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  View original topic: How does the shelf above the sink/stove attach to the roof?
erste Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:23 pm

Excuse my tin top ignorance.

I'm in the planning phases of building out the interior. Going to keep it pretty simple. Full width bench, no sink, two burner camp stove, half height storage in the rear so I can still load 4x8 sheets, possibly some storage built in behind the driver's seat where the arb fridge sits, maybe a flip up table along that wall.

The space above the driver's side middle / rear windows seems like an easy place to start because it's pretty much dead space and I can integrate some lights.

How does this shelf attach to the roof on a stock westy?

a2d2's pic shows me that retrofitting the westy shelf in a tin top is possible.


Unfortunately I can't find pictures of the bracketry, this is as close as I can get (source: http://campwestfalia.com/a-westfalia-tour/):




Looks like you can screw into the fresh air duct at any point while taking advantage of the grab handle threaded inserts.

Curious how the factory did this. Looks like later vans might have used a different construction for this shelf too? heliodon's photo from this amazing thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=439269&start=32


edit - Is there a strip like this on the pass. side?


How useful do you find this shelf / what do you normally keep up there?

Thanks in advance

campism Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:19 am

I removed and reinstalled my curtain tray (spice rack) years ago so my memory might be foggy. This photo shows triangular brackets at front and rear. My Westy uses one bracket at the front to mount that end to the ceiling and at the rear my tray bolts to the closet. Since you are not using the closet you'll need an alternate mounting at the rear. It appears that this guy used a second front bracket reversed to mount at the rear. I do not know this to be the case but it looks most likely.

Since your van is a hardtop there's an option to consider. This curtain tray's dimension is designed to fit under the edge of the Westy roof's poptop opening. Without that opening you do not need the shelf/tray to be so limited in the benefit it provides, so I'd recommend you built a flat shelf that is about 12-15" wide so you can actually fit some stuff up there, and add an edge band to retain any items that might be on it. Since you would probably be making the brackets for it, you could also locate it a little higher up in the curve of the roof.

Nuthin2It Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:38 am

Here are some photos I took when I removed the storage shelf on my 1985 Westfalia three years ago.







This bolts to the rear cabinet:



I hope this helps.

Jon_slider Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:53 pm

Nuthin2It wrote:



that galvanized piece is the answer

to the OP, when you source the spice rack, get the galvanized bracket too.

but if you dont have a westy closet, you will not be able to attach the back end of the shelf in stock configuration.

fwiw, the shelf is not very deep, I dont think it is worth installing. If you want to store stuff in that location, I suggest you use something with a deeper profile. (rain gutter?)

a2d2 Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:26 pm

Hey there, I'm the guy with the van in the first picture in the thread. I'm posting from work and my van's not here so I can't post any closeups right now or anything but I thought I should add my two cents in here:
campism wrote: It appears that this guy used a second front bracket reversed to mount at the rear.
This is indeed the case, with some minor modifications that I can't remember without looking at it. Also, mounting this extra bracket did require drilling a small hole or two into the interior metal. Make sure you pick a spot that doesn't go right through to the outside!
campism wrote: Without that opening you do not need the shelf/tray to be so limited in the benefit it provides
Jon_slider wrote: fwiw, the shelf is not very deep, I dont think it is worth installing. If you want to store stuff in that location, I suggest you use something with a deeper profile. (rain gutter?)
I had read similar thoughts in a few threads before I did this but went for it anyways. You would be surprised what fits up there - of course not as much as in a westy but all sorts of stuff: canned food, fruit, spices, condiments, first aid kit, toothpaste and toothbrushes, toilet paper, flashlights, headlamps, etc. The rounded roof does limit the height but there is more room that one might think - especially if you can come to terms with the idea of things being stored at a slight angle.
erste wrote: Is there a strip like this on the pass. side?
[/quote]
A piece like this was in the Westy I pulled my shelf from, it does play a role in holding up the backside of the tray. I have this piece sitting in my garage and have been meaning to install it for way too long now. It keeps moving down my list of priorities as the shelf works fairly well without it. It would be much more solid and stable with it installed so I am definitely planning on doing it and I would recommend it.

In short, there are probably other things one could fit up there that might even be more useful but if you already have on of these shelves and you like things to keep a "factory" look... do it!

I'm a big fan of having the westy tray in mine and can't imagine how I got by without it.

erste Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:39 pm

Nice! - thanks all for the detailed photos and input, it's really helpful. Seeing those metal brackets gives me some ideas. Pretty smart way to mount the shelf actually.

I don't have a shelf so I'll probably build something out of 1/2" ply with a lip along the edge. Just as you all suggest, it'll be wider. I was thinking about trying to wrap it around the back / build a cubby at the top of the roof between the D pillars.

Running lights underneath the shelf would be pretty nice too.

thanks again! I'll update this with any progress that comes along.

Jon_slider Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:52 pm

a2d2 wrote: You would be surprised what fits up there - of course not as much as in a westy but all sorts of stuff: canned food, fruit, spices, condiments, first aid kit, toothpaste and toothbrushes, toilet paper, flashlights, headlamps, etc.

I agree with some of the items you posted.. like toothbush and toilet paper.. not so sure about canned goods :-)


the A1 fits, but I would not drive with it. The soup does not fit, and even if it did, I would not drive with 3/4 of the can sticking up above the lip of the shelf. The shelf is only 1.5" deep.

a2d2 Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:38 pm

Jon_slider wrote:
I agree with some of the items you posted.. like toothbush and toilet paper.. not so sure about canned goods :-)


the A1 fits, but I would not drive with it. The soup does not fit, and even if it did, I would not drive with 3/4 of the can sticking up above the lip of the shelf. The shelf is only 1.5" deep.

Jon, it looks like you have stumbled upon a rare advantage of the "early" shelf over the "late" shelf.

My shelf came from a 1980 and it definitely mounts in a different way to the ones shown above (with the galvanized steel bracket). Also, after seeing your picture, I now see that it is wider (and deeper?). Those 2 cans would have slid right into mine.

I have lost a banana or two out of there on bumpy backroads but the canned food has stayed put so far - hopefully that continues (knock on wood)!

Jon_slider Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:02 pm

My photo is an 85 westy
I believe you're right, can you post a photo too?

a2d2 Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:14 pm

Sorry to leave this thread hanging, got busy and forgot all about it. Had a chance to upload some pics today.

Cans and other stuff in the shelf:


Closeup of how the cans fit - they are kind of "wedged" in with the headliner so they can't really go anywhere as long as there is enough stuff up there to keep them from sliding back and forth. The Campbells can is even wider than a normal can.


And some detail on the "mod" at the rear attachment point: The original hole seen at the top of the wood piece is where the little angled bracket is supposed to be. Only the actual roof metal is available to screw into at this area in a tin top so I relocated it a couple inches away to somewhere with some interior metal to screw into. Not as stable but it's working fine - as mentioned above, I will one day get around to installing the piece that runs behind the shelf and that will most likely shore it right up.

Steve M. Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:30 pm

Think about the back of your skull and the weight of those cans during an accident. Not that you're going to have an accident, but you never plan that...

a2d2 Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:23 am

Steve M. wrote: Think about the back of your skull and the weight of those cans during an accident. Not that you're going to have an accident, but you never plan that...

:D I was so sure this comment was coming next that I almost said it myself. :D

I see this concern come up in a lot of threads and I totally agree that I should do something to up the safety level there. I'm currently plotting to try and find a way to put some elasticized webbing or something up there but haven't settled on a plan yet.

That being said, is this really any different from the danger of a stock westy shelf? I realize tin cans are heavy and all that but to paraphrase many other threads, "any object can become a missile in a crash". The tin cans just look scarier than a flashlight. Or a jar of "spice" from the "spice rack". I wouldn't want any one of them to hit my head at 80k... not even a a toothbrush if I have a choice. So unless no one is keeping anything at all in their shelves I would think that mine's no more dangerous (fingers crossed and still planning to do something about it).

danfromsyr Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:47 am

hell I have a frying pan up on my oversink shelf..
just hope the headrest blocks it ;-)

we have an ASI Riviera camper which was a tin top with a hole in the roof.
but my sink cabinet is deeper than a westy.. it's great for storage space but sucks out of the interior space. we have a length of grey wire rack hung there.


erste Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:40 am

I made some quick progress on this project yesterday, basically because I want to install some LED strip lighting over the weekend and needed a place to put it.

I made a cardboard template of the 'shelf' (83" x 9") and of the vertical slats (5.5-6" except for the rear which is an inch or so shorter).

Then I used some wood I had on the shelf. The shelf itself is just thin plywood (between 1/8 and 1/4"). Vertical supports are 1/2" ply. Solid oak lip (3/4 x 1").

The main mounting point is the grab handle. This way I could screw an L bracket to the body, hold up the shelf, mark the location, and then screw the L bracket to the wood. From there it will hang on it's own and it's just a matter of screwing the rest of the L brackets to the body (drill pilot holes and then use 1/2" self tapping screws).

I really should have pulled up this thread before choosing the mounting points. In the very front, the body is reinforced at the B pillar, so you can screw the top of the shelf to something. Then the C pillar is reinforced, so you can screw in up high there too. I missed that detail and put the vertical in the wrong spot, so the shelf sags slightly. I don't think a shorter shelf would have this problem.

As it's been said in this thread already, there's nowhere to screw at the back - that really needs a cabinet to screw into. That'll probably be next.

As it is, there are L brackets fixed to each vertical wood support, screwed in just above the window. I'm hoping that moving one of them to the C pillar will help me get it screwed in from the top, which will help with the slight sagging that's happening now.

Another thought is to put a larger bracket under the shelf at the C pillar to help support the center.







It looks curved because it's not fully installed at this point:


Paracord in tension will help hold stuff in place:


More progress to come.



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