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Pop top insulation. You can do it!
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Pop top insulation. You can do it! Reply with quote

As promised, here is the pop top insulation kit I build for my campers. Easy and cheap to do. Keep warm and keep coin in your pocket. You will likey! Just follow the instructions and camp well.
Cheers,
Jeffery
.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is how you do it!
Click on the link below for a photo guide.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/806349.jpg
.
PDF available at http://www.plummerdesign.com/PDIupdate/westfalia-poptop-insulation.pdf
.
GO: From a 48” x 25’ roll of Reflectix, you will be cutting three sections. You will have a lot left over.
The sides are 89” long at the bottom x 83” long at the top x 10” tall at the back x 43” tall at the front (this is an offset-diagonal cut).
The front panel section is 50” x 43”.

The back is open for ventilation and has no panel.

Once cut, iron on some snap backer fabric using standard
iron-on knee patch material. This will keep the Reflectix material from ripping,a good thing.

Be sure to mark which side/front for snap installation. It would be bad to put the snap on the wrong side!

Using a simple hammer-in snap kit, install snaps into
the Reflectix side panel tops (through the fabric).

For the front-facing sections of the side panels, use the snaps to attach Velcro
strips (soft fuzzy strip). Make them 6” long.
Carefully plan this so it will lay proper to catch the receiver
Velcro on the front panel later.
I used (2) female snaps on the tops, and (2) (any gender) snaps to hold
the Velcro at the front. (See the photos)


Pre-drill the hole for the male snaps on the pop top edge. Use Stainless screws in the male snap. Again, plan
carefully as you only get (1) try.


Use heavy duty outdoor-rated double sided 3M adhesive tape to secure the
(bristle strip) Velcro to the Reflectix front panel.


That is it.
The finished panels install easily, and stow well
in the back of the bunk area. Insulation holds heat in, allows ventilation in back.

Feel free to contact for help. Supplies are from Home Depot (Reflectix, snaps, SS screws,tape) and any fabric store (knee patch,velcro).
Cheers,
Jeffery
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this! Also thanks for taking the time for the measurements, it is usefull information
for those wanting to make a insulating blanket out of a different material.

Did you consider an outside version?
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim,
Glad you like it! That is a badge of honor coming from you good sir Very Happy .
.
Yes the idea of going outside was considered. But where does a wet roll of insulation go the next day? Having it stored IN the pop top, ready to snap in place is WAY more convenient. It is the last thing to do prior to calling it a day.
.
Oh and the last photo on the INSULATION guide page shows the cargo bay shade, and how it extends WITH the hatch. Gotta love cheap roller binds! So handy.
Cheers,
Jeffery
.
(Westfalia camping videos at YouTube link below).
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kewl - I can do that! Thanks!
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MakeFast
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice mod - have you tried camping with it? Any significant condensation build up?

How much does the roll of reflectix run?
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makefast,
The roll of Reflectix is $48.00 (with the other items it comes to about $60. to make the kit).
Have used this set up many times and have had no issues with condensation.
Cheers,
Jeffery
.
.
(Westfalia camping videos at YouTube link below).
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

plummerdesign wrote:
Yes the idea of going outside was considered. But where does a wet roll of insulation go the next day? Having it stored IN the pop top, ready to snap in place is WAY more convenient. It is the last thing to do prior to calling it a day.

Cheers,
Jeffery
.
(Westfalia camping videos at YouTube link below).


I saw this one for outside the poptop from a company in Europe and even there it's $ome $erious Coin.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I think your insulation and the use of a GW Wasser Stopper would really do the trick in keeping
in that heat on the top bunk.
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ShootingFish
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I built the same thing out of 5/8" Ethafoam Sleeping Pad material last New Years Eve out on the Oregon Coast. When combined with my GW Wasser-Stopper and a 1200Watt electric heater we were able to keep the inside a comfortable 65F all night long and the outside temps were in the middle 30s.

Total cost of $36+one roll of Gorilla Tape.

I might try to build this one too as it may take up less storage space than my ethafoam. Might just double them up on really cold nights!

SF
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShootingFish,
.
You and Tim are right in regards to the Wasser Stopper. That with the insulation most any night in the pop top can be tolerable.
.
If the weather is too rotten I tend to seek Hampton Inn & Suites. They have good Breakfast!
.
Cheers,
Jeffery
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random thoughts:

1) You went with 3 separate pieces just for easier put up & teardown?
I thought I might cut just 1 piece from the 25' roll with 2' left over...
...unroll & tuck it in place & you might not even need the snaps?
It's fairly rigid stuff but 23' loose inside the van might be cumbersome. Shocked

2) Last pic on your page: that's a retractable hatch cover?
Looks interesting. Is this posted somewhere?
Would certainly keep prying eyes out of the cargo area...

Happy Trails!
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dhavvers,

You think like me. I WANTED a one piece.
It was designed as (3) three sections because a (1) one piece wrap ends up being horse-shoe shaped due to the slanted angle issue at the front. It is also too much to deal with when wrapping behind and around the lift bar (storage problem too). Oh and a one-piece cannot be cut from the roll of Reflectix.
.
And yes, the cargo shade article is found here:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=350959&start=20
.
Cheers,
Jeffery
.
(Westfalia camping videos at YouTube link below)
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Last edited by plummerdesign on Mon May 30, 2011 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more handy mod...
A few weeks back while my daughter was in labor (I am now a happy Grandpapa), we had to doze in the hospital lot. Dozing was done in shifts over a 24 hour period.
We STEALTH CAMPED.
The curtains drawn EXCEPT that the front curtain was snapped BEHIND the front seats. If you add a single female snap, it will stretch from one side to the other and not sag.
Looks factory and works well.
Cheers,
Jeffery
.
(Westfalia camping videos at YouTube link below).
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CQ
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the tips and Congrats on being a grandad now go spoil them rotten, and return them to the parents a tired napless mess...like my Inlaws do with my kiddo. Smile All part of the contract!
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CQ
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="plummerdesign]The sides are 89” long at the bottom x 83” long at the top x 10” tall at the back x 43” tall at the front (this is an offset-diagonal cut).
The front panel section is 50” x 43”.

[/quote]

Dont you mean 83" on bottom and 89" at the diagonal top part?
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stupid Home Depot in SD does not sell Reflectix so I ordered online, but excited to get this done in try it out in the mountain in 2 weeks. Camp wait to sleep with the pop top up.

Thanks again!
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Quebec the weather is bad! There's my van with my custom isolation.

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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all,
Allow me to follow up on how well the insulation worked...
.
WONDERFUL.
Takes about 2 mins to put up, double that to take down and roll up/away. Got cold last week in the Prairie Creek Redwoods, and cold at Honeyman S.P. in Oregon. I sleep up top, so am the test subject (lab rat).
KEPT WARM. Smile
.
*CQ: the measurements are correct. Remember that the tent has a slight slant at the front.
.
(NEW Westfalia camping/travel videos at YouTube link below)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Plummer,
I love to beat a dead horse here..but I do have a question I cut the pattern like you mentioned and came up short a bit, I still dont quite understand the top dimension.. I know I am making this into a science project... but look at my diagram below, is this what you mean, if so the top dimension comes out to around 99" not 83".

I am going to be trying this tonight actually the slightly short one, all I know if when I was installing it yesterday onto the top I was sweating like a pig....a good sign I hope Smile

Other comment based on diagram below is that what an offset cut is?

Thanks again.

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

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plummerdesign
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Here is a drawing to guide the pop top insulation cuts Reply with quote

Hey all,
The insulation does work great, but seems to be some question as to how it cuts. Please reference this drawing which should help visualize the project a bit better.

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


Simply click the image for a larger version.
One needs to note that when raised the pop top tent is NOT at a 90 degree angle towards the front, thus the offset to the panel shape. Many have questioned the matter, hope this helps. Happy camping friends!
Cheers,
Jeffery
.
(Westfalia travel/camping videos at YouTube link below)
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Last edited by plummerdesign on Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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