California elevating roof option

soobusdriver

New Member
Hi all,
I’ve been reading lots about different elevating roofs but Have found hardly Any mention of fitting a California roof.
They’ve had some issues with corrosion but I haven’t seen any photos of this yet.
There are a couple places around the NOrth that fit used California roofs. Not sure if new roofs can be bought.
Jerba and Austops look good to me but would think an aluminium roof with slatted bed would be great. Thoughts would be much appreciated.
Thank you
Andy
 

BognorMotors

VanMan
Trade Member
T6 Legend
The corroded California roof issues have now all been sorted, or should have been at least. We haven’t see one for a couple of years.
 

Loz

California 204 DSG 4Motion MY17
VCDS User
Admin
Moderator
VIP Member
Most aftermarket pop tops “sit” over a hole cut in the roof, the California roof is not an easy job as the the front edge has to have a raised cap added to the vehicle with a very precise seal to meet front edge of the roof.
 

soobusdriver

New Member
Brilliant, thank you for your responses.

Oli, was the corrosion issue on the actual poptop or the spoiler in front that Loz is referring to or in fact on the remaining roof of the van ie not poptop?
Do you by chance know what model year they fixed the issue?

Loz thank you for your insight. Maybe the reason you don't see lots of california roof installers around.
Are these roofs available new or only used by either cut off the top of a wrecked van or disassembled?
I assume the fixing frame can be bought new?

What are the thoughts of this roof compared to the likes of Austops, Jerba, SCA, Reimo?
I like how these made out of aluminium rather than fibreglass, have a sprung bed and the cover in the ceiling over the front seats is really nice.

Another question are poptop installs fine on vans with factory sunroofs?
Would a California work over this?

Thanks again.
Andy
 

Loz

California 204 DSG 4Motion MY17
VCDS User
Admin
Moderator
VIP Member
The T5 Cali had a rusting "Cap" at the front but not an issue on the T6
The T6 had issues with paint finish on the edges and issues with the seal on the edges that has a steel stiffening strip that can cause corrosion along the edges of the pop-up bit. This was fixed by adding a strip of clear helicopter tape along the entire edge before the seal was added.

Personally I would rather spend the money on a carbon fibre roof.
 

Mattbluebus

New Member
I bought my T6 kombi in Dec 2017, i had agonised over roof options for ages before, SCA, Reimo etc etc.. But i really liked the factory look of the Cali roof. I found someone in Lincolnshire who fitted mine, i wouldn't recommend him (his workmanship on the roof was good just other stuff wasn't). Kernow in Cornwall fit them (or did)..

I have had no issues with the roof, it looks sooo good.. I was told they come off test vehicles etc.. not sure. They are good as they bolt to the A, B & C pillars directly and they are designed to fit the van.. mine was colour coded midnight blue to match my van..

However word of caution, depending on how "factory" you want the interior look (i did) the Cali headlining doesn't fit with the kombi B pillars etc. I ended spending quite a few quid more up at a great place in Hinkley getting it looking great inside..

Result though is great in and out, been used lots of times each year and no issues.. i even went for the power lift option...
 

soobusdriver

New Member
Hi Matt, great feedback thank hank you!
Just called Kernow today and was quoted about £6k for roof, £5k for sliding bench with rails and floor and another £1k for Carpet lining. That’s a whopping £12 for getting the van how I would like without any cupboards, diesel heater nor leisure £ solar setup.
Thinking of buying a T5 California for less than van I like and conversion...
quite sad it’s all getting so expensive.
He mentioned how on a call this morning a guy bought a California 2 years ago for £58 and sold it today for the same...
Or I might just have to stick with my 70 panel van :)
 

Mattbluebus

New Member
Yea it’s crazy... so I did this.. sold my beautiful (but troublesome) T25 Joker (of 10 years) & my work van and put the money (and then some) into a new T6 Kombi, I swung a deal where the dealer fitted sound insulation and carpet for £500

After that I got the Cali roof £4K, Caravelle rails/floor and 7 seats etc £2.5k in Lincolnshire. Slide pods rear drawer/bed extender/mattress topper on rails £650, they fitted a Webasto diesel heater £800 & swivel seat conversion £can’t remember.. in Exeter. Van gear kitchen pod (on rails) £450 from Brighton. I got the B Pillars and headlining sorted by (arrgghh can’t remember) in Hinckley.... great guys... and there we are...

I love my van, doubles as work van/bus and camper as all on rails/pods...

However if I’m honest with the prices you have mentioned, I’d shop around and I’d also go for an SCA roof.. Cali looks proper but needs work/pounds to blend with a conversion van...

If you want an out and out camper, get a Cali, or if you want a van that you can camp in sometimes get any conversion...
 
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