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New Hightop Option
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Great write up, Ron.

Slightly off-topic, has anybody done upper curtains? Maybe similar in form (but not print pattern) to the AW curtains?

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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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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

joetiger wrote:
Slightly off-topic, has anybody done upper curtains?


I made some insulated covers, the size of the window frames, that velcro onto the window frames from the inside.

Using "Thermopan" cardboard on the outside and your matching covering glued to the inside. This adds privacy and reflects the sun during the day.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The added insulation factor over the windows is a plus. They store easily under the upper cushions.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:28 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

That's a great idea--I still have a bunch of Prodex left over from my install that would probably work well. Thanks!
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Joe T.

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'85 928S
'19 Golf R
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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

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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skyboy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

I keep thinking this is the way to go. I keep thinking it would make life easier with kids and gear, no more constantly popping the top up and down when wanting to drive off and explore. Would it be crazy to carry 2 klepper kayaks (folded/packed) in the bed area when traveling? I guess its no different than having them strapped to the pop top. (probably less drag). My syncro is still stock 2.1, most comments are from those with engine conversions. Is this a get a conversion (which I consider every winter) first and then the high top, or high top is fine with stock engine.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:51 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Hey Ron, nice to hear all the ways in which you and your wife find the NAHT to improve your camping experience. I am awed by all the creature comfort you have added with the NAHT!

I have only two things keeping me from going over to the NAHT side:

1. I insist, given our crazy, rainy, BC winters, on garaging my rig in the monsoon season. (In the summer, my rig is theft proof in the garage.)

2. Some of our travels on logging roads feature overhanging trees and branches that barely allow us to pass through even with the pop top down. I prefer to leave the chain saw at home.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

skyboy wrote:
My syncro is still stock 2.1, most comments are from those with engine conversions. Is this a get a conversion (which I consider every winter) first and then the high top, or high top is fine with stock engine.


Do you think it is fine now? If so, then it would be as fine with the high top. The change in the performance pre vs. post high top is virtually imperceptible.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Howesight wrote:
Hey Ron, nice to hear all the ways in which you and your wife find the NAHT to improve your camping experience. I am awed by all the creature comfort you have added with the NAHT!

I have only two things keeping me from going over to the NAHT side:

1. I insist, given our crazy, rainy, BC winters, on garaging my rig in the monsoon season. (In the summer, my rig is theft proof in the garage.)

2. Some of our travels on logging roads feature overhanging trees and branches that barely allow us to pass through even with the pop top down. I prefer to leave the chain saw at home.


Yes, I purchased a metal garage with a 10ft door. But I needed this before the High top. My van with the skybox was at 8ft anyway.

I have plowed through some low hanging juniper branches with the NAHT already on some back roads in Arizona. Just a few scratches and the antennas laid back. But after going a couple hours on some sketchy roads, I was not turning back. I do carry a hand saw if really needed.

Yes, the added height will present a few more challenges at times. But I had a friend go under this rock with his Syncro NAHT before I purchased mine! Laughing

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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skyboy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
skyboy wrote:
My syncro is still stock 2.1, most comments are from those with engine conversions. Is this a get a conversion (which I consider every winter) first and then the high top, or high top is fine with stock engine.


Do you think it is fine now? If so, then it would be as fine with the high top. The change in the performance pre vs. post high top is virtually imperceptible.


Thank you, I figured. I have some pro-conversion friends saying otherwise, but I think they just want me to do a conversion Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

skyboy wrote:
I keep thinking this is the way to go. I keep thinking it would make life easier with kids and gear, no more constantly popping the top up and down when wanting to drive off and explore. Would it be crazy to carry 2 klepper kayaks (folded/packed) in the bed area when traveling? I guess its no different than having them strapped to the pop top. (probably less drag). My syncro is still stock 2.1, most comments are from those with engine conversions. Is this a get a conversion (which I consider every winter) first and then the high top, or high top is fine with stock engine.


Like Ron says, the high-top is a game changer. It makes life easier every day. Yesterday I was heading to physical therapy directly after work and I changed into workout clothes while standing up. Thatís kind of a ridiculous example but nothing beats 24/7 standing room.

As for the kayak, I carry an Advanced Elements tandem inflatible kayak on the rear bed sometimes. Iíve also carried it in the rear bulkhead of the high-top.

Itís the grey bag with yellow paddles on it in this shot...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Iíve also carried it short distances to a put-in on the back of he van...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


My plan is to add a roof rack to carry a boat or SUPs on the side of the high-top.
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Current: 1990 Westy Camper - Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans w/Peloquin, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, seam rust, bondo, etc., etc.

Past: 1985 Westy Camper - 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years to Northwesty who converted it to a Syncro).
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

skyboy wrote:
?Waldo? wrote:
skyboy wrote:
My syncro is still stock 2.1, most comments are from those with engine conversions. Is this a get a conversion (which I consider every winter) first and then the high top, or high top is fine with stock engine.


Do you think it is fine now? If so, then it would be as fine with the high top. The change in the performance pre vs. post high top is virtually imperceptible.


Thank you, I figured. I have some pro-conversion friends saying otherwise, but I think they just want me to do a conversion Smile


For sure there's a big overlap with engine converted vans and those putting a hightop on. But I think it has less to do with any impact on performance that might be expected with the hightop. I'm fairly certain that once a person has done an engine conversion that they feel more confident to take their van further - on more extended trips etc. The longer trips become make it even more tiresome to do the constant gear shuffle of gear being in the cabin area of the van when underway and then moved when the top is popped. The hightop simply makes the van more enjoyable to travel and stay in.
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NAHT hightop availability May 1 2020 - distribution ASAP
Distribution plan 2020: Springfield Mass 3 tops 1 available Staunton Va 4(3available), Florida5(3 available), Colorado 6 (5 available), SLC 6 (5 available), Bend Oregon (for Oregon, California- 6 - 5 available), Kennewick Wa 6, GTA (Toronto) TBD
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

skyboy wrote:
My syncro is still stock 2.1, most comments are from those with engine conversions. Is this a get a conversion (which I consider every winter) first and then the high top, or high top is fine with stock engine.


Really the only difference in performance is being a higher profile vehicle (than a stock Pop Top). I could not tell any performance loss.

The High Top is much quieter inside when camping and also traveling down the highways.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

skyboy wrote:
Would it be crazy to carry 2 klepper kayaks (folded/packed) in the bed area when traveling?


We carry two inflatable SUPs and an inflatable kayak for camping near water, two on the back rack and one inside up top.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The front bulkhead area also holds thermal window covers, bug screens, rain gear, hammocks, hats, mountainsmith travel cubes, and anything else soft that I can stuff up there.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It's so nice to not spend the first hour at a campsite on a ladder pulling stuff out of the rocketbox and luggage rack, and the last hour putting it all back.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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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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dsdunbar
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

this thread makes me want a hightop so bad...the time spent packing up the campsite while trying to keep 3 little humans (boys) "entertained" (ie not punching each other) would be so awesome.... but the little humans will grow out of this stage...right?

totally digging the hightops......maybe someday.....
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

dsdunbar wrote:
this thread makes me want a hightop so bad...the time spent packing up the campsite while trying to keep 3 little humans (boys) "entertained" (ie not punching each other) would be so awesome.... but the little humans will grow out of this stage...right?



Mostly, though I can attest that they can punch a lot harder when they grow up.

Robyn

(It was me, my 6'4" 15 year old, hand wraps, and a heavy bag. Nobody freak out)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

While we're exalting the joys of high tops, I have to throw another one in that is, admittedly, completely irrational:

There are so many bears in Glacier and Banff and Jasper.

I think the odds of one coming through the poptop canvas on my Westy were somewhere north of winning the Powerball and being Super Bowl MVP on the same day; however, that never stopped me from being a frightened little mouse sleeping up there in bear country (the girls always slept triple on the lower bed in the deeper, darker, more remote camps.)

I mean, the Westy was hard-sided down low but soft-sided up high. We kept food in bear boxes, but our van was still full of odors that creatures would probably love.

Retiring at the end of the day to a true hard-sided camper on our trip north last summer was worth its weight in gold. I just sleep better. It's probably just the tenderfoot in me, but I love the cozy safety of not sleeping in canvas when in the sticks up north.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The only ones in the campground at Bowman Lake, Glacier NP

I should probably stop watching "I Was Prey" on Animal Channel. Very Happy
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'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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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

joetiger wrote:
I should probably stop watching "I Was Prey" on Animal Channel. Very Happy


I have had the same feeling while in Alaska! After seeing this guy around our boondock campsite and the dog barking in the middle of the night, I could see one scooping me out of the top bunk through the Acrylic Tent. Shocked

I sleep much better now too. Very Happy

EDIT: This pic was taken through the screen material from the upper bunk!

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Last edited by Syncro Jael on Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Yep. That would keep me up at night. 🙀
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

I have been thinking about going Hightop. Seems like thereís a lot of pros
for our regular use. Do they come with back window? Hunt is on!

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

Kombi///M3 wrote:
I have been thinking about going Hightop. Seems like thereís a lot of pros
for our regular use. Do they come with back window? Hunt is on!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Nice van! It doesn't look like it would be difficult to add a back window, but they only come with the sides. I considered a back window too, but after installing I found that wasn't necessary. It's pretty light and airy up there with the side windows.

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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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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: New Hightop Option Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:

EDIT: This pic was taken through the screen material from the upper bunk!


That's incredible. I would have had an accident. Which would have attracted the bear.
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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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