Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

Roof Canvas Insulation

motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
4,189
Location
Chester
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
DIY roof topper. 25 m 4mm bubble foil. Only foil on one side. Considering to make it 2 layer - 8mm insulation. Any thougts?

View attachment 41422
Years ago I stuck two layers of radiator foil together (foil one side, polystyrene the other). One side effect of doing this was that it became stiff as a board and could no longer be folded! So if you need it to fold try a small piece first.
 
Radio-active

Radio-active

Mike
VIP Member
Messages
78
Location
Newport
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Apart from the insulation properties which will improve with 2 layers, you need enough lateral stiffness to stop the foil half way down the side of the canvas drooping or falling away at the top...as I haven't used single layer it is difficult for me to comment.
Make one and see how you get on, at least a single layer will roll up smaller for storage and will be waterproof in use.;)
 
ejmoore

ejmoore

2016 California Ocean 2.0 TDI
VIP Member
Messages
515
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I made one of these a few years ago, and it was effective, but it got a bit torn feeding it through the struts. I've still got it in the loft. I was wondering if we could use it AND the Calicap cover in really cold weather, but I'm not sure it's possible as you need to put the wrap-around on the fully-open roof but the Calicap needs to be put in place with the roof only slightly lifted at first. Any suggestions?
 
westfalia

westfalia

VIP Member
Messages
4,318
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
I made one of these a few years ago, and it was effective, but it got a bit torn feeding it through the struts. I've still got it in the loft. I was wondering if we could use it AND the Calicap cover in really cold weather, but I'm not sure it's possible as you need to put the wrap-around on the fully-open roof but the Calicap needs to be put in place with the roof only slightly lifted at first. Any suggestions?
It probably is possible but you would need a big stick to push the sides of the
topper up and have it resting on the roof ready to pull down once your wrap is
around.
Getting it all off would be hassle too, maybe best to get an internal one.
 
ejmoore

ejmoore

2016 California Ocean 2.0 TDI
VIP Member
Messages
515
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Thanks Westfalia! Actually I think it might be easier to put the cover on & get the roof right up, then lift the sides of the cover up & slip the wraparound in underneath it. It could be put outside the struts as the cover would keep it held in place (& it's fastened at the back). Hmm, worth a try-out.
 
westfalia

westfalia

VIP Member
Messages
4,318
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Thanks Westfalia! Actually I think it might be easier to put the cover on & get the roof right up, then lift the sides of the cover up & slip the wraparound in underneath it. It could be put outside the struts as the cover would keep it held in place (& it's fastened at the back). Hmm, worth a try-out.
Yes, thats what i meant, weather depending, it could be a 4 hand job.
 
ejmoore

ejmoore

2016 California Ocean 2.0 TDI
VIP Member
Messages
515
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Right! I'd misinterpreted what you said. Yes, two people and a couple of things to stand on.
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

Too young to be old
VIP Member
Messages
658
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
I have just returned from Scotland and was asked by 2 separate California owners about the foil insulation I put around the Canvas roof if its cold or is likely to rain.

I am not claiming the idea as mine,:stop I think there is a company that sells them, others on this forum have made them themselves already.
But with the interest I thought I would post a picture and plan in case anyone else wants to make one for themselves as I think it works very well ;)

View attachment 33707

View attachment 33706
Check dimensions yourselves before cutting!!! (don't blame me :headbang :talktothehand)

It is just double bubble foil insulation cut to shape and the edges sealed with Duck tape from Screwfix with a velcro closure.

You need:
1 roll Double Aluminium Double Layer Bubble Wrap Foil Insulation 1.2m x 10m approx £35
1 roll Duck Original Cloth Tape 50 Mesh Silver 50mm x 25m approx £6
1 roll Velcro Brand Stick-On Tape White 20mm x 2.5m approx £4
( with the excess foil I made a front screen and side window screens for use inside under the Cali blinds)

Advantages:
Relatively quick to fit under the struts and velcro to itself at the back (it is an advantage to be tall)..easier to fit than a Cali-cover but probably not as good in more extreme weather.
Largely stops the Canvas from getting wet in the rain.
Keeps the van dark inside in the morning when its sunny.
Warmer.
Lightweight.

Disadvantages:
It takes a couple of hours to make and costs just over £40
You can't use the windows in the canvas so the van is darker inside during the day.
When rolled up for transit its still about 300mm diameter and 1.02m long.

Hope this helps anyone interested :)

Excellent work

I have been dithering about buying the internal version at £300+. But I will have a go at your version. Nothing ventured... etc. Is it really 300mm rolled up or 300cm?

Well done indeed.
 
ejmoore

ejmoore

2016 California Ocean 2.0 TDI
VIP Member
Messages
515
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
300cm diameter would be 3 metres, which would be an inconveniently large diameter for packing into the van, so I suppose 300mm is correct
 
Drpps

Drpps

VIP Member
Messages
197
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Yes about 300mm in diameter. It ends up being a matching buddy for our Rainbow front screen. Either fits under rear shelf into ‘long load slot’ to left of rear seat, Or transversely on rear shelf.
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

Too young to be old
VIP Member
Messages
658
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
300cm diameter would be 3 metres, which would be an inconveniently large diameter for packing into the van, so I suppose 300mm is correct
Sorry, I'm still mainly imperial, old and easily confused. I was looking at 300mm and thinking it was 300cm.
 
Dr-Snickers

Dr-Snickers

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
414
Location
Surrey
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199
Just to say a huge thank you for this template. It worked a treat and my other half was so impressed, he didn’t believe I’d made it (he took the kids to see a show whilst I was workinb).

I used the 10 x 1.05m insulation role from Screwfix for £29.99 and the Velcro and duck tape from them too.

I folded my foil down the middle and usefolding clips to hold it in place so there was no movement. I measured the different length/depths and used a long 3m length piece of wood to mark my diagonal cut.

The duck tape edging looks great and will definitely protect the edge but is definitely the bit that takes the most time. My top tip is to do it in short sections and I also reinforced the corner points.

Having struggled to get to the centre even on my stool, I moved the overlap to the rear corner on the advice in a previous post. This also worked a treat.

I’ve elected to put the ventilation holes in places because we use the heater a lot and I was worried about ventilation without.

This has been a fantastic first DIY project and is definitely something anyone can manage, just take your time and check your measurements.

EF92EA9D-5EAA-4DBC-882E-5DDF29F9E65D.jpeg
Thank you
 
Radio-active

Radio-active

Mike
VIP Member
Messages
78
Location
Newport
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Just to say a huge thank you for this template. It worked a treat and my other half was so impressed, he didn’t believe I’d made it (he took the kids to see a show whilst I was workinb).

I used the 10 x 1.05m insulation role from Screwfix for £29.99 and the Velcro and duck tape from them too.

I folded my foil down the middle and usefolding clips to hold it in place so there was no movement. I measured the different length/depths and used a long 3m length piece of wood to mark my diagonal cut.

The duck tape edging looks great and will definitely protect the edge but is definitely the bit that takes the most time. My top tip is to do it in short sections and I also reinforced the corner points.

Having struggled to get to the centre even on my stool, I moved the overlap to the rear corner on the advice in a previous post. This also worked a treat.

I’ve elected to put the ventilation holes in places because we use the heater a lot and I was worried about ventilation without.

This has been a fantastic first DIY project and is definitely something anyone can manage, just take your time and check your measurements.

View attachment 53806
Thank you


Wow, looks like you have done a neat job there, well done, its good for wet days too to keep the canvas dry.
 
ejmoore

ejmoore

2016 California Ocean 2.0 TDI
VIP Member
Messages
515
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
That's very neat, and the ventilation holes look pretty sophisticated!
 
Drpps

Drpps

VIP Member
Messages
197
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
View attachment 39128 Success. Probably needs a light height trim on the front panel. @Radio-active I tweaked your measurements on the template based on the size of my canvas which was a fraction taller and longer. We have used it for the last 2 nights in the Lakes and didn't need the heater top or bottom down to about 2 degrees, or rather the children didn't complain. Really windy the second night and a significant reduction in noise and draught. I haven't cut the vent holes yet.

I also bought some clear tent window material to make a window for the front canvas to slot behind the mesh so you can have light when raining which worked really well before I put on the topper! I am now thinking of adding a front window pane to the thermal cover.

Well I have finally put in the front window and edged the whole topper with Duct tape. Window definitely helps with light inside. I bought some crystal clear tent window sheeting and cut to size.
Duct tape makes it easier to thread the topper and slightly stiffer but also doesn’t allow as much stretch of the whole so it now has a slightly shorter overlap at the back. need to add a bit more velcro at the join.
At the same time I have kept the insulation in-fill cut out for the front window but it is still fairly dark up top without it when the window is closed so not sure i will use it.

For the times without the topper, I have also made from the same material a clear plastic front ‘window pane’ stiffened with the outer from a bike brake cable so you can have the canvas window ‘open’ in the rain or when it is windy. It will also roll up easily for storage.

Both only tested on the drive during a half term campout, although the clear window pre-production prototype was in use for the last year or so waiting for inspiration for a suitable material to stiffen the edge.D7EE091D-4B4D-443E-B6B2-5C5E57CBE036.jpeg
Window pane in place

78B602EB-AA22-45AF-977D-803272F5A8C5.jpeg

The window pane

7A3BAFE2-BBBE-40EF-A445-380A937687DF.jpeg

Topper with window

C339DC19-197E-4B9B-A2F1-2E750574E0E0.jpeg
Inside with the window open. Much lighter and Very nearly lines up!
 
Radio-active

Radio-active

Mike
VIP Member
Messages
78
Location
Newport
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Well I have finally put in the front window and edged the whole topper with Duct tape. Window definitely helps with light inside. I bought some crystal clear tent window sheeting and cut to size.
Duct tape makes it easier to thread the topper and slightly stiffer but also doesn’t allow as much stretch of the whole so it now has a slightly shorter overlap at the back. need to add a bit more velcro at the join.
At the same time I have kept the insulation in-fill cut out for the front window but it is still fairly dark up top without it when the window is closed so not sure i will use it.

For the times without the topper, I have also made from the same material a clear plastic front ‘window pane’ stiffened with the outer from a bike brake cable so you can have the canvas window ‘open’ in the rain or when it is windy. It will also roll up easily for storage.

Both only tested on the drive during a half term campout, although the clear window pre-production prototype was in use for the last year or so waiting for inspiration for a suitable material to stiffen the edge.View attachment 59947
Window pane in place

View attachment 59948

The window pane

View attachment 59949

Topper with window

View attachment 59950
Inside with the window open. Much lighter and Very nearly lines up!
Excellent job, I haven't bothered with the window as we don't sleep in the roof but it looks impressive.
 
S

Sunmok

Messages
6
Location
Netherlands
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
View attachment 39128 Success. Probably needs a light height trim on the front panel. @Radio-active I tweaked your measurements on the template based on the size of my canvas which was a fraction taller and longer. We have used it for the last 2 nights in the Lakes and didn't need the heater top or bottom down to about 2 degrees, or rather the children didn't complain. Really windy the second night and a significant reduction in noise and draught. I haven't cut the vent holes yet.

I also bought some clear tent window material to make a window for the front canvas to slot behind the mesh so you can have light when raining which worked really well before I put on the topper! I am now thinking of adding a front window pane to the thermal cover.

Hi thanks for the topic. I want to do the same for my t6 ocean. I was wondering if it's necessary to put in the vent holes. Won't the 'wrap' catch wind through the vent holes if there's a strong wind?
 
Drpps

Drpps

VIP Member
Messages
197
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hi thanks for the topic. I want to do the same for my t6 ocean. I was wondering if it's necessary to put in the vent holes. Won't the 'wrap' catch wind through the vent holes if there's a strong wind?
It is a balance. The vents won’t change whether it catches the wind to any great extent. They will vent into van rather than around the wrap if they are over the canvas vents. The Velcro at the black holds it very securely and it is snug top and bottom. It if it that windy you probably need the roof down!

I didn’t originally put the vent holes in and didn’t have front window wind deflectors, so in the cold with the heating on and 4 in the van there was a fair bit of condensation. The wrap makes a big difference to the temperature and the draught up top but doesn’t breathe.
I am going to put the vents holes in probably with some fine mesh to minimise the draught and rain ingress when windy as I do think they are necessary.

I also now have front wind deflectors. I use an external thermal windscreen cover so not too much air flow through those when it is on but they alone make quite a difference so you could try without first of all.
Overall the roof wrap has been great and still in one piece after 2 years. It was a fun DIY project. The front window addition was worth doing.
I have a T5.1 which has the original type canvas roof which is very breathable and weatherproof in most conditions but not with sustained horizontal rain which is where the wrap is useful.
 

VW California Club

Top