Originally Posted by Jeanette P.
In the last 3 months we have installed the side windows
, they went in easy and operate well. Painted interior shell.
Last week I applied 1/8 plywood to the interior of pop top, replaced handles, bolts and nuts for hold down latches. We rebuilt bottom frame, attached original lift mechanism.
This weekend we Stapled repaired canvas to frames top and bottom. Applied VHB tape to bottom edge of frame before setting in place. It was a snug fit.
Looks fantastic up top!
Just a quick note to let people know that if you are going to use VHB tape on wood then you need to first seal the surface of the wood or else you won't get proper adhesion of the VHB tape. The 3M company recommends sealing wood with their 3M Rubber and Vinyl 80 spray adhesive before applying VHB tape to wood or any other porous surface.
I did not put any VHB tape or gasket under the lower wood frame on my Campster
. The reason I did not do that is I wanted any water that might have reached the canvas and run down the surface to be able to escape
from underneath. There is not a watertight seal between the canvas and the wood frame, that means that water can indeed get between those two materials and get trapped. That will lead to wood rot. In these situations what gets in must be able to get back out. The pine you chose is unfortunately not a rot resistant wood. I chose to use Ipe wood which is a dense hardwood used for long lasting, high end, exterior decking. Fortunately many lumber yards do stock this wood. It is moisture, rot and bug resistant. You do not put a finish on it, the wood itself is oily and finishes do not stick well to it. VHB tape and caulks also do not stick to it. But as mentioned this is a situation where you would not want to use caulk or VHB tape as you do need to let the moisture get out from between the lower wood frame and the canvas as well as from underneath the wood frame.
The lower wood frame is held in place by the screw that go into through the fiberglass flange coming from the interior. Those screws need to have a good strong wood to grip into which is why I chose a rot resistant hard wood for my lower frame. I can understand why you would want to add extra security for holding the wood frame down to the surface of the trailer but doing that creates more issues of rot which of course means the VHB tape won't have a good adhesion and the fasteners will also tend to rust out which also means a loss of ability to hold the top onto the trailer. It requires analytical "what if" thinking when you make a change to how something is designed. Sometimes the use of new products can make things better, other times they introduce issues.