Originally Posted by Cory Hilby
I have a Compact Jr., which has a pop-top roughly 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall and (if removed) 30 feet long. It's still intact and usable, but some past owner replaced the original canvas with vinyl him- or herself without much regard as to whether corners were square, lines were not ragged, or window components (layer of netting and clear plastic) aligned with each other.
Now in the past I have been critical of that owner, but the more I look for a professional to re-do it, the less critical I am- I can NOT find any professional to do it. Our local boat-top upholsterers won' t touch it, and RV upholsters only want to do the interiors of RVs. I'm starting to think I may have to even go out of state?
Any of you with similar pop-tops had this done, and if so, who did it and what is their phone number?
I find it fairly amusing that you can't get anyone to take on the work. It is NOT a difficult sewing job. If you can do basic sewing on a machine you can do the job yourself. Almost all of it is straight line sewing except for putting the zipper on a curve to create the screened opening. Of course all such work takes time, you have to take measurements and make any patterns that might be needed. Obtain the materials, do the cutting and the sewing and then their is the installation time. So it is going to cost you for all that labor and the materials. Plus of course all shops have overhead cost to pay for.
I made my own popup replacement canvas for my Campster
Here is a photo of laying out the pattern for the zippered openings. You mark where the zipper goes (tailor's chalk for marking the position) and then sew the zipper in place before you cut through the material. You carefully cut through where the centerline of the zipper lies then turn those edges back under and stitch them down as seen in this next photo.
Next you turn it over, sew screen in place. Last step is to sew placket strips to cover over the line of the zipper to keep the water out when the zipper is closed up.
Shown in the photo I have the finished canvas attached to the popup roof, it is sitting upside down on a table before I installed it back onto the trailer.
If you have a sewing machine and want to see video tutorials to learn how to do this kind of work go to youtube type "sailrite" into the search function. The Sailrite company has all kinds of videos on it to teach you how to sew on canvas. They show the basics of how to sew, how to put in zippers, etc. They also get more specific for this type of project and have videos on putting in a curved zipped window with a screen. They are showing that in a clear vinyl cover but you can use very similar techniques in a canvas cover.