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Changed Westfalia canvas tent in 5.5 hours (with photos)
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Ryan Alfonso
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yo Sodo! Thanks for the tip about using a pneumatic 1/4 inch driver. Worked like a charm when tackling those hard to reach corners. In most cases, the screw itself is perfectly able to pierce the tent welting strip and find the hole. Still, you might want to keep an awl around. Once or twice I had to sink a screw threw a few layers of fabric, like at a seam (a beach).

Also, a must have item is (are) two magnetic parts tray cup things. Very helpful in keeping the screws sorted and in one place.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I had a blast this weekend busting out this long overdue project. My tent was made and purchased in January of 2007. Sitting on a shelf in the garage since...

One thing I would have to caution folks about is how to keep those armatures retracted. Don't use duct/duck tape. It heated up in the sun and failed, allowing a rather violent spring-loaded whammo. Use wire like Sodo did, or strong velcro straps. Live and learn, eh?

This new "original" tent is SNUG. The fabric feels a bit thin for my liking, but I guess if if were any thicker it wouldn't stretch as well. It's also a bit darker than stock -- a bit like what you see on newer Eurovans.

On the subject of stretching, I approached the installation by attaching the front, then the rear, then the sides. I did this for both the upper and lower. I think I was perhaps a bit overly enthusiastic when stretching the front and rear. That left the slides almost slack. That slack is GONE when the top is popped tho'. Next time I'll take it easy on the "stretch to fit" idea. It's not necessary to stretch these things that much to get them in right.

Kinda like Sodo here, I think I'd be happier with something synthetic and more weather resistant. If the GoWesty acrylic bomber ones are this easy to install, then I'd say go for it!

I've heard other folks ponder why they aren't made of materials found in backpacking tents, and sewn with as many features -- pockets for example. I kind of agree with that. The good news is that I have my old tent, which is in relatively good shape, to use as a template. THinking of sending it over to some folks I know at Sierra Designs and seeing if they can dupe one up -- hmmm...

Anyway, here's the finished product. I enjoyed the process a lot. If any of you locals here in the SF bay area need a hand doing yours just let me know. Happy to come help. It's far less tricky than you probably think it is....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Later!
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scary Mc wrote:
Does the plastic beading come pre-punched for the screw holes?

Thanks for the great write-up!


No
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Scary Mc
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the plastic beading come pre-punched for the screw holes?

Thanks for the great write-up!


Last edited by Scary Mc on Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dogcoves
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't take my pop-top off and it took about 4 hours. I just unbolted one front pole at a time and slipped the canvas through. I did the canvas to the top first, then the bottom. I marked the middle of the canvas and started screwing to the front corners, then toward the back, doing each side equally until I met at the middle of the back of the pop-top. Its a bit tight in the back lying down on the bed board but it goes on easy enough. The hard part is the front bottom corners but if you use a ice pick or a all to line up the holes you will have no problem. I used a battery screwdriver, on stuck screws I used a standard driver, I lost no screws, just don't rush. Oh yeah may sure you take the upper mattresses out.
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Changed Westfalia canvas tent in 5.5 hours (with photos) Reply with quote

wasserbox wrote:
... I couldn't afford a new canvas, and ended up getting a new nylon screen sewn in, and some reinforcement / patching done to the sides for about $50 at a local tent-repair shop...


Did you have to remove it for them to do that?

Or were they able somehow to repair it while it was installed in the pop-top??
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914 mike
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they sheet metal screws? Or are there threaded fittings integrated into the roof of the van?
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westylife
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

914 mike wrote:
When removing the pop top, do you need to pull down the rear headliner to access the nuts that hold the pop top hinges to the roof? For vans with AC, would you need to drop the rear AC unit to access these nuts?

Mike


Mike the bolts are accessed from the outside. Pop your top and go to the back. There should be six bolts, three on each side. There are no nuts.

Cheers,
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914 mike
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When removing the pop top, do you need to pull down the rear headliner to access the nuts that hold the pop top hinges to the roof? For vans with AC, would you need to drop the rear AC unit to access these nuts?

Mike
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wasserbox
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Changed Westfalia canvas tent in 5.5 hours (with photos) Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:

To speed this job up you will benefit from power tools!


Nice write up! When I did mine, I had no power tools. In fact, I had very few manual tools. It took a long time with one of those shorty 5" phillips screwdrivers... and I think I lost a couple of the wooden blocks.

I dunno what the extent of damage is to everyone's tents, but I couldn't afford a new canvas, and ended up getting a new nylon screen sewn in, and some reinforcement / patching done to the sides for about $50 at a local tent-repair shop. Threw it in an industrial washer and it's been good ever since.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westylife, I also appreciate your thread. I would certainly opt for the GoWesty tent after seeing the difference. I'd have a hard time not returning the Just Kampers one.

Andrew
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westylife
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodo,

Thanks for posting on my thread! http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=356195&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Now that’s how a tent install is supposed to look. I like the gray tent on your Bordaeux red westy. I will defintaly go with the gowesty kind the next time around. I have a feeling that the "Just Krapers" one that I bought is going to anoy me so much that I might replace it again. Shocked
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hippiepilot
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Changed Westfalia canvas tent in 5.5 hours (with photos) Reply with quote

Nice good, I need to change my 83 out but I haven't quite got the nerve to do it just yet Rolling Eyes
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parishollow
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice job! Wish my first one had gone so. I got a replacement from Bus Depot and it was too small. Had to argue to get a refund, not good times even after sending photos of the not fitting corners. It wasn't as good a product either in weight of canvas and workmanship.
However, I did get one from GoWEsty and it fit like a charm. Got it done in no time at all after all the practice I had with the previous one. Even tried that one upside down to make sure I wasn't goofing it up.
I have heard the arcylic one is a bear because it doesn't stretch like the canvas one does.
Boy, that corner tool would have nice. I spent more time getting those back corner screws in than anything else! and made less easy with old eyes.
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Raynor Shine
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent writeup. Looks great. I like how tight the tent is showing in the pic. You deserve beer!
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woggs1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess not.
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woggs1
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone installed the sunbrella tent that they sell over at bus depot? I want to know if the install is easy
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riceye
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodo, your install obviously went better than this guy's:


Link


Although, his only took 9 minutes 51 seconds.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan Alfonso wrote:
indeed, bravo. wanna come do mine? Very Happy


It was kinda lonely doing it solo. I would enjoy supervising this job for a steep fee of handmade food and beverage, on location at a nice remote campsite near a water feature for the kids..... and a large magnet so no screws are lost..... ooops there i go dreaming like old times when I could go camping and chase homebrew at the drop of a hat!

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Last edited by Sodo on Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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MrPolak
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodo,

Thanks for the excellent writeup! It came just in time as it looks like I'll be replacing the canvas in my Westy this weekend. I'm going to pick up a right-angle driver today. I've already removed the old canvas and all the aluminium strips, so I hope to get done in around 3 hours (fingers crossed).
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Tiiconaut
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Sodo, now im not afraid and will install a new canvas instead of patching my holes with funky patterned cloth stolen from grandmas sewing room.

Phil 84' Westy
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