kind of soft top conversions could be done.

I recall one you posted months ago with an extension out the back. Seems it would be Possible to do some other conversion for headroom etc. even if that necessarily meant you couldn’t put the top down All the way, it still may be openable over the seats. (I like to drive in the shade, so no skin off my back either way)

This is actually my favorite way to ”soft top”. 47744362-FD8C-4683-B60E-60A25B3791F2.jpeg
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
We are trying to get away for a quick trip soon and planning to go with the twill soft top that’s on now instead of changing over to hardtop. There is actually a little more headroom with the soft top.
I find myself wondering what kind of soft top conversions could be done.

I recall one you posted months ago with an extension out the back. Seems it would be Possible to do some other conversion for headroom etc. even if that necessarily meant you couldn’t put the top down All the way, it still may be openable over the seats. (I like to drive in the shade, so no skin off my back either way)

This is actually my favorite way to ”soft top”. View attachment 685856
The only mod I've done to a factory soft top so far is this one - converting the side windows to roll up:





Rolled down:



In action:


This one is a fairly simple mod that can be done on many home sewing machines. Modifying the main panel of a soft top probably would require a heavier duty sewing machine than most home machines.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
More detail on the DIY pop-up idea. Some concept images:



The green part in the drawing below is green to show the base of the pop-up, it sits on top of the roof. For the pop-up panel, the drawing uses a slightly modified Safari Cab roof panel. Here's one just out of the mold:



I've got the mold so more of these panels can be easily made.

This shows the major components:



  1. The replacement for the Freedom panels. This attaches to the hardtop just like the original Freedom panels, and provides a place for the pop-up hinges to attach.
  2. The main base, or "tray" as I'll call it. It's form-fit to the top of the roof and has an EDPM rubber membrane on the bottom to protect the roof. It's reinforced so walking on it doesn't flex the roof and has a plywood platform. The dashed line indicates the location of a trap door which is moved out of the way for inside access if a hole is cut in the factory roof and put back in place for sleeping. If no hole is in the roof, the trap door stays in place. The pop-up seals against the edge of the tray and against the roof.
  3. The pop-up canvas. Very similar in design to the pop-up canvas I sewed for the trailer I pictured a few posts ago.
  4. The pop-up panel, derived from the Safari Cab roof panel pictured above.

I think it's a pretty straightforward project.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Another option for the pop-top panel would be to use TrailTop components. I designed these several years ago to make building trailers and trailer toppers easier, they're a series of fiberglass components to frame up campers and parts that have curves that match Jeep tubs. For example, the frame for this lid is made of TrailTop parts. The center is done in 1/4" plywood, which isn't in this first photo:



That lid got framed like this:



And then the plywood skin goes on:



All of the parts of the hardtop pop-top would be the same as my earlier drawing, except the pop-up lid would be made from TrailTop parts like the above instead of using the fiberglass Safari Cab roof panel.

TrailTop components have been picked up by a company; not all of the components are available yet but the ones needed to build a pop-up like this are available: https://trailtopcampers.com/
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I think it's a really interesting idea, and I'm always keen to see more camper conversion options.
I've been daydreaming about an Ursa Minor stlye pop-up on a 2 door, maybe even like a J-180 but that flips backwards so when the roof is open and upside down it would be above you if you were standing at the rear tailgate.

Anyway, I have one piece of input on your idea:

3. Optionally, a hole is cut in the factory roof to enable inside access to the sleeping area, just like an Ursa Minor. If this hole is not cut, the sleeping area is entered via a ladder up the back, or perhaps more conveniently up the side (to permit the tailgate to open freely). Since this hole is optional, the DIY installer can decide whether he wants inside or outside access (or both).
If a hole is not cut to enable inside access, how is your concept any better/different than a well-made clamshell RTT?

-Dan
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I think it's a really interesting idea, and I'm always keen to see more camper conversion options.
I've been daydreaming about an Ursa Minor stlye pop-up on a 2 door, maybe even like a J-180 but that flips backwards so when the roof is open and upside down it would be above you if you were standing at the rear tailgate.

Anyway, I have one piece of input on your idea:



If a hole is not cut to enable inside access, how is your concept any better/different than a well-made clamshell RTT?

-Dan
In general, it would be the same as a clamshell RTT, except for two things:

1. Since it mounts directly to the hardtop (freedom panel replacement in front, secures to lift gate hinge bolts in back) no roof rack/exocage rack is required.

2. It probably would be larger that most clamshell RTTs because it would be almost as large as the full roof, most clamshells are smaller.

But other than that they're about the same.

Also it would be possible to do a 180 flip design with this idea
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Also from DriveLodge (the makers of one of the pop-top roofs I posted recently) is this over-the-windshield rack. Designed to work with their pop-up roof, I'm surprised nobody has done this for the Wrangler, specifically for the Ursa Minor pop-top.





It's 275 GBP (About $380).

Racks that stick out over the windshield are very common in the Defender/Series world, seems like they would be a good thing in the Wrangler world too.

I built an extension for my Garvin rack basket last year so I could have more storage space when the roof top tent is mounted. On my LJ the rack extension sticks out over the windshield a bit (the JKU roof is longer so it doesn't stick out on that Jeep). I don't think I've seen any commercial Wrangler racks that do this and I don't know why not because the extra length is pretty useful, especially when a roof top tent is taking up most of the rack space.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I don't think I've seen an awning like this in the Jeep world:







The awning stows in this bag on the floor:



This design should be pretty easy to DIY for a Jeep.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A good one for use with a soft top.
Very early in the thread I posted this one with a soft top:



The Land Rover soft top has provisions for attaching that, but the Jeep doesn't. A little later in the thread I made a Jeep version, and it uses straps that hook to the bottom of the hardtop - they're visible in this photo. This technique will also work with a Jeep soft top.



I used poles at the outer end like the Land Rover one above in this post, although I considered angled poles to the body like the ones in today's earlier post. I used an old soft top bow so the curve matches the curve of the Jeep soft top, and added longer legs to it.
 
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jscherb

Expedition Leader
If only Jeep factory hardtops came with removable roof panels, something like this would be easy:





This photo shows a bit of the detail about how the factory roof is mated to the pop-top structure.



Options like this are one of the many reasons I made both JKU and LJ Safari Cab hardtops with separate roof panels...

 
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