Campster Pop top disaster - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-01-2015, 08:22 PM   #1
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Campster Pop top disaster

Halfway through a four hour drive today as I was winding along 101 hugging the coast, nowhere to stop, I became aware of a problem with the trailer. Took me awhile from the first inkling to be able to pull over, only two people honked at me, but when I did stop woe is me- my pop top mechanism stood open, no top there at all.

No idea where it flew off. Some idea why- gusty wind coupled with a leaky door due to knob popping open and being held in place a little more loosely than I like. I definitely latched all four latches and had even taken care to center the top and it had held for two hours so it took some thing major to make it go. The first indication was increased drag as i got up to highway speed but I attributed it to the wind.

Anyway- managed to lower the remaining parts, used the ssnaps and some rope to hold them down, and drove the rest of the way at reduced speed. Stopped and bought a tarp to use at the campground.

But- no idea whether I can get a tarp taped securely enough for the drive home. Any ideas, both for a temporary fix to get home (8 hrs) or a permanent fix?

I did not go back to look for the top since I really had no clue where i lost it and there was not much chance I'd find it intact or be able to stop and recover it if I did. It had to have ripped some bolts out to get loose and probably smashed on hitting whatever it hit.

Help! Any ideas appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
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I'd suggest some heavy duty plastic taped down to the roof with some heavy duty tape. Take it off as soon as you get home (or the tape could become permanently stuck to the trailer). Then tarp it until you can fab up a new top.
Sorry that you lost your cap
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:59 PM   #3
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Wow, that sure beats an awning opening up and folding over. Maybe with the tarp over the top and a bunch of ratchet straps ????? BTW, I would have gone back to look as I see a lot of hatch covers, vents and such on the side of the rode. If nothing else, if you found it, it would help make a mold from or maybe be repairable. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:03 PM   #4
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In camp- put the canopy over the trailer.

I have a friend who is going to look tomorrow but where I was when it went I probably could not have stopped. Though I really don't know where it was so maybe she'll find it. I couldn't turn around even without the trailer so it would have been a long way to unhitch the trailer and head back.

I suspect it came up and then came off in pieces.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
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You ill need an extension cord and electric drill but "Truss Head" screws around the perimeter of the roof opening will do a good job of holding your tarp in place. Even better would be strips of 1" x 2" furring strips secured with longer screws. The Truss head screws and longer sheet rock screws have a pointed tip and will drill through the fiberglass with a little pushing. If there is an RV shop nearby they may have longer self drilling screws used in RV repair.


And a "Maybe it might work" idea is using eterna bond tape or commercial (not consumer grade) Duct tape to tape down your new convertible top, but be certain that the top of the camper is clean, clean, clean before you try to stick any tape to it.


Actually, I would have gone back and looked for the top. Even broken up pieces can be helpful to fabricate a new top.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:19 PM   #6
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I suspect it came up and then came off in pieces.[/QUOTE]


A friend of mine had a replacement sheet of tempered glass for a patio door slide out of the back of his truck on the freeway. It landed perfectly flat with an air cushion and never broke, a few scratches but still, it was intact. You'll never know unless you look.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:40 PM   #7
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Oh my goodness, how sad, your poor trailer (and you)
Hopefully you are able to sort out a quick fix and then a longer term solution.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:20 PM   #8
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So sorry to hear this.
Rich has worried about that happening to us also.
Think we are now going to try to figure out some way to eliminate this from being our next mishap.
Hope you can figure out a fix or replacement for the top.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:54 PM   #9
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Well, thinking about the top I think the fact that the fabric cover wasn't there was part of it- the clamps that hooked it down didn't have to stretch so probably were not as tight. But having said that- I drove about 5000 miles with it that way last year with no problems.

I have the wooden frame the poptop was bolted to- I may be able to lower that down over a tarp and then clamp it somehow.

As for looking for it- at the time it wasn't very practical though I would have if there'd been a good place to stop, leave the trailer, and turn around before I'd gone much further down the road. But I've done that for things before and only once found something, when I knew exactly where it flew off (hubcap). I don't think a pattern for it will be a problem- I know what it looked like and have its measurements. Building it will be a pain, though, and keeping the trailer dry until I can will be a pain, too, no garage at the moment. And can't use a canopy at home, much too windy.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:53 AM   #10
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Oh MY!!! That is not good.

I don't know if you are near a hardware store. I would get a small tarp and some 1x2's or plywood to the size of the opening and some screws. wrap and tape the tarp around opening, best with plywood, and secure with screws to the wood frame around the opening. That is how I covered my pop top opening while working on some leaks this last winter. Hope it will hold while driving.

Good Luck Bobbie. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:57 AM   #11
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Horrible news. You commented that you think that an air leak around the door contributed to the problem. I would consider tarping the door as well so that said air leak does not force your tarp off the top.
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:19 AM   #12
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Oh MY! I hope your friend can find it. Even if it's busted up, it's fiberglass and repairable. I can't even imagine what it would take or cost to build something from scratch or if there's something available from VW, etc. that would be serviceable...
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Claire View Post
Horrible news. You commented that you think that an air leak around the door contributed to the problem. I would consider tarping the door as well so that said air leak does not force your tarp off the top.
Yes, that's the plan. I don't have a drill so not sure how I'm going to manage- may have to buy one.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:49 PM   #14
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So sorry to hear this, Bobbie. At least you maintained control of the trailer and just the top needs replacement. ( Looking for a silver lining here! )

Don't have any additional tips to ad here, just wishing you better travels ahead.


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