VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!!! #waves!!
Let me introduce myself. My name is ryan, and im in south wales. until now ive been a quiet member, reading your comments, and gaining some very valuable knowledge.
Ive just purchased my very first van as a conversion project, which im very excited about. Shes a swb t5.1 in reflex silver, and am now looking to have an elevating roof put on.
Our first thoughts were to have a roof fitted for £2000 with a local company, but after researching and seeing that prices range from £3500 for well known brands, our concern is the overall quality and longevity of the product.

At the minute, the front runners for us are HILO, and a SUPER FLAT REIMO. ... im aware that reimo are a very well established company and are giants in their field, and that hilo have only been around for a few years....But I am very impressed with the profile of the van with a hilo roof fitted, and do prefer this over the reimo..
Can anyone give me any advice on this subject... have you had hilo roof fitted? Have you had any problems with it, or are you really happy.? We have found a company willing to fit a reimo roof, and are willing to give a bit of a discount, which is obviously a massive pro for us especially as their reputation is so great. HILO are miles and miles from us and are completely unbending on price... and we are trying to assitane as to wether the extra travel time/ deisel, accommodation price ect ect will be worth it.

Any advice/photos ect would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!
Ryan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
We are based in south wales. We do fit Reimo and have done so for many years. Lately we have favoured the SCA roof. It sounds like you are planning a conversion that may be built by yourself? If that is the case then you need to look at all the parameters before deciding on what roof suits you best. Units, method of lining , and seat height will all have an impact on what roof suits you best. If you were to have everything done in one place, then I am sure you would get good advice from the fitter , but if you source roof / units / seat etc from different places then you may well get conflicting advice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
372 Posts
Welcome to the forum Greenie T:

I was in a similar situation to you 12 months ago, itching to get on with my conversion but knowing that I needed to get the roof done before I tackled many other jobs.

Initially I wanted a Hilo roof, mainly due to the way it looked when in the closed position but after visiting a few VW shows last summer and viewing a few of their roofs, I decided against it. The main reasons were similar to yours -
1. Price
2. Mixed feedback on this forum (though it has been looking very positive lately !)
3. Lack of a local fitter - both for the initial fitting and for return visits to 'iron out' any teething problems.
4. Purely from a personal point of view, I didn't like the look of the roof when it was open - in my opinion, it seemed to rise too much / too high (too much canvas...) but as I said, this is purely my personal viewpoint.

I decided to save up a couple of extra quid and get an SCA fitted by Ed at Celtic Motor Homes (see above thread) and I'm glad I did...




His team did a great job of fitting the roof and we are well chuffed with it...the finish both inside and out is second to none and everyone who has seen it comments on it's quality.

They are not the cheapest roof on the market, and I don't think Ed will mind me saying that he is not the cheapest converter out there (but he is competitive. :) ) but...you only buy one poptop for your van, and you only get one chance to fit it correctly. In this case, the old adage of 'you get what you pay for' rings true.

Greenie - I'm also based in South Wales - feel free to pop round for a look at the van if you like...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
Personally I would go for an SCA. Have you actually given any thought to how comfortable the beds are :*
if you spend 1k or 4k on a roof if you can't bear to sleep in the bed you will feel you have wasted your money :(
both the reimo and hilo have p0xy inch thick mattresses laid on top of a solid sheet of plywood ...... comfortable? ? :* I think not...
on the other hand the top end sca roofs have 3 inch thick mattresses laid on proper hardwood bed slats. Much much better T:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
Personally I would go for an SCA. Have you actually given any thought to how comfortable the beds are :*
if you spend 1k or 4k on a roof if you can't bear to sleep in the bed you will feel you have wasted your money :(
both the reimo and hilo have p0xy inch thick mattresses laid on top of a solid sheet of plywood ...... comfortable? ? :* I think not...
on the other hand the top end sca roofs have 3 inch thick mattresses laid on proper hardwood bed slats. Much much better T:
To be fair, the sca mattress is only about an inch or so thick....very similar to the reimo. However, on the 194 swb roof, the slatted sprung base make a massive difference to the comfort level. On a reimo or similar I would not be comfortable. With the slatted base even laying on your side is quite forgiving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Hi Ryan,

The reason why we’re ‘unbending’ on price of a HiLo roof kit is the number & quality of components/ processes that go into one as standard (galvanising, powder coating, stainless steel hinges, triple pane windows, waterproofed both sides canvas etc).

If you prefer the profile of the van with a HiLo over anything else (and it would be unusual if you didn’t) then the cheapest way in would be to go for our 2-day semi-fit/ drive away option (£2750 + £500 fitting + vat = £3900) with a 5 (not just 2 or 3) year warranty on all hardware within the kit for your peace of mind. Placing an order/ paying deposit by the end of this month would get you free colour coding (usually £295+vat) too as part of our February promotion. We doubt you’ll get a colour coded “Super-Flat” for that, and definitely not a 194 – and even if you can (good luck if you have a LWB), it won’t look like a HiLo when down, nor be able to match the features (check out http://www.hiloroofs.co.uk/elevating-roof-checklist/ if you have a spare 5 mins).

In terms of distance from us, you don’t say exactly where in South Wales you are, but Barry is about as South as you can go (218 miles from us, straight up the M5, then M6). This is a link to a gentleman from Dorset who decided against his local fitter and thought his 240 mile each way trip, staying in a luxury B&B just down the road @ just £55 a night while we carried out his 2-day fit in a day and a half earlier this month, was well worth it: http://www.hiloroofs.co.uk/general/480-mile-round-trip-10-2-2015/

And these are a couple of pics of one of the newest/ lowest mileage conversions we’ve completed to date (’64 plate, 150 miles on arrival SWB T5.1) by way of comparison with Sturgey's van showing the triple-zipped windows, our heavy duty hinges, original (& still the highest) rear lift @ 0.5+ metres, the super-slimline lid (just 15mm above standard van roofline, showing the original factory longtitudinal ribs), no struts cutting through the side windows, the elevating bed struts hidden from view etc – note also that our bed hinges half-way down rather than at the rear so you can also benefit from 6’4” of walk through/ standing height the full length of your van when it’s raised...





This one is showing the "last 5%" jobs you'd be left to do yourself if you were to go for the 2-day fit and save yourself £500+vat by doing a spot of DIY (approx 14 hrs work sealing the canvas where it meets the frame and box section & trimming the bed base, sliding hatch & soffits)..


Full blog story on this van & 5 others so far this month (3 conversions going out this week) can be accessed via this link: http://www.hiloroofs.co.uk/blog/

Think Ed’d already corrected Jonny as to the height of a standard Reimo/ SCA mattress (same as ours @ 25mm/ 1 inch – a HiLo allowing one of these to live up top permanently & comfortably with roof fully closed), but we’d add that we can also now supply custom made, 75mm (3”) tall inflatable versions for ultimate luxury. Our solid, self-elevating 2-adult berth bed is based around super-strong 50mm buffalo board, which you are welcome to come up & 'try before you buy' (with no complaints as to comfort in well over 200 sold)..

With regard feedback, it's important to ensure you’re reading all that relating to the later generation HiLo’s (we're currently on Version5), not the earliest V1’s & 2’s from 3+ years ago – and finally, in terms of the look of a HiLo when raised, it's worth considering these 3 things:

1) Your roof is most likely going to be closed 90% of the time
2) For those people buying our product, having an extra 60/70 (or even 100+)mm visible on top of their van, plus the big rubber seal - with or without a chunky front pod, simply isn’t an option
3) Given a choice, over 95% of our Customers go with our standard 1.35m front lift rather than the traditional 0.9m that our ‘Midi’ alternative offers

Although we can't do a Scenic zip-out for sub-£4k fitted, if you do decide to come to us we'll make sure that including your fuel (say £65 worth of diesel @ 40mpg) & accommodation, you can drive away a 'standard' canvas version with colour coded lid for £3999 all in.

Hi all!!! #waves!!
Let me introduce myself. My name is ryan, and im in south wales. until now ive been a quiet member, reading your comments, and gaining some very valuable knowledge.
Ive just purchased my very first van as a conversion project, which im very excited about. Shes a swb t5.1 in reflex silver, and am now looking to have an elevating roof put on.
Our first thoughts were to have a roof fitted for £2000 with a local company, but after researching and seeing that prices range from £3500 for well known brands, our concern is the overall quality and longevity of the product.

At the minute, the front runners for us are HILO, and a SUPER FLAT REIMO. ... im aware that reimo are a very well established company and are giants in their field, and that hilo have only been around for a few years....But I am very impressed with the profile of the van with a hilo roof fitted, and do prefer this over the reimo..
Can anyone give me any advice on this subject... have you had hilo roof fitted? Have you had any problems with it, or are you really happy.? We have found a company willing to fit a reimo roof, and are willing to give a bit of a discount, which is obviously a massive pro for us especially as their reputation is so great. HILO are miles and miles from us and are completely unbending on price... and we are trying to assitane as to wether the extra travel time/ deisel, accommodation price ect ect will be worth it.

Any advice/photos ect would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!
Ryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
Ive jusdt had my roof fitted, got it back last thursday

Took me ages to decide on what to go for and i wanted a Hilo as they do look awesome down, but again like yourself mixed feedback put me off.

I ended up with an SCA 192, as i cannot find a bad word said against them, i felt it was the rolls royce of pop tops and i wanted the best

I really dont thnk it looks bad either for a pop top

very pleased with it although ive not slept in it yet, i have read that you can get a 2 inch matress in and the roof shut

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your knowledge, experience and photos. Since posting, we've decided to have a rib bed - which we've been advised is not a suitable option with the hilo roof. ... due to head space when roof is down. This is a shame as I really do like the profile and idea of the hilo. Think I'm edging towards an sca :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
Thank you all for your knowledge, experience and photos. Since posting, we've decided to have a rib bed - which we've been advised is not a suitable option with the hilo roof. ... due to head space when roof is down. This is a shame as I really do like the profile and idea of the hilo. Think I'm edging towards an sca :)
Thats the issue i had, i had bought evo motion furnature which does fit with a hilo but needs cutting down which we didnt want to do

You wont regret an SCA cannot fault mine very happy with it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
We can only summise as to who’s been ‘advising’ you down there Ryan.. HiLo headroom has been discussed in depth before (see link to thread from 12 mths ago here http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=352129&highlight=hilo+headroom) and would add that with well over 200 sold to date, fitted to vans with all make/ model/ configuration of bed (full width, ¾, electric sliding etc) there’s been not one complaint of insufficient headroom from anyone who’s bought one. Is worth paying particular thought to who the most likely rear seat occupants are going to be when travelling, and weigh up the unique benefit of having 6'4" of full length walk through/ standing height when roof raised.

If, having studied all the pics above – including those of an SCA and HiLo side on with roof in the fully lowered position, and having read all info as to what comes with a HiLo that doesn’t with anything else (particularly the 30-point checklist), you are still committed to purchasing the highest possible seat bed rather than the lowest possible closing roof, then it’s going to be difficult to change your mind without you seeing one of our latest roof conversions in the flesh.

With both yourself and Anna at the outset wanting the sleekest profile when closed (ie position roof will be in 90% or more of the time), we would have had you firmly in camp 2) - a good opportunity to address what appear to be the most commonly stated reasons for those not going HiLo:

1) Price – where we’ve offered you a fully colour coded roof, installed, with a 5 year hardware warranty for under £4k incl vat
2) Distance – as you’ve seen above, this is no object for our customers. Most travel over 200 miles to bring their van to us, with more business coming from Wales and the South West than any other region. We also have HiLo installers nationwide
3) (Evo etc) units requiring cutting down – this is true, but only by mm’s, which can be done in minutes if not seconds by any competent fitter/ kitchen maker, usually without charge if done as part of a downstairs conversion
4) Feedback – read any relating to a HiLo roof sold within the last 18 months (accounting for over 50% of our output in 4+ years) and there won’t be any ‘mixed’ reviews

It's your hard earned funds at the end of the day, and the decision of course rests entirely with you. There is one other thing for certain though, go for anything other than a HiLo and the added functionality & ‘wow’ courtesy of our Scenic zip-out canvas - should you want it (modelled below on another Ryan from South Wales’s SWB) won’t be an option this Summer.



We'd like to wish you all the best with your conversion anyway, whether you come up to see us or not.

Thank you all for your knowledge, experience and photos. Since posting, we've decided to have a rib bed - which we've been advised is not a suitable option with the hilo roof. ... due to head space when roof is down. This is a shame as I really do like the profile and idea of the hilo. Think I'm edging towards an sca :)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top