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Fanchers pop top insulation
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:39 pm    Post subject: Fanchers pop top insulation Reply with quote

has anyone used the R8 or the less expensive R4 pop top insulation that snaps on the inside of the pop top made by Fanchers? I wanted get ready for some winter camping. Any feedback would be appreciated. Smile
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bac914
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the outside wrap and use it frequently. It absolutely provides a more comfortable environment for cold weather camping. We also have a heater to compliment it and they work well together.

Anyway, I would expect that the inside insulation is good as well. The fit and quality of the wrap I have is very good. It was easy to install as it just velcros on. I see the inside one requires installing snaps in the pop top. As their site says, it would be convenient to install it inside when the weather is bad or you have a site with limited ability to walk around the outside of the van.

I'm pleased with it.

Brian.
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got a nifty setup off another member here made by him, i'll report back when it gets colder Very Happy
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they no longer make the outside insulation version. they replaced it with two versions for the inside. R8 which is thicker and R4 which is thinner and less priced. i wanted to see if the thicker one the R8 is worth the extra $140.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for those interested, here is the link to the products Fanchers makes
http://fanchers.com/267/Vanagon%20Internal%20thermal.htm

They do very high quality work.

The outside wrap would keep your canvas dry, the inside one wont.. If you camp in rain or snow, I suggest you ask Fanchers to begin making the outside wrap again..

I have not tried their inside wrap, I sold my outside wrap because I no longer snow camp. I also never static camp, I move every morning.. imo top insulation is most suited for people who setup camp and dont move the vehicle for a few days..

As to whynotvw's question whether the thicker inner insulation is worth the extra expense, I dont know first hand, but, I would go with the thin one. Because imo, most of the effect of a top insulation is to stop the canvas from breathing.. this retains a lot of heat for cold camping, IF you are generating heat inside with a Propex or other heater. Keep in mind you must be attentive to any condensation buildup, and give the canvas an opportunity to dry periodically. Same caveat applies to the windows, which in cold camping will inevitably be wet on the inside in the morning, unless you run a heater all night..

fwiw, I also had JustKampers window insulation, which I did not find useful.. they might reduce heat use, but, they also increase frozen condensation on the windows.. I have not tried Fanchers outside window covers.. but they would be a better choice imo..

here are my old posts reviewing the window pads from justkampers
http://tinyurl.com/3a3xske

here is my review of the pop top wrap, and I look forward to purplepeopleeater's review..
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=290213

btw, for diy, be forewarned that bubble wrap sheds its foil and will mark up your canvas, that is why the foil face is outwards on the photos in the link I gave above, of the original VW wrap.. otoh, Fanchers products do not have this problem, their attention to quality is excellent!
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recieved my insulation kit in the mail today. Couldn't have been easier to install!! The directions were
spot on and the kit came complete with taped drill bit as well as a phillips screw bit and a couple of extra
snap studs. Very pleased with the quality of the workmanship!! Thanks Jonce!!

Link

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bosruten
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the insulation need to be removed everytime you lift/retract the poptop? Confused
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say probably yes but the snaps in place will make re-attachment easier!
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm picking mine up at BBTB.

Jonce does some high quality work.

Jeff
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect night to try out the new poptop insulation, rainy cool and damp. Got the insulation up and the Mr Heater Buddy
blasting. I'd have to report that the insulation works in this Spring time unsettled weather very well.

Big difference in the feel of the Westys interior, quite warm without the heater, really warm with it! Glad I made
the purchase! Hope it keeps the Westy cool in the Summer as well as it keeps it warm in the Spring!!
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I forgot about posting my review on this,

Winter temps outside around the upper 20's and with only a 900watt electric heater it kept inside temps at a decent level.

Summer temps this puppy also is quite useful, it keeps the temps at a decent level and also doubles as a rain block.

I'd buy one again if they where still sold/made Crying or Very sad
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

purplepeopleeater wrote:
Well I forgot about posting my review on this,

Winter temps outside around the upper 20's and with only a 900watt electric heater it kept inside temps at a decent level.

Summer temps this puppy also is quite useful, it keeps the temps at a decent level and also doubles as a rain block.

I'd buy one again if they where still sold/made Crying or Very sad


Hi Mike

You must be talking about something else, the Fanchers poptop insulation kit goes inside the poptop canvas and it is available, just place an order and they will put a kit together for you.
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
purplepeopleeater wrote:
Well I forgot about posting my review on this,

Winter temps outside around the upper 20's and with only a 900watt electric heater it kept inside temps at a decent level.

Summer temps this puppy also is quite useful, it keeps the temps at a decent level and also doubles as a rain block.

I'd buy one again if they where still sold/made Crying or Very sad


Hi Mike

You must be talking about something else, the Fanchers poptop insulation kit goes inside the poptop canvas and it is available, just place an order and they will put a kit together for you.


I have the one Jon mentioned above (in fact...the one He had) its an outside verision, franchers doesn't make them any longer.
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mare1219
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim,

Did you buy the R4 or R8 pop top insulation from Franchers? How does it do in Winter temps? Snow Camping? We definitely want to buy, just trying to decide, but are leaning toward R8.

Mare

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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the R8. We have a three year old and a one year old so I figured the R4 might not be enough for our family during winter camping. I'm glad I went with the R8. No regrets, money very well spent. We have a Propex and as you know hot air raises so this kit does a great job at trapping this air up top. This also means you need to make sure you properly insulate the glass windows and windshield. We have the Just Kampers kit for this (silver window insulation kit sold by BusDepot) but I feel there is room for improvement, not too happy with it. I called Fanchers a while ago and asked them to look into it, maybe they can design their own window insulation kit.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the R4 kit, plenty enough for me as I don't camp in the Winter with my Westy.
Well unless you call driveway camping...Camping? It is actually a nice kit for keeping out the
heat of summer too! I camped two weeks ago in full sunshine (solar panel requires it) and the
Westy stayed quite cool compared to the mid eighty degree days outside, also double duty with
a cool and rainy day. Westy stayed dry and warmer that the outside temp and none of the damp
feeling you expect inside the van. I think that the Fanchers' kit when used with the GW Wasser stopper,
your Westy will perform as you expect it too!
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mare1219
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Fanchers Pop Top Insulation Reply with quote

Well, I ordered the R8 as I am a big baby about the cold. 10 years in S. Florida has my blood so thin I freeze when it is in the low 60s and breezy:) Will also keep in mind the window insulation but my main heat loss seems to be at the pop top canvas and I typically run the heater before bed so I am not cold when I crawl into the sleeping bag. We don't currently snow camp but that might be fun and Tahoe gets cold at night in high elevations (it was in the 30s in Truckee a few weeks ago at night) even in August. Also, this insulation seems useful for summer temps, which we experience frequently here in Northern California. I am also getting the screen replacement kit (our canvas is good but screen not great) and rainfly. Very excited to get those:)

Mare
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mare1219
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject: Here is pic of my 87 Westy before pop top insulation Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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86syncrowesty
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We very rarely camp without putting the insulation up, kiddo sleeps on top so it is a must for the high country. It also helps keep temps stable in the full Colorado sun during the day. Very pleased with the quality, fit, function.
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mare1219
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Pop Top Insulation Reply with quote

Good to hear. We want it for both Sunny and Winter Weather or Sunny Winter Weather here in Northern California and trips out to Tahoe, etc. Other than windshield, driver, and passenger front windows, we have dark tinting, which helps a bit with the sun but certainly not on super hot days. I am excited to receive this in 4-6 weeks. We have a pre Thanksgiving campout with our local VW Camping Group, so we will test it then. In the meantime, I have also ordered the screen replacement for our pop top and the Long Rain Fly w/Bungees. Will keep everyone posted on those as well. Thanks again everyone for your input!

Mare
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