Compact Jr. pop-top hardware - Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:45 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
Alberta
Posts: 7
Compact Jr. pop-top hardware

We are new members to the forum community and are stuck on a rebuild problem. We are hoping some of you might make some suggestions.

We recently bought a (1969?) Compact Jr. The pop-top was permanently bolted down and we spent a fair bit of labour undoing this. We have everything cleaned up, have new edge trim and paint etc. ... but we do not have any of the original hardware to raise the pop-top, lock it in place, or securely clamp it down for travel. I've been looking for similar hardware but so far have not found anything that can solve the whole problem.

Does anyone have information, parts for sale, or suggestions for us? We'd be very appreciative of some help from those of you who have "been there ... done that".

Thanks, Joe, Alberta, Canada
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:25 PM   #2
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,633
Registry
Joe,

The Compact JR has hardware similar to that which lifted a small square pop-top on a 65 VW bus I owned years back.

I looked at a number of sites that supply parts for VW vans. There's a lot of toggles to latch the top down, a lot of canvas fitted to the various types of tops which were used through the years, and a few sets of hardware out there. However, all the hardware I found was for the tops which were "hinged" and sloped, not the hardware to lift a top straight-up as I'd had on my '65.

Buttys Bits seems to either have a source or to have invested in producing stainless steel hinges for that market.

https://www.buttysbits.com/product-c...stfalia-parts/

Sportsmobile produces large pop-tops for van conversions. They apparently have developed some proprietary hardware for their tops.

https://sportsmobile.com/penthouse-top/

Maybe something here will help you get started on the road to finding or creating something that will work.
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:03 AM   #3
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
Alberta
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
Joe,

The Compact JR has hardware similar to that which lifted a small square pop-top on a 65 VW bus I owned years back.

I looked at a number of sites that supply parts for VW vans. There's a lot of toggles to latch the top down, a lot of canvas fitted to the various types of tops which were used through the years, and a few sets of hardware out there. However, all the hardware I found was for the tops which were "hinged" and sloped, not the hardware to lift a top straight-up as I'd had on my '65.

Buttys Bits seems to either have a source or to have invested in producing stainless steel hinges for that market.

https://www.buttysbits.com/product-c...stfalia-parts/

Sportsmobile produces large pop-tops for van conversions. They apparently have developed some proprietary hardware for their tops.

https://sportsmobile.com/penthouse-top/

Maybe something here will help you get started on the road to finding or creating something that will work.
Thanks so much Mike!

Those are great sites to know about and have got me thinking about some more alternatives to the original Compact Jr. roof hardware. Even if I end up having to fabricate my own seeing other pop-up designs is very useful.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness at sharing your information.

Joe, Alberta, Canada
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:57 AM   #4
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Name: Kip
Trailer: Hunter
Arizona
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Hey Joe, I have a Jr also, I have seen where instead of the steel hardware I have seen where people have used gas shocks like the ones used on a tailgate of a van. You might try this while looking for the original version. Their are multiple sizes and lift strengths so this could take some trial and error to get the perfect fit.
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:28 PM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
Posts: 398
Jrs !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiberglassflyer View Post
Hey Joe, I have a Jr also, I have seen where instead of the steel hardware I have seen where people have used gas shocks like the ones used on a tailgate of a van. You might try this while looking for the original version. Their are multiple sizes and lift strengths so this could take some trial and error to get the perfect fit.
---------------------------------------------------


On my Compact Jr I am thinking of using gas shocks to help lift it because it can be heavy for shorter people to lift. And that is WITH the original lifting hardware. I can't see how gas shocks could both lift AND hold the top. Some people do slip in small (12' ? ) wooden 'arms' to hold the top in the 'up' position. Remove and stow them when top is down. On mine it is hard to get all the cloth 'apron' completely in as you drop the top, some of it always gets pinched as the top comes down. And cheap Jeep Hood latches are perfect for holding the top in the down position . Get them in Chrome from E-trailer on line. Good luck, tell us what you figure out. David in Fresno and Sonora.
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:30 PM   #6
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Here, you might take a look at this: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...-jr-53419.html
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:36 PM   #7
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
Alberta
Posts: 7
Kip, David, and Steve,
Thanks so much for your help. I love this forum! I have designed my own system. I had a boat building business up until the pandemic and have some left-over parts and ideas The system I have designed is very simple but would be slightly more difficult without 2 people to lift.
I will post pictures and comments as I progress with our re-build. If it works well it is very inexpensive ... so I guess we will see!
Thanks everyone! Joe
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:57 PM   #8
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cunningham View Post
Kip, David, and Steve,
Thanks so much for your help. I love this forum! I have designed my own system. I had a boat building business up until the pandemic and have some left-over parts and ideas The system I have designed is very simple but would be slightly more difficult without 2 people to lift.
I will post pictures and comments as I progress with our re-build. If it works well it is very inexpensive ... so I guess we will see!
Thanks everyone! Joe
__________________________________________________ __


Joe, the tops can be hard to lift depending n the 'skirt' or 'collar', the mechanism, AND how tall you are ! My tall friend has no trouble, I can lift it, but with difficulty. My partner can't lift it, but together we can fairly easily. Sometimes I carry a small plastic stool to give me another 8 - 10 in of lift. Using your head to help lift / balance it can result in neck injury. It can be hard to get all the cloth collar into the trailer when you put the top down. David Gearhart in Fresno and Sonora.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:58 PM   #9
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
Alberta
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
__________________________________________________ __


Joe, the tops can be hard to lift depending n the 'skirt' or 'collar', the mechanism, AND how tall you are ! My tall friend has no trouble, I can lift it, but with difficulty. My partner can't lift it, but together we can fairly easily. Sometimes I carry a small plastic stool to give me another 8 - 10 in of lift. Using your head to help lift / balance it can result in neck injury. It can be hard to get all the cloth collar into the trailer when you put the top down. David Gearhart in Fresno and Sonora.
Thanks for the "heads up" David. I will be sure to 'test lift, etc.' as I fabricate. I could also use the 'gas shocks' idea as an aid in the design I have in mind. I am having a 'skirt/collar/boot' made for the trailer by a lady in Arizona that was suggested by Kip, I believe. Hopefully that will go well.
Thanks to all! Joe
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Old 02-02-2021, 01:46 PM   #10
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 562
Lee Senn here . Wife and I have a Trailswest Campster and it has a pop top like the Compacts . The top raising system is different in that is an easy lift , pops up and stays there with no prop arms or wing nuts required . I'm am totally incompetent with photos or I would post some . Lee and Norma
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