Compact Jr., Cliff's Rebuild - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-04-2008, 10:40 AM   #15
Member
 
Trailer: Compact Jr 1972
Posts: 34
Registry
RE: Canvas Top

Cliff, Rick

I took the old top to a boat canvas shop, and had them copy it. It didn't work, the old piece was stretched out in some areas, shrunk up in others, and the new piece just didn't fit. Fortunately, the shop used the wrong fabric, and was agreeable to re-do the job at a much reduced rate. Total cost was about $400, including the re-do ($100) - we've got a lot of boat canvas shops here, I shopped until I found a good price.

On the re-do, I abandoned the old pattern and fastening scheme, and came up with one that was "simplier". It actually worked pretty well, and made the task of measuring the new top, and relating the measurements to the boat shop easier. But it took the better part of a day to install.

I decided to run the top of the new boot (the inside mount) "level" around the top, in lieu of the original custom fit that was a constant distance from the bottom edge of the fiberglass hood. I scribed a level line around the inside of the top, and carefully measured the corner to corner distances for all four sides.

On the bottom (the outside mount), I did a similar thing, measuring down a fixed distance (so the fabricated canvas had parallel top and bottom plains), and measured the corner to corner distances again. I drew it up, and the boat shop had no trouble understanding it and producing a good fit. I had the flexibility to raise or lower the top edge to make it fit.

I had the boat shop use a heavy rubberized canvas (their mistake on the first try was using a lower grade, thinner, fabric than was clearly stated, and quoted, on the work order). I also had them install four zippered, screened windows. I've read other Compact posts about the windows, some saying that they felt they weren't necessary - obviously I disagee. The view through the windows is at eye level from the inside makes the camper seem less small, and camping in this part of the east coast in the summer requires mucho ventilation.

To mount the new canvas, I cut an interior "frame" for the top of 1 by 3/4 oak, that fit corner to corner as close as I could get it. I left the four pieces of the frame unconnected, and stapled the canvas (stainless steel staples) to the outside of the frame pieces, forming a flexible 'hoop skirt' type of top edge. I secured the top 'hoop' to the fiberglass by screwing through the fiberglass from the outside, into the frame pieces.


Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN4748.JPG
Views:	89
Size:	18.5 KB
ID:	16627


(The 'view' through the clear plastic windows is blocked in these pics by my winter cover)

This left the bottom edge of the canvas hanging, outside of the raised lip on the lower part of the roof. In between the four 'woodies' for the lift hinges I stapled more of the 1 by 3/4 to the bottom edge of the canvas, pulled them down tight, and secured them with screws through the fiberglass lip from the inside. I did the same for the front and back faces. Then, one by one, I replaced the four woodies that the hinges secure to, pulling the canvas down tight, and letting the screws for the hinges hold the fabric in place.


Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN4440.JPG
Views:	63
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	16632


I left out several non-related steps that I did in the process, like body work and paint, the fact that I had the fiberglass top off when I made the measurements, etc.

The end product is a much tighter 'boot' than the way the fabric was originally attached. Very watertight, wind proof. This winter I plan to replace all of the lower 'woodies', to form a continuous 'hoop' like on the top, of 1 by 3 wood - to make it look better and to provide some support for the lower roof that I lost when I deleted the kitchen surround and the bulkhead that had held up that side.

While I'm obviously biased that my solution has merits, the real message I'd share is that the old top was too complicated to reproduce with accuracy - at least my old worn-out one was. I also just didn't like the way it was hung, single points spaced as much as 24 inches apart seemed like a good blow would push cold air and water in.

Attached Thumbnails
DSCN4744.JPG   DSCN4270.JPG  

__________________

__________________
Phill Roehrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2008, 02:22 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Tim Wood's Avatar
 
Name: Tim
Trailer: Class B for now
NY
Posts: 747
Phil, That's a great looking job on the boot, I like the use of the oak strips.
__________________

__________________
Tim Wood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2008, 06:37 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Rick Brown's Avatar
 
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 162
Registry
Phil, your top looks great. This is how I made my top.

1. Mark each the corner of the to top and the corner of the raised section on the trailer. These were my starting and finishing points for measurements
2. I then drew a straight line around the inside of the pop up and on the bottom edge of the raised lip on the trailer. This line is were I wanted the top to reach.
3. I then measured the distance between the pop up line and the bottom line on the lip. This is done on both sides and the front and back
4. My wife and I bought a sewing machine!!!!!!! This was scary because we didn't have that much experience in sewing things but I knew we had to either make or have someone make the top, curtains and cushions covers, which would have been big bucks. We saved about $800.00 doing it ourself. Its not any more difficult then working with wood except your saw is replaced with a pair of scissors and your nails are thread.
5. Taking the measurements, I made the long panels approx 1' longer then my pop up measurement and 1" wider then my measurement from the pop up top, to the trailer (width). This will give you a 1/2" seam on top and bottom. I drew a straight edge 1/2" down on each long side of the panel. Using seam taps I folded over and ironed the panel on my straight edge. This gave my wife a nice seam to sew on. We also ironed on Velcro because I wanted to remove the top for cleaning. Using the Velcro on the top did not work because glue on the Velcro would not hold on the top but did work on the bottom.
6. I made each end panels the same way.
7. If you want windows mark the center of each panel and draw out your window and cut out the window, remember to mark the window edges 1/2" smaller then your window. This edge you will fold over for your seam around the window, then I placed Velcro around the edge and sewed the edge. You will only need Velcro around the top and sides of the window.
8. The door for the window is made 1" larger then the window. This will give you a 1/2" seam to fold over and 1/2" to over lap the window. Velcro is only needed on the top and sides, the bottom will be sewn on the bottom edge of the window. To open the window all you have to do is pull the cover open.
9. Do the same with the other panels.
10. I then hung the panels from the top and using the marks I put in the corners, marked each panel and added 1" for the seam. This gives you the length and angle for each panel. To connect the panels I used Velcro so I could remove one or all the panels easily or you could sew them together

I like the way Phil hung the top, it gives that finished look but I would consider using Velcro along the bottom. I found that my top was so tight fitting that to lower the top I had to loosen the bottom of the back to put it down. I would also consider using aluminum for around the bottom. Its strong light and won't rot.

Now that I confused everybody I will stop

__________________
Rick Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2008, 11:29 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Steve Hilby's Avatar
 
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 259
Quote:
Now that I confused everybody I will stop.
I'm not confused; that seemed very clear to me. On my sister's Compact Jr, the top boot is a bit scruffy-looking, especially the windows, so I suppose sooner or later she's going to have to bite the bullet and make/buy a new one.

One thing about hers: There's a long bungee cord all around the top, about halfway up. When you're lowering the roof it pulls the top inward, kind of automatically stowing it. I imagine that without it, keeping the top tucked out of the way during the lowering process would be a lot harder. You can see it in this picture:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Overall_tarp_view.jpg
Views:	120
Size:	161.9 KB
ID:	16681

__________________
Steve Hilby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2008, 03:23 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
JenPB's Avatar
 
Name: Jen
Trailer: 1972 Compact Jr
Posts: 321
Registry
I'm glad you pointed out the bungee cord, Steve! My dad's newfangled pop-up camper has double-wall construction on the canvas, so there are two bungees attached to d-rings on the INTERIOR. This works great, but if it were single-wall construction like our Jr. tops, I figure the D-rings (or whatever I use to attach the cord) would just be leakage spots. I think I can get that cording at my local craft shop or hardware store. Will check it in the a.m. 'cause it IS a pain to get it all tucked in with one not-QUITE-tall-enough adult doing the teardown.
__________________
Jen
The Blog - travels and more
The Book - what we do around these parts
JenPB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2008, 08:46 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Rick Brown's Avatar
 
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 162
Registry
Steve, Thanks for the picture. It IS A PAIN to lower the top and make sure the sides are tucked in. I think I could incorporate the bung cord inside the top. Thanks for the tip
Rick
__________________
Rick Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2008, 09:48 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Bobbie Mayer's Avatar
 
Name: Bobbie
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Washington
Posts: 3,236
Registry
Quote:
Steve, Thanks for the picture. It IS A PAIN to lower the top and make sure the sides are tucked in. I think I could incorporate the bung cord inside the top. Thanks for the tip
Rick
Same problem here... with the Campster. If you do figure out how to add the cord let us know. One of these days I might try to figure out a new top but the way it is attached in the Campster does not appear to lend itself to easy replacement.

Bobbie
__________________
Bobbie Mayer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 02:51 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Raya's Avatar
 
Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Quote:
Same problem here... with the Campster. If you do figure out how to add the cord let us know. One of these days I might try to figure out a new top but the way it is attached in the Campster does not appear to lend itself to easy replacement.

Bobbie
I had remembered some kind of bungie-type system on the Puck I looked at (aluminum trailer with pop-top section), but hadn't taken any photos. So, when Tilden posted his Puck for sale yesterday I went to look at the photos to take a look at it. Luckily it shows up. I PMed him to ask what it was made of and he said it was like a thick piece of (metal) wire. That jogged my memory and I think that's what was on the Puck I saw as well.

I remember pulling the top down when I looked at it and I don't remember any big hassle with gathering it in, so this must work like a bungie. It's probably easier to do on a round top, of course.

Anyway, I thought I'd post photos in case they might be helpful to some Compact/Campster, etc. owners. I have larger file sizes if those would help anyone.

Raya


Click image for larger version

Name:	puck_with_bungie_top_small.jpg
Views:	98
Size:	21.7 KB
ID:	17015



Click image for larger version

Name:	puck_with_bungie_top_2_small.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	24.7 KB
ID:	17016



Click image for larger version

Name:	puck_with_bungie_top_3_small.jpg
Views:	87
Size:	22.9 KB
ID:	17017



Click image for larger version

Name:	Puck_with_bungie_top_4_small.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	20.4 KB
ID:	17018
__________________
Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2008, 12:19 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
JenPB's Avatar
 
Name: Jen
Trailer: 1972 Compact Jr
Posts: 321
Registry
Thumbs up

I ran down to the fabric store today and picked up some 1/8" elastic cord, happened to be black (all they had), bought 24 feet of it (easily 4' overkill), wrapped it around the boot, pulled it tight and knotted the loop. Works so much better, but there's still one edge that wants to stick out. I suspect adjusting where the elastic sits might take care of this.

Steve - on your sisters', will you please check and see what keeps the elastic from creeping? Mine seems to tend toward the bottom of the boot when it's all set up. DOn't know how it'll travel. (CJ's in the garage for the holiday season.)

Jen
__________________
Jen
The Blog - travels and more
The Book - what we do around these parts
JenPB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 02:51 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Steve Hilby's Avatar
 
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 259
Quote:
Steve - on your sisters', will you please check and see what keeps the elastic from creeping? Mine seems to tend toward the bottom of the boot when it's all set up. DOn't know how it'll travel. (CJ's in the garage for the holiday season.)

Jen
There's nothing keeping the bungee in place. However, her boot is kind of loose (baggy) and the elastic just naturally gravitates to the center. (Take another look at the picture and I think you'll be able to see what I mean.)

No reason you couldn't stitch a little loop on at each corner to keep the bungee in place. I don't imagine you'd have any leakage worth noticing, and if you did, you could get some of that seam-seal stuff the hikers use and put a bit on.
__________________
Steve Hilby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2009, 03:16 AM   #25
Senior Member
 
JenPB's Avatar
 
Name: Jen
Trailer: 1972 Compact Jr
Posts: 321
Registry
Quote:
I ran down to the fabric store today and picked up some 1/8" elastic cord, happened to be black (all they had), bought 24 feet of it (easily 4' overkill), wrapped it around the boot, pulled it tight and knotted the loop. Works so much better, but there's still one edge that wants to stick out. I suspect adjusting where the elastic sits might take care of this.

Steve - on your sisters', will you please check and see what keeps the elastic from creeping? Mine seems to tend toward the bottom of the boot when it's all set up. DOn't know how it'll travel. (CJ's in the garage for the holiday season.)

Jen
Seven months later and I'm happy to report the bungee/elastic cord around the outside works WONDERfully for getting my saggy old boot tucked in when I drop the top! I'd LIKE to replace the top, but for now, this is working well. And even once I replace it, I think I'll do the same thing, though incorporate it in a cleaner fashion. The cord has not crept into odd positions as I'd anticipated. A good quick solution. Thanks, Steve (and sister)!
__________________
Jen
The Blog - travels and more
The Book - what we do around these parts
JenPB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2009, 07:51 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Bruce Thomas's Avatar
 
Name: Bruce T
Trailer: Compact jr
Indiana
Posts: 729
Registry
Quote:
Cliff, Its a tuff call either way you deal with it, I'm not standing in front of the old frame to see what you are seeing. But I'm sure some others may have a good idea to help you out. If your like me you want to get away without breaking the bank, so maybe you can just replace some of the real bad pieces. It may not hurt to have a welding guy near you to stop by and take a look. I brought up the galvanized steel because that's what I was going to do when I thought about building a teardrop. Tim
if you use galv steel for any build.you have to grind off the coating where you are going to be welding.and the you have burned spots that need treating with zinc or something...most galvanized products are galvanized after fabrication and welding.....so if you do make a trailer chassis or repair, it can be done later.......Bruce
__________________
Bruce Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2009, 12:31 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
Cliff's Avatar
 
Trailer: Compact Jr
Posts: 120
Quote:
if you use galv steel for any build.you have to grind off the coating where you are going to be welding.and the you have burned spots that need treating with zinc or something...most galvanized products are galvanized after fabrication and welding.....so if you do make a trailer chassis or repair, it can be done later.......Bruce
Bruce,
It's been a while since I posted updates. Frame surgery completed, body painted and mounted, floor installed with linoleum. While managing the floor into place... Crack went the front window, added expense, oh well. I had just installed it using a fresh framed window moldings on the inside.

I purchased the bungee cord to use on the canvas top when the time comes.
Attached Thumbnails
1_3_2009_8_57_03_PM_0058.jpg   1_3_2009_8_57_00_PM_0057.jpg  

1_3_2009_8_57_04_PM_0059.jpg  
__________________
Cliff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2009, 12:56 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
Larry&Carrie's Avatar
 
Name: Larry
Trailer: 1983 13 ft Scamp
Washington
Posts: 553
Send a message via MSN to Larry&Carrie
Talking

Quote:
Bruce,
It's been a while since I posted updates. Frame surgery completed, body painted and mounted, floor installed with linoleum. While managing the floor into place... Crack went the front window, added expense, oh well. I had just installed it using a fresh framed window moldings on the inside.

I purchased the bungee cord to use on the canvas top when the time comes.
Cliff--- now, that tongue looks a lot more respectable than what you started with. Good job- shouldn't flex now. Larry
__________________

__________________
Larry&Carrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finally Starting The Rebuild !! Brian Scott Modifications, Alterations and Updates 90 04-02-2015 10:37 PM
John's CT Rebuild John Clayton Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 25 06-22-2010 02:55 PM
RV rolls over steep cliff as RVer walks dog Ken C Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 7 10-22-2009 07:00 PM
Rebuild Back on Track Rob S. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 15 07-09-2008 01:35 PM
Trillium Rebuild Upcoming David Schroeder Forum Admin, News & Announcements 1 12-09-2006 09:55 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.