This section is provided not to preclude you contacting me, I'd like to hear from you, but rather to give you some insights into they type of questions - and answers to those questions - that other people have asked. If you have other questions, I'd like to have them and answer them, perhaps, with your permission, posting the responses here.
I found your website through a forum on thesamba.com. I'm very interested in high top vanagons and the scarce supply has lead me to consider buying a normal vanagon or westy and replacing the top.
Buying a straight vanagon is the really smart way to go. From my checking of the forums etc, I think that there is at least a $3000 differential between a vanagon and a westy of the same year. So, whatever your budget, buying a vanagon buys you a better vehicle (age, condition, engine etc) than buying a westy. To follow this train of thought - for
what you would spend for a westy, you could buy a vanagon and put a high top on it, insulate and finish the inside, for about the same as buying a westy. Then do a custom interior (I think personally that weekender interiors are just about ideal with a high top) . Check the Samba classifieds for prices/values and you'll see what I mean.
Thanks, and I apologize if my questions are a bit basic.
Hey - I'm a retired educator - High School Principal - and the only dumb questions are those that are left unasked.
How does installation typically go?
Installation typically takes about 4 - 6 hours. There's nothing particularly daunting about it - the scariest thing psychologically is cutting the hole in the roof, but it is done quite quickly and over with in 20 - 40 minutes. The top is fastened on with some super adhesives - I mean really super - (if you get a glob on
your garage floor and it cures - you have to grind it off) it is permanent and forms a permanent bond between the top and your van top at the edges where they meet
Once the van roof where the top and van will be joined is prepared, the adhesives are spread and the top is lowered into place - kind of rocked a bit to smear the adhesives to the two surfaces -this is where it takes two
people - and then it is left alone to cure for 4 to 6 hours. A subsequent generous bead of adhesive is applied from the top down from inside the top.
How will the top affect my fuel consumption?
Anecdotally, those who have the tops on, both in the U.K. and here in North America, report no discernable difference in their fuel consumption. The explanation for why this is so lies in the shape of the top. It fits quite nicely into the aerodynamic "bubble" frmed as a vanagon moves at speed. The brochure below is from another conversion van - the Dehler Profi. The shape of the hightop shown is pretty close to the shape of our top. Certainly it is close enough to demonstrate how the hightop pictured is actually better aerodynamicaly than the pop top.