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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that's to fill his diesel tank - that he uses for his heater. Pretty sick.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
I'm pretty sure that's to fill his diesel tank - that he uses for his heater. Pretty sick.


That's what I suspected too, but just teasing him 'cause I have't seen mention of it yet. Very Happy
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intro
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Hey guys,

Haven't posted in a long time, been a busy year. I hope to have the Subaru 2.2 install done by early spring at the latest and have started looking into which hightop I want to prep for our 85 tintop next summer/fall.

Not going to lie, price and shipping are big factors in the final decision. All the pricing info I've seen appears to be from older threads so I'm curious what the going rates are these days and how exactly one of these is shipped to the northeast (I'm in MA)? Does anyone happen to know from a recent purchase. I'm interested in the bare shell only as I will be decking it out and doing the install myself, thanks to the great write-ups I've seen by some members here.

I've heard it's possible to find used ones at junkyards but I can't imagine that is very common (oh look, an old Joker top), and how does one even begin that search>?

So buying a new one seems the way to go and if I had to choose based on aesthetics alone I would go with the NAHT, but it seems it's the priciest. Is the 4K figure I see on the site for a fully decked out shell + shipping or installation? The Fiberine shape really doesn't do it for me but if the price difference is substantial I may just have to make it work. If anyone knows prices at the moment, I'd be interested in knowing.

With either manufacturer, if I'm getting it shipped, does it come to our home address? Seems like the NAHT travels to regions and then you go pick it up yourself? Does that mean I'm either making a road trip to VA or Novascotia from MA and strapping it to the roof?

Thanks in advance anyone that can fill me in.
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J Charlton Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Hey Intro - probably best if you contact me directly through PM and then regular email - pretty sure I can answer your questions re NAHT hightops in particular and any questions you might have re availability and/or installation

John Charlton
North American Hightops
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NAHT hightop availability Feb 29 2020 See website http://canadianhightops.ca for details on current production discount including cut off dates
Distribution plan 2020: Staunton Va 6(4available), Florida 6(4 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Sacramento 6?, Kennewick 6?, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

intro wrote:
Hey guys,

Haven't posted in a long time, been a busy year. I hope to have the Subaru 2.2 install done by early spring at the latest and have started looking into which hightop I want to prep for our 85 tintop next summer/fall.

Not going to lie, price and shipping are big factors in the final decision. All the pricing info I've seen appears to be from older threads so I'm curious what the going rates are these days and how exactly one of these is shipped to the northeast (I'm in MA)? Does anyone happen to know from a recent purchase. I'm interested in the bare shell only as I will be decking it out and doing the install myself, thanks to the great write-ups I've seen by some members here.

I've heard it's possible to find used ones at junkyards but I can't imagine that is very common (oh look, an old Joker top), and how does one even begin that search>?

So buying a new one seems the way to go and if I had to choose based on aesthetics alone I would go with the NAHT, but it seems it's the priciest. Is the 4K figure I see on the site for a fully decked out shell + shipping or installation? The Fiberine shape really doesn't do it for me but if the price difference is substantial I may just have to make it work. If anyone knows prices at the moment, I'd be interested in knowing.

With either manufacturer, if I'm getting it shipped, does it come to our home address? Seems like the NAHT travels to regions and then you go pick it up yourself? Does that mean I'm either making a road trip to VA or Novascotia from MA and strapping it to the roof?

Thanks in advance anyone that can fill me in.


When comparing prices of different tops, you need to factor in that NAHT tops come with very high-quality windows...In my search I didn't find any other tops where windows were included. And I can say after a summer of heavy use, I have absolutely no regrets in spending a bit extra and going with this top.
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'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0
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"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

We've been looking for an installer/distributor in the Salt Lake City area for several years. I'm very happy to say that Jeff Matthews and his folks at VW Uplifters have come forward to fill the void.
When I was scheduled to trailer the last shipment of tops west to Colorado and SLC early June some health issues intervened - the tops eventually were shipped and got to folks in SLC and Buena Vista but I was unable to spend a couple of days with Jeff et al in SLC doing an install and passing on that which I know in terms of doing an install.
Happily most health issues are resolved and I'll be in SLC working with Jeff and his crew Oct 1,2,3 doing an install on a customers van. I always look forward to meeting other vanagon people - i know that a couple will be dropping by VW Uplifters to say hello.
https://www.vw-upfitters.com/
JC
_________________
NAHT hightop availability Feb 29 2020 See website http://canadianhightops.ca for details on current production discount including cut off dates
Distribution plan 2020: Staunton Va 6(4available), Florida 6(4 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Sacramento 6?, Kennewick 6?, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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J Charlton Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

I returned Oct 4 from Salt Lake City after a pretty intense working/training exercise in installing a hightop with the guys at VW Uplifters. This install was a first for me on a van that was freshly painted and had all windows out and no headliner. In some ways it made it simpler, in other ways we had to change the regular install routine a bit.
The van was a Suby converted syncro, painted a gorgeous blue colour - the guys at VW Uplifters ( Jeff, Hugo and Tyce) worked long and hard and "got 'er done" We also managed to do all of the carpentry re. fore and aft platforms and opening trim, all ready for the headliner to be installed to make it look great.
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Ron - the legendary Syncro Jael of trip and video fame https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=724923&highlight=utah+newfoundland
- dropped by during the install and it was great to meet him and see his van
_________________
NAHT hightop availability Feb 29 2020 See website http://canadianhightops.ca for details on current production discount including cut off dates
Distribution plan 2020: Staunton Va 6(4available), Florida 6(4 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Sacramento 6?, Kennewick 6?, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Winter camping season is here in Utah. I will share my impressions now that I have had our NAHT installed for over 6 months.

Summer camping in the hot Utah desert with a high top was much better than I expected. I was concerned that I could not get enough cross ventilation as with the three window tent. To our surprise the power vent actually gives us much better ventilation throughout the entire van. Opening a window on the shady side, or cooler side, of the van and drawing the hot air out to the top rear is quite comfortable. The sliding side windows on the high top give great air movement in the upper berth. Even with a zero wind condition outside the power vent moves enough air, quietly, to sleep pretty comfortably. I would suggest a power vent even for the pop tops. Keeping the top a white color also really helps keep the radiant heat gain down.

I have had several winter weather camping trips so far. The coldest night has been 9f outside and I kept the inside of the van at 70 easily with a Chinese diesel heater. It did not have to work hard at all and usually ran on its low setting cycling up occasionally.

The upper bunk now stays toasty warm and very quiet compared to the pop top tent. (Yes, noticeably quieter). Did I say "QUIETER" yes, heck yes. I even had the Fanchers insulation kit installed before, but you were still sleeping in a tent. We slept through a couple torrential rain storms in Nova Scotia and enjoyed the difference of a high top.

I have made window insulation covers for the NAHT and they really help in keeping the heat in. I usually crack open the power vent on top to help dissipate the interior moisture. Our van is so much more comfortable now that we have a very well insulated top. I have not seen any condensation problems using the insulation products that John suggests for installation.

If you have been contemplating a High Top Van I would be happy to share my experiences with any of you. As you know we installed the NAHT just before our 9200 mile trip from Utah to Newfoundland and back. So I have a lot of miles under all types of driving conditions. Yes, I have a higher profile to winds, but really it is not much different than the pop top with a rack and sky-box on top.

So far the NAHT has been a game changer for us as for as comfort, storage, and roominess. Having a dedicated berth up above that can hold all the bedding for both bunks is a positive feature. Behind the rear seat is almost always vacant now. The storage above the cab is priceless! Everything is easily within reach, always dry and secure being inside, and we do not have to climb around outside to get any of our gear. I can't imagine not having a High Top Van now.

Cheers,
Ron


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mrshrimp
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

can you show some pics of inside?
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

mrshrimp wrote:
can you show some pics of inside?


If you mean mine?

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Here is how thick the insulation is and some pics of the installation:

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And the finished product:

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1987 Syncro Westfalia Hightop - NAHT
Subaru EJ25 Forged Frankenmotor, Triple Knob.
Jael = (Mountain Goat)
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mrshrimp
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics. Love my pop top but the hightop is definelty more all weather.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Two of my favourite vanagon people also have two of the nicest vans anywhere. When Ron Chandler (owner of one of the vans) was on his sojourn to Newfoundland last summer I encouraged him to stop by and see Jeff Hogue(owner of the other van) at Jeffsoldvolkshome in Chester Basin Nova Scotia. Ron did, but unfortunately Jeff had already closed up his shop for summer vacation and they missed each other. Too bad - I think that seeing each other's van would have inspired each to even greater things.
Jeff's van:
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beautiful functional interior
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On another note: Today we are beginning another production run of NAHT tops. I strongly encourage anyone considering getting an NAHT top for their van to go to http://canadianhightops.ca/ for some important information.
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NAHT hightop availability Feb 29 2020 See website http://canadianhightops.ca for details on current production discount including cut off dates
Distribution plan 2020: Staunton Va 6(4available), Florida 6(4 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Sacramento 6?, Kennewick 6?, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

I am still loving my top. Having the option of standing up when it's freezing outside is fantastic.

On another note, I get asked constantly who makes the tops so I had my own very unofficial label created. I hope that's okay John.

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Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0
'85 928S
'19 Golf R
'02 Beetle GLS

"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

In my constantly evolving van, I'm entertaining a high roof.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

dkoesyncro wrote:
In my constantly evolving van, I'm entertaining a high roof.


I have no regrets. Except Taco Bell Drive-thru.
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Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0
'85 928S
'19 Golf R
'02 Beetle GLS

"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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dkoesyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Joe, how was SS last year, did it/was it seem top heavy?
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J Charlton Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:52 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

joetiger wrote:
I am still loving my top. Having the option of standing up when it's freezing outside is fantastic.

On another note, I get asked constantly who makes the tops so I had my own very unofficial label created. I hope that's okay John.

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The Label is fine Joe - thank you. I actually have some large and small labels for the tops but they're up North at the moment. If folks with NAHT tops contact me with their mailing address I'll send them out.

WRT the question above re "does it seem top heavy?" Since "seem" is a qualitative term, I can only say that the top itself weighs far less than a westy poptop top does. The NAHT top is made of hand laid fibreglass and averages about 85lbs by itself - with insulation, finish material and windows probably about 125lbs. If a van with an NAHT top on it seems top heavy its most likely because the "upstairs" is filled with a lot of heavy "stuff". Most folks use the storage for bulky items such as bedding, clothes etc.
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NAHT hightop availability Feb 29 2020 See website http://canadianhightops.ca for details on current production discount including cut off dates
Distribution plan 2020: Staunton Va 6(4available), Florida 6(4 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Sacramento 6?, Kennewick 6?, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

dkoesyncro wrote:
Joe, how was SS last year, did it/was it seem top heavy?


I forget that it's up there. The van did not perform any differently. I still have the original roof structure so flex-wise it's exactly the same. I really believe that's the biggest danger initially, forgetting its up there and hitting something.

The top took hits from bushes and trees; the Monstaliner protected it fine.

To John's point, I only put soft gear up there.
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Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0
'85 928S
'19 Golf R
'02 Beetle GLS

"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Another production run has begun. The pics below are of top #2 from our 2020 run.

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With a production rate of about 3 every 5 days, the clock is ticking for anyone wanting to take advantage of the "production discount" as outlined on the first page of canadianhightops.ca

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_________________
NAHT hightop availability Feb 29 2020 See website http://canadianhightops.ca for details on current production discount including cut off dates
Distribution plan 2020: Staunton Va 6(4available), Florida 6(4 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Sacramento 6?, Kennewick 6?, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

When I was initially looking to install a High Top in place of my Pop Top I wanted to make it so that I could remove it and replace it with the Pop Top. I wonder why I would ever want to go back? Rolling Eyes Taller, yes, but with a lifted Syncro, Rack, and Skybox, I could not use underground parking or a normal garage anyway.

Now that we have had the NAHT on for 6 months I have comments to share with those thinking about a High Top.

My wife and I cannot imagine going back to a Pop Top. The added degree of comfort, quietness, insulation, and storage is unbeatable. Most of the gear we would put in a Sky box or strap to the front luggage space can now be inside, out of the weather, and out of sight from anyone wanting to borrow our stuff. We kept the upstairs berth so all of our bedding for both berths is usually stored at the rear of the top berth. This leaves the entire rear of the van open to access all the cabinets easily. The added storage above the front seats has plenty of space for anything, camera equipment, and other camping gear.

The installation of a NAHT on a factory Pop Top van is really straight forward. Removal of the Pop Top tent and mounts is really quick. Then you unbolt the hinge for the upper bunk that normally folds over forward. The NAHT is not wide enough at the top to fold over as before. Now you just slide it on top of the back cushion then slide it forward to make a berth. I installed a couple track stops so that it would lock into position for sleeping.

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Others have asked about the sleeping room up above. There is plenty of space to sleep comfortably above. Sure the front of a pop top allows for sitting at the front of the bunk, but there is more rear foot room with a NAHT. Or you can sleep with your head at the rear. I easily can get on my hands and knees to roll up bedding and store it. Then jump down and slide the forward cushion back. The cabin is wide open again.

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I did all of the NAHT installation myself. There is enough information out there from previous installations to understand and DIY the work. Choices of insulation and coverings are pretty much up to the owner. But you want to install all of this before the top is installed. Glueing insulation and coverings inside the top, while it is upside down and on the ground, is simple compared to the alternative. Installation is very labor intensive. So I am guessing a shop that installs your top will at least be 40hrs of shop labor time plus all materials. I would guess I saved at least $3k by installing myself.

Again I elected to mount my power vent on the rear deck of the NAHT. I did this so that ventilation would cover the rear of the top and for a large space to mount a 170w Solar Panel on the top. It also cuts the total van height down. I am very pleased with how well the van ventilates now. It stays much cooler, in sunlight, than with a dark colored top and tent. Much cooler.

I also wired in and installed interior LED Touch Lights with dimmers. These work great. I opted for no bulkheads so that I can still store long items such as surfboards, skiis, and small kayaks inside and up above. Again your gear is safely out of sight and locked up.

So after having a NAHT for the Summer, Fall, and most of a Winter. We have logged around 15,000 miles across all kinds of weather and wind conditions. We are a higher profile vehicle than a pop top, but once you add a rack, skybox, or add gear to your pop top, a high top is not much taller. Gusty side winds do not throw you across a lane of traffic like so many say they do. Keeping your steering components to specifications is advised for any vehicle.

A High Top is by far the best investment we have made for our Syncro Westy. We still often talk about how nice the standing headroom is, all the time. At the recent BBB I had a couple guys that were 6'4" tall jump in and they commented how much head room they still had, and how open the van seemed with a NAHT. The quality built sliding windows, that let light in,make it very open and bright compared to a pop top.

Stealth camping is easier with upper window coverings. Even though our van screams "Camping" we have slept in the van using both berths unnoticed several times. That was never possible with a pop top.

For how we use our van the North American High Top has been a great modification and investment.

You can scroll down in this thread of my installation on page #58:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...start=1140

I understand a High Top is not for everyone. But for us, this was a great investment to our vanagon. And for living the Van Life that we all enjoy. We look to many years traveling, exploring, and living out of our vanagon. See you out there camping somewhere! Very Happy

Cheers,
Ron

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1987 Syncro Westfalia Hightop - NAHT
Subaru EJ25 Forged Frankenmotor, Triple Knob.
Jael = (Mountain Goat)
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