I need Trim-Lok hints- Campster and Compact owners? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-28-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
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I need Trim-Lok hints- Campster and Compact owners?

I finally had a nice sunny afternoon and got the last two grommets drilled out, and am ready to install the new Trim-Lok. It doesn't go on easily- I think I need to smooth out the sides of the fiberglass, but I thought before doing anything I'd ask what hints you have, if you have installed new edging on your poptop.

Bobbie
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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Do you have the correct Trim-lok? It is available in different groove widths. I did a quick look on Perfectfit.com and found 3 different options. When I bought some I got it from JC Whitney, don't remember if they had much choice of sizes. You may try lubing the fiberglass with something. I would use liquid dish soap, that's what I used to install the windows in the rubber weatherstrip on our Uhaul. Cleans off easy with water!
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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I have never installed trimloc on a pop top but have installed alot of it industrially. First thing is looking at the thickness of the fiberglass and the bottom of the U shape of the trimloc. The bottom of the U of the trimloc needs to be as wide or slightly wider than the thickness of the fiberglass. Think of the trimloc like a binder clip it will only hold and clamp in place up to the thickness allowed in the bottom. If it is too thick you loose the clamping effect of the side legs. When putting on the trim loc you roll the length of trimloc back on its self, think like a big letter J with the hook facing down. Start the trimloc on the edge if your pannel and unroll and push the J as you go along. This will help spread the legs. when you have started it all the way around take a piece of 2X4 about a foot long and seat the trim down with a mallet on the 2x4 over the trim. This will help keep the waveyness down as you seat the trimloc.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
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It has been a long time since I messed with it, and I'll have to do mine over again soon, so here are my thoughts:
  1. The trimlock needs to be "plyable" not stiff. I have used a heat-gun set on low to warm the plastic a little but not so much to make it soft..
  2. I have always removed the top and laid it on the ground so I worked with gravity and not against it.
  3. I use a rubber mallet to tap it into place. Works better for me and my arthritic fingers than trying to just push it on.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure the thickness is right. Where it is nice and clean I can start the trim-lok so I'm sure it's right. But I think someone tried to reglue the old stuff so there is some gunk I probably need to sand off. I can't quite understand your J suggestion, Steve, but it is hard here as I'm working with at least 16 feet of it. Plus it has a 3/4 inch bulb. I wouldn't know where to start removing the top, but I won't do that up here in Washington as it violates my rule about not starting anything that would make the trailer un-towable if I can't finish, anyway.

I think a rubber mallet is a good idea if I can get a good connection with the bulb where it is. But first sanding.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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If you stiil have fabric in place don't even think of removing the top. I retimed mine when the top was off and upside down using a leather face mallet, worked great.

Start where you want the seam to be (at the back usually) and start working your way around, but be very careful to not "Pull" on it as you go. If anything, try to stuff more length in than needed. When you get back to the start add about 3",more than you need, butt up the ends and start working back the other way to fit in the extra. That way when it shrinks you can pull it down and remount it and will have enough extra length.

FWIW: I don't remember how much I used, but 16 feet sounds a bit short. Measure all four sides and add about 2 feet.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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Campster is 5 x a little less than 3 for the pop top. Can't remember the exact measurements but that's close. I have 25 feet to work with and don't plan to cut any off until I'm done or nearly done. Fabric is off (new fabric attaches with Velcro). I'll look at how it would be to remove the top but don't think I will do it unless it is very simple or I give up on doing it with the top on.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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If the fabric is off, there should only be 3-4 small bolts holding the lift mechanism to the roof on each side. But be aware that you will be opening holes and they will have to be resealed and rusty hardware replaced along the way.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
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Start where you want the seam to be (at the back usually) and start working your way around, but be very careful to not "Pull" on it as you go. If anything, try to stuff more length in than needed. When you get back to the start add about 3",more than you need, butt up the ends and start working back the other way to fit in the extra. That way when it shrinks ...
Thanks,
Off topic but it sounds like a good idea for when I replace the front and rear window gaskets on the boler. Cut off more than needed, butt the ends and work the extra back in to compensate for future shrinkage. That would prevent the gap I see in mine now. Different materials, different shrinkage. OTOH, I can use this concept when replacing the trimlock on the gravel guard and doors. That explains the gaps I see there.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Thanks,
Off topic but it sounds like a good idea for when I replace the front and rear window gaskets on the boler. Cut off more than needed, butt the ends and work the extra back in to compensate for future shrinkage.
In theory that sounds good, but in reality it probably won't work. You don't want any "pucker" at all in the gasket in order to have a leak-free fit. If the butt area shrinks, fill it with black windshield caulk.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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In theory that sounds good, but in reality it probably won't work. You don't want any "pucker" at all in the gasket in order to have a leak-free fit. If the butt area shrinks, fill it with black windshield caulk.
When we did the new window weatherstrip on our Uhaul side window installation, I did cut it a couple inches too long to start. Got it tight in the window opening all the way around, starting at one end and working around to the other end and then cut the final end to fit. Put the window in, and OH NO, had a small gap where the ends butted together. Then I installed the lock strip and the gap closed up tight!!
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:22 AM   #12
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I think when installing these kinds of gaskets that there is a tendency to stretch the material a bit during installation. I always follow the push back technique and the worst thing that can happen is that there is a pucker and I can always shorten what's there. In the case of a top, 3" in 16' will get absorbed.

I have tried cutting short pieces to make them longer and it just never works out.(LOL)
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