3 weeks, 3 roofs: Week 2 – Reimo

Last week we reviewed the Austops scissor hinge pop top roof. This week is the turn of the Reimo V tech easy fit roof with open sky option, which we fitted to a brand new SWB VW T6.

Reimo are a well-known and well respected German company producing a number of items for the camping leisure market.

How did it arrive?
The roof arrived in white gel coat and our van was red. It seems Reimo roofs are available only in white, so for most owners the first job is to send it off to the paint shop before you can begin.

The installation
The Reimo roof looked to be very easy to fit, as the entire unit is pre-built and all a converter needs to do is to cut a large hole in the roof of the van and then drop the entire unit into the hole. Obviously it’s a bit more complex than that, but the installation was fairly simple. Once located, the unit is bonded and bolted into place largely using existing bolt holes usually used for roof bars.

Fit and finish
The Reimo roof seems to be very well made and the overall finish is excellent. In our example the front pod section wasn’t exactly the same profile as the van’s roof, but with a bit of care and effort the resulting look is good. The fact that the roof unit comes in one piece means that it’s almost completely finished off once fitted and there is very little, if any additional trimming required inside the van.

What does it look like?
Externally it is a little taller than some roofs and on our van the resulting overall height was over 2 metres. As some car parks have 2m height barriers, this could be a problem and many camper van owners want to garage their vehicle too, so the slimmer the better.
The front pod section is a fairly common design and it looks fine. My greatest bugbear about the look is that there are 4 large screw heads which are visible near the front of the pop-top itself, inside is pretty much free of any visible fixings though.

How does it operate?
To put the roof up you loosen and remove the two securing straps, unclip the cross elastic and then push the roof up on its gas struts. The bed pushes up in a similar manner and the roof is up in no time at all.

To pull the roof down, if you are tall you grab hold of the 2 handles in the roof and pull down. If you’re short, you use the 2 straps instead. Once it’s down you have to feed a couple of straps through securing locks, which is a bit of a faff to be honest and then pull them quite tight to ensure the roof is down fully.
It’s not really possible to pull the roof down in stages; it’s all or nothing. So if you want to carefully fold the front window neatly it’s tricky to do with the Reimo roof. Also there is very little room to neatly fold the front section of canvas, meaning that it’s easy to pull the roof down and end up with a big flap of material hanging out of the front. As with everything though, you soon get used to it and it’s possible to get a fairly neat look after a bit of practice.

What’s it like to live with?
The fact that you can fully open the canvas is a great gimmick and I guess, a real selling point. I’m not sure how much you’d actually use it in the UK though; after all how many people want to be seen by the entire campsite as they do the washing up? And given the British summer, it’s not much use in driving rain. However, if it’s July in a remote area of the Alpes Maritimes, I guess it would be great to look out on a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea as you dry last night’s dishes.

The bed is a flat board operating on a hinge when raised. The canvas seems good quality and everywhere inside the roof feels very well finished.

So a Reimo roof coupled with a quality conversion should give you a very pleasing van indeed.

Cost
And now the bad news; this Reimo roof is a costly option and is priced at over £4000 + vat when fitted.

Warranty
This Reimo roof comes with a 7 year warranty on the shell itself, a 1 year warranty on the canvas and a 3 year warranty on everything else (complicated eh?)

So to sum up

Pros:
Needs very little trimming after installation
Panoramic opening
Can accept a roof rack up to 60kg

Cons:
Costly
Relatively high profile makes the van tall when the roof is lowered.
A bit of a faff to lower and secure before a journey.

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