Devon Star Gazer Roof Conversion - 'how to'/photos

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by paulcalf, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. I take no credit for this design or work.

    Take one devon roof:

    Roof top sanded:
    Cut the hole:


    Hole Filled:

    Roof & Polycarb Painted:

    Roof frame:

    Inner frame painted black:

    New bellows:

    From the top:

    This work was done in 2002 by the lovely people at vdubbodyshop.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  2. When I had my bus restored I wanted an opening pop top.

    Pop top: as id always liked being able to stand up in the bus.

    Sun roof/opening: for letting sun/air in.

    The people who were doing my restoration told me there is no way they could do anything that wouldn't leak.

    They pointed out that retro fit sun roofs in a tin top are bad enough for leaking, even without being in a pop top that moves about.

    They suggested a fixed 'sun/moon/star roof'.

    It was too hard for my simple head to understand, so they faxed me a drawing (yes that is how long ago it was).

    I couldn't really envisage it so said no.

    Then I went to look at the bus and they had done it anyway and said if i didn't like it they would make it right.

    When I saw it I was very pleased.

    Basically they cut a hole in the flat devon pop top roof.

    Then they stuck a bit of clear perspex over the hole!

    They left a couple of supporting struts going across the inside of the roof, I think the devon pop top may have had these hiding under the canvas anyway?

    It has been in since 2002 and is great.

    The perspex/polycarbonate hasn't let any water in., although the new devon pop top canvas did, until I fixed it with a friend.
    I think this was down to the 'new' bellows rather than the fitting.

    Over the past 5 years or so various internal rivets have broken on the internal struts, but they are easily fixed.

    The perspex has gone a bit curvy, but is still water tight (touch wood).
    scrooge95 likes this.
  3. Fast forward to 2021

    @woollywelshbloke posted a thread about paris beetles sunroof to pop top, mentioned star gazing & asked if anyone had created a removable pop top.

    So this is why ive posted what i had done in case it helps anyone else thinking about pop tops with a sun roof etc

    2021 photos
    Roof open [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  4. Roof down
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  5. Cover on to stop the early morning sun

    The cover is held on with 4 press studs.
    One has fallen off and been replaced a few times.
    Two press studs in each corner would work better, plus some along the front and rear edges if possible.
    The sun has caused it to sag, but still pretty good for the length of time its been on.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  6. The 'seal' between the polycarbonate and the actual devon roof has faired very well. No leaks from here (touch wood).

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
    PanZer likes this.
  7. From the top.

    Next photos show how the paint on the polycarbonate and roof have faired.

    It did very well for quite a few years, but then the paint started lifting just on the polycarbonate. The paint on the roof is fine.

    So perhaps better not to try and paint the polycarbonate bit?

    The rivet holes although sealed and then painted over have let some water in over the years. Not pouring in, but enough to see wet patches on the light coloured alcantara headlining.
    All the raised round 'blobs' are my attempt at going over the rivets with some kind of sealant No one sees the top of the roof anyway!
    There are a lot of rivets on a devon pop top roof.....
    @carlperkins001 used a high temp marine vinyl over the top of his normal devon roof, to waterproof it. I think it was Nautolex marine vinyl. So you may want to consider that on top of the painted bits of roof?
    @buster fibreglassed over the top of the rivets and then painted the roof.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
    PanZer likes this.
  8. Zed

    Zed Gradually getting grumpier

    Any condensation problems?
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  9. I doubt it gets cold enough outside/inside to get any :thinking:
    Not like tin or metal :rolleyes:
  10. If you don't have any windows open you do sometimes get a light misting on the polycarbonate, which can get in the way of star gazing.
    Easily cured by wiping with a cloth, or leaving a window open stops it.
    Lasty likes this.
  11. I replaced my old mildew looking Devon canvas in 2002, I'm not sure whether that was a wise idea or not.
    It certainly looked better and whiter.

    The leaks/water ingress I have had on my devon roof are not really from the star gazer roof, they have more come from around the bottom of the canvas where it screws down under the aluminium strips.
    Longer screws, sealant & a few other things sorted this, give me a shout if you are considering replacing your canvas and ill tell you what worked for me (i was given lots of advice on here).

    This thread shows how I dealt with leaks at the bottom of the vinyl bellows

    If anyone is doing their devon roof then you would be mad not to fit the @iblaze awning rail solution.

    I wish I had done this before i sealed the bottom of my bellows! I've now put that job off as there will be so much sealant to remove before i can fit the awning rail.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
    Lasty likes this.
  12. Do you find it gets to hot
  13. No i have a roof vent.

    Did over 3 weeks in it in europe when it was mega hot the other year. It was fine.

    Sometimes i leave the roof cover on if its really really sunny and we are off out for the day.
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  14. What does that mean?
    Lasty likes this.
  15. Great write up. It’s a nice job. One of those things lots of people would like to do but don’t!
  16. It lets so much light into the van.

    I cant claim much credit, it was someone elses design and craftsmanship.
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  17. Still brave to do though. You don’t see many with anything similar, at least I haven’t over the years.
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  18. Means he doesn't understand...

    Always liked the uniqueness of that hole in your roof Mr Calf - thanks for sharing

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
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  19. .

    Always liked the uniqueness of that hole in your roof Mr Calf - thanks for sharing

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]Oh, I understand.
    It means it’s just something or nothing and not for me.

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