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pop top down under (T3 syncro camper conversion)
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: pop top down under (T3 syncro camper conversion) Reply with quote

Hi all,

A couple of years ago we bought an ex telecommunications company (we will not name...but "damn them...damn them to hell") T3 'Transporter' syncro.

I put a folding seat/bed in it and it has been our toy hauler since then.

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


The set up is a basic one, we just throw in a double futon mattress when we go camping.

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


This has served us well enough. The kids call her 'Busta' (you know you need a busta move lots a stuff). Busta has become a well loved member of our family.

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


Recently we added an awning and annex from a discount camping store. Thus the camping experience has greatly improved for our family of four.

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


But really, what we all would love...is the pop top. So I've watched and waited for a 'donor'. But living on a little island 'down under-down under' ...well...sacrifices are less common than on the mainland.

Until now....

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


This Australian delivered full camper ruined a poor families holiday with a destroyed (1.9) engine. It was what I had been waiting for. $1500 later I finally have a donor:

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


Dated, but clean and in overall very good condition. The job has just begun with pulling the interior out. I'd love to hear any advice or "heads up" or even heckling....

To be continued...


Last edited by luckystu on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hans j
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that a Trakka top? Looks good! I love all the Aussie T3 accessories Smile
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hans j wrote:
Is that a Trakka top? Looks good! I love all the Aussie T3 accessories Smile


No, another..the trakka is a full length I think. This one a 'Modular Camping Industries...the interior fitted by this mob:

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


They were fitted by a Sydney VW dealer (Lanock VW) that also rented them back in the day...

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


Oh...that's a full length too!
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boof1306
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the best locally made roof, low profile and does not cut into the front roof support like the trakka does. Well done, that is a cheap donor. If you are ever in Melbourne in November/October come to the DOTVW we have a good band of syncros turning up now. Greg
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boof1306 wrote:
It is the best locally made roof, low profile and does not cut into the front roof support like the trakka does. Well done, that is a cheap donor. If you are ever in Melbourne in November/October come to the DOTVW we have a good band of syncros turning up now. Greg


Sounds good. The plan is to use the bus for our weekend getaways around Tassie but with longer explorations of the mainland in mind. My wife likes the DOTVW idea, but she is always up for a trip to Melbourne!

I like the low profile roof also but wonder now what to do with the kids kayaks. They are only light and I suppose the roof 'cap' will support them upon some low profile 'rola' style roof racks fixed to the cap.

Is that your bus with the Tiguan rims? nice. very nice.


Last edited by luckystu on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mellowslow
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those bumpers are tough looking...what kind of wildlife do they protect the vans from?
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mellowslow wrote:
Those bumpers are tough looking...what kind of wildlife do they protect the vans from?


Most commonly kangaroos ... or the smaller version ...wallabies.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckystu wrote:
mellowslow wrote:
Those bumpers are tough looking...what kind of wildlife do they protect the vans from?


Most commonly kangaroos ... or the smaller version ...wallabies.


Also know as Roo bar Laughing
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boof1306
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stu, Yes that's my bus. Re kayaks, could you fit a gutter style roof rack front and rear that would clear the pop top? The other option would be to just lay some dense foam on the roof and strap the boats down on that.
Funny about wifes and shopping trips ha. Last time we went to Tassie we were laughing at all the Tasmanians that had their Subaru outbacks packed to overflowing with Ikea furniture. Are you near Hobart? My brother in law lives there. We took the van down three years ago our favourite spot was cosy corner on Bruny island. Good luck with the roof transplant, I bet you do a better job than the conversion companies ever did.
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danbar
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so jealous. I would love to have a syncro in Tassy. I met a guy from London at Cradle Mountain that had been traveling the island for a month in a Hiace when I was there and he said it was the best time. I really hope to go back some day. Those bumpers are a total necessity too, I've never seen more road kill or had more close calls with wildlife in anywhere else. Good luck with your conversion!
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BenT Syncro
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations! Looks like a Telstra van.😉

If you haven't already, you should check in with Les Harris for some "local" assistance. His group can be reached at: [email protected]

Best of luck on the project.
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckystu wrote:
mellowslow wrote:
Those bumpers are tough looking...what kind of wildlife do they protect the vans from?


Most commonly kangaroos ... or the smaller version ...wallabies.

Are you transplanting the bumpers and such too, along with the roof?
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenT Syncro wrote:
Congratulations! Looks like a Telstra van.😉

If you haven't already, you should check in with Les Harris for some "local" assistance. His group can be reached at: [email protected]

Best of luck on the project.


I've tried to join that group. Even set up a yahoo account, sent messages, filled in two separate profiles. Nada. Gave up. Easier to open a credit account. Weird.
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hans j
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckystu wrote:


I've tried to join that group. Even set up a yahoo account, sent messages, filled in two separate profiles. Nada. Gave up. Easier to open a credit account. Weird.


I've had the same experience with yahoo groups too. Ancient format website and hard to read. I have posted a little bit in watercooled.au but most there are into T5 vans.
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luVWagn wrote:
luckystu wrote:
mellowslow wrote:
Those bumpers are tough looking...what kind of wildlife do they protect the vans from?


Most commonly kangaroos ... or the smaller version ...wallabies.

Are you transplanting the bumpers and such too, along with the roof?


No, well not the "roobar". It's just personal....I really don't like it. On the back however is a nice solid bar that has swing out carriers. Presently they hold boxes but I plan to modify them so one at least holds a spare. I have a set of CLK Forged alloys in the shed waiting till the 14" tyres wear out (and for me to make up my mind if I really want to go there)

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BenT Syncro
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckystu wrote:
BenT Syncro wrote:
Congratulations! Looks like a Telstra van.😉

If you haven't already, you should check in with Les Harris for some "local" assistance. His group can be reached at: [email protected]

Best of luck on the project.


I've tried to join that group. Even set up a yahoo account, sent messages, filled in two separate profiles. Nada. Gave up. Easier to open a credit account. Weird.


It's been awhile since I was in the group. You definitely need a Yahoo account but I don't about what else they require as it's probably been more than 10 years when I signed on. I know that the OZ moderator Les will request to know your real name before signing you onto the group. But that's after you are on Yahoo. I'll drop him a line and see of he can assist.
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Last edited by BenT Syncro on Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danbar wrote:
I'm so jealous. I would love to have a syncro in Tassy. I met a guy from London at Cradle Mountain that had been traveling the island for a month in a Hiace when I was there and he said it was the best time. I really hope to go back some day. Those bumpers are a total necessity too, I've never seen more road kill or had more close calls with wildlife in anywhere else. Good luck with your conversion!


Cheers, Look us up when you come on back. Tassie is a great place for a syncro. But so is the US. My Wife is a Chicago girl and we have done a bit of travel there with and without kids...to have had the bus would have been brilliant.
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boof1306 wrote:
Hi Stu, Yes that's my bus. Re kayaks, could you fit a gutter style roof rack front and rear that would clear the pop top? The other option would be to just lay some dense foam on the roof and strap the boats down on that.
Funny about wifes and shopping trips ha. Last time we went to Tassie we were laughing at all the Tasmanians that had their Subaru outbacks packed to overflowing with Ikea furniture. Are you near Hobart? My brother in law lives there. We took the van down three years ago our favourite spot was cosy corner on Bruny island. Good luck with the roof transplant, I bet you do a better job than the conversion companies ever did.


Ha ha.....done the Ikea thing! Crossed the tumultuous bass straight to pillage the mainland of koto#5 bookshelves and soto#34 awkward shaped art spoon.

We are in Launceston. Look us up when you venture forth.
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vannin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stu I have an 83 with that same conversion in it.
Just make sure the "drain" holes in the luggage rack on the roof are well sealed.
When I got mine the roof cavity was full of water and had rotted out both cutters.
In saying that Ive taken the roof of to repair the rust and paint the roof and it was too bad to take off then put back on. Obvously you have to cut a hole first though and I had the rivet holes front and rear to help me line it back up.
Good to see anther T3 being looked after.
Nik
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luckystu
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:52 pm    Post subject: one step forward...two steps... Reply with quote

This afternoon I stripped the camper interior out (and made $3 in change!)

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Everything came out quite easily. One of the reasons I wanted this donor van is that it is Dept Transport approved and registered as a 4 seater. My Syncro is only registered as a 2 seater, but I have kids I want to carry legally etc etc etc.

I am looking to have the converted Syncro "engineered" so with a plate that recognises it legally as a four seat camper. The rock n roll seat in the donor bus is a Standards Approved model and bolts right in to my syncro once the correct holes are drilled. all good there...

The seat belts in the donor camper I planned on replacing (as they look the original and so 30yo)

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However the seat belts mounts that the belts thread into:

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Do not appear to be on my syncro...and the fuel tank is right behind there..

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So I see that I can buy mounting plates, for example:

http://www.justkampers.com.au/vw-t3-parts/interiors/seat-belts/seatbelt-mounting-plates-pair.html

This should work for the side mounts But I'm stuck on how I might put these where there is a fuel tank? I've seen plenty of converted Syncro panels to campers with this set up and even conversions with caravelle interiors so I'm sure there is a way...

There are these two raised spots that might have space behind for a mount but I'm not sure if that space is "already taken"

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What fun. I'm going to do a bit of searching around here and elsewhere but feel free to chime in...
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