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Panel Van Conversions


fred22

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Hi,

This might seem a silly question but ,on panel van conversions by Autosleeper and like companies, is the high roof on the van when it comes from Ford (Duetto) and other manufacturers, or is it attached by the converter?

Just wondering about damp.

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It varies from model to model and from converter to converter.

For example East Neuk Campervans in their "S" model attach their own moulded fibreglass roof module onto the roof of a van whereas in their "L" model they use the existing high-top roof.

If is normally fairly easy to work out which is which by comparing the roofline and appearance of an unconverted panel-van with the converted van. Look for example at the Autotrail "V" line vans.

I would expect that with a competent converter both methods would be equally damp-proof but others may know differently.

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Logically, there should be less risk of water ingress when the design retains the original steel roof, as there will be no glued joint between the GRP roof moulding and the steel body-work panels.

 

It should also be expected that an 'all steel' panel-van conversion (PVC) will be structurally stronger than one with a GRP top section. This may be important when an awning is fitted to the PVC and I recall one instance when an awning attached to a GRP roof section split the roof when the awning was unadvisedly deployed in very windy weather.

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Derek Uzzell - 2014-07-05 8:48 AM

I recall one instance when an awning attached to a GRP roof section split the roof when the awning was unadvisedly deployed in very windy weather.

 

I can also recall one incident when the spot welded roof seam on a Ducato PVC was split open by an unadvisedly deployed awning in windy weather. I dread to think what would have happened had it been an attached GRP roof section.

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With Autosleeper van conversions it depends on the age. Duettos on Transits up to about 2002 had a GRP roof put on by AS, after that date they used the high-roof version from Ford. Symphonys and Symbols based on MK1 &2 Boxers had the roof put on by AS, later ones on the X250 Boxers used the high-roof version from Peugeot. It should certainly be easy to tell by looking, steel roof - straight from manufacturer, GRP roof - added by converter. As has been said, an added-on roof will have a joint which could mean a potential leak. I once saw a VW camper on the hard shoulder of a motorway with the entire roof lying behind it.
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To tell the difference just place a magnet on the panel.

I you don't have a magnet, just knock on the roof panel and again on a side panel.

If the two knocks are similar the roof is probably steel and if they differ in sound it is probably GRP.

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paulmold - 2014-07-05 9:16 AM

 

With Autosleeper Symphonys and Symbols based on MK1 &2 Boxers had the roof put on by AS, later ones on the X250 Boxers used the high-roof version from Peugeot.

 

/QUOTE]

 

Not so on Symbols! We have a 2008 Symbol which has an Auto-Sleepers added high roof section.

 

The current Symbols (possibly from 2013 onwards) do not have the added "high top" so are lower in height, including internally.

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mel wood - 2014-07-05 11:39 AM

 

paulmold - 2014-07-05 9:16 AM

 

With Autosleeper Symphonys and Symbols based on MK1 &2 Boxers had the roof put on by AS, later ones on the X250 Boxers used the high-roof version from Peugeot.

 

/QUOTE]

 

Not so on Symbols! We have a 2008 Symbol which has an Auto-Sleepers added high roof section.

 

The current Symbols (possibly from 2013 onwards) do not have the added "high top" so are lower in height, including internally.

 

Thanks for that clarification, you learn something every day!

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paulmold - 2014-07-05 11:55 AM

 

mel wood - 2014-07-05 11:39 AM

 

paulmold - 2014-07-05 9:16 AM

 

With Autosleeper Symphonys and Symbols based on MK1 &2 Boxers had the roof put on by AS, later ones on the X250 Boxers used the high-roof version from Peugeot.

 

/QUOTE]

 

Not so on Symbols! We have a 2008 Symbol which has an Auto-Sleepers added high roof section.

 

The current Symbols (possibly from 2013 onwards) do not have the added "high top" so are lower in height, including internally.

 

Thanks for that clarification, you learn something every day!

 

Indeed we do. Thanks for your acknowledgement.

 

It is important on this and other forums that facts are given rather than assumptions,suppositions or 'hearsays'.

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fred22 - 2014-07-08 12:07 PM

The thing that confuses me is that it is almost impossible to tell if the plastic trim at roof level is decorative or there to hide the join.

 

Isn't decorative or there to hide the join the same thing?

 

One has to have faith that the converter knows what they are doing and to that end I would be inclined to trust a well established converter with a good reputation rather more than one of the newer converters?

 

That is not a slur on newer converters many of whom do a far better job in converting than some of the bigger companies, but when it comes to structural joints the established companies ought by now to know what they are doing - wouldn't they?

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fred22 - 2014-07-08 12:07 PM

 

The thing that confuses me is that it is almost impossible to tell if the plastic trim at roof level is decorative or there to hide the join.

 

 

I assume you mean the gutter rail here; http://oi62.tinypic.com/2q03gwp.jpg

 

It's decorative and serves no useful purpose other than that and hiding rust.

 

It's a good idea to remove both trims, get any rust spots sorted out and then waxoyl the lot taking care not to block up the drain holes at the rear.

 

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