Lippert Components Introduces Innovative Pop-Up Roof for Class-B Vans
Elkhart, IN & San Casciano, Italy – Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI®) is proud to announce the debut of the Vela, its new pop-up roof system for Class-B vans.
Lippert Components has been following the growth trend of the campervan market in Europe and the Class-B market in North America very closely. LCI has already developed several products for this type of vehicle, including some interesting slide-out applications that provide more living space when required. Now, the concept of "space on demand" also extends upwards with the introduction of its innovative pop-up roof mechanism, the Vela.
"It was 2017 when we started to focus the idea of entering the market of elevating roofs," says Michele Checcucci, CEO of LCI RV Europe. "At the time, there were only two producers and the segment suggested there was room for strong growth, which subsequently has happened. To enter this market, you need to have an innovative product, so we took our time designing and engineering the best product possible, and now we are ready to introduce the “Vela” pop-up roof,” continued Checcucci.
Available this September, the new “Vela” pop-up roof from Lippert Components, developed and produced in Europe, is sturdy and light - weighing 20 to 30 percent less than comparable fiberglass products. It provides a real extra bedroom for campervans and Class-B RVs with a double bed measuring roughly 200 x 130 cm, or 79 x 51 inches. The Vela incorporates new manufacturing techniques such as a patent pending solution for channeling hot or cold air as well as utilizing thermoformed “twin sheet” technology instead of fiberglass, offering the advantage of being easier to produce and saving on the total product weight.
"The elevating roof made with the thermoformed twin sheet technique allows us to have a much higher than average production capacity," explains Lorenzo Manni, Director of Sales, LCI RV Europe. “With fiberglass, one mold means we can only make one unit per day, so more units per day will always equal the need for more molds. With our twin sheet technology, we can utilize a single mold and continue to increase production capacity while still producing a shape that can be successful. This benefits the quality of the product over time,” added Manni.
The twin sheet thermoforming technology, which can use both vacuum and pressure techniques, requires each sheet to be produced separately. Once formed, the top and bottom sheets are quickly joined together, so not to lose surface temperature, and then blocked. The space that remains between the two sheets has high pressure air introduced to it which strengthens and welds the two parts. The end result is a more robust and lighter product, which weighs 20 to 30 percent less than similar fiberglass products while still yielding a larger overall product.
The Vela Pop-Up Roof uses the thermoformed twin sheet technique in both the upper and lower shell. Having the cavity in the base as well has made it possible for LCI to propose an exclusive and patent pending solution to push hot or cold air into that space, depending on the climate outside. This improves the air in the upper room and gives it a temperature more similar to that of the interior of the campervan below it.
LCI’s innovation is not just limited to the technology of this new elevating roof, but also to aesthetics and functionality to ensure it can be used as a real additional bedroom.
Checcucci continued, “The objective all along was to design a product that was not just a simple extension of the campervan, but a real, livable bedroom with perimeter lights, reading lights, sockets for charging smartphones and air vents. I believe, through much testing and patience, we have arrived at the most innovative product in a very fast-growing market.”
From over 90 manufacturing and distribution facilities located throughout North America and Europe, LCI Industries, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, LCI, supplies, domestically and internationally, a broad array of highly engineered components for the leading OEMs in the recreation and transportation product markets, consisting primarily of recreational vehicles and adjacent industries, including buses; trailers used to haul boats, livestock, equipment, and other cargo; trucks; boats; trains; manufactured homes; and modular housing. The Company also supplies engineered components to the related aftermarkets of these industries primarily by selling to retail dealers, wholesale distributors, and service centers. LCI's products include steel chassis and related components; axles and suspension solutions; slide-out mechanisms and solutions; thermoformed bath, kitchen, and other products; vinyl, aluminum, and frameless windows; manual, electric, and hydraulic stabilizer and leveling systems; entry, luggage, patio, and ramp doors; furniture and mattresses; electric and manual entry steps; awnings and awning accessories; towing products; truck accessories; electronic components; and other accessories. Additional information about LCI and its products can be found at LCI1.com.
Lippert Components, Inc.
3501 County Road 6 East
Elkhart, IN 46514