Sunroof mood lights


the Westfalia conversions are a very well thought out camper, and after owning mine for 5 years I have address many of the things that I have not been happy with. That said the sunroof has been an optional extra that i can see no good use for. In the winter it is the only part of the van that gets condensation to the point it wets the front seats and continually needs to be wiped dry. In the height of summer the sun can become rather irritating whilst driving around midday, which may sound a little ungrateful, but its not a pleasant feeling when its hot. Similarly, in the summer when the sun starts to rise early its surprising how much light enters the van through the sunroof waking us earlier than we would like. So its taken a while to get round to sorting out a solution, but I’ve finally done it.

As with any fabrication its always a compromise, and its made more difficult if trying to do it sympathetically. What I mean by this is to try and keep the modifications fully reversible by not drilling holes or screwing into the existing structures in case I want to revert back to OEM. With this modification I chose to take out four of the twenty or so self tapping screws that hold the bottom part of the sunroof frame to the roof, and substitute these for longer ones that would hold the cover in place. The base material for the cover would be 3mm hardwood ply as this was light, thin and strong.

I created a template and carefully cut the wood using coping saw .

The four self tapping screws were dabbed with paint and the board was offered in place whilst the paint was still wet. This provided me with an accurate location of each hole I needed to drill to secure in place. I varnished the board to seal the wood and stop it warping when in place. This would also provide a good base to glue the other materials to.

Above you can see two lengths of aluminum which would support the structure from below when fitted, and four circles for the mood lights. I could have just made a basic cover to block out the daylight, but I thought I would go the extra mile and make it more of a feature by adding the lights.

Here I used tracing paper to create three templates I would be using to cut the grey rubber mat I would be bonding to the surface of the board. This would give it more of a factory finish along with providing a little insulation.

Two of the three grey foam elements in place. Just gluing the aluminum bars

Above you can see two of the three grey foam elements in place, and below the third and final piece being held down by weights as the contact adhesive sets.

Third and final foam element in the center of the board being held down by weights as glue sets

Other than the wiring that needed to be extended towards the rear of the van so that the light switch was next to my other mood lighting switch, the process was just a little fiddly / time consuming rather than complicated. Most of the items inside the cupboards needed to be removed to run the cables to the rear, along with the fridge, but it was worth it in the end.

Gallery below shows the finished article.

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