Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

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Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby Olivier02 [OP] » February 14th 2021, 4:42am

Hi !


I am convinced that there will be no solution for my project (i read that there's maybe CCV) but do you know of a company that still holds the mold of a safari / astro pop top or can build one?

I am in Quebec (Canada) and there was the Safari Condo company which did a lot at the time, but they told me that they had nothing more related to the gmc safari ... they threw the mold and all plans. Either they are liars or they are a bunch of idiots and i am polite. They switched to express/savana, etc.

thanks a lot
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby SportsBoy » February 14th 2021, 1:44pm

CCV will do one for big $$$$$$

That's probably it besides diy
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » February 14th 2021, 1:52pm

Yeah I don't get that, it's really more of a niche market, other than not having space to store the mold I don't know why they'd get rid of it.
Even if not much demand, there are still people that would like one, and other people buying their "new" A/S vans and would like to get one.

I've seen a number of DIY tops ranging from pickup truck caps to wood, but about the nicest I've seen is this one:
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby AstroWill » February 14th 2021, 4:35pm

Once they get down to 1-2 a year or less it's not really profitable for them to continue. Much better to focus all efforts and skills on a vehicle that they can do 50-100+ a year.
Good for them, bad for us.

DIY or CCV as mentioned, I haven't heard of anyone else doing them.

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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby justjoel » February 24th 2021, 1:03pm

Hey there. I am building my own custom pop top for a 2003 Astro. I took inspiration from a truck wedge camper design I stumbled upon. I ultimately needed a second "bedroom" for my kiddo so I set to building a pop top. Ideally I would've liked to get a "factory" high top to use as the topper but couldn't find one locally (didn't have the patience to wait for one to pop up).
It's been a pretty simple build so far but I am by no means a master craftsman haha.
What I did was built the topper using a skeleton of 1x2s and skinned it with thin plywood, coated the topper with fiberglass mat and resin, reinforced the skeleton structure with fiberglass, built a frame using 2x4s, attached the topper with hinges and 80lb gas struts (x2). Cut the opening in the van, removed 2 support beams (left the one connecting the pillar by the sliding door to the opposite side pillar because this one is structural - if you remove this one you should probably make the topper frame out of steel and bolt/weld it securely to the top of the van structure). I bolted the topper frame to the left over roofing supports in the van with grade 8 bolts, sealed the gap from the frame to the topper with some 1" foam weather seals, installed to inexpensive clamps to clamp the topper to the frame.... that is about where I am currently in the build. Not much invested except time and effort and a little material... might be an option if you're hell bent on having a pop top!
I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby dcsleeper » February 24th 2021, 2:30pm

If you're going to install one yourself, it doesn't strike me as 'too' much more work to make your own fiberglass mold and make the topper yourself. Good Luck!
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby BPACH » February 24th 2021, 2:48pm

That looks great. Can we see more pictures of it?



justjoel wrote:Hey there. I am building my own custom pop top for a 2003 Astro. I took inspiration from a truck wedge camper design I stumbled upon. I ultimately needed a second "bedroom" for my kiddo so I set to building a pop top. Ideally I would've liked to get a "factory" high top to use as the topper but couldn't find one locally (didn't have the patience to wait for one to pop up).
It's been a pretty simple build so far but I am by no means a master craftsman haha.
What I did was built the topper using a skeleton of 1x2s and skinned it with thin plywood, coated the topper with fiberglass mat and resin, reinforced the skeleton structure with fiberglass, built a frame using 2x4s, attached the topper with hinges and 80lb gas struts (x2). Cut the opening in the van, removed 2 support beams (left the one connecting the pillar by the sliding door to the opposite side pillar because this one is structural - if you remove this one you should probably make the topper frame out of steel and bolt/weld it securely to the top of the van structure). I bolted the topper frame to the left over roofing supports in the van with grade 8 bolts, sealed the gap from the frame to the topper with some 1" foam weather seals, installed to inexpensive clamps to clamp the topper to the frame.... that is about where I am currently in the build. Not much invested except time and effort and a little material... might be an option if you're hell bent on having a pop top!
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby sixsix » February 24th 2021, 4:23pm

justjoel wrote:Hey there. I am building my own custom pop top for a 2003 Astro. ...

Hey - backatcha!! Welcome to the Forum. These High-Top boys could use your help - LOL
Nice work ( albeit from a dist. - reminds me of that date when I was just out of HS, but I digress... )
Would Love more pics, warts n' all, promise we won't ridicule too awful bad ...
Last edited by sixsix on February 24th 2021, 6:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby justjoel » February 24th 2021, 6:12pm

This is what I have so far:
If I would do it again, I would make it stand less proud off the van roof. It sits about 10" off the original roof line. My though process was that I would be able to store the upper loft mattress in place when the topper is closed so I wouldn't have to pull it down while in transit.
I cut the van roof opening short so I could bend the sheet metal up and attach the metal to the topper frame. This will aid in water proofing.
I used Amazon clamps to clamp the topper to the frame.
Other things: I put some cheap "hardwood" flooring in and built an expandable bed for the lower section which will expand to a full size mattress.
I plan on installing some counter space, little sink and running water via a small water pump and a little electrical system (probably just a deep cycle battery and an inverter).
Not planning to live in the van, just a weekend get-away-mobile.
Got the van for $900 off govdeals.com so I don't want to sink too much money into the project haha. Still very much a work in progress but I'm happy with it so far.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby dcsleeper » February 24th 2021, 6:18pm

Snakes!
You got SNAKES!!
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby justjoel » February 24th 2021, 8:14pm

Factory snakes.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Re: Pop top for GMC Safari 2005

Postby MI_Ghost » February 28th 2021, 2:56pm

:confused: What happened to the pictures?
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