Tropical Roofs (Double Roof)

teachersnake

New member
Walking down the street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington DC I happened across a lovely Series 3 Landy. I admired it for ten or fifteen minutes and was particularly impressed with its "Tropical Roof." I remember having seen these types of double roofs on GWagens in the Mideast a number of years ago, and I've always thought it an ingenious way to keep an expedition vehicle cooler.

You can see an example of one here:


I figure it wouldn't be too difficult to fab up something similar for my Cherokee. I would be able to incorporate it into the design for my full length roof rack that I hope to put together within a couple of weeks.

Has anybody else thought of building a Tropical Roof for their rig? Or are there any Land Rover owners who can chime in on the subject?
 

OverlandZJ

Expedition Leader
I think it's a good idea. I dont see why you couldnt remove the factory roofrack and rails, use the existing nutserts to mount the new skin. IIRC there are at least a half dozen nutserts per side, should be more than enough to hold some light aluminum.

How much space would be needed between skins.. 2"? Plenty low enough that your rack surface could be mounted just above.
 
M

MuddyOval

Guest
the rovers have vents in the roof too, so one can open up and get fresh air through the whole truck. I have a tropical on my 109 station wagon and it works surprisingly well for ventilation and temperature control.
One of my Discos has a white composite floor on the roof rack and since putting the floor on, the temp in the vehicle when parked has decreased a LOT. The theory works!
 

CliffClavin

Observer
I too have a tropical roof on my 109" Series III. The little roof vents are pretty neat and do a good job cooling down the interior and helping with airflow. There is less than a 2" gap between the two roofs maybe 1".
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
The solid floor roof rack/platform/observation deck that I built for the old '79 Suburban was partially built with this in mind. The vehicle expired before it saw much hot country, but I did use it at a couple desert races. With no "before" I've no idea how well it worked.
I plan to cut the platform down to fit my 60 at some point in "the List."

 

BIGdaddy

Expedition Leader
I also installed a floor on my congo cage on my LJ. The inside temps were a good 20-30 degree's cooler with it on.

I've been trying to figure a way to do this on my XJ. I use thule bars for lumber and canoe transport, so I have a lot of space to work with. I like the idea of using the roof rail mounts. I also have rubber load "skidders" running the length of my roof that would be helpful in spreading the load of a piece of composite or sheetmetal.
 

jrose609

Explorer
the rovers have vents in the roof too, so one can open up and get fresh air through the whole truck. I have a tropical on my 109 station wagon and it works surprisingly well for ventilation and temperature control.
One of my Discos has a white composite floor on the roof rack and since putting the floor on, the temp in the vehicle when parked has decreased a LOT. The theory works!
Do you have a picture of the disco with the white composite floor? I'm thinking about painting either the roof of my disco white, or painting the roofrack flooring white.
 

The Swiss

Expedition Leader
I've done that too and it works. My tropical roof is a double fiberglass construction with a foam and some other insulation :Wow1: ...

... actually, my Maggiolina roof top tent has the same effect on the temperature in the vehicle like a tropical roof :D
 

Mike S

Sponsor - AutoHomeUSA
... actually, my Maggiolina roof top tent has the same effect on the temperature in the vehicle like a tropical roof :D
Michael - I have noticed the same thing - it's actually cooler with the tent on the roof. Not a lot, but cooler.

Back in the day, when I lived in the Jamaica, the old Series Land Rovers had not yet been displaced by Toyotas. Almost all of the ones used on the properties (ranches and farms) had tropic tops. I always thought it has a very useful feature.
 
M

MuddyOval

Guest
Do you have a picture of the disco with the white composite floor? I'm thinking about painting either the roof of my disco white, or painting the roofrack flooring white.
Here's a couple pics. The flooring is 'starboard' boat decking. It won't mold, anti-slip, won't warp etc. I put this on after removing the Maggiolina tent since it was apparent the temps inside went up without the tent on there.
 

Attachments

The Swiss

Expedition Leader
II am in the process of deciding on the (09 JK 4 door) roof rack so I can get shade over the fiberglass top.
I got the Congo Cage, probably the best "bang for the buck" you can get. I am still playing with the position of the Maggiolina on the rack to find the best compromise between wind noise, drop in mpg (goes directly together with wind noise), still having the open air possibility with the front T tops off and "goofy" looks. The best so far is/would be having the RTT starting behind the b-pillar. However, then protrudes far over the rear edge of the Jeep, looking somewhat strange (looking plane stupid according to my wife).
 

Every Miles A Memory

Expedition Leader
I know we have solar panels over the bedroom in our camper and the bedroom is always cooler than the rest of the camper because the sun never hits the roof

I've thought of putting something over the roof of my F-250 to keep the sun off the roof. I was thinking if you put an Air Deflector on the front of a roof rack similar to the Bajarack, you could line to floor of the roof rack with reflectix insulation (Super lightweight and would reflect 100% of the light hitting the roof)

Might not be do-able while driving, but would be cool to have it pre-cut for when the vehicle is parked in camp.
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
When I built the roof rack for my old '79 Suburban the double roof concept played heavily in the design of it.
 
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