VDJ78R Flip Top camper conversion

AlanofOZ

New Member
I am in australia
Jul 26, 2015
10
5
8
Melbourne
G'Day. I can see that there are a few threads about Troopy conversions, and I thought people might be interested in the one I recently had done. We had operated for a while with a roof top tent and a basic fit out in the back, with a dual battery system, 180w solar panel and regulator, an 80lt fridge and 60lt of drinking water. However, set up and pack away time for the roof top tent was becoming a pain if we were moving each day. We decided to have the roof cut off and have a pop top of some design fitted. There are surprisingly few options for a purpose built conversion for the Troopy available in Australia, especially if you rule out the various people who say that they can "make a Toyota Hi-Ace top fit". We found one guy in Melbourne who does great work, but offers a vertical rising pop top. The downside of the vertical pop top is lost roof load capacity, plus storage space is consumed by bedding when you're not actually sleeping. A guy in Sydney does a "European style" flip roof, again he does great work and enjoys an enviable reputation for quality. The flip top has the advantage of allowing for some loading of equipment and luggage on the roof as well as being able to keep bedding in place even with the roof down. The Sydney option lost its appeal when we were told that the vehicle would need to be with them for a few weeks - not a few days. A company in Perth, Quick Pitch Campers, offers a "European style" flip top as well, however, they offer a kit which is made in South Africa by Alu-Cab. Quick Pitch is the Australian agent for Alu-Cab. Fitting time is very quick, 1 day with 48 hours for the bonding adhesive to cure and set. The Goldilocks part of the Perth option was the speed of the conversion, but the total inclusions that come with the kit really was the icing on the cake. For slightly less than the Sydney option the Alu-Cab kit comes painted to match my vehicle, has three LED interior lights, two LED reading lights on flexible arms in the sleeping area, 25mm thick roof insulation, fit and finish to the interior trim and a very handy overhead shelf above the sun visors in the front. Watching the first cut into the roof was a gut wrenching moment of panic - after which the whole process was underway and there was no turning back.

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StarCruiser

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Oct 7, 2014
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That does look smart. I think Dave on here has one that's all knitted out and has a pop top. The troopies seem to make nice overlanders.
 
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AlanofOZ

New Member
I am in australia
Jul 26, 2015
10
5
8
Melbourne
Hello StarCruiser, I agree about making nice overlanders. The 2 x 90 lt diesel tanks give us a comfortable 1000 km range on sealed roads (with about an extra 100 km in "reserve"), the 60 lt water tanks give us four days without needing to top up and the solar panels give us virtually unrestricted power for the fridge. If we add a 100 lt flexible water tank and extra diesel in Jerry cans we can be self sufficient for quite sometime.
 

AlanofOZ

New Member
I am in australia
Jul 26, 2015
10
5
8
Melbourne
Hello Charlie, no worries. The internal set up is as simple as possible. Two boxes, one on either side of the vehicle, the 80lt fridge behind the passenger seat and the 60lt water tank behind the driver's seat. The solar regulator and 12v outlets are on the left hand side and the water is piped down the right hand side to a hand pump (just out of frame) at the rear of the right hand box. There is a drop down table of 9mm marine ply on the rear right hand door. These photos are taken with the roof down, when it is raised and the bed base lifted there is enough head room to stand upright inside. The table attached to the right hand box can swivel across to give access to the fridge (as in this photo), or can swivel into the center so that a person can sit at it on either side. The table top is 9mm marine ply and the whole thing can be unmounted and stored away.


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Just added three more photos of the bed area, head room with the bed raised and the rear door drop down table.
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Pumpy

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I am in england
Aug 6, 2015
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Really nice conversion Alan, I think the Allucab lids are by far the best I've seen, really well thought out :thumbup:

I'd love to do that to my 80 one day!
 

AlanofOZ

New Member
I am in australia
Jul 26, 2015
10
5
8
Melbourne
G'Day Pumpy, I agree about the Alu-Cab flip top being well thought out. I guess that's what happens when people who design the gear actually use the gear as well.
 

AlanofOZ

New Member
I am in australia
Jul 26, 2015
10
5
8
Melbourne
G'Day Charlie, it really works well for the two of us. A lot of the time is spent outside when camping, but it is great to be able to sit at a table inside out of the weather when necessary.
 

SteveS

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Jan 12, 2013
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This is what I want to do in a year or so time....when I get my 78.....Couple of questions if I may:
1 - how does the new roof/pop top fix to the remains of the body - bolts and sealant?
2 - is there any additional strengthening put in the truck to take account of the loss of roof panel (ie to stop rattling/vibration or twisting?
3 - Can you climb into the upper section from within the truck, or do you have to have a ladder for the outside?
4 - can the Alucab roof take a spare wheel on it (at the hinge end) as I want 2 spares (but maybe not both on swing-outs) - is there a need for additional gas pressure in struts
5 - what did they use as the floor of the inside area - marine ply or a composite board?
6 - how many inches does the pop top add to the height of the truck

In Europe we are blessed not only with Alucab but also a good number of specialists based in Germany who do similar conversions. I'm planning on going on a visit to them all later in the year and am doing my homework.

Any thoughts or help much appreciated
 

Firewout

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Oct 3, 2014
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SteveS

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Jan 12, 2013
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Hi Steve,
Gilles Meir did a conversion on his 78.
He works together with PSP Expedition Campers
you can watch the thread with pics of the build here : http://www.landcruiserclub.net/forums/showthread.php/51936-Project-HZJ-78?highlight=Gilles+meir

Info on the psp roof:

The spare wheel can go on the roof (max 50 kgs) You can have airline tracks as an option.
The roof adds 10 cm / 4 inches to the height of the truck
access from inside
marine ply base
Thanks for the answers - nice looking truck by the way. I'll take a look at the link later
 

SteveS

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Jan 12, 2013
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63
Lots of good information and pictures in that link. Definitely something to aspire to.......just got to put the money together and find a base vehicle now. I'll take a closer look at the Alu-cab roof - it does look neat
 

AlanofOZ

New Member
I am in australia
Jul 26, 2015
10
5
8
Melbourne
Hello SteveS, sorry for the slow response - we've been away for a couple of weeks.

The top is bolted and glued (marine grade sikaflex)
The 78 is a "body on chassis" design and thus the body is not a stressed component. The frame of the conversion acts to give rigidity to the body after the top is cut off.
The bed access is from inside - not outside - so there is no need for an external ladder
The roof can take a reasonably heavy load, especially if placed near the front of the roof (near the hinge). A spare wheel would be well within scope
The bed base is aluminium on an aluminium frame
Inches? The roof added zero mm to the overall height of the vehicle - 2115mm before and 2115 after. I was surprised as well. The engineer who inspected it for registration approval had to check twice.

I went with the Alu-Cab option because it was competitively priced here in Australia as well as offering more in terms of finish and included details (e.g. interior lights, overhead 'console' shelf in the cab, cargo rails on the roof, and colour matching to the vehicle). Because it is a "kit" they could also do the conversion in one day rather than over a number of weeks. From what I can gather the German options are very expensive - easily 2-3 times what I paid in Australian dollars.
 

SteveS

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2013
630
115
63
Hello SteveS, sorry for the slow response - we've been away for a couple of weeks.

The top is bolted and glued (marine grade sikaflex)
The 78 is a "body on chassis" design and thus the body is not a stressed component. The frame of the conversion acts to give rigidity to the body after the top is cut off.
The bed access is from inside - not outside - so there is no need for an external ladder
The roof can take a reasonably heavy load, especially if placed near the front of the roof (near the hinge). A spare wheel would be well within scope
The bed base is aluminium on an aluminium frame
Inches? The roof added zero mm to the overall height of the vehicle - 2115mm before and 2115 after. I was surprised as well. The engineer who inspected it for registration approval had to check twice.

I went with the Alu-Cab option because it was competitively priced here in Australia as well as offering more in terms of finish and included details (e.g. interior lights, overhead 'console' shelf in the cab, cargo rails on the roof, and colour matching to the vehicle). Because it is a "kit" they could also do the conversion in one day rather than over a number of weeks. From what I can gather the German options are very expensive - easily 2-3 times what I paid in Australian dollars.
Yes - the German companies are not cheap but are generally high quality. Having said that the Alu-cab pop top kit seems to have all you need and the quality is built in. The basic spec for my 78 will be effectively what I have on my 100 with the addition of the pop top and cupboards made of composite down below.....I'll be getting too old and want a few more creature comforts than an RTT can provide......pipe and slippers have been ordered too
 
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