Poptop canvas replacement help needed - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #15
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
If I were replacing a pop top, I would go for a high-quality fabric such as one of those used for boat dodgers and biminis (awnings). I say that because, like paint, the cost of materials is usually but a fraction of the cost (or effort if you are using your own time) for the job. A good top will last a long time. Also, you are not talking about a large amount of yardage.

Things to consider are not only water resistance, but the ability of the fabric to withstand repeated "hinging" as you raise and lower the top, plus long-term storage when the top is down, abrasion, UV-resistance, etc. Some coatings stand up to that better than others.

Sailrite is a great, family-owned company that has a large variety of appropriate fabric choices, plus the clear window plastic, and etc. They also have a wonderful paper catalog that is packed with info, and they provide fantastic customer-service over the phone and will be happy to discuss the merits and weak points of any fabric choice.



PS: Does anyone else remember when tents were just "good old" canvas? Even though it was not waterproof, the walls actually were waterproof until or unless you touched them (from inside) while it was raining. I guess that changed the surface tension.

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #16
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I think there is an overabundance of concern about waterproof material. Remember, the entire canvas is attached OUTSIDE of the trailer. Even if the rain soaks the canvas, the water will run down either the inside or the outside of the canvas, but will always run down the OUTSIDE of the raised lip of the fiberglass.

I don't recall if I used plain ripstop nylon from REI or the plastic coated type, but it should make little difference, since the rainwater will run off the canvas (ripstop nylon, shower liner or any other material) onto the outside of the trailer top lip.

As for the windows, I installed no-see-um screen from REI in the window openings. Then I made clear plastic windows which were sewn along either the top or bottom (I can't remember which) of the window opening. The windows were larger than the window opening and lined along the ends and one long side with velcro. The windows were sewn to the canvas along the non-velcro edge (either top or bottom) to allow "raising" or "lowering" the windows to expose the no-see-um screen for ventilation. Just remember, if you choose to "fix" the windows at the top, you also have to sew in "ties" to keep the plastic windows rolled up for ventilation.



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Old 05-10-2010, 05:11 PM   #17
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I had my top replaced with vinyl and the cost was $250.00. I had the shop double screen the windows and leave off the roll up part. If it gets cold or rains I pop the top down. I was not offered any color or pattern choices, just plain white.


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Old 05-11-2010, 08:55 PM   #18
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Did you sew the windows in also. We would like to have the windows so we would have air circulation. It would be much easier to make without the windows , though.
Yes -- in fact it was the windows, with their large cutouts in the skirt, that made it possible to do the whole skirt witn just the one shower curtain liner.

I sewed in fiberglass screens, but didn't bother putting in clear plastic windows. I figured that if conditions were such that I didn't want the airflow I probably didn't want the top up either. So far that has worked out OK -- we've been places where it was too cold to have the top up, or too windy -- the rest of the time the top's up and it's been nice having the "Scenicruiser view" as well as the air flow.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #19
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Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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Here is a picture Cliff took of our Compact Jr with the new skirt:

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Old 05-13-2010, 09:10 PM   #20
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact Jr; 1972 Astro (Havasu?)
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Cotton canvas: cotton fibers swell when wet so the outside would be wet but the swollen fibers created a seal. Those old canvas tents had a really bad smell when they dried out from a rain shower. Likely we were exposed to all types of fungi, molds and mildew as kids.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #21
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact Jr; 1972 Astro (Havasu?)
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The idjit that owned mine replaced the screens using silicon. The self-adhesive velcro doesn't stick to silicone, so I resorted to a bunch of safety pins to close the windows. One morning at Lk. Shasta it was 26 degree and the electric heater was barely keeping up.

I'm beginning to lean towards rip-stop nylon or sunbrellla to add some bright colors.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #22
Name: Linda
Trailer: compact jr
New York
Posts: 49
The Sunbrella is cool, but will it cause problems later? In terms of mold, etc. I too need to replace my pop top material.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:52 PM   #23
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Trailer: Compact Jr
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We used Marine Vinyl. Bought it at Joann Fabric. Will not crack, and its very easy to clean. Check the cleaning instructions with the other out door fabrics before buying. Also check how easy it will be to tear. We are very happy with the decision to use this vinyl, but make sure it is Marine Vinyl.
Sorry This is a new computer and I don't have my awning pictures on it yet.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:00 AM   #24
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: Casita Indy.
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I like the sunbrella idea. I need to make a sail cover so I will order extra to to do my camper poptop curtain. If you use Sunbrella you must order the correct thread for outside use or the sun will eat up the wrong thread.

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