Cali Roof Hood

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Cali Roof Hood

Post by Blackmuggle30 on Sun May 06, 2012 10:06 am

Hi All,
I'm hoping someone will be good enough spare a few moments to pass on some thoughts/advise to a newbie please, it really would be appreciated Smile
We have our first Camper arriving next week and are taking it to europe for the summer. We've 2 children so will be using the pop-top every night.

I'm concerned about reports of the roof leaking and so am looking for a hood but then have concerns about where to store it.
I've looked at the Vanorak but its really expensive so was hoping for a cheaper option.

Has anyone any views on the cosi or the mutze please?

Also I wondered whether those silver screens you put on the windows are useful (what are they for?)

And finally, I was hoping someone would have a fabulous suggestion for a cheap foldable matteress topper for the bottom?

Many many thanks!
Emma

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Re: Cali Roof Hood

Post by lewisnoble on Sun May 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Difficult to advise without knowing what sort of camper you have, and what sort of roof is fitted - most conversions use pop-ups manufactured by Reimo or SCA, and there are a few other makes around - Bilbos make their own I think and there is a firm in Sheffield called Vamoose who have developed a good reputation.

Having said all that, I cannot recall seeing many, if any, campers in Europe in the summer using any sort of top at all; and we have never used a top except in UK. One of the things I would look out for is that if you have any doubts about the strength of the fabric, its age, etc., and the weather looks stormy, get the top down before leaving the campsite - a strong sudden storm can play havoc with weaker materials. Only takes a few seconds on the Reimo / SCA type roofs.

Lewis

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Re: Cali Roof Hood

Post by Blackmuggle30 on Sun May 06, 2012 10:33 pm

Thanks Lewis,
I've got a new VW California arriving geek

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Re: Cali Roof Hood

Post by Cliff Durant on Mon May 07, 2012 2:43 am

Hi Emma, i bet your excited, you will have a hundred questions to ask as you use the Cali, as Lewis said in warmer climes the tops are just not required, we only use them here in the colder months but you wont go wrong with the Vanorak, it's superb quality less expensive than the German versions and English, you have to treat all tops with respect though especially the main roof itself, you will find brilliant advice on the sister site to this one THE VW CALIFORNIA on Facebook, going back to 2008 where every California question from mechanical, habitation and lifestyle has been answered almost since the T5 Cali was introduced, beware though as there are inexpierienced new fedgling california sites attempting to offering advice popping up all over so be cautious. and be sure to lower your Cali roof with one window (facing the lee of the wind) open as you lower the roof - poke your head through and watch it coming down from inside to make sure that non of the fabric is not blowing out and getting caught in the roof scissors. stop 2/3 rds of the way and walk around outside checking for the same, when you are happy that nothing is caught bring the roof fully down but beware of gusts of wind and the sudden chage of wind direction so always face that open window away from the wind, believe me it's worth taking your time on this task, can't help with the matress topper as we always sleep up top, enjoy your new Cali and don't be afraid to ask questions no matter how silly they sound,it's a complicated vehicle but just about the best there is !! Cliff

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Re: Cali Roof Hood

Post by lewisnoble on Mon May 07, 2012 7:38 pm

Hello again Emma - yes, now knowing that yours is a California on its way, I would definitely recommend the new style Vanorak from thevwcalifornia website. Ours is an older version of German mutze cover, works OK, but has taken some modification of clips etc to get right. The vanorak is cheaper than I paid and better. And we only use in really cold weather, or when windy and heavy rain.

Cliff's advice is very thorough and exactly spot on. In reality, despite all the anxiety re the roofs and tent parts (often called bellows) they are pretty strong, I think stronger that the Reimo / SCA equivalents used by other converters. The supporting struts are much more substantial. The problem is that having powered raising / lowering, you get no 'early warning' of an obstruction / problem - hence the need to keep checking. In reality, it only takes moments. And the Cali roof gives more room 'up top' than most other versions.

We usually sleep upstairs, and have only slept downstairs in quite exceptionally windy conditions, when we felt it best to take no chances with the gales. When we have slept downstairs, we have found it fine and not felt the need for a mattress topper. Try it and decide for yourself.

N.B. Last time we slept 'downstairs' (in Central Wales over Christmas, one hell of a gale over the mountains) we did not check that both seat belt lower buckles were in position and poking through before folding the seat back into it's 'driving' position'. So, next time we had 2 people on the back seat, could only use 1 seat belt. a pain to sort out at midnight after fetching my son / dtr in law from an 18 peak walk in Snowdonia. But on return to the campsite, folding the seat back down and grovelling around fixed it.

Don't be put off by all these tales of woe. In reality most are minor and inevitable in a complex multipurpose vehicle. Enjoy!

Lewis

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Re: Cali Roof Hood

Post by Martin Wheeler on Tue May 08, 2012 12:56 am

Emma
We normally sleep up top so looked for a cheaper option topper, we purchased a small double memory foam topper from the Foam Shop and use a single quilt cover as a cover for it. We got a 25mm/ 1 Inch and just fold it in half on the rear shelf. I know lots of people have 2 inch thick toppers but we found ours works for us, if you are using sleeping bags they would help as well. A 2 inch takes up lots of space.
http://www.thefoamshop.co.uk/product/21-12/SMALL-DOUBLE-MEMORY-FOAM-TOPPERS-4FT-WIDE
Martin

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Re: Cali Roof Hood

Post by Blackmuggle30 on Wed May 09, 2012 12:22 am

WOw thanks all for the help: decision made we're going for the iso-top out of shear lazyness as much as anything and the storage; financially made viable thanks to Martin and his inspired suggestion re the foam topper ...it occured to us we have one already which we are going to butcher to fit so many many thanks all Laughing


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