Compact Junior top fix - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
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Compact Junior top fix

So I have been researching and dragging my feet to start this project but today I started. My 72 compact top, I think some folks call it a boot, is ripped and a mess. I thought the top was leaking and sagging and now I know it is. I bought it last year and did not know the extent of what it would need. I plan to take the wood off the top and re- shell it. I was thinking about using laminate they have white. It is a little more expensive then luan but seems a good alternative. Opinions? I also plan to add ribs, probably the wood kind, I can enlist my carpenter father for this part. I also plan to replace the material, I have been thinking either sunbrella, or a waterproof vinyl, again thoughts? I will bring it to a pro place to copy the original measurements or have a seamstress do it who makes dog collars. (so she can sew). WIsh me luck on this! I have to go back tonight and have my friend help me lift the top, pretty heavy!
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:59 PM   #2
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progress?

Today I started the awful job of scraping this old panelling off. This is how my progress is. Any insight as to why the thread is up and if I should be concerned. Thanks
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #3
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I believe that someone added that wood to the underside of your pop-top. Original was the dimond tufted leatherette stuff.

I suggest that you just remove as much as you can and look into foam backed headliner from an auto upholstery supply house. It can be easily installed, but be sure to get the professional glue they use.

As far as adding the laminate, I am against that as it only adds more weight to lift and support. The boot is fairly simple, same width all the way around and if you make it so it overlaps at the back you can fit it when installing and glue the overlap in back with the proper adhesive. Look for a canvas and awning shop for that kind of work. I have been quoted about $400 for a new one.

FWIW: The original fabric on my 73 Hunter only needed a good cleaning and new screens and window flaps., about $150

Those loose threads are common. Just sand down the inside surfaces to remove them, put on a good coat of marine fiberglass paint and go from there. Also be sure to fiberglass over any extra holes that were added.



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Old 02-06-2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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I was thinking about putting the material they use in bathroom showers in place of the paneling. Thoughts? And the paneling totally made the top sag. Ribs will be added too. There is no fabric in my compact, the only thing that was belonged to the seats and I have had them re-upholstered.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:47 PM   #5
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When I repaired mine, I went to Home Depot and bought a 4 x 8 sheet of fiberglass reinforced plastic and cut it to fit.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:05 PM   #6
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Here is a photo of beige FRP on ceiling.

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Old 02-06-2014, 05:08 PM   #7
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That is what I was thinking of using. Did you add ribs an what did you use to adhere it? Did you do just the 8ft length? Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I believe that someone added that wood to the underside of your pop-top. Original was the diamond tufted leatherette stuff.
My 1971 Compact Jr. had the exact same wood paneling as in "raddar's" pictures, albeit mine was not as rotted. I believed it made my top too heavy, but once I removed mine the top lost its "crown" and cratered. I think the panel had originally been steamed to bow before it was glued up; and the bolts through the top leaked getting water between the plys of the panel...
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:17 PM   #9
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The ribs were added by a previous owner. I reused them. The 8 ft length worked well.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:26 PM   #10
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The wood may well be original then. I was speaking from Compact II experience..... I forgot the Jr. part.



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Old 02-07-2014, 04:33 AM   #11
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I used Liquid Nails construction adhesive to hold the FRP in place.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:08 AM   #12
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my jr. has a piece of 1/2 in. osb ply wood in the roof of it talk about heavy with two pieces of industrial use unistrut on top of the roof ... why i dnt know but i figure its cause the top had lost its crown....i wanna do like tom and put that fiberglass sheet in it this spring
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:33 PM   #13
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Tom you put the latches on the ribs? Was it too far on the fiberglass to latch? Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:47 AM   #14
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The photo makes it look different than it is. The front 2 hold down latches and the rear single latch are in their original location. There are 4 reinforcement ribs. The front reinforcement rib is bolted to the plates of the raising arms and is 8" behind the forward 2 latches. The rear reinforcement rib is bolted to the plates of the rear raising arms. The middle 2 reinforcement ribs are held in place by bolts through the fiberglass. All 4 reinforcement ribs are mated to flat, steel 1"x 1/8" x 34" bands on the exterior of the roof by their bolts.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:14 AM   #15
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I have it cleared and sanded. I want to paint it white so it matches the rest of the inside. Home Depot told me to get fiberglass boat paint, the boat store told me to use primer since it is inside. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:42 PM   #16
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So I have been working on this top. WHich btw is huge in my little apartment. I do not have a garage to work in and the camper itself is at a different location where it is stored and the top is here weth me nice and cozy rotating between the front porch and kitchen, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This project was bigger then I thought. I still need to get it back on and attached working smooth but at this point I am relatively happy, although it is by no means perfect. I used rip stop nylon for the top, it was a tight fit, and bugs can get in the corners if the top is up, but it is better then the soggy rotted piece I had before. I have just three ribs, two will be mounted where the raise part is and the already bolted in to another pre existing whole. Cross your fingers the top goes on nicely.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:52 PM   #17
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Here is the progress
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:15 PM   #18
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Mellow Yellow?

Love that color!It looks like it will match your frame. Good luck with the rest of your rehab.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:01 PM   #19
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certainly been a labor of love. I have two ribs mounted on the ends on the sliders and I still have to add a center one. I tried to have it bend around and attach to where the material will on the side but then all the weight sat on the middle of the camper, I assumed that was a bad thing. Thinking I will drill two holes in the middle and attach a center rib. Thoughts on the best way to do this?
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:46 AM   #20
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I used FRP on the ceiling and having some serious problems with it not adhering. The sides have sagged. It will be a project to tackle again this coming winter. The liquid nails was horrible for me, maybe it was too cold for it to work? Then I used a fiberglass adhesive and some of it stayed but not all. More clamps I assume.
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