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Thread: Pop-top Wind & Weather Considerations.

  1. #1
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    I am a brand new Westy owner and wonder how the poptop fares in wind. I understand that it's back should be toward the wind, but how should I park the van if the wind comes in many directions? Thank you.

    [This message was edited by Capt. Mike on May 13, 2002 at 12:55 PM.]

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  3. #2
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    Hey JB, I have a 1989 Westy and have never had a problem with winds, I like to turn mine into the wind if possible to catch the breeze so to speak. I suppose if the wind was really strong I would not point it into the wind and would instead put the back into the wind. To answer your other question, If the wind is changing directions there should be no problem, but if you are worried keep her closed. Only had to keep my top down once, in West Yellowstone Montana, there was a bear warning.Have been to both coasts and Canada and never a problem. Have a great time camping.

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm planning a trip to Yellowstone in July. Why does the top need to be down if there's a bear warning? Will it rip through the canvas searching for food? We have 3 sleeping in the camper and might not be able to do that (child's growing pretty tall to lay across the front seats). Any suggestions? Thanks.

  5. #4
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    Hey bg, We had to keep it down due to park rangers.This was in 1990. There was a temporary restriction to any softsided camper or tent because of a recent problem with bears. According to the rangers they will rip through the sides of the canvas. I was more than happy to comply! This was the only time we ever ran into this situation. There were two of us at the time, we are three now and it would be tough to not have the extra space.Depending on the size of your child if you had to keep the top down you could use the floor I suppose but as I said it only happened once to us and we have been in all kinds of weather with no problems.Good luck. Any other questions let me know.

  6. #5
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    The pop-top functions best when 'backed' into the wind, i.e. when the low end is toward the wind and the raised end away. This prevents wind from getting underneath and lifting, the primary cause of wind damage.

    When wind is from the side or upper end, it buffets the vehicle excessively. Since backed dead into the wind is not always possible, try to have the lower end at least within 45°. This also puts stress on the water-resistance of the canvas. Although one might have to reverse directions after the passage of a front or storm, variable winds from many directions are rarely strong enough to cause problems.

  7. #6
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    Transferred to consolidate same topic.

    Lauren Miller Junior Member Posted October 13, 2007 09:17 AM

    You're in a new campground on the plains. The only things taller than your popped-up Westy are a few spindly saplings here and there. The lower bunk is packed solid with gear and you're upstairs asleep at 2 a.m. when it comes up a terrific summer storm. Buckets of rain, gusts to 30 mph, and lightning walking stiff-legged all around the horizon. You know about the Faraday Cage effect, according to which electricity travels the surface of objects rather than cutting through the middle; but you wonder how reliable that rule is, outside of the lab. And being two feet away from the tip of a lightning bolt doesn't appeal to you, either. Is it time to bail?

  8. #7
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    Bail to where? Underneath the slightly taller tree? Lying on the ground? I'm not an expert on lightning either, but I tend to believe two warnings.

    The first, from Discovery's "How things work", says: "Never lay down on the ground. After lightning strikes the ground, there is an electric potential that radiates outward from the point of contact. If your body is in this area, current can flow through you. You never want the current to have the ability to pass through your body. This could cause cardiac arrest, not to mention other organ damage and burns."

    The second, in explanation of the Faraday effect, also coincides with your position within the Westy: "Rubber tires aren't why you're safe in a car during a lightning storm. In strong electric fields, rubber tires (ed note: now heavily reinforced with conductive steel) actually become more conductive than insulating. You're safe in a car because the lightning will travel around the surface of the vehicle and then go to ground. This occurs because the vehicle acts like a Faraday cage. Michael Faraday, a British physicist, discovered that a metal cage would shield objects within the cage when a high potential discharge hit the cage. The metal, being a good conductor, would direct the current around the objects and discharge it safely to the ground. This process of shielding is widely used today to protect the electrostatic sensitive integrated circuits in the electronics world."

    Although your pop-top roof may not be steel, you are lying on a foam pad suspended in a steel cage. I don't see anything to be an exception to the Faraday cage effect -- the steel car shell us a still a better conductor and attractant. You still have steel parts (pop-top support mechanism) higher than you are.

    Still in doubt? -- You can still retreat to the lower cabin to sit it out.

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