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Changed Westfalia canvas tent in 5.5 hours (with photos)
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Bills85Westy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the link to the second part of Curt's tent install video.

https://vimeo.com/110653545

I am getting ready to install my new canvas so watching this - especially Keith who appears to have done this a number of times - is extremely helpful!

bill
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2PLY
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: '93 Eurovan Westy Canvas Replacement Reply with quote

shenandoah_vw wrote:
................
The top strips are also installed differently. The "channel" was installed facing the top shell...reverse of past experience on Vanagons. The welp at the top was tucked into the channel from the outside, with the strip positioned on the inside of the canvas...the screws barely caught the edge of the welp. Is this normal?

I have search this site, Westfalia.org., googled, etc. - not finding any videos or info on replacing this canvas.

Thank You - Bob



Bob,

The Eurovan might be different, but for the newer Vanagon pop-top canvas that has screws top and bottom, here is how Professional Installer Kris Knight installs the OEM 3 window canvas:

At the top, the 'U' shape of the aluminum strip faces UP. The canvas goes from the INSIDE toward the outside but stays trapped UNDER the aluminum channel but the bead goes just past the screw holes..

The bottom bead with the plastic strip goes completely under the flat side of the aluminum strip. The 'U' shape points UP again but the canvas goes under it completely from the outside to inside of the Van. The plastic bead should show on the inside tight against the aluminum strip. It makes a fairly good water seal.

Attach the canvas front and back at the top first before running the sides. Same for the bottom. Center screw first then stretch enough to reach the corners and secure. Again, do front and back before securing the sides.

If the top bead at the top aluminum strip is pushed to the outside of that strip, the canvas will be very tight and can cause problems opening the top plus puts extra strain on the side window zippers. It may look good, but it might be TOO tight.

Do any of these steps incorrectly and there will be a problem showing up as you reach the end.

I've posted a new Pop-Top install video with Pro upholstery installer Kris Knight doing the install at the camp site with just hand tools, no help with the top from anyone and with the top still on the Van for a total time of 2 hours 25 minutes.. It's a 2 part video. First part is up on Vimeo but I'm waiting for some Staple top information to add to the second part before I post.. Go here for Part #1


Link

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shenandoah_vw
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: '93 Eurovan Westy Canvas Replacement Reply with quote

Have done Vanagon Westy tent replacements that have the staple strips. This Eurovan had caulk between bottom strips and body...don't know if that was a factory job or from prior replacement...feedback please...I do plan to just add some chaulk and put it back down.

The reason for just re-chaulking is that the bottom strips have a slot for the canvas welp with rubber cord strip to hold into place...didn't realize and cut this strip...still useable, but looking for new replacement...not finding @ GoWesty or BusDepot. Anyone know of this...suggestions...feedback?

The top strips are also installed differently. The "channel" was installed facing the top shell...reverse of past experience on Vanagons. The welp at the top was tucked into the channel from the outside, with the strip positioned on the inside of the canvas...the screws barely caught the edge of the welp. Is this normal?

I have search this site, Westfalia.org., googled, etc. - not finding any videos or info on replacing this canvas.

Thank You - Bob
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tarandusVDub
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone modified the '85 and earlier staples version to change it to the strip and screws version? Saw a thread on here awhile ago where someone did that but can't find it.

Wondering if its worth it, and how to go about it if anyone has that experience...seems like the screws would be way easier and faster...
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Busdepot
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: my Bus Depot canvas adventure Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
I bought the Bus Depot Tan Poptop Tent Canvas - 85-91 Westfalia 253070704AOE for $399.

About an hour before I started I found this thread and it made me very worried. But the canvas was here and a couple of my friends were due to arrive with-in the hour. What the hell, right?

Tore out the old canvas with out removing the top, it went very quickly. Installed canvas top to top. Used an awl to poke consistent holes and to make sure everything was lined up correctly. Made the screws a joy to install, well until it was all done, the it hurt a bit, because I used no power tools. Installed the top back on the Vanagon and installed the bottom of the canvas to the body. It all went on very easy. Just used a broom handle to keep the top up and canvas slack.

When it was together I put it up slowly and Ta-Da. She fit like a charm. No rips, nice and taunt. Looks great and now I'm a happy camper.

Dwaine in Dayton aka Denton

The references in the beginning of this thread (which are a couple of years old) related to the Just Kampers canvas that we used to sell, not the canvas we sell now. The JK canvas was a good product for the price, but they did have isolated quality control issues with dimensions. This past summer we introduced our own product to replace it. This product was almost two years in design and I rejected a dozen samples until I thought it was just right. The material is so similar to the OEM German one that side by side you can't even tell the difference. However the side windows are slightly larger on our version, by popular demand. Learning from Just Kampers' experience, I hired an independent canvas specialist to measure and serialize each individual canvas, one by one, ensuring that they do not leave our building unless we're 100% certain the fit is right. For just $279, I can definitively state that this is by far the highest quality canvas ever offered in its price range and will give $500 canvases a run for their money. (Not to mention the only canvas anywhere with 100% independent quality control.) And I say this having carried and used almost every one on the market.

For those who prefer to stick with the OE German product, we still have that too. Our $399 OEM canvas the same one GoWesty sells for $499.

You can read my article on choosing the right poptop canvas at http://www.busdepot.com/details/canvas/.
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhinoculips wrote:
whynotvw wrote:
Buy from Atelierspk located in Canada.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Is that Cadet Grey? I've been talking with Les and getting ready to pull the trigger. Just can't decide on color. It's a tie between Cadet Grey, Linen, Toast and Beige.

How thick is the sunbrella material?
Is it dark inside when all the windows are closed or does light transmit thru? If it does, I'm leaning toward the tan colors to give a warmer feel to the inside. BTW, mines a White '89 Westy

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


That is Cadet Grey. Material is about twice as thick. As far as the darkness it feels the same as the OG. I'm happy with my Cadet Grey. I feel like I made a good choice for my white Syncro.
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Rhinoculips
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whynotvw wrote:
Buy from Atelierspk located in Canada.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Is that Cadet Grey? I've been talking with Les and getting ready to pull the trigger. Just can't decide on color. It's a tie between Cadet Grey, Linen, Toast and Beige.

How thick is the sunbrella material?
Is it dark inside when all the windows are closed or does light transmit thru? If it does, I'm leaning toward the tan colors to give a warmer feel to the inside. BTW, mines a White '89 Westy

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

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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: my Bus Depot canvas adventure Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
Tore out the old canvas with out removing the top, it went very quickly. Measured everything twice, comparing new to old. It was about 1/4" smaller in all dimensions. i assumed that it was within tolerances and to be expected. My friends arrive and we remove the top, placed upside down on the grass on top of the old canvas.

Installed canvas top to top. Used an awl to poke consistent holes and to make sure everything was lined up correctly. Made the screws a joy to install, well until it was all done, the it hurt a bit, because I used no power tools.

Installed the top back on the Vanagon and installed the bottom of the canvas to the body. It all went on very easy. Just used a broom handle to keep the top up and canvas slack.

When it was together I put it up slowly and Ta-Da. She fit like a charm. No rips, nice and taunt. Looks great and now I'm a happy camper.


This is the best and quickest method of installing a new tent. Nice work!

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

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OhioVWGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: my Bus Depot canvas adventure Reply with quote

I bought the Bus Depot Tan Poptop Tent Canvas - 85-91 Westfalia 253070704AOE for $399.

About an hour before I started I found this thread and it made me very worried.

But the canvas was here and a couple of my friends were due to arrive with-in the hour. What the hell, right?

Tore out the old canvas with out removing the top, it went very quickly. Measured everything twice, comparing new to old. It was about 1/4" smaller in all dimensions. i assumed that it was within tolerances and to be expected. My friends arrive and we remove the top, placed upside down on the grass on top of the old canvas.

Installed canvas top to top. Used an awl to poke consistent holes and to make sure everything was lined up correctly. Made the screws a joy to install, well until it was all done, the it hurt a bit, because I used no power tools.

Installed the top back on the Vanagon and installed the bottom of the canvas to the body. It all went on very easy. Just used a broom handle to keep the top up and canvas slack.

When it was together I put it up slowly and Ta-Da. She fit like a charm. No rips, nice and taunt. Looks great and now I'm a happy camper.

I was so excited I camped out two night in a row. Neither rain, high winds or responsibilities stopped it or me.

Dwaine in Dayton aka Denton
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ger320
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

again I need to ask you--0

Which tent did you buy? The OEM one from GoWesty?

I was able to get the link to work. And I have one of those right angle screwdrivers!
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think it was too tight and I'm a big guy. Removed the mattress and used one of these to get at the screws...

[img]http://members.cybertrails.com/~ahwahnee/VW%20Rt%20Angle%20Driver[/img]

No idea why the image doesn't show but cut & paste the URL to view
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ger320
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the back being tight you say, could one detach temporarily to make more room?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dogcoves wrote:
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.


Which tent did you buy? The OEM one from GoWesty?
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy from Atelierspk located in Canada. I couldn't be more happier with their price quality and fit. It fit like taylor made. They make piece by piece and take great pride.

It seems like a lot of people are having difficult time installing the BD product.

Pay a little more but you can avoid the trouble and the hassle.

my two cents.
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WVVWFERG
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: pop top canvas Reply with quote

I purchased the Bus Depot " westfalia" top , their most expensive one. it came in a "just campers" box. Two friends did the initial install on my 86 with the top in place a few weeks ago. Unfortunately , they quit when it got to the rear bottom and there wasn't enough slack to fit. I ended up re-doing the bottom install by taking it all lose at the bottom and then starting at the rear, then the front and , with a lot of stretching , the sides. There are places where the welting is not completely inside and a few corners wher all screws are not yet in ( too tight using the electric screwdriver I had), but it is in and looks good... but it is TIGHT. If I ever do another on either my 91 or 75 baywindow, I'll go with a more relaxed fit top. By the way, there isn't much room to work in the rear (with the top on), especially for a senior citizen who is overweight, and you really don't want to be in the top too long when it's over 90 degrees... whew.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes
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rc
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed one from BD today... horrible and ill-fitting. Much too small I ended up cutting it in the back and sewing in screening at the foot in order to get it to fit. Next time I'll just sew my own canvas... I can make it to fit and use much better quality canvas at a fraction of the cost...
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elizrichardson wrote:
...Has anyone else had the problem of Bus Depot replacement canvases being too small?...


This is not a vendor bash -- indeed my story had a satisfactory ending... hopefully yours will too.

I got 4 canvases from BD before I got a correct one. #2 and #3 were too large. I documented the problem with dimensions:

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


And also a photo comparing the pic on the website to what they sent (and I tried to install):

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


It was a bit frustrating but I kept them informed and they didn't give up until we got it right.

Sounds like you're asking for a refund but if you can see your way clear to work with them a bit more giving them as much info as you can they are more likely to try and resolve the problem and keep the sale.
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elizrichardson
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parishollow wrote:
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.


Has anyone else had the problem of Bus Depot replacement canvases being too small? I'm asking so I can have help getting a refund. I bought one and after HOURS of labor found out it was too small. They grudgingly sent me another one which they said measured larger. I stupidly didn't measure it myself, and it, too, is too small. Bus Depot is not taking my word for it. If you or anyone you know has had this problem, please let me know. ElizRichardson
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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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