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Thread: Herbie's Chevy Astrolander/ZMB Build Thread

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post




    After the paper template of the roof's X-Y plane comes the mapping of the roof crown in the Z axis. Starting with this single foamcore spine we will make a series of ribs and scribe the curve and features of the roof. This may not all be strictly necessary, but it will allow us to make an excellent model of the roof so my friend can really see all the curves to help decide the next steps.
    Will this be for building a base for the Maggiolina top or the 2 piece top you had planned on building?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,989
    Quote Originally Posted by rotor View Post
    Will this be for building a base for the Maggiolina top or the 2 piece top you had planned on building?
    Yes.

    Seriously, for my short term needs, it will be for a base for the Maggiolina, but we still haven't ruled out doing our own layup at some point that would incorporate a roof-hugging base shell with a more generic top-shell to form something similar to the Maggiolina.

    Basically, we don't know exactly where we're going to end up yet, but more data never hurt anyone.
    ChooseAdventure.net
    "My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
    2003 Chevrolet Astrolander 4WD Van - DIY GTRV PopTop, 4" Lift

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,154
    Im still kicking this idea around due to us having 2 vehicles that would potentialy be our campers for diffrent camping...(ones 4wd ones not)

    putting a maggiolina ontop...putting a sunroof in the back of my fullsized van..and making an airlock (rubber gasket) and access hatch in the maggiolina..that way you can access the roof tent from inside the van..and with the jeep I could just use the standard ladder to get in the roof tent..

    Current rig
    2015 ram 1500 Tradesman 4x4 crewcab 6.4box 3.0L ECOdiesel with custom FLIP-BACK
    Build : http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...lip-back-build

    Old rigs.
    85 E250 Turbo 6.9 vegiburner
    6.9L of TURBO'D IH...its kinda like a hot girl with an STD...you wanna get into it...but yer scared what it'll do to ya!!!

    2010 Toyota Tundra SR5 doublecab 5.7 4x4 Scamper
    2002 Ford Explorer 7pass 4.6L 4x4 family rig.
    2006 F150 4.6L crew cab 4x4 XLT..230,000 miles

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa
    Posts
    1,816
    [QUOTE=wanderer-rrorc;615148]Im still kicking this idea around due to us having 2 vehicles that would potentialy be our campers for diffrent camping...(ones 4wd ones not)

    putting a maggiolina ontop...putting a sunroof in the back of my fullsized van..and making an airlock (rubber gasket) and access hatch in the maggiolina..that way you can access the roof tent from inside the van..and with the jeep I could just use the standard ladder to get in the roof tent..

    UOTE]




    Thats some sound thinking, there, WR. Great idea. I've always wanted to put a pop top in my RV trailer to increase the sleeping capacity while keeping the same small footprint; maybe the thru hatch to a Maggi perched on Thule bars is the answer.
    Life is short, Paddle often
    '03 Chevy Astro w/ NP233C 4x4 electronic shift transfer case, 5" Overlandvans lift kit, 4:10's w/ Detroit Locker, Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks w/ in-dash remote & onboard air compressor, 245/75 16 Cooper Discoverer STMaxx, GTRV pop top w/ sleeper, Carefree Awning, Coleman Fridge, and tons of Thule

    2010 Gas Gas EC 450 plated, 2005 Gas Gas FSE 450, plated

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Southeastern, TN
    Posts
    399

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    346
    Hey Herbie,

    It was great meeting you tonight! I won't spill the beans, but you got a heck of a deal! Come on back when you are finished and we'll get three vans (T.Low's too) out on the road! Thanks for dinner too!

    Brian
    2006 Sportsmobile, Ford RB, 6.0 diesel, SMB 4x4, RB50
    2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara, V6, manual trans, manual hubs.
    http://www.pbase.com/railvan

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa
    Posts
    1,816
    No doubt. Glad you could make it by and thanks again for dinner.

    Now I'm real anxious to see your progress. Hope you had a save journey home and we'll see you agin in the flesh one way or another.

    Cheers.
    Life is short, Paddle often
    '03 Chevy Astro w/ NP233C 4x4 electronic shift transfer case, 5" Overlandvans lift kit, 4:10's w/ Detroit Locker, Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks w/ in-dash remote & onboard air compressor, 245/75 16 Cooper Discoverer STMaxx, GTRV pop top w/ sleeper, Carefree Awning, Coleman Fridge, and tons of Thule

    2010 Gas Gas EC 450 plated, 2005 Gas Gas FSE 450, plated

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    33
    Did someone go up to BC to get a pop-top installed?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,989
    Thanks Tom and Brian, it was great to meet you guys too, if even briefly.

    Made it back to San Diego in almost 22 hours exactly, which bested Google Maps' estimate considering we actually had to stop for food and fuel!

    Quote Originally Posted by rotor View Post
    Did someone go up to BC to get a pop-top installed?
    You're close. Picked up a "donor" van. High-mileage, highly-abused 1995 GTRV Safari. I'd been keeping things quiet since it was an awesome price for my purposes, fearing someone else might also think it was an awesome deal and beat me to it.

    Pictures to come, but here's the reader's digest of the trip:

    Flew into Vancouver on Sunday, took SkyTrain and SeaBus to North Vancouver and met the seller. We looked over the van, covered some of the problems, but confirmed that the pop-top and tent are in excellent shape. Concluded the deal and I head for the border.
    Border line is massive, almost 2 hours just to get to the kiosk so I can get pulled into secondary to start the process of importing the vehicle to the USA.
    First CBP officer at secondary didn't know as much about vehicle importing as the CBP website (and thus me), so we wasted some time with him telling me I couldn't import the van because the speedo had kph on top. (!!?!) After I insisted that the van had all the proper labelling (CMVSS and EPA labels, etc.) and that it was an HS-7, 2B import, he handed me off to a second CBP officer who within five minutes confirmed that all was well and I was on my way.

    Made my way into Bellingham and stumbled into the driveway of one T.Low, already besieged by Brian's sportsmobile. Hey, Pop-Top Party!! After comparing Tom's van to mine and the minor evolution of the implementation, we had some decent beer and some grub, all in all a too-short visit. Picked up my co-pilot from the Bellingham airport, gathered a few supplies, and aimed the van south.

    I have to stop here to thank Tom, Jen, and Brian for such a warm welcome and their fabulous hospitality. By-far the best aspect of the trip was meeting you all and thinking forward about the next visit when we can actually enjoy your beautiful surroundings!!

    By 11pm, we were on our journey, here's where we started finding some of the "features" of this wonderful machine. First, the instrument lighting in the dash was out. Lots of fun trying to avoid a speeding ticket in an unfamiliar machine on the very-dark northern stretch of the I-5. With the creative use of the map light and/or my ipod, was able to keep tabs on instrumentation until dawn. Door locks are broken in an inconvenient combination of ways (lock cylinder on driver's side, power lock switch on passenger side, etc.), water temp gauge reads 40c constantly, and a few other niggles.

    We went straight through, stopping only for bio breaks, fuel, and breakfast. By 10am we were far enough into California that it started to get hot. Real hot. The little thermometer on my REI zipper-pull said 100+. Before 11am. Oh, and the van's AC doesn't work. Crap. Oh well, windows down we soldier on. The upside of our late departure from Bellingham was that we had missed any sort of traffic going through pretty much all of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. The downside is that we hit central California in the middle of one super-hot day. 105-110 in Sacramento, Bakersfield, etc.

    By 4:30pm, we were at the base of the Grapevine. Citibank's Fraud Detection division helpfully declined my card at this fuel stop, because they'd noticed what they thought was too many gas purchases. Um, I'm on a roadtrip back from Canada, hello? The guy starts reading off charges in Washington, Oregon, Northern California.... oh, all moving south. Duh. Sorted out that little issue and back on our way.

    For most of the afternoon, it seemed the Water-temp gauge had been "waking up". It had slowly begun to register, then read near the middle of the gauge. As we got into the serious climb of the grapevine, it started to move more quickly towards the top end of the gauge. I wasn't sure whether I could trust it, but figured discretion was wise so we took a casual pace up the hill. On the decent the gauge settled back to just south of the middle, so we pressed on. Narrowly missed getting stuck in a massive backup due to a recent accident where the passenger and truck routes of the grapevine rejoin, then clean sailing all the way through LA. Somehow we'd timed the drive to miss EVERY bit of rush hour.

    Entered into San Diego proper by 9pm, dropped of my copilot, and headed for home. Stopped at the store to get some milk, and then.... crank but no fire.

    Yep, after 1400+ miles, two countries, three states, and 22 hours, the van has died within two blocks of my house. Oh well, could have been much, much worse.

    I walked home, took a shower and went to bed. Will spend today trying to get the van running or towed to my friend's shop. Shortly afterward, we'll begin the process of tearing down the top and interior, documenting the hell out of everything, and then transferring the good stuff over to my 2003 van.

    Stay tuned!!
    ChooseAdventure.net
    "My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
    2003 Chevrolet Astrolander 4WD Van - DIY GTRV PopTop, 4" Lift

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,456
    This is gonna be good!

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